Archive for February, 2008
More versatile than your favorite scarf, this suggestive accessory can ravel while you unravel. Made of over 3 yards of 100% hand dyed silk cut on the bias, it provides more than enough comfort and just enough yield. The fabric softens beautifully with use & time. We’ve been known to slide off the mask and wear it out on the town — our little secret.
Each side of the supple suede mask is embroidered to help you get what you want. One side shows the universal symbol of snooze: the Z! Wear it nightly as a decadent sleep mask, or flip it over and flash your partner the come-hither heart.
They’re even more elegant in person.
When I saw k.d. lang perform live recently for the first time, I was so incredibly invested in and taken by her presence onstage, in her suit and bare feet, crooning so intimately with the audience. I felt connected in a way I hadn’t felt at a concert before, and I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, until I realized that it was probably one of the first times I’ve seen a butch woman perform. Okay, so I’ve been to Michfest, I’ve seen Ferron and Alix Olsen and Melissa Ferrick – but somehow this was different, I’m not exactly sure how. Maybe because we were at Radio City Music Hall, and the audience wasn’t particularly queer? These were jazz lovers, a highbrow audience.
k.d. is one of the few artists whose albums I will go out and buy the week they come out. I have almost her entire library in my collection, and I often go back to her old albums just as often as her new. Hymns from the 49th Parallel is just as brilliant as Drag and as Ingenue … I love ‘em all.
Watershed, which came out recently, is really worth a listen. It’s her first collection of songs written by her since 2001, and it’s gorgeous. Here’s the ad trailer (!) for the album.
L-word fans (or, if you’re oldschool, Murmurs fans) probably know that k.d. lang dated Leisha Hailey for a few years … man, to be a fly on the wall in that bedroom. Talk about a power couple. That’d be some good fan fiction, if I wrote that kind of genre.
One more thing:
To Belle, and to the femmes I’ve dated and fucked and longingly admired: Thank you.
Thank you for swooning over my neckties and collared shirts, my perfectly messy short hair, my heavy belt buckles and swagger and the way I order wine for you. Thank you for having my favorite whiskey at your house for me, just for me, thank you for dressing up and looking your best, celebrating the costume of femininity, for putting time into your hair and makeup and outfit and shaved legs and stockings and lingerie straps that bite into flesh and shin splints from high heels and freezing legs from short skirts and the eyelash batting and the way I feel like a million bucks when I’ve got you on my arm.
I appreciate your gender expression, deeply, because I make more sense when I’m next to you. To quote Cody: “Let’s be honest: we need femmes.” I didn’t get who I was until I started dating femmes. This identity does not exist in a vacuum, and, for me, requires the duo dynamic inherently.
I have so much reverence for the femme aesthetic. Am I occasionally jealous of your ability to pass? Yes. But I understand – at least a little – the burdon of it, too, and I want you to share that with me. Femininity is assumed to be for the benefit of straight men, and to subvert that can sometimes mean consequences.
Yeah, I get tired of being on the front lines of visibility sometimes. But when I have a femme on my arm, strutting down the street, freshly fucked and we’re melting into each other, everyone who sees us knows what we are, and I love the second glances we get. I love the tiny revolutions that happen in the faces of strangers passing by.
Passing is not always a privilege. Some femmes I know have even said to me that passing is never a privilege, in fact. (I’m not sure I agree entirely, but I understand the argument.) To force someone to admit that it is a privilege is to force a hierarchy, such a power play, such an insecure I’m-better-than-you kind of move.
I’ve joked occasionally that femmes and other passing queers get to hear what straight people say when they don’t know a queer is listening. My lovers have occasionally told me stories of what they heard at work or school and I’m shocked – especially in PC-Seattle where I used to live, I never heard people saying homophobic – or even homo-ignorant – remarks around me, because I am visibly queer, they knew I was listening. As a writer, as an activist, as an observer of human character, I am fascinated by those conversations and interested in access to those places where I cannot go. Likewise, I sometimes find I have access to intimate (bio-hetero-) male conversations, where they let me in as one-of-the-guys and bitch about their wives, tell sexist jokes, or fawn over girls at the bar. A straight girl – and probably femmes – would probably not have access to these conversations.
I’m remembering a conversation I had with my friend and femme spy once upon a time, where she strongly asserted that there is no privilege in passing as straight, especially because sometimes, when she is presumed straight and then outs herself, she actually finds herself in more danger than she was previously and, I believe she argued, she’d be in more danger than someone visibly queer – a butch – because of the perception that her passing was actually deception.
I definitely see her point there, and it makes me feel highly protective and posessive of femmes, to think of the occasional dangerous situations they may be in. I still think there is some privilege in the femme identity – as there is some in the butch identity, some in an androgynous or genderqueer or any other gender identity, isn’t there? If there was no benefit, what use would it be? I suppose “privilege” here though is not the same as “benefit;” one implies a hierarchical gain within social structures.
Maybe I need to back up here. What is privilege? How do we define it? How do we know when we have it, when we don’t? And what, if anything, do we do with it when we have it? What are our responsibilities with privilege, how do we meet them? How do we avoid abusing our privileges?
Uh, I’ll think about that and get back to you. Chime in your two cents if you feel inspired, please.
Ultimately, though, I really want to stress that comparing degrees of oppression is fruitless and purposeless. Who does it help? Do you really feel better after forcing someone to admit that they have privilege? It’s one thing to have a discussion about it, to acknowledge the intricate complexities within identity hierarchies – it’s another thing to play these I’m-better-than-you games.
In response to what Belle wrote about privilege, guilt, and butch/femme:
I can’t speak (write) for all butches, and I do get that some of us have awful things to say about femmes and passing and privilege. I don’t know what to tell you about all of that, except that I think that it’s bullshit. It comes from a misogynistic bullying place where the one who is bullied and oppressed turns around and bullies the femme who is littler than you.
This is male privilege. This is the heteronormative hierarchy.
I don’t feel “more oppressed” than any given femme, and I resent that game of who has more hardship than whom. Division and in-fighting are ways that our marginalized communities stay broken apart instead of banded together. C’mon, remember Lord of the Rings?
Yes, butches are more visible, and therefore, in some situations, easier targets. But femmes are targets, too, and discriminated against. Hell, there are so few of us who even fall into this butch/femme dynamic – why make enemies of each other?
This past week I appeared as a guest on the Diana Cage Show on Sirius OutQ radio, and she’d had a whole segment of conversation before my part (where I performed some poetry and chatted about breakups, smut, and femmes, what else) where she was talking about “butch training,” I shit you not.
“Who trained you?” she asked me.
“I don’t think I was ‘trained’ … do all butches get trained?” I was confused.
“Oh yeah,” she answered.
“What about femmes?”
“Oh, no, they don’t need to be trained.”
Oh man, did my mind boggle. I don’t think she’s right about that, but let’s say, for a minute, that she is. In what do we need training? Was I doing something wrong? Did I need to be trained? Had I already been, and didn’t know it? Who had trained me?
“I’m not sure I was trained …” I said skeptically.
“Yeah, true, you’re a chivalrous butch. An old-school butch,” she said, as if this meant maybe I didn’t need ‘training’ after all?
“Yeah, I am. And a feminist, hardcore.” But I kept thinking. “Maybe my first big love trained me,” I said. She was the first femme I knew and she whispered in my ear, I think you’re butch, and I came a little and threw up at the same time. I watched how she wished her girlfriends would treat her and tried to be that.
And when I thought about it more later, I think it was my mother, my parents, who probably most deserve credit for “training” me in the ways that I take care of myself and others. Isn’t that what we’re speaking of? How we love, how we care, how we expect the partnership dynamic to work? And, fundamentally, if I may interpolate here, I think the “training” refers to those butches who often have grown up tomboys, one-of-the-guys, with a socialized masculinity. Those butches that treat femmes – and women – and, hell, people – with disrespect and dishonor, and I think it has everything to do with the “tough guise” of masculinity.
My point is, this is often the same type of butch (as much as I shudder to sub-categorize) I’ve heard this “femme privilege” argument come from, too. And I resent it, deeply. It saddens and angers me. I don’t know how to encourage a more wholistic, human range of experience in that type of butch (again, I shudder), wish I did.
But. This is what I have to say to Belle, or to any femme who endours that forced guilt about femme privilege:
Yes, passing is sometimes a privilege, but not always. Just like my visibility is sometimes a privilege, but not always. Tell me about times it was a privilege for you, and times it wasn’t, and then ask me about my stories, too. Tell me what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Let me learn from your experience. It’s hard sometimes to be a queer in this heterodominant society, and it’s hard to be a butch or femme in a lesbian community rooted in androgyny and which associates gender oppression with gender expression.
Fuck, can’t we share this burdon? Can’t we pass this weight around, let it be a little lighter between us? I mean, I know I’m a hippie-feminist-do-gooder-pacifist and all, but I believe in the power of community, deeply.
If you’d like to be included on the password email list, leave a comment with your email (and blog URL, if you have one) and I will update you with the password when I write a protected post.
I can’t figure out how to shut the door or turn on the light, but then finally I push hard enough, flip the latch, and the tiny airplane bathroom illuminates. I want to slam my body around inside of it, test the boundaries of this little room, force myself to expand to the confines of the space.
Really, I want to feel anything other than the way my heart is bursting in my chest, thickening, pulse quickening and I can feel the pump of my blood pressure in my veins from neck to ankles.
I rip open the fly of my jeans and shove my hand under my briefs. My clit (that she calls my dick and oh I love how she engenders me) is half-hard and has been all week that I’ve been next to her. I roll it in my fingers, remove my hand and spit onto my fingertips, then replace it and start jacking off.
Anything but what I feel.
My cunt swells fast, opens, and I remember, easily, the feeling of fullness, the moment her fist pushed through and swallowed into me. The soft soft kissing of her lips on my dick, on my lips, as she moved her tongue so sweet and slow. I remember my own legs splayed, thighs to the bedspread as she kept me poised on her tongue for an orgasm that opened a line from cunt to heart like an earthquake does to the ground, deep shaking, trembling at a core balanced on lava.
Standing in the kitchen, she’s sitting on the counter, my hand under her small jean skirt, pushing panties aside, finding her wet, finding her clit and pressing as she gasps in my ear, ejaculates on my black tee shirt, my stomach, warm and wet.
Her mouth on my cock outside on the veranda. I have her backed into the corner with hands on either wall and then one hand in her hair, one hand on my cock, where I can feel her lips, her tongue on the underside of my cockhead, her throat where it is wet and slick when she swallows me deep.
I take her to bed, fuck her hard from behind, plowing, her face buried in the mattress, hands grasping at the sheets, my knees turning red from the friction against the rough comforter, hands on her hipbones like handles and I slide in and out, hard and thick.
There she was on the chair, legs up and we weren’t even doing anything but reading magazines, drinking coffee, but my hand on her thigh started my dick trembling so I just kept going, fingers inside her, thrumming her clit until she came, gasping, grasping at my biceps.
I had her in nearly every room of that little condo, our palm-tree view of the sunset we’d watch from the king-sized bed, her body shaking and pulsing, so vivid.
Remembering the lust pushes out, for the moment, the pain of leaving, the rush of loss, the ache of absence.
Back in the tiny bathroom on the airplane, I push my fist to the wall opposite and my ass into the door, praying it’ll hold firm, fingers working my dick, remembering her fingers, wishing mine were hers, remembering how I fucked her with this same hand so recently. I jack my own dick like I did her, hard, same rhythm that she likes, and I come, grunting low, pressing my body to the edges of the small space, and I don’t start crying again, but I do remember her sweet smile and instead of buckling under the weight I swallow hard, wash my hands, and return to my seat to stare again out the window, as the sun sets over the Mexican horizon.
the view, and the girl
Sugarbutch Chronicles is a finalist for the Lesbian Blog of the Year Award from The Lesbian Lifestyle! Thanks so much to all of you who nominated me. There’s one more step in this process, which is to VOTE HERE for your choice.
Voting started yesterday, and I’m currently in last place, so I’ve got some catching up to do!
I’m really grateful SBC is getting some “lesbian blog” attention – I’ve been in the sexblog circles for a while now, but it’s been harder to break into the lesiban blog circles. It’s still very edgy to talk about sex so directly, so while I occasinally get a link or a mention or a comment from a lesbian (non-sex) blogger, I still feel like I’m the blog that someone points to and giggles and shyly reads in the middle of the night in the dark by laptoplight.
One of the goals of this blog, too, is to encourage lesbian sex & sexuality in ALL its various forms and manifestations, to spark conversations about gender and kink and power and sex in whatever ways might feel good to you and your lover. I’ve joked that my tagline should be “combating lesbian bed death!” and I still see that as one of my underlying missions of writing smut at all.
I always, always appreciate any feedback and discussion and conversation – that’s the best part of it, really, is sparking dialogue and opening up communication about pleasure and love and sex and smut and kink and play and sexy girls and all that great stuff!
Lesbian Dad is so well written, and I just love the photos of her kiddos. Read Baba: a name I call myself as an introduction to how she came up with the mama-papa hybrid name for the “other mother”, the “non-biological” lesbian mom.
And how much do I love Ms. Snarker? Let me count the ways: the sassy L-word commentary, the Tina Fey Tuesdays (especially: What? Sexy? You are. Shut up.), and crushing on Jodie Foster … I have more of an appreciation of the heteroflexible gals in celebreality after reading this blog, I gotta tell you.
Last year, my buddy Curly McDimple won TLL Blog of the Year Award, and damn, her place is pretty great too. She’s kind of busy honeymooning with a particular hot poet as of late, but I still run into her for drinks on occasion.
And, what else can I say? Cast your vote until March 3rd.
I’ve been to many of these Body Electric workshops for women over the past 8 years or so, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’re terrifying, and life-changing, and amazing. I recommended last year’s CBE here and wrote about some of my revelations and experiences after the workshop as well.Two workshops for were just announced for the 2008 schedule. Highly, highly recommended, I can’t say that enough.
Safe, playful and profound workshops for women of all ages and sexual orientations
Taught by two very gifted teachers
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
March 29-30, NYC, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
with Isa Magdalena
(back teaching at Body Electric after many years)
• Feel comfortable in your body
• Improve your body image and self-esteem
• Expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath,
movement, touch, and communication
• Release fear, shame and old patterns that hold you back
• Communicate your desires and boundaries more clearly
• Learn to give and receive without losing yourself
• Explore the power of sexual energy / ibido / life force / kundalini
• Learn from your own and others’ experience
• Enjoy sex more
• Have more fun
Isa Magdalena was the first woman teacher at Body Electric (1993-98). She teaches sexological bodywork at the Institute of Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, is author of Libido: Where Sex, Science Spirit Meet (2006). Isa is featured in several sex education videos from the New School of Erotic Touch, is a practitioner and leads classes in Taos, New Mexico. For fuller information, visit www.xtasia.info
first time in many years!
Power, Surrender and Intimacy for Women
June 20-22, NYC, Friday 7-10pm, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
with Alex Jade
* Learn BDSM techniques and develop skills
* Discover and clarify issues of empowerment and liberation
* Recognize how you engage in power dynamics in your everyday life and exercise more conscious choice
* Heighten awareness of your body’s capacity for sensation
* Explore power and sensation games for fun and healing
* Experience the joy of surrender and trust
Presequisite for this workshop is Celebrating the Body Erotic
Alex Jade has been a leading teacher at Body Electric for a decade and has developed several courses for the School. She is a gender-fluid sex activist, community organizer, shadow explorer and body-based therapist living in Seattle. She uses her training as a massage therapist, movement therapist and masters degree in social work to teach experiential sexual education classes and has a private healing practice.
Both Isa and Alex are profiled in Reclaiming Eros, Suzanne Blackburn and Margaret Wade, editors (2007).
Tuition: $395 per workshop. Recent CBE grads receive $50 discount on repeat workshops. Register with minimum $100 deposit. Full tuition is due three weeks before start of workshops. Contact Debi Soler, NYC coordinator, 212-726-0679, [email protected]