Archive for August, 2007
All this gender analysis & discourse lately made this pop into my head on my commute this morning … I’d prefer it to be a photo of me, but since I’m still attempting to maintain a shred of anonymity, Marlena Dietrich will have to do. She kind of makes it a little more playful, actually, less like an identity and more like a costume, which I actually like, although it has a slightly different meaning this way.PS: I know lolcats usually use a much less gramatically correct syntax, but I think the point still comes across. kthxbye.
The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. This Week’s Picks …
do one thing every day that scares you
Interview With Deborah Jeane Palfrey, AKA The DC Madam
Rough Sex – with pictures
Mr. Sugasm Himself: Keep Britain Tidy, Gimp
Editor’s Choice: In Her Mind, the Pigeons Were Always Fucking
Welcome to the community, Colleen and Jake. Even just a few months ago the dyke-run sexblogs were few and far between, but this little empire (car tires & chicken wires) of ours is growing. Have you seen my “Playin’ for My Team” sidebar list recently? Not all of those are exclusively sexblogs, but most of them are. But here’s a funny thing … almost all of these dyke-run sexblogs, though, are from self-defined femmes. Hey, all the better for me, really, but where are the butches?Similarly, I was at the Pervert’s Saloon Tea Party this past Sunday, and it was me, Jefferson, and six other women – Tess, Viviane, Calico, Selina, Rachel, and Lolita. (I missed Madeline, who has been there every other time I’ve been to a tea party, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.) We were interviewed by Craig Collinson of Nobles Gate for his documentary “A Sex Bloggesy” about, um, sexbloggers.
That’s us. Anonymized in the interviewer’s monitor. Photo borrowed from Viviane.There was a question at some point about the imbalance of genders in the room – At one point, Jefferson said (about me), “Well hey, you’re the only man in the room …” This imbalance is in the sexblog community in general, too. We did some speculation as to why this is. The interviewer even brought up the idea that women are not as sexual creatures as men. I think, honestly, he was playing TO the stereotypes intentionally, though he was also asking us to defend/discuss it. I spent much of the interview biting my fist to keep from jumping up on the table and start proselytizing.
And, what is that about, anyway? That it is primarily women who are running sexblogs? Oh, I have some ideas.
The mainstream audience for porn is, of course, men, so women are better able to get a handle or corner on the potential marketability of a sexblog.
Because of the way patriarchy works (gasp, the P word), men don’t have to examine or question or explore sex in order to figure out how to get pleasure, how to get validation, and how to reconcile their identity as a sexual person, because it’s socially acceptable and, in fact, encouraged, for a man to be sexually explorative. This is still not true for women.
Women, as a whole, do tend to be more verbal (whether it’s nature or nurture, we can have that argument another time), and also attach more emotion to sex, probably for biological purposes (and this has been proven by sociobiological scientists, not just stereotypes). Therefore the act of sex is potentially more complicated and problematic for women (?? … I’m brainstorming here, don’t mind my generalities).
There has been a lot of work done by women on the gender of femininity in the last forty years (holy smokes, second-wave feminism was forty years ago?) because of the sexual and gender revolutions of the 1960s and 70s. Therefore, many many many of the limitations and constrictions that were previously placed upon women and femininity have been deconstructed and revalued, and, generally, quite successfully I think. This is NOT to say that I think feminism is over, or that we are now in a post-feminist state – only that women and the feminist movement have done a lot of work on the feminine gender, which may actually be leading to how women are able to take control of and elaborate upon their various sexualities via writing on the Internet. However, that work has not been done in the same way by/for masculinity and men. I would argue, in fact, that that is where the next gender revolution needs to come: from and for men, revaluing and deconstructing masculinity and the mandatory tough guise. However, because we are STILL in a patriarchy, and STILL value maleness more than femaleness, men haven’t been forced to do this – yet. I don’t know how I can help fuel this revolution-to-come, but I sure would like to.
Hmmm … anything else? (I’m digging this list format. Feels like my ideas are more organized this way.) I’ll keep thinking about this question. So, riddle me this, folks: Why is the sexblog community dominated by women? And why are the queer women sexblogs primarily femme? Where are the gayboy sexblogs, anyway?
So, after the interviewers left, we went back to our regular fabulous Tea Party, catching up with each other, discussing and processing and catching up.Viviane, always the amazing host, made strawberry shortcake and mint juleps, along with watercress & goat cheese tea sandwiches. And delicious tea, of course, both iced and hot. Selina brought beautiful cups & saucers for our tea, Rachel ran out to get the proper milk, and looked gorgeous in her summery dress. Selina had some pretty fantastic heels on that she’d discovered in London, and Tess … well, Tess had heels on too. (Oh I’m such a sucker for stilettos.) Lolita had a beautiful new cutting by
Jefferson Sharrin Spector (who wasn’t there, but Lolita gave me her link so I figured I’d include it. I’m kinda jealous, I want a cutting). Calico I met for the first time, who is a newcomer to this scene but is already making quite the impression. And Jefferson, of course, infamous Jefferson, was showing off his rubber ducky boxers by the end of the night.
What else happened at this tea party, you ask?
Well … After the girls said they’d gotten pedicures just so they could wear their fancy shoes, I mentioned that I cut my fingernails just for the party … to which of course Jefferson retorted, “What, did you think you were going to get laid?” … which was the beginning of the shenanigans.
Jefferson told me “what gender is” while we were in the kitchen devilling eggs. To be fair, I thought he was saying “ginger,” because of his cute little southern accent, which prompted me to ask what the hell he was talking about. Although ginger wasn’t actually that out of context considering we’d been discussing ginger butt fucking (apparently called figging?) just shortly before.
It’s true what they’re saying, I did get a little lesson in flogging from Lolita, as did Tess and Selina. I felt out of practice and incredibly embarrassed, actually. Because I am good at flogging. Actually, quite good. And I hated being seen, in front of a roomful of experienced people, of whom I was one of the youngest, as not experienced in something I am good at. It was very frustrating. Really, it made me draw the conclusion that I need to flog more, to be sure to keep my skills fresh. … perhaps I should seek volunteers.
One last thing: I really have NO idea what I said on camera, what quotes of mine (if any) will be used. The one thing I did really want to press was how much I believe that our discussions of sex, relationships, and gender in these online communities is actually an act of social change and revolution. That it helps and encourages open communication about pleasure, identity, and of course sex, all of which are still taboo. We’re makin’ history here, we’re paving the way for a more sophisticated, more particular, safer, happier, much improved cultural dealings with sex. And I am oh so grateful to be a part of that, even in the smallest way.
This is an honorable mention from the Sugarbutch Star contest, from Grey. Written from her perspective. I plan to post a few more honorable mentions as well – I am attempting to keep them short, little snippets of a scene rather than the entire build-up and tear-down that I usually include in my stories. I’m doing this to challenge myself and my writing, but it’s also because there were so many great submissions, but I don’t have time to write them all for the contest, unfortunately.
Charcoal Portrait in the Art Studio
There is only the light scratching of my charcoal on paper. Thick and cream, deckled edges on plyboard. Held in my lap. An indication of shadow here. Of hip, of thigh.
She’s posing for me, only a black tie around her neck, black leather harness around her hips, black strap-on eagerly poised. She’s draped on the white studio couch. She’s calm and steady. She’s watching me.
A flick of my wrist and a line for her jaw, her left breast. The angles of her come to life. I recreate her. She lets me.
I fill in details. Impressions of her, sultry, on paper, fall around me like winter is coming. I tear off another sheet and she is moving toward me, all eyes and hips, that cocky swagger.
I drop my charcoal. My fingers are blackened with it. Her lips are at my ear: “Which curves are you still missing?” She takes my hand, sets it on her hip. “This one?” On her stomach. “This?” On her thigh. “Here?”
I swallow the hesitation in my throat.
“Come on,” she says. “You can do better than that.” And I can.
She shows me. Her tongue sketches curves and I am recreated by her from the inside when she slides.
Her lips are charcoal, and my skin is perfect paper.
When I look handsome, tell me so. That look of appreciation in your eyes for my masculinity makes me melt.
Let me open doors for you, hold your umbrella, carry your bags, pull our your chair, refill your drink. These are the ways I call you precious.
When I am moody, let me have space. I will come back to you for help when I am ready.
Take my left elbow while we are walking. It makes me feel like I am promenading you, and plus our bodies can be closer that way than with handholding.
Don’t make a big deal out of it if I cook, clean, or cry. These may be “women’s things” (socialized or by nature, that’s a debate for another time) but I like to do them, I like my subversive gender, I was raised female too.
Buy me boy presents like cuff links, ties, a flask, suspenders, a watch caddy, a shoe-shine kit. These are tokens that show how you celebrate my gender expression, just like when I buy you lingerie, flowers, perfume, jewelry.
Watch (or read) porn with me sometimes. Then tell me how you’d do it better …
Don’t assume I’m stone just cause I’m (a top, and) butch. I like sex – and getting off.
Tell me when I fuck up, and let me fix it. I usually can. I’m handy that way.
This whole sex/gender conversation has had me skipping around today & yesterday with the singsong voice, saying, my readers are smarter than yours.Seriously though … I love love love that I am part of this conversation. Thanks for contributing, bouncing ideas off of me, bringing your thoughts.
Talk nerdy to me, baby.
I fucken love gender theory. This is reminding me of just how much. I did some reading yesterday and today, reminded myself of some of the other arguments in the dialogue on the butch/femme disruption of the heteronormative paradigm.
- The butch identity, particularly, though both the butch and femme genders, can be argued as an illustration for the deconstruction of the sex/gender alignment – that is, the assumption that gender and sex are the same thing, that gender comes from some sort of “essential” place based in biological sex – because if the codes and symbols of masculinity can be adopted by women (who, it could be argued, in some cases, can perform gender “better” than biological men), then gender is therefore something learned, not something innate. And thus butch/femme is a disruption and subversion of the hegemonic paradigm
- The femme identity particularly, but both the butch and femme genders, also draw attention to the performatibility of gender and how the symbols and codes can be adopted and learned. Specifically, since femme is a verison of femininity and is used not for the attraction of men but for the attraction of other women, femme challenges the very basic function of the feminine gender (attraction/pleasing of men), which, we are taught, is the sole purpose for these essentialized characteristics of the sex/gender binary.
- As much as the butch/femme dynamic is subversive to the dominant sex/gender system, I actually believe that it is also an imitation, at times. It must must must be extensively analyzed and carefully adopted because of the ways that the gender hierarchy can infiltrate our own sexual and relationship dynamics, and honestly, I might be more second wave about this than others, but I do strive for equality, I do strive for equal value in a relationship. I want to play with the power and gender and submission and control in sex, sure – but when it comes to value within the relationship, I do think it’s important to be on equal ground.
Okay, this concludes my gender rant for today. I have more to say – much more – and will write more on this as my thoughts get clearer. Thanks again, though, to those who have contributed to this conversation. Let’s keep it going, eh?
Thanks to Lady Brett Ashley for this submission, the second of the five finalists in the Sugarbtuch Star contest.
Threesome and a Purple Tie
Brett reaches up with one hand and peels off my purple tie, her blindfold, sticky against her forehead. Her mouth is full of her girlfriend’s cock. I watch her hesitate momentarily until she wiggles her hips a little, which is my acknowledgement. If her girlfriend is in her mouth, I must be the one fucking her from behind.
I hadn’t expected the evening to go this way. I had hoped to take Brett back to my place, sure, but as soon as her handsome and clearly doting soft butch girlfriend showed up as I easily fingered Brett’s jean-clad knee, I altered my evening expectations.
“Oh, you’re … spoken for,” I said, frowning, exaggerating my disappointment in order to hide it. “Too bad. Unless … I don’t suppose you’d want to share?” I look to the girlfriend. Eli. She sizes me up, then looks at Brett. Brett’s eyes sparkle and she gets this cheeky half-smile. I think Eli’s about to punch me, and they’ll have a fun night of what-if sex, then I think Brett might ditch Eli by the way she’s already devouring me with these smoldering looks, then I think Eli left Brett alone for just this reason: to find a third. I consider making a joke to Brett about feeling used, how I’d been on my very best charming pick-up behavior, but decide against it.
“Yeah, alright,” Eli shifts her weight, digs her hands into her pockets, also with a slight half-smile. She has nice arms: strong, defined muscles under her white tee shirt. She’s more girly than I am, but still more boyish than Brett, who is what I’d call subtle femme. May take a second glance, but it’s there.
Brett caught my eye as soon as I walked into the club. Nice ass, graceful legs. Pretty eyes behind her thick, long curly hair. Cute glasses that enhance the curves of her jaw and cheeks. I took the barstool next to hers and watched her laugh before I said hello.
I drain what’s left of my melted ice and Jameson. Their hotel is on the corner.
I untie my purple silk tie in the elevator. “Kiss her,” I say to Eli. She’s not sure she wants to take orders from me, but she wants to kiss Brett and she’s glad I didn’t move in to kiss her myself. Brett is curled against the corner of the elevator, watching us both interacting. She sometimes raises a finger to her mouth as if to bite her nail.
Eli carefully places each hand on the elevator wall behind Brett and leans in to kiss her. Brett watches me, still unslipping my tie, carefully undoing the knots, mouth moving against Eli, eyes open. I undo the top button of my silver shirt and hold one side of the tie in each hand.
And so it began.
The elevator doors open, I step through and wait for them to lead the way. A cute couple, attractive. Brett has a great ass.
Eli slides her keycard in and the trio of us enters the bland hotel room. Two beds, small table with an ice bucket and glasses, a chair that is a cheap knock-off of something comfortable. Their suitcases are on one bed. The other is perfectly made.
I toss the tie to Eli. “Care to blindfold her?” Brett turns to me, eyes wide, still quiet. Eli smiles and tosses it back to me. “You do it,” she says, crossing her arms over her chest. She’s smiling but also challenging me. I don’t understand this game yet.
I take two steps to Brett, who has saught protection from a wall again. I take her glasses and set them on the bed with the open suitcases. Her hair falls in her face, chin tipped down. Curls everywhere. I want handfuls of it. Fistfuls and to use it as rope, as something by which to pull her. It is long, past her shoulders. It would splay out everywhere. I finger her jaw, her cheekbone.
We have a moment. Eye contact, connecting. “Can I kiss you?” I ask. I’m asking her if she’s okay with this. She’s stealing sipping glances at me, looking down at my hands on her waist, looking back up, body language telling me she loves it, is just a little shy, but she likes to be told what to do.
She nods. Murmurs please or yes or okay or maybe just mmm. Her body goes soft against me and her hands find my waist, then lower back, then fingers dig into my shoulders as I kiss her. I like the way Brett lets go, trusts, lets me push her by my energy and intention. She picks up on the subtleties fast.
I draw her thin tee shirt over her head, a mess of dark curls spilling out. Eli Is at her back now, unhooking her bra, hands on her skin, her stomach, her shoulders, kissing her neck, rolling her nipples between her fingers and Brett leans back into her, one arm up, hand in Eli’s short cropped hair.
Topless, I slide my wide purple tie over Brett’s eyes, tie it behind her head.
Eli has her strapon in one fist and the vinyl harness dangles from her hand.
“You may not be able to tell who is doing what,” Eli says, still at Brett’s neck, watching me as I unbutton the rest of my silver shirt, slipping it off of my shoulders. “But I’ll be here the whole time,” she promises, still holding Brett close. I’m already strapped, she needs a minute to prep. I take Eli’s hand from Brett’s shoulder and we both step back, stand and watch Brett reaching for us by listening to where we are moving. I keep Eli’s hand a moment and kiss her fingers, suck her first finger onto my tongue, flick it with my tongue ring.
“Butch on butch,” she says, laughing, her eyes soft, “that’s practically faggotry.”
“Best kind of faggotry, in my opinion,” I say, and lightly wap the ass of her jeans as I step back to Brett.
“Tell her to get on her knees,” I say to Eli.
“Get on your knees,” Eli says, unbuttoning and sliding her jeans off, pulling the harness on.
Brett sinks. She brings her hands behind her back and I put my hands in her hair, then move one to my fly and cock. I finger her lips, pretty mouth, and she takes two of my fingers between her teeth, sucks them onto her tongue. Soft.
Actions become blurred. My cock. Brett’s jeans pulled off and on the ground. Eli fingering Brett while she sucks me, the lovely noises from her throat as she tries not to come, not yet. Eli clearly knows what to do and doesn’t let up, Brett arches her back like a cat and nearly hangs from my legs, gripping my thighs with her hands as she sucks my cock, pulling on my jeans until they come down with my briefs and she slides two fingers under my favorite harness to find my clit. She works it like a cock, strokes it and rolls it gently between her fingers. I groan, hips buck. Lord.
Eli’s got one hand on her left hip, still working her right hand between Brett’s legs.
Brett starts shuddering and panting and she’s going to come, I don’t know if I should pull out of her mouth or stay. She stops sucking but keeps leaning forward into my cock, breathing heavy around it, big gasps of air mouth open and I let her work herself against it, and she does, god she does, until she’s writhing and rocking against me, my hips and cock, against Eli and her hands, shuddering, convulsing at the stomach in small pulses of muscle and breath and she groans, hard, gasps for air, whimpers a little, and is still.
Eli holds her hips for a minute, letting her rest in her crumpled state on the beige hotel carpet, then twirls her finger at me, meaning time to switch.
My mouth waters.
Eli still doesn’t have her cock on. Her harness is loose but won’t fall off her hips; she’s stripped her white tee shirt and jeans. I remove my jeans and watch as Eli guides Brett from the floor onto the bed, onto her back, Brett’s knees hanging off the end, legs parted but together, thighs pressing.
Kneeling on the bed, Eli slowly draws one knee to either side of Brett’s shoulders, then lowers her cunt gently down over Brett’s mouth. I realize my jeans are stuck at my ankles and try to tear my eyes away long enough to pull them all the way off.
Eli has hold of the wall-mounted headboard and her head is thrown back a little, spine already arching, body moving eagerly. Brett’s knees are contracting off the bed and she runs one foot over the other, up her calf. She has hold of Eli’s thigh and her body is curling off the bed like a wet piece of paper.
I leave my a-shirt on and move to the foot of the bed, touch Brett’s knees, caress her thighs, her calves as much as I can reach, her hipbones, the gentle hair over her pussy, her labia, swollen and sensitive. I ease her left knee off the bed into the grip of my elbow and step closer, use my right knee to press her legs open. She’s slick, wet and supple, muscles pliable, she lets me move her where I want her. Her hands reach for me a second then back to Eli’s lower back and thighs. Eli is quietly moaning.
I feel her cunt with two fingers and slide in slow to get the angle, feel how deep she is. My packing cock isn’t huge but it is enough. She is slick and smooth and she parts her thighs a little farther, offering herself a little more.
I let my fingers wander over her labia and clit as the head of my dick finds her opening and slides in. A little too fast and she gasps. Her whole body responds, she groans, a sound that starts deep in her belly, somewhere my cock is hitting. Her sounds are muffled vibrations against Eli’s cunt.
Eli is working harder against Brett, increasingly faster, pressing her hips down into Brett’s face, balancing herself against the headboard and wall. She is practically on all fours, kneeling, working her clit in Brett’s mouth.
I match Eli’s rhythm and pace and speed. Slow strokes in and out, then faster, shallow. Sometimes a little rotation, a side-to-side motion. I copy her precisely.
They are both moaning. I tighten my grip on Brett’s hips and find a sweet spot, start thrusting harder. I hear Eli’s orgasm building, she’s gasping now and moaning in longer drawn-out sounds. Eli’s whole body begins to shiver and I barely notice, I am occupied, Brett has her legs wrapped around my waist and she’s puling me in, hard and deep.
Eli swings one leg over and half slides off the bed. Her legs are a little weak.
“Turn,” Eli says, pushing at Brett from the side. Brett turns to her stomach. Eli grabs her cock from the foot of the other bed as I don’t wait, but slide right back in, tip to balls, and begin fucking Brett again like I never stopped. She has one knee on the bed, one leg over the edge, toes on the floor, pelvis tilted up and back to take me in. Her hands are grabbing fistfuls of blankets and peeling the sheets from the bed. Her hair falls in a mess of curls around her head, only slightly restrained by my purple tie still around her forehead.
My head leans back, shoulders back, holding onto Brett’s hips, sometimes the flesh of her ass, round and a nice handful. Eli slides back onto the bed, sits with her back against the headboard and pulls Brett to her, sliding her cock Brett’s mouth.
I’m close to coming and feel pressure building, the muscles contracting with new force and urgency, when Brett lifts her hand off the bed and removes the blindfold. I see Eli smile at her, hands in her hair, then look at me. We lock eyes for just a moment, until Brett presses her hips back and wiggles against me, and the sensation is overwhelming, throwing me off balance and sounds escape my throat with every exhale until I’m pounding, pumping hard against her and Brett is gasping into Eli’s cock, muffled, and it all builds, hard, until I swear I can feel her cunt contracting around my cock, squeezing, and I explode inside her, coming hard, rocking against her, shaking.
My lower back is wet with sweat and I stagger a little, knees weak, joints not holding me up, and both Brett and Eli are looking at me, biting back grins, giggling, ecstatic. I swallow embarrassment and clear my throat, which makes them laugh more. I laugh too. We’re all a bit high. I lay myself down next to Brett, awkwardly, not able to quite be all the way on the bed but the support feels good, and I’m breathing hard, still catching my breath.
Eli laces her fingers through Brett’s and kisses her. “That was fun,” she says between kisses. “Sharing you. So … when is it not rude to kick her out?”
I laugh, ruffle Brett’s hair, kiss her, kiss Eli gently on the lips, cupping her chin, then pull on my jeans. I can take a hint.
When myself and my partner are both women, we are inherently breaking from heteronormativity just by the fact that we are both women.
Arguing that butch/femme reproduces compulsory heterosexual gender roles assumes that heterosexual gender roles ARE the source, and the norm, from whence butch/femme came. What if all of these gender roles are pulling from a different force – say, some sort of universal life-force, uniquely expressed in a wide variety of ways?
Sometimes butch/femme roles ARE a reproduction of heterosexuality, and that is where trouble comes into my paradise. If only they never were. That is absolutely one of the reasons why it was extremely difficult for me to come to a butch identity – because I’d grown up believing that gender roles were confining, and limiting. But they don’t have to be. I’m working on the details of that argument, but – for now – it’s similar to how a poetic form can actually liberate a poem, or an idea, rather than limit the expression of it.
I don’t like the argument that we should be “beyond roles” or beyond definition. Defining ourselves gives us power, and language, to articulate who we are. The problems arise when we are confined to the definitions, when we can no longer re-make or re-claim the words to accurately describe ourselves, or when we grow and move and change and are holding on to something that is no longer true. Categories should never be so rigid that there is not room to manouver inside of them.
Claiming a particular label or gender identity or expression also situates me within a particular history. There is a heritage of women who refused to be confined to femininity, many of them butches in the queer community. And I come from them. They are my heritage, I am part of that lineage, I want to claim and celebrate and align myself with what they did, because I am so fucken lucky to be sitting in a corporate office in midtown Manhattan, with my boycut #4 and my polo shirt, black boy slacks and loafers, Hanes briefs and a pocketwatch, wearing Old Spice and American Crew pomade, and my coworkers don’t care. I claim that heritage by claiming my identity to be butch. I stand on their shoulders. I am not alone here.
Gender, for me, is an expression of my sense of self as played onto my body, but it is also a sex toy. It is a way that I play and have fun and enhance the friction and traction between myself and my lover. It’s about contrast, holding myself up against someone else to see where we overlap, where we divide, where we collide.