Gender Identity vs Sexual Identity

Within a larger post about the Tila Tequila reality dating show on MTV discussing butch identity, a reader on After Ellen mentioned Sugarbutch:

[F]or some, “butch” is a gender identity, and for others it is a sexual kink (for more on this idea, check out the totally awesome sugarbutch.blogspot.com. but probably only if you’re a grownup as it has some erotica alongside the political/language stuff). So being butch could be interpreted as being overtly sexual.

And, wow! I am flattered to be mentioned! But, I’m confused. Do I explain butch as a “sexual identity” here, as opposed to a gender identity? This is definitely a sex blog – when it boils down to it – my ‘sex, gender, and relationship’ chronicles. And yes, butch is a huge piece of that, and yes, butch is a huge piece of how I communicate physically, and sex is the primary place in my life where I practice that physical communication overtly.

But: butch is a gender identity. Always, I think. I’m not even sure what it would mean to have butch as a “sexual identity” without the gender identity. That even reminds me of that horrible phrase “butch in the streets, femme in the sheets” (which I’ve written about in a post called what gender is).

I’m also not sure how all my elaborate discussions of gender expression and the identity development proces would lead someone to conclude this about me … is it because I talk about sex and gender together, often interwoven? Because being butch is part of my sex life?

I so appreciate the shout-out. I think it’s part of that James Dean complex of being misunderstood – I don’t think I agree – or, perhaps more accurately, I’m not sure I understand – so it’s weird to hear someone else describing me that way.

Butch Stoicism

This past weekend, a friend reminded me that my sensitivity manifests in this butch body, this gender performance, as stoicism. I forget that about myself. I think it is obvious that my feelings are hurt, that I am withdrawn or sullen, yet externally it appears as anger, hard walls, and judgment.I forget that’s how I’m seen.

See, this butch thing is still relatively new – less than a third of my life – and I am treated and perceived differently because of it. I’ve written this before, but: I was never “one of the boys,” I was never the athletic jock, the girl who wished she could join the football team, the one with the toy truck collection. I was the ragamuffin hippie child, making daisy chains, playing in the mud at recess and then changing into mary janes when I got back inside. I was the girl with the handmade dress and the holes in the knees of my wool tights.

Back when I had long hair, this same expression of emotion in me was perceived as something else – hurt, pouting. But now, with my boycut #4, it is stoic anger.

I changed, yeah. But I also am just the same. Don’t forget I used to be the girl on the playground that built rock sculptures and then would sneek into the library to read Jean Fritz and Madeleine L’engle and Anne of Green Gables and The Babysitter’s Club. Don’t forget that this gender doesn’t mean that I don’t feel, too.

learning to love the rituals of letting go

Yesterday, October 29th, was the birthday of the first girl I loved. I haven’t actually spoken to her in years, not since long before I left Seattle. I’ve sent her a few emails, called her when I came through town, but we haven’t actually talked.

I almost emailed her yesterday. Nothing heavy, just hi, how are you, hope all is well, happy birthday. I’ve done this on every birthday of hers, I think, since we met seven years ago.

I didn’t send it, though.

I am still sad that she and I are not friends, and do not keep in touch. If she made an effort to contact me, I would meet her energy. But clearly, if she wanted me in her life, she would put some sort of bid for connection out to me, and she hasn’t, she doesn’t.

Funny that it corresponded with the last post about The Ex-Girlfriend and how I need to let her go. This ex, too, I need to let go.

It’s a challenge – I would really love to be friends with my exes, and I’m not actually friends with any of them. We’re on speaking terms (all except Callie). It seems strange to me that we fall in love, we value someone so deeply, want to spend all our time with them, consider them to be one of the most important people in our lives, but then we don’t – or can’t, or aren’t capable of – keeping them in our lives, maintaining a friendship and relationship. And I’m talking about the short-term people I dated, really, but the real deals: the significant ones, the ones I deeply loved and who I thought deeply loved me. Isn’t that enough to maintain some sort of connection, some sort of friendship?

This struggle for me is not new, really; since my first major breakup with the boy I’d been with for nearly five years, I’ve wanted my exes to be in my life. I understand now, better than I used to, that there needs to be some time apart, some separation to re-discover ourselves individually and to re-calibrate ourselves.

I wish we could at least stay in holiday-card touch, communicating a couple times a year with the significant updates.

But meanwhile: I am attempting to let go of expectations of someone else behaving in a particular way. We aren’t in touch anymore. It’s sad. I am letting go of that last bit of hope I’ve been holding on to, tossing it off a bridge, letting it take flight.

sugasm #102: top three!

The Sugarbutch Star story from Bad Bad Girl has been chosen as one of this week’s Sugasm picks!

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Sugasm #102: This Week’s Picks


She Told Me
“She told me she had a headache.”
Fantasy: If you can’t stand the heat… “You set the ice cube down and force my legs apart.”
Sugarbutch Star: Bad Bad Girl “I brought my lips down on hers hard, crushing, devouring, insistent.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself Upskirt Video from V Magazine
Editor’s Choice Blog Action Day: Sexual Activism or Lightning Doesn’t Strike Twice

More Sugasm Join the Sugasm See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

The “Straight Girl” at the Dyke Bar

I know, I’m extremely late on this. I’m attempting to breathe some new life into the end of the Sugarbutch Star contest, so I can finally end it and hold a poll for the reader’s favorite!

This honorable mention submission comes from Bad Bad Girl … thank you. (Featured in Sugasm #102 in the top three!) 

The Straight Girl at the Dyke Bar

I was out back, in the alley behind the dive dyke bar, when she found me. Busted through the door with a fruity indulgent mixed drink in her hand and I feared for her balance.

“There you are,” she said. “I thought I saw you come this way.”

I was puzzled. “Are you okay?”

Her eyes flashed and she let the back door close on its hinge with a bang. “Yes,” she said. “Clearly.”

I took one last drag of my American Spirit and flicked the butt into the dumpster. “What are you doing?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” she slurred, just a little. “I’m trying to seduce you.” She was right next to me, my height, but she kept her eyes low and looked up at me with submission. My internal butch cock stirred.

“You’re drunk,” I said.

“Yeah.” She stepped closer and bit her lips, looking at mine.

“Are you here with friends? Maybe they should take you home.”

“I don’t think so. I’m not ready to go home.”

“You’re drunk,” I said again.

“Not so drunk that I don’t know what I want,” she snapped. “Only drunk enough that I can go after it.”

She inched closer to me. My mouth watered. I wanted my hands on the curves of her waist, her hips, her ribcage. I struggled to keep control. “What are you doing … here?” I almost said in a gay bar.

She sneered. “I know, I’m the only straight girl. I usually am. Well. Whatever.” Her tone changed. “I know how this sex thing works,” she purred, palm of her hand against my crotch where my cock was hard, straining against my zipper. The pressure of her fingers felt exquisite.

I knocked her hand away. “Hey.”

She withdrew and then slowly moved her fingers up my arm, felt the muscles, tendons. Circled her fingers around my wrist. “Come on,” she whispered. “I saw you watching me.”

Her neck was dangerously close to my mouth and I could smell her, sweet and thick. I wanted a mouthful of her perfume. Teeth on her skin. My hands moved – practically involuntarily – to the curves she laid out for me, the precise placement of her body next to mine inviting my touches.

She tilted her face toward mine. Half-closed her eyes. I didn’t even know her name. My friends were still inside, probably waiting for me. It was getting late. The alley was filthy. She smelled so delicious. The desire between us was pooling and tangible.

Her body was small, my hands with fingers spread covered her back. I brought them up under her hair, pulled her toward me, took hold of the back of her skull and neck. She leaned into me.

“Okay,” I said, watching her face as our lips barely brushed while I spoke. “But we’re going to do this my way.”

I brought my lips down on hers hard, crushing, devouring, insistent. She whimpered, back curving. I held her body at the precise angle and distance that I wanted, and she went limp in my arms, gave over, arms and shoulders falling back, on her toes.

Pulling away, I grinned. Took a step back. Kept my eyes on her, touched my lower lip with my thumb and felt that stirring in my stomach, that desire, that power. Her eyes got a little frightened and she attempted to keep her tough look, but it was a mask I would unpeel.

I closed the distance between us. Traced my fingers down her left arm until I reached her hand, still holding that delicate glass of fruity alcohol, and took it from her, tossed it hard, overhand, arm flexing, at the blank space where the building met the concrete in the alley. It shattered brilliantly, a cascade of glass, the sound filling the narrow space between the buildings.

She watched my arm, the glass, the crash. We turned our eyes back to each other, hers open, mouth open, small of her back arched. Her mouth watered and she moved her jaw, I could see it. Subtle. She wanted to lunge for me. Good girl, she stayed still.

Hardening my glance, I moved toward her, thick, keeping distance between us, and she stumbled back, her low heels catching on the uneven pavement, thrusting her hands out behind her but I kept her eyes, kept two fingers on her waist and led her back, back, until she was against the dumpster. She swallowed. It was wider at the top than the bottom, slanting out; she cowered under it a little.

I lifted my chin, once. “Hold that.”

She did. Lifted her arms to grip the edge of the dumpster. Made a face. “It feels gross.”

“Mmm.” You’re getting fucked in an alley behind a dive bar. What do you expect? I thrust my hand between her legs. She wore a tight skirt – I pulled at it, shoved it up her thighs to expose her. Pulled tight against the lacy fabric of her panties and pressed two fingers inside. Smooth. She inhaled, moaned.

“So wet,” I said, mouth against her cheek. She kept hold of the edge with her hands, arms raised. My body perpendicular to hers, cock against her hip. I worked my fingers inside, slick and slow and deep, thumb on her clit, on that spot below her clit, my hand gripping her pubic bone.

She moaned, knees weakening, hips dipping down to take in more of me. I added a third finger. “You know how to get fucked, don’t you.”

Mouth gaping, she breathed heavily, turning her head and biting her lower lip. I could feel my fingers working a good spot inside her and she was increasingly sensitive, reactive to my pressing and curling, thumb flicking a little lighter and faster on her clit. Her thighs shook and she lifted one leg off the ground, bent her knee, pressed her legs apart and against me, body shaking, pressed against me, until she gasped hard and I felt the ring of muscles grip my fingers, grip hard, her clit fat and sensitive and pressing against my thumb, throbbing, until she shuddered hard, bucked her hips, began to lose her balance and leaned against me, gasping, little moans coming from her throat.

She looked up at me, arms around my neck now. “I don’t usually come so fast,” she said, a little apologetically.

I shook my head, don’t worry about it. “I’m not done with you yet.” I didn’t wait, but took her wrists in my hands and put them back up onto the dumpster’s edge, then twisted her body so she faced away from me, pulled her skirt up over her ass, and unzipped my fly. Pulled my cock out. Sheathed it quickly with a condom from my back pocket.

With one hand I pushed aside her panties, slightly stretched now anyway; with the other I pressed her ass apart, then guided my cock into her wet hole. Stretched her lips as I pumped in and out, smooth slow long strokes, hips in circles, working the cock against my clit as much as inside her.

My release built easily in me after the way she came and it didn’t take long for me to grip her hips like handles and begin pounding, shifting my feet to stabilize my movement, muscles in my thighs hard and contracted, groaning and grunting with the physical effort of it all. She pressed hard with her hands against the disgusting dumpster, arching her back and pushed against me, receiving me as I fucked harder, hard, pulling almost all the way out and then slickly entering her again, the length of my cock, pressed tight against her ass and hips in rocking little thrusts, until I found that sweet spot and my clit contracts and I see myself exploding in her, which made me come harder, muscles thick and shuddering, gasping, slowing my pace against her until I came to stillness and peeled myself off her back.

She watched me over her shoulder, all eyes and hair, desire still in her face, painted over her cheeks, then rose and straightened her skirt, smoothed her hair. I tucked my cock back into my briefs and zipped my jeans.

She smiled at me, then started giggling, then laughing hard, full-bodied from her stomach, eyes sparkling. I was amused, and puzzled. “What’s so funny?”

“So,” she giggled, wrapping her arms around my neck and tossing her hair, “you’re awfully cute. Come here often? Can I buy you a drink?”

I laughed, pulled myself out of her embrace. “Sure. Why not.” I stepped up the three low rickety back stairs and opened the back door to the bar, let her step in first. Jukebox tunes and pool cues and women’s laughter spilled out.

I saw a few of my buddies at a table in the corner, they watched me come back in with my hand on the back of the girl. They made faces and gestures and raised their eyebrows. I shushed them with a look, turned my attention back to her.

“I, uh, I didn’t get your name,” I said.

“That’s cause I didn’t say,” she answered, hips switching as she dodged through the crowd and stepped up to the bar and immediately had the bartender’s attention. She ordered, glancing at me sideways: “Jameson rocks, for Sinclair.”

what do I do with all this heat?

I’ve been hard for days. Ready to fuck. I take long luxurious laps at the briefest contacts to my pelvis – the moment of walking through the subway turnstyles. Leaning up against a table. My hips tilt upward in wait, like the center of a plant revealing to the blue sky. Magnetic and animal and it’s all I can do to keep from growling, sharpening my teeth on the skin of the girl next to me, behind me, in front of me.My cock is hard. That internal butch cock that raises and piques when I feel that rush to my clit, that swelling between my legs.

I am a battery charged. Plugged in and there is much I would do for the chance to spend a weekend in bed. Or a day – I’d settle for a day.

Cock so hard I could force it through brick. Through plywood. It could puncture glass, plastic. What would it do to you?

“Femme is Pure Strength”

But what is femme? For me, femme is the confident way I move through space. It is the soft outside that couches a tough-as-nails interior. Femme is my unique strengths, the way I wear my clothes, the way I fuck, the way I create, the way I structure my relationships, the way I live in my body. And femme is the way I want the world to treat me. I love having butches open doors for me. I love having my chair pulled out, assistance with my coat, a strong hand on the small of my back guiding me through a crowd. But Femme is also the way my voice carries when I’m wanting to be heard, the way I can take charge of a situation and handle a crisis. Being femme is having a core of pure steel and being able to lay it down and be vulnerable- because of, not in spite of, my strength.

via moxie’s flickr. Any idea where this comes from?

an aspiration

Sex Without Love
Sharon Olds

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other’s bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health—just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

further workshop revelations

I brought my butchness to this workshop in a way I never have before. On Saturday, I wore a button-down and tie in the morning. It has never even occured to me in the past to wear a tie (in fact, in one of the workshops, five years ago now, I felt inspired to bring my only pair of high-heel shoes for one of the rituals, although I never wore them) but this time it did, and it was lovely. I got a few compliments and I felt like myself, not like dressing up.The thing is, this workshop is very goddess-yoni-vulva-womyn. In a wonderful way, really; the rituals and energy ground me in my body, often purge some major things I’ve been holding onto. Hard to describe. But it has meant that it’s hard to bring the butch/masculine energy into that space for me sometimes, because it doesn’t exactly fit in. It stands out, sometimes dramatically. I also think it might put off some of the participants who are very suspicious of masculine energy, and who need the circle to be an especially safe space, which, for many women, means completely free of that masculine energy.

There were a few differences in recent years – I am different, of course, my butch identity has grown and solidified over the past year in a very new way. Also, the instructor is genderqueer – she even referred to herself as trans-gender, at some point, not in a ‘transitioning from one to the other’ kind of way but in a ‘occupying both, transferring between genders’ kind of way. She made me feel particularly empowered to bring the butchness.

What is also interesting about that is the ways that some attendees seem suspicious of me – likely because of my butchness – but by the end of the weekend treat me a little differently, since they’ve seen me warm & open.

I packed on Sunday. I’d brought my (pink bendy) cock & harness for the altar, but during a morning meditation I had some revelations about the ways that I identify with my genitals outside my body, and the ways that that means for me that I have worked really hard to take a good look at what’s going on for me “down there,” my history and relationship and connectiont to my cunt. It’s also about how cock-centric I – and my sex life – currently is, and after that revelation, I really wanted it on. I took it from the altar during lunch and didn’t take it off the rest of the day, wore it under boxers.

It wasn’t obvious, I don’t think – the few people I revealed it to were surprised – and I felt a little embarrassed or even guilty about wanting to wear it. As though I should be complete without it. As though I shouldn’t want and need this extra thing that is me but isn’t me, that is more me than anything else but is not a part of me, that comes to life when I am and it is touched, but has no nerve endings, no real sensation. Wanting it so badly is also a recognition of that which I do not have, of my defiency, and when my cock is acknowledged as me and touched as part of me, I am seen as whole, and I am recognized as having that cock, in all its reality – as a separate-but-connected extraneous and integral piece of me.

If I summed up this workshop in two words, they would be cock and heart.

Aside from the revelations on butchness and my cock-identification, I was consistently reminded of how closed down my heart is (was?). One of my intentions for the workshop was to connect my cunt and my head, which are working quite well, really, via my heart, which is not working so well.

My heart feels like a nest of needles. Tied tight with thick scratchy ropes like a boat moored. (What is tied to it? Can I let that drift out to sea?) Tethered like a hot-air balloon held to earth when it’s impulse is to float and lift.

Another intention was the small mantra, “I already have my wings,” which spoke to not only the ways that I needed to remind myself to open my chest, open my chest, open my chest, but also the idea that I am already complete, that I don’t have to look outside myself (Callie) for answers and validation.

My heart is not healed yet. That’s okay. I kept making the gesture when talking about the workshop of my hands over my chest, peeling back my ribcage – and that feels lovely, vulnerable, tender. I’m sore, yes – but keeping my heart wrapped up tight like this is a bit suffocating, and just makes the soreness worse.

There’s more, there’s so much more about this workshop. But this is a start.

workshop revelations

The workshop this weekend was phenomenal, as this workshop always is. This is my seventh time at a workshop through this same school, my third time as an assistant. It’s different every time, though the structure is very similar, mostly because I’m different I suppose – it brings up and heals and expells and calms different things in me depending on what is happening in my life.I had a lot of revelations this weekend. It’s different to be back in the “real” world now.

Let’s start with Friday.

I realized how little I breathe, and how much I’d like to do some serious study of breath on my own, not just in workshop. We did some tantric breathing, including a “pelvic lock” which seriously rocked my world, and after being blown away I swore to myself I’d look for some lesbian tantric resources. I also very much remember thinking the same thing last year, as I went to this same workshop almost exactly a year ago, and I started wondering why it was that I didn’t follow through on that.

Which is when a list of things fell into place. (I’ll give a little recap.) I split with my girlfriend of four years over the summer, in July, after I met Callie and went on a date with her. I have often described Callie as a “defribrulator for my heart,” as she jolted me awake in a huge new way – I hadn’t even realized how numb and hiding I was in my relationship with my girlfriend (at the time, often referred to as “the girlfriend” or “the ex-girlfriend” in the archives). Callie made me feel desire, lust – made me feel interesting, fascinating. I fell in love with her that first date. But, I had a girlfriend, and Callie found out, and refused to date me until I figured it out, said she wouldn’t wait for me, etc. Which, you know, makes sense. I spent the next three months getting my life in order – leaving my girlfriend, moving into my own apartment, fucking around – mostly so I wouldn’t be completely lost in my lust for Callie if/when we started dating.

And then, in October, on a Wednesday, I put up a person ad – the same one she had put up, to which I had responded, only in reverse – and then sent her flowers on a Friday. She called, almost immediately.

And that was the weekend of the workshop last year – so I couldn’t meet her that weekend. We had lunch on Monday, the day after the workshop.

I barely remember anything about the workshop last year. I remember lunch at the South Street Seaport, talking about Callie. I remember having a hard time focusing, because I really just wanted to be with Callie. I spent three months dreaming and preparing and wishing Callie back into my life, and there she was, ready for me, too – so I skated through the workshop and probably even used it to fall deeper in love with her. On my own, without her even there, without knowing her.

Dangerous, dangerous.

So, on Friday, I was remembering the feeling of wanting to study breathwork and tantra last year, and wondered where that energy and inspiration went, then realizing it was all focused into that relationship. Sex always worked with Callie (see: all of October to May, explorations from desire and role play and force, to lingerie and topping and ten times in twenty-four hours) and I always assumed that because it worked so well, better than I’d ever had in my life! Which was a combination of Callie being a femme bottom (finally, finally) and coming out of a sexless four-year relationship with a girl who didn’t really like sex, among other things. Because things worked so well between us, sexually, I quickly took that to a spiritual level – of course I did, coming out of this workshop the day before our relationship began! – and thought that that meant something much, much more than it did.

It didn’t mean that much. It wasn’t a spiritual connection, it wasn’t a “meeting of the souls.” Or, I don’t know, maybe it was a little bit, but that doesn’t mean that she wasn’t also unstable, seductive, and manipulative.

I’ve said this about Callie before, too, but it rings particularly true: she is beautiful for the same reason that puppies and babies are adorible – because if they aren’t, you would murder them for their horrible, life-shattering annoyances.

So. That was Friday, and throughout-the-weekend revelations about Callie. Things I took away: I want to make a serious study of some tantra and breathwork; and I feel like this relationship with Callie is further coming into focus.

(Saturday & Sunday revelations to come.)

fisting in time out

Sinclair Sexsmith – ahem, that would be me – has been quoted in this week’s Time Out New York magazine (thanks to Viviane) about fisting.It’s under the Pick-a-fetish megachart, the penultimate of the list, almost at the end.

Not a bad quote, entirely:

“Go slow, slow, slow and use lots of lube,” says Sinclair Sexsmith, a Bed-Stuy-based sex blogger and femme fister with seven years’ experience. “It’s gonna be messy. Just put a towel down and get over it.”

It’s kinda hard to give someone beginning fisting advice without getting too much into the down-and-dirty. It’s so hard to be quoted, I would’ve chosen other things to highlight. And while I did say water-based lube is often slicker, in my opinion, it implies that the lube should be thin rather than gel-like, which is backward: I find the gel-like lube often stays wetter longer, though I do like how I can kinda pour the liquidy lube into my cupped hand and get things all nice & slick without pulling my hand out entirely. That’s helpful.

PSA on being GGG

Alright, folks, let’s have a little chat, shall we?

It has come to my attention through a series of conversations with friends and lovers recently that, very often, we are not getting what we want in bed – but not for lack of trying. Many people I’ve talked to lately are saying that they are explicitly asking for what it is they want in bed, sometimes in the heat of the moment, sometimes beforehand, and their lovers aren’t doing it.

And, I mean, their lovers aren’t doing it out of lack of interest, or lack of being GGG (as far as I know). They are simply being non-responsive.

I have a motto for those of you who are this type of lover. Memorize it. Repeat it to yourself. Live it: you don’t have to tell me twice.

Come on! If a lover is bold enough to ask for something, which is no small feat – it takes guts! courage! lots of practice! to be able to ask for something that you want in bed. If they are bold enough to ask for it, you better well do it (unless you have an actual objection to the act).

When the Southern Belle said “harder, fuck me harder,” do you think I paused, thought about it, considered it? Uh, no. When Callie said “pull my hair,” did I decide to do it another day, later? No. And I’m not trying to say this to further prove that I am good in bed, all I’m saying is, it is a good thing when a lover requests you to do something. It means they’re comfortable enough with you to empower you to do more of what they like, which will make them all the more grateful to your fabulous skills.

So, people, repeat after me: you don’t have to tell me twice.

Seriously.

This has been a public service announcement for better sex. You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled Sugarbutch Chronicles.