… that Sinclair is single again, and dating. Spring is hovering just around the corner, and New York as a whole can feel it. The girls are already pulling out their swishy skirts, bouncy hair, strappy sandals. I notice. Man, do I notice. I try not to stare.
All that cliche shit is true about spring – fertility, rebirth, lust. The newness of those baby-green leaves are raw and luscious enough that sometimes I just want to bite them right off the tree. Destroy them with my mouth. Mmm.
At the last minute, I’m going to the Body Electric workshop that starts tomorrow (in fact, I need to leave in about four hours). I have some very particular intentions going into it, especially about the things that I’m holding on to. I want to let go. Leave it all be. Wipe the slate clean. (Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.) I want to decline politely to the world’s human messes, to learn to say ‘no, thank you.’
My other intention is to bring the masculine butch boyishness again. It was a huge revelation for me last time, especially in a womyn-goddess-yoni kind of sacred sexuality space. But I learned so much. I need to take that with me again.
This is brief, I know; unfortunately, my schedule is only looking to be more packed in the near future. I will do my best to keep updating. Meanwhile, got any more butch eye candy to send me? I’m nearly out. C’mon, you/your girlfriend/your wife/your best friend/your lover/your favorite crush wants to be some Sugarbutch eye candy, I know you do.
Regular Sugarbutch writings will resume on Monday.
I saw a girl on the subway this morning so beautiful that I have considered writing a Missed Connections ad on Craigslist:
Red bag, paper cup of coffee, black tank-top, silver necklace, boots with two rows of big buttons marching up the front. Tossing your slightly feathered hair, talking to your friend, then when she got off, you pulled out your compact and began applying face powder, lipgloss. It was such an intimate act, and something about it felt so familiar, like I could see you at your mirror in the morning, getting ready for the day, me pulling my tie through the knot, slipping on my jacket, sipping coffee, pretending to read the paper, legs crossed, at the kitchen table, when really I’m watching you in the reflection of the mirror in the hallway while you’re in the bathroom. And, though perhaps I don’t want to admit it, I felt a little crackle in my chest when I watched you.
Probably it was just my being half-asleep on my commute that gave more meaning to this girl than I would otherwise attach. But this is not the first time this has happened to me lately – I see sudden, recognizable familiarity in a femme and think, maybe that’s her.
I’ve been sleeping awfully this week. Every night, I’m having restless dreams, vivid and sometimes lucid, often full of imagery and messages.
Tuesday night, I dreamt I was stuck in my family’s crypt, a small mosoleum of some sort, which was above ground, walls covered in stained-glass colored mosaic windows. I couldn’t leave this crypt, though there seemed to be some sorts of tours going on, with people in small groups of twos and threes coming in and out. Some of my family was there, my maternal grandmother and her mother, I specifically remember – and things somehow began to turn horrific, and the crypt tourists were zombies, or dripping blood, or other horrible things. I had some sort of perch in a corner, somehow removed, they couldn’t see me, but I was terrified.
I woke myself up at this point, and lulled myself back to sleep only to re-enter right into the same dream, the same crypt. This time, my mother was there, talking to me through the gated door, saying that it was my responsibility, my job, to stay there, that I inhereted this, that it was passed down through generations and all culminated in me.
I awoke feeling that I had remembered something, rather than dreamed something.
Two personal asides: in my astrological chart, I have many planets – Venus, Mars, and Mercury – in the 12th house, and also in the sign of Pisces, which is the 12th house’s natural ruler. The 12th house is often spoken of as the unconscious, and also baggage. In fact, it’s specifically related to family in many ways:
The 12th house may also likely have connections with “family life issues” or “gifts” that our parents (and perhaps our parents’ parents) were given… but they refused or were emotionally unable to give expression to and/or resolve these “family life issues” during their own lifetime. And now it’s been left up to the child (you) to experience and resolve these energies for the parents. (source)
Second aside: I am the fourth generation of first-born daughters. My mother, her mother, and her mother were all the eldest child in their families, and there’s actually a word for that (which I can’t remember or find) and some sort of significance of, again, inheritance.
I spoke with a friend the other day about this, and she said, “The thing is, you don’t have to “inherit” it. You can politely decline the ancestral karmic stuff. It’s not your baggage. You can honor it and honor your ancestors, but it doesn’t have to define your life now. You don’t have to live in a tomb of their making.”
Right. If only I could remember that lesson – and, clearly, it is a big one for me. I don’t have to take on everything from everyone, I don’t have to save the world.
I do, however, have to save myself.
You asked for it: The Closet Musician has a new name, and is now writing over at just like jesse james.
After the hoopla about the angry, anonymous girl, jesse james’s response, and running into a particularly nasty post on Dooce which examined a bunch of hate mail, jesse james takes on the anonymous hate that gets spewed on the internet and poses her own theories and ideas about it all.
jesse james is one of my dearest & best friends … I’m trying to encourage her, so she’ll keep writing. Just wait until she gets going about the queer community, her own faggy boi gender, her international long-distance relationship turned LTR, wanting a puppy, her own (distant past) slut phase, gardening, or her deep appreciation for Cher.
The video for “I stole your wishes” features Abby and Amanda, the lesbian couple who make up the Ditty Bops – and I’ve never seen Amanda looking more butch! She’s sporting a tux here, with Abby in a sweet white dress. I usually would put them in the lesbian twins category as far as gender goes, they tend to be quite similarly dressed.
I don’t have the new album Summer Rains yet, but I hear the album packaging is fantastic, and features Amanda – nude – in the lyrics book. That might entice us to actually go out and buy it, instead of downloading, eh?
A small installment of what kept me busy surfing the net this weekend …
Yael Naim: New Soul (video) – “I’m a new soul / I came to this strange world / … Finding myself making every possible mistake.” It strikes me as quite appropriate for this gender exploration, and the social policing that means that our delicate gender identities take a while to fully form and solidify. See also: Yael’s cover of Britney Spears’s song Toxic – fantastic. I can’t say I know much about Britney in general, but like anyone who lives in the US, her songs are pretty much impossible to avoid, so I do know a little about her. Yael’s cover also reminds me of this cover of Britney’s new-ish single Gimme More, where suddenly I hear the lyrics in an entirely new way.
Can’t we call it cock? (article) by Diana Cage over on the OurChart blog about sex. Okay, so maybe I have a crush. I was on Diana’s radio show this week and she’s just so articulate and funny and fucken brilliant. (Of course, she’s taken, so I’ll be my chivalrous self and admire her from afar with boundaries.) After this article, you won’t be able to call it a “dildo” again without a firm Hobbit reference in your head.
Dungeon Beds (website & product for sale) – ohh my my. Secretly, I’ve always wanted a fancy four-poster bed, but I never quite envisioned one that wasn’t all girly and canopy-like. I can’t believe these. It never even occurred to me that something like this exists, but now that I know, I feel like it must be my goal in life to not only have one, but to have an adequate bedroom in which to house one. Wow.
I was reminded of the lovely cluster of sites I Feel Myself, I Touch Myself, I Shoot Myself, and Beautiful Agony. They aren’t exactly porn, even though they do feature people (mostly girls) getting off. They’re tasteful, erotic, real, sometimes so beautiful and raw that I get breathless. Watching one of the free previews on I Feel Myself: this girl is on the edge of a train car, gripping the metal of the door behind her, wearing thigh highs, cowboy boots, a thin slip of a dress, and a hat, with the trainyard in the background. It is gorgeous. It’s rare that I come across art that is made or written so well that I wish I’d done it, I get jealous of the artist’s very ability to create something so stunning.
Dyke Tees (sponsor & product for sale) is Sugarbutch’s first official sponsor – that means advertisement, yes. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve added some advertisements and affiliates over in the left sidebar. I’m doing this because I am spending a lot of time on SBC, and if I could somehow make some compensation, between that and freelance writing, perhaps I could eventually make even more time to work on it. I have more ideas for posts than I have time to write them out, many products to review, lots of smut stories I wish I’ve written up for you. So: Dyke Tees! Thanks for your sponsorship. They’ve got some good tee shirts over there, I’m particularly fond of the Good Girl design with the image of a girl bound by rope … the caption says, “it’s only kinky the first time.” Hah! I also like the winged heart design on the tee shirt Love Without Labels, but we all know I like labels, and think they can be incredibly celebratory, so I probably wouldn’t actually wear it.
I love heels. Stilettos, kitten heels, boots, even wedge heels. I love how they enhance the S-shape of a woman’s body.
Growing up in a feminist household, it was ingrained in me early on that high heels are bad for women’s feet and hips, that they cause shinsplints and hip problems and weak knees and all sorts of things. It took me a long time to come to my own acceptance of liking high heels on femmes … even having a bit of a strappy sandal fetish, I might say.
Diana Cage and I were talking last night on her radio show about my turn-ons, and I mentioned heels, though not without the caveat of the feminist knowledge of how damaging they can be to a woman’s body.
But, Diana told me about a recent study where wearing high heels actually improves the muscles on a woman’s pelvic floor, thus making her, you know, tighter.
I looked it up. From the BBC – High heels “may improve sex life”: An Italian urologist and “lover of the sexy shoe” did a recent study which showed that women who wore a 2″ heel or higher had as good posture as those who wore flat shoes, and also showed “less electrical activity” in their pelvic muscles, which are not just useful in the organs of the body (like the bladder) but also in increased sexual satisfaction and performance. “This suggested the muscles were at an optimum position, which could well improve their strength and ability to contract. The pelvic floor muscles are an essential component of the female body.”
Probably most of us have heard of PC muscle exercises, “Kegels,” as they’re called, to strengthen the pelvic floor – same idea. It makes sense that heels would improve these muscles, when I think about it … and I think it’s another subconscious way that heels sexualize a woman’s body.
This also reminds me of an exercise we did in the Body Electric Celebrating the Body Erotic workshop last fall, the mulabhanda pelvic lock, or root lock, in which you keep your pelvic muscles tightened and breathe in a particular pattern. It was surprisingly difficult and incredibly hot.
I’m sure it’s still possible to damage your body by wearing heels constantly, this can’t undo all the other potential damage. But I’m also glad to know that there is some physical good that comes from wearing heels.
… and Ivan E. Coyote does too.
From ivanecoyote.com: Ivan Coyote was born and raised in Whitehorse Yukon and is the son of a welder and the daughter of a government worker. Ivan is the author of three collections of short stories, a monthly columnist for Xtra West, and a CBC lovechild. Ivan’s work has also appeared in the National Post, the Georgia Straight, Geist, Shared Vision, Nerve, and Curve Magazines. Ivan’s first and truest love is live storytelling, and over the last ten years she has become an audience favourite at music, poetry, spoken word and writer’s festivals from Anchorage to New York City.
I came across Ivan in the queer spoken word circuits of the Northwest, Seattle and Vancouver primarily, and have seen her perform in various places, devouring every book of hers I can find. Ivan grew up in Canada not far from where I grew up in Alaska, and much of the landscape of his stories are familiar and very home-like to me, with which I really connect.
He goes by either she or he pronouns – “whatever you’re comfortable with,” I’ve heard him say – and is an incredible storyteller, the best I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend the CD You’re a Nation that she made with Richard Spencer. Download a few mp3s of Ivan’s stories from the CBC’s website.
And, in case you can’t tell by the video, he’s quite handsome.
(Thanks to Kim for the link to the youtube video.)
Jess over at the F-word blog in the UK is interested in compiling some sex resources from an explicitly or implicitly feminist perspective. Read on for the request:
Following on from Laura’s post at The F Word about the poverty of sex education in the UK, we got thinking about ways to fill in those gaps (and then some) for adults.
Me and Laura are looking to compile a listing of resources on safe, pleasurable, consenting sex, relationships and sexuality, for the over 18 set, who can no longer benefit from whatever wisdom HMG and the national curriculum might impart. Can you help us?
Of course, we’re particularly interested in anything which is coming from an explicitly or implicitly feminist perspective. And we’re interested in making this as inclusive as possible. That means regardless of/aimed at all levels of experience (beginner to advanced!), sexuality, gender, kink or lack thereof, etc.
Book, blog, website, workshop, feminist/women’s sex toy store, DVD, audio tape – whatever it is, we’re interested! Not porn though, at least partly because that gets into contentious territory we’re not really interested in for this one.
A few words on why you are making the recommendation would also be great. You can tell us anonymously if you so wish in the comments on the blog post we put together announcing this.
I sent this list, which is somewhat American-centric, I admit, but that’s all I got:
s.e.x by heather corinna
the strap-on book by a.h. dion
fetish sex by violet blue
sex for one: the joy of selfloving by betty dodson
the good vibrations guide to sex
the topping book & the bottoming book by easton & liszt
erotic bondage handbook by jay wiseman
SM 101 by jay wiseman
the ethical slut by easton & liszt
sex-positive & feminist sex stores
the body electric school – level one is “celebrating the body erotic”
Additional resources to add? They’re not looking for feminist smut, but rather for resources & knowledge. Add ’em in the comments (I’d love to know, too!) or leave them in F-word’s comments.
Stretchmarks are one of the most gorgeous features of the body.
I like scars and beauty marks too – all tell the history of where the body has been, what it has been through. These are not things we are born with, but things that are painted upon the naked canvas of us as we grow and change and develop and blossom.
I love skin. Who doesn’t? The body’s largest organ, home of countless nerve endings, housing the sensations we all crave, touching and being touched, sensations from sandpaper to silk, from friction to feathers.
On women’s bodies, we tend to get them in delicate stretched lines around the edges of our breasts, and over our hips. Two of my favorite places to grip and take palm-fulls of flesh for stability and movement, two of the most sensitive curves of the body, ripe and ready to be directed, pushed, persuaded, maneuvered.
Stretchmarks record the pulling of skin over muscle and bone, remembering the change in the curve of the body. Oh, that is so beautiful. Sometimes I can feel these tiny indentations in skin where the turgidity changes, just a small ridge to the fingertip where there is a slightly lighter pigmentation to the eye.
They so often follow the curves of the body more intricately, more delicately, more beautifully than any tattoo or cutting, because the body itself made them.
Sometimes they run in such gorgeous lines [original here] around a curve that they look like the mouth of a river, they look like a tributary, stunning, the way a river hugs the earth, the way the skin stretches around bone, around sinew and muscle, around experience, around knowledge, around growth.
A few weeks back, Muse & I went to a meditation group and I held her jacket for her when we were heading outside. She dipped down to let me more easily slide the coat up onto her shoulders, and I laughed.
“You’re not supposed to move,” I said. “Just let me do the work. This chivalry thing is designed to make you look good.”
She laughed too. “Ah, right. How would I know that? Nobody holds my coat for me. You’re bringing butch back.”
I like that. I like the alliteration, three b’s in a row, and the second epitrite of poetic meter in the phrasing. I really can’t take credit for bringing butch back – honestly, I don’t think it ever went anywhere, I think if anything it just went a bit underground during the gay and women’s rights movements, and many folks are now reimerging to problematize and celebrate gender, myself included. And youth these days are more open to gender and sexuality differences than we ever have been, so aside from some old-school activists coming out of the woodwork, the youth also have a hand in opening up these conversations, refusing to be limited by labels or definitions, and yet finding value in the historical contexts of labels and words as well.
Chivalry is deeply feminist to me. When in femmes, I expect femininity to be deliberate, done with the whole knowledge of the compulsory heteronormative restrictions which dictate that women must be and do certain things, particular that we must wear high heels, delicate cloth, restrictive clothing. Femininity is not made for comfort or movement, it is made to accentuate the sexualization of a woman’s body – and that’s why things like holding her doors open (so she doesn’t dirty her white gloves or expensive manicure), pulling her chair out (so she doesn’t have to awkwardly move a bulky piece of furniture, and risk getting it caught on her skirt or stockings and ripping something) or holding her coat (so she doesn’t have to reach around and risk ripping the tight seams in her shoulders or upper back) are necessary to me, as an acknowledgement of how restrictive femininity can be, and of how difficult it is to walk around the world in these clothes, as a celebration of the beauty of femininity on the body, and with deep respect for the courage to costume and perform femme to begin with.
There’s a long history of these gender roles, these accentuations of the body as a flirtation, as a mating ritual, as peacocking, to attempt to attract a lover.
All this is to say, I’m really not taking credit for “bringing butch back.” But I like the phrasing, and I’d like to think that I’m encouraging it. I’ve written it before (& I’ll write it again): I would never tell someone what their identity is, I would always wait for them to tell me how they choose to identify. But because I’ve found such play and liberation and fun and self-empowerment inside of butch, I do want to encourage and support it.
The Spring Equinox celebrates the return of life and growth to the thawing earth. For the first time since the Fall Equinox, the time of light and dark in a single day are equal. From this day forth, Spring will arrive, and with her, a wild spurt of growth begins. Shoots of young grass appear, leaves sprout on trees, birds and their songs return. Winter and the dark time have finally been put behind us, and the season of growth has begun. This holiday is truly a celebration of life and nature.
Since the Spring Equinox represents new life and growth, this is the perfect holiday for planting seeds of your own on the path of your life. New ventures may be aided by the spirit of life and growth that abound, and many people decorate eggs at this time with symbols of fertility. All is new and possible. In addition, this holiday is an ideal time to break the last of the chains that may halt our growth.
So that’s what I’m thinking about today: what chains may be halting my own growth, and how to let them instead be little sprigs of pure green.
Well, Diana Cage has asked me – as “Sinclair” – to join her on her Diana Cage show on Sirius OutQ radio tomorrow, Thursday March 20th, from 10pm-1am. She wants me to come prepared to talk about my sex life, quickies, dating, sex blogging, and what it’s like to have my intimate sex life online for the world to see.
Sirius is a subscription radio (pretty cheap though, $12.95 a month), but you can get a 3-day trial for free if you’d like to listen in.
I’ve been following Heather Corinna online for quite a few years now – she’s practically infamous for her self-portraits, her personal online journal, her sex-positive educational resources. I still haven’t ever met her – she moved to Seattle just after I moved from Seattle to New York City, and while she knows some of the same folks that I do, our paths have just never quite crossed. Needless to say, though, after following her work for all these years, she still gives me that butterflies-in-my-stomach celebrity feeling – I’d probably be too shy to ever actually have a conversation with her, I’d get all tongue-tied and flustered. Ah, femmes.
I don’t like memes, but I like books. Here’s the meme instructions:
1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.
With one hand on the bike’s gleaming gold gas tank, Nick asked, “How’d you get to work, Chi-Chi?”
“I caught a cab. The car belonged to my ex. I got the apartment, she got the jalopy.” She threw one long leg over the seat of the bike and leaned forward, her elbows on the handlebars. Her open coat showed her cleavage above her unbuttoned shirt, her nipples at attention in the night air.
“You’re gonna take me for a ride on this big old thing, aren’t you?”
(More than 3 sentences, I know.) BLE ’98 is one of my very favorite of the BLE anthologies, although mostly it is for two specific stories – this one, Ridin’ Bitch, and Clash of the Titans by Karlyn Lotney. They are two of the first butch/femme strap-on smut stories I ever read, and they definitely formed my internal sexualized gender psychic landscape.
Aside from that, Clash of the Titans is one of the best written smut stories I’ve ever read. The characters, the pacing, the multiple scenes of sex and power play. I can probably quote most of it by heart, I’ve read it so many times.
Consider yourself tagged, if you’d like to try this out.
I’m trying this dating thing again, and I’ve answered a couple of personal ads on Craigslist in the last few weeks. No dates so far – seems the flirtation dies out pretty quickly, and frankly, I could pursue it, but I’m not willing to do all the work. Some, yes, but you’ve got to make it worth my while, you’ve got to pique my interest. I’m definitely more picky than I used to be, and I’m not so willing to compromise – hell, I’m not quite even sure I’m ready to date, I’m still dizzy from the ending of that last relationship with DD. I’m not in a hurry, but I am getting just a wee bit anxious to get laid.
Meanwhile, we’ve coined some new terms: DND, definitely not dating; email chemistry, for what kind of feeling you get from someone via writing; small-r vs big-R relationship.
I’ve noticed a few patterns in this dating adventure. Here’s some things that keep coming up for me. Got any tips for me, or for others? What have you learned by dating on the internet? Lay it on me, I can use all the help I can get.
- When placing an ad, make sure you have time in the next two weeks or so to go on follow-up dates. Clear your date nights – Friday and Saturday – or, if you can’t do that (if you work those nights, for example), have a few other options open, brunch on the weekends, or typical happy hour time for those who may be doing that 9-to-5 office thing. You don’t have to go out with everybody who answers, of course, but you want to be able to pick two or three of the good responses and be available to actually meet in the near future.
- When sending photos of yourself:
a) ask your friends to help you pick out the shots that actually look like you, even if they aren’t what you consider to be your most flattering photo;
b) include a shot of your face and a shot of your body;
c) do not include photos of you with your ex. Have your friends take new shots of you if those are the only ones you have;
d) resize your photos to somewhere around 600px by 400px. Attaching huge, giant photos directly from the camera is very inconvenient for the recipient, and are hard to see.
- Your social networking site is also a personal ad. Send on your Myspace/Friendster/Facebook site upon sending your name or your photograph (your potential date will probably Google you anyway). If you use your Myspace profile for something else (keeping an eye on your kids, connecting with your high school students) make a profile that just highlights you, where you can actually write things. No need to be smutty and intimate and TMI, just have it be an authentic representation of you. This profile should be PUBLIC, with some photos that you haven’t already sent onto your prospective date, because why else would we be looking at your profile? To gauge whether or not you are physically interesting & attractive. That doesn’t necessarily mean “conventionally beautiful” – it means, whether or not I’m intreagued by the way you look. If you need to keep this private, for whatever reason, then after your prospective date sends you a request to be added, please follow up on that quickly.
- When you set a tone in your personal ad, it’s best to follow up with that tone too. You created a persona for yourself in your ad, if you can’t follow through with it, best to put up a persona that you can follow through with. Sounds cheesy to say “be authentic,” but, come on. Be authentic, even if that authenticity is NSA dating & sex. That’s authentic too.
from Jacket’s Girl: “a picture of my smokin’ hot butch…
I know I’m biased and all, but damn!”
Thanks for the photos so far! Send more, I’m liking this new idea. It’s not only to add a little bit of visual interest to SBC, but also as celebration of the butch aesthetic. Photos of butch/femme couples are absolutely welcome too … keep ’em coming.
Operating outside of the heteronormative paradigm is subversive, and challenges the dominant discourse. Gender identity exploration can be very, very threatening.
I love that. I love gender as a tool to examine binaries, to tear down expectations, to encourage and support people to become more fully themselves, more fully realized and comfortable and celebrated.
Or, as the riot grrrl in me is dying to say: let’s fuck shit up!
The Closet Musician is so right about thickened skin. Reading your posts, I feel the hatred you carry, but only down to a certain level before it just simply stops. Your words hit my bullet-proof armor and don’t penetrate any further. And that armor is made up of years of self-examination, of friend’s and lover’s support and care, of gender theory and feminist theory and queer theory, of reading memoirs and listening to my community’s stories. I haven’t internalized any of what you’ve said about female masculinity, about butches, bois, tomboys, about ME – which is good, that’s an improvement.
Perhaps sometimes I’m not as sensitive as I think.
But I know that you’ve hurt others, deeper than me. I know how fragile it is to come to and then embody this female masculinity, how fragile these gender identities are, how easy it is to sometimes tear them down. You’ve hurt my friends, my lovers, my people, and that is not okay.
In the tone behind your words I can tell you really mean what you’re saying. You actually believe this hatred, you actually believe that masculine-identified female-bodied folks are responsible for discrimination against lesbians, that this type of female masculinity is ugly. That surprises me – that kind of deep-seated hatred always surprises me, on anybody, for any group.
This post of yours, the subsequent comments on Craigslist and on the various lesbian blogs, have reminded me how radical it still is to exist outside of gendered norms. How subversive it is to break the sex/gender assumption that dictates that female-bodied folks must be feminine and male-bodied folks must be masculine. How dangerous it is for me to walk around in men’s clothes, get my hair cut at a barber shop, buy cocks and pack.
Gender is still the dirty little secret in the worlds of activism and social change. It is still possible to deflate a female women’s rights worker by calling her “mannish,” still possible to discredit gay male activists by calling them “flaming” or “fairy.” There are consequences to subverting the paradigm of the sex/gender binary.
And you know what? That must mean that us activists, us queers and butches and bois and femmes and drag queens and fags and radical fairies and trans guys and girls and genderqueers – we must be doing something right. We’re a threat. If we were that easy to dismiss, if we were that marginalized and insignificant and deviant, we would not have to be called out as “ugly” on a public forum by a cowardly anonymous genderphobe.
That revelation I feel in my bones, past that armor, all the way down to my defenseless bloody organs. A vibration of hope, a vibration of power.
Last night, I said to The Closet Musician that I was grateful for all the comments that have come after the original post, I’m grateful that my community of genderqueers are not taking this lying down. I’m grateful for all of the comments here on Sugarbutch, for all the reactions of surprise and love and care, for all the angry rants and the articulated defenses. Here are a few:
It’s in the way that they are both gallant…and in / private moments raunchy, sexy and hot, that makes me shudder / It’s the Butch Mystique, which I would never pretend / to know, but that I understand and love.
I know for a fact that there are plenty of attractive, femme women who love their butches. Objectively hot women, even by glossy magazine “normal people” heterosexual standards. … Even hot women are occasionally rejected (there’s always another hot one somewhere down the line) so the argument that someone would like a butch for no other reason than she can’t do any better really doesn’t work. And what makes you think butches aren’t picky?
u don’t like masculine women but who died and said u can dictate who a individual is and how they should look. … im not a butch but I LOVE THEM because they are the bravest of our kind to put themselves out there and be who they are. I think you should find out who you are and stop judging what u don’t know. Remember lesbians in general have to struggle to be accepted and its more than effed up to kno that 1 of our own is holding us back. I hope ur proud of yourself ur famous.
The entire post was pure internalized homophobic spew. Nothing sickens me more than a member of a disenfranchised community further discriminating against others … we are the ones on the front lines, as much now as then. … It has been our fight, our visibility and our scars that have allowed you to have increased freedom and safety. … The next time you want to put down butch, maybe you ought to think a little harder about your history.
But even so, I wish we were at the point where even though you are thinking these awful, prejudiced things about female masculinity, you would never, never voice them to others, because gender discrimination would be a faux pas, so politically incorrect that you would never put it out there into the world, because there would be huge social consequences.
You agree not to post, email, or otherwise make available Content: a) that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, or is harmful to minors in any way; […] c) that harasses, degrades, intimidates or is hateful toward an individual or group of individuals on the basis of religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, or disability.
Like many of the posters have said, I don’t care if you aren’t attracted to butches. Just like I don’t care if you are or aren’t attracted to men, to redheads, to big breasts, to high heels. Attraction is personal, yours is yours and that’s just fine. But I do care that you’re taking your personal preferences and turning them into hate speech, to discrimination. Your hatred is fuling gender discrimination and transphobia, both of which have very serious consequences in our society. I am so tired of seeing yet another headline for a trans person murdered in a hate crime, and your hate crime, your post, is precisely the same kind of misunderstood, misguided hatred that fuels these crimes.
But, like they say, karma’s a bitch. If you have any desire to cover your ass, I suggest you educate yourself. Figure out your own internal shit. Live and let live. Stop spewing such hatred. And while you’re at it, donate to the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition, a non-profit organization that “works to ensure that classrooms, communities, and workplaces are safe for everyone to learn, grow, and succeed – whether or not they meet expectations for masculinity and femininity. As a human rights organization, GenderPAC also promotes an understanding of the connection between discrimination based on gender stereotypes and sex, sexual orientation, age, race, and class.”
Perhaps I will practice some lovingkindness meditation and think of you – may you live in safety, be happy, be healthy, live with ease. Maybe through that practice I’ll come to some new place of generosity and be able to forgive your ignorant prejudice. I’d like to be able to do that. I’d like to be that generous.
For now, I wish you peace in your heart.
I know you’re starting to not believe me about this Sugarbutch Star Contest coming to a close and all, but I really am going to post the last and final piece soon. And after I do that, voting will commence right away … so review your options, pick your favorites, know who you’re going to vote for.
Here’s the options.
Here’s how it works: Readers submitted an erotic scenario, detailing plot, setting, and characters. I picked my favorites and wrote them into erotic stories, readers will vote on their single favorite. Prizes TBA. The contest ran from July 17th to August 7th, and I got 54 (!) submissions.
Here are the submissions I chose to write up:
“You have to be quiet,” I say. “We’re not alone.”
“We almost are,” she breathes, closing her eyes and tilting her head so I can get to her neck. My fingers run lazy circles around her clit and inner lips, slick already. I dip two fingers inside and feel her muscles pulsing. Slide them in & out while she begins to pant. I circle her clit again, flick it gently and feel her body contract and respond.
“Anybody could walk in at any second,” I say. “Anybody could see my hand under your skirt, if they looked for just a second.” She shivers and presses her thighs open, presses her cunt against my hand, grips my forearm in one hand. I’m working her clit a little harder, a little faster, and her breathing is coming heavier, her body is tense. She’s trying to keep her face still.
Lady Brett Ashley: Threesome and a Purple Tie
“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.
bird : The Hitchhiker
“Tight little pussy,” Jack murmured, one hand on her ass, spreading her cheeks. “Feels so good to open you with my big cock.”
Jack thrust harder, grunting. “Aw yeah, aw god yeah.” Alice gasped with each hard thrust, impaled, in a bit of pain but also exquisite sensation, hips pressing apart, back arching deeper, mouth open and gasping. She lifted one foot up onto the three piled bags of garden dirt in the corner of the truck and spread her legs for Jack.
“You like that, don’t you. Dirty girl. You’ve been waiting for someone like me to come along and fuck you right, haven’t you. Haven’t you.” Jack thrust harder, slower, then sharp.
“Yes, oh god, Jack, fuck me,” Alice moaned. Jack slid one arm around her waist and twisted, pulled out and shoved her onto the fertilizer, dropping her on her ass harshly and she reached down to catch herself with her hands, her legs slightly tangled in the fabric of her tiny shorts.
Avah : Fucking a Porn Star
The girl whispered something, groaned, into the pillow.
“Uh sorry?” Avah said, both hands on the girl’s hip bones, leaning forward to hear her better.
“Fuck me,” the girl said again, clearly this time, turning her head to the side, red hair falling over her face. “Please, oh god please.”
“Mmm,” Avah agreed, drawing back down the girl’s body to her ass and exposed cunt, two fingers running over her lips and clit, swollen from the long night of sex, from the sensory overload, from the submission.
The girl moaned deliciously with each touch.
Avah grinned and kept her grip on the girl’s hip bones, slid two fingers inside her slick cunt easily. The girl sighed, heavy, and opened deeper. Avah slid out and added another finger, a little tighter with three, the girl inhaled and squirmed a little, so eager, so open.
Grey: Charcoal Portrait in the Art Studio
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.
The Femme Top: Untitled
I can feel everything. Every breath every movement every inch where my skin is bound with leather. Wrists, ankles. I can hear my heart beat. Can see my chest moving up and down, the skin thin and flushed. I swallow. Focus on the ceiling; you are kneeling, strapping on. Hand on the thick of it, slick with lube. I am exposed. Open to you and you want me here, this way.
Jennifer: The Popsicle in the Library
“You know there’s no food allowed in the library,” I growl in her ear, pressing her stomach against the concrete stairwell wall. I’m speaking quietly but it still echoes.
“Unh,” she groans, not able to form words, mouth open.
“Not very polite of you, breaking the rules like that.” I lift her dress and shove my hands under the edge of her panties. She’s wet.
“Oh, you like this, do you? You’re enjoying this?” I flick my fingers over her cunt, then pull my hand away. She wimpers, echoing in the stairwell.
Bad Bad Girl: The Straight Girl at the Dyke Bar
” … 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.
Madeline: Her Mouth on My Cock
That’s all I really wanted, all night long, in those moments when we touched fingertips and knees sitting next to each other, the one time when I took her slender body into the circle of my arms and wrapped around her, cock tight against her and she could feel it, surely she could, moved her thigh against me and pulled her face away from the nuzzle of the nape of my neck to give me those eyes, those eyes, those pretty eyes and my hand at the back of her neck where her hair is short and thin, delicate, dancing when she shakes her head or laughs which of course she does all night, mouth wide and open, lips pulled over teeth and oh I want to remember what that feels like …
Jefferson: Cross-Country Girl Adventures
“I can’t relax,” he says again, going over to the bars that separate our cell from hers. She lifts her head and sighs.
“Fine,” she says, rising and walking toward him. I hear them both moving but keep my eyes shut. “Unzip.”
He pauses. “Yeah?”
She glances back at her boyfriend, in the cell adjoining hers, passed out cold. “This offer’s gonna expire,” she says.
Jefferson unzips and meets the black bars with his bony hips, cock poking through.
Which is your favorite?
A response to the girl who posted that awful rant against female masculinity on Craigslist from The Closet Musician, one of my very best friends. Thank you.
I feel like there’s no way to properly respond in this particular forum that would have much of a chance of softening the angry girl’s mind about any of the angry things she said. So, what do I do? It’s obvious that all of this hurt and fear is in her from somewhere, and her default reaction is to put it back out in a hateful, anonymous add that anyone, from anywhere, in any place or state of being can run into.
So, what do we do?
Personally, I tucked right back into that slightly tougher skin of mine, so not to have my heart impaled by a hateful, cowardly stranger on Craigslist. This is that thicker skin that queers, people of color, disabled people, anyone different from the “norm,” have been wearing since the dawning of time. The one that at some point, we all have to learn to throw on at the drop of a dime, at any moment, for an immeasurable amount of unpredictable moments of attack. In this case, the one that all of us queers grew or will grow at some point: when we first cut our hair short, the first time we shop in the clothing dept. that doesn’t coincide with our biological sex. This is the skin we put on before we go into a public restroom, or when we are awkwardly sir-ed in a crowded place, or spat at, or threatened, beat up, ignored, laughed at, or when a really close friend or perfect stranger or parent or lover says some of the same things that the angry girl on Craigslist posted. This is the skin we wear when we aren’t butch enough, too butch, faggy, not gay enough, wear makeup, wear a suit, when we are insulted, rejected, fired, not hired, gawked at, thrown out or any of the other plethora of things that happen to us because people like this girl cannot or will not deal with their own internal issues of hurt and insecurity and so shove it on us somehow, carelessly and spitefully in the form of hate and discrimination. This is nothing new, right? We are just taken off guard, angry and offended and confused and hurt … again … or maybe for the first time.
Most of us aren’t counting the hits anymore, but there are some of us that ran into this post and got hit in that soft unarmed place, where our true and fragile identities are trying to bloom, for the first time. Some of us just cut our hair really short yesterday and then walked down a busy street, some of us just admitted to ourselves that we’re queer and that this was okay, some of us braved our first gay bar last night, some of us just had our first queer kiss, some of us just came out to someone and it went ok, some of us finally went out in a tie or a skirt for the first time and were told we looked handsome or pretty for the first time ever, by a pretty girl or cute boy or a parent or a friend or a stranger – and then we read this post and got hit in that soft place for the first time – and that thicker, tougher skin, that I’ve been wearing for a few decades now, that filters what can and can’t get into your heart, started to grow. And this makes me mad, this makes me very, very sad.
I wonder, even though it’s pointless, I wonder why she wrote most of everything she wrote. It didn’t really have anything to do with anything and was so careless and aimless. She just opened fire on anyone who ran into it. She hurt a lot of people.
Regardless, it’s out there now, for most of us as a reminder, for some of us as a harsh awakening, that our identity, our self understanding is just that: it is our own and it is deeply personal and sensitive and pliable and impressionable, breakable, insecure, vulnerable, real and very, very… very important. And as you discover you, you have to wear it, claim it, right? It’s who you are.
And I think that when who you are is hit with hate, go ahead and feel it, give yourself permission to react, just chose your reaction consciously so that maybe the hatred going around will lighten up and so that maybe insight and acceptance can have some room to get somewhere, and so that maybe this girl, who, like it or not, is everywhere, might learn something from you … and …but … maybe she won’t. But, for all of us who are brave enough to be who we are and let our identities free to style our hair, dress us, create our stride, our speech, and any and all of the infinite possibilities of potential expression for the identities we claim – good for us!
Audre Lorde said, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” As a boi, butchy, lesbian, dyke, girl, androgynous, top, bottom, sister, partner, writer, daughter, friend, gardener, Cher-loving, liberal, sexy, funny, handsome, cocky, fragile, political, sensitive, angry, kind, self-loving person, I really like that quote.
And now my comment directed to the girl that wrote the original ad on Craigslist:
Angry, Anonymous Girl,
If your misplaced hatred is at all removable and you are even slightly open to things that don’t make sense to you, I (by myself) or some of my friends and I (a lovely bouquet of butches, bois, dykes, fags, hags, trans, femmes, studs, bi’s, queers, and straighties) would be more than willing to have an open discussion with you. If you promise to leave your sword at the door, I’ll take off my thicker skin and talk to you from an honest place: girl to girl, lesbian to lesbian, boi to however you so choose to self identify at that particular moment.
If you are going to respond to this letter with hate, please warn me first, maybe in the title, so I can put on a layer first.
Thanks for listening.
Dylan Vade, who is behind one of my new favorite terms, “gender galaxy,” emailed me the other day to let me know about this resource section of articles on the gender galaxy and the Trannymals website. Trannymals, to quote Dylan, are “googley eyed genital creatures that celebrate bodies, challenge bad laws, and in general, spread gender galaxial ways.” Bad ass, and fun, and funky. Check it out.
Jennie at butchculture.com also contacted me recently. I appreciate what she’s doing over there.
In other news, I want this bit gag. Thanks for reviewing it, Shasta.
Have I mentioned recently how hot Madeline is?
I use an RSS reader somewhat obsessively, and it has significantly cut down on the time that I flounce around the internet, following link to link, surfing. I save that for lazy weekends or evenings instead of doing it during my workday, and it’s lovely. It means I keep up with my friends’ writings, with interesting blogs I might otherwise forget to check. I come across new ones and add them on a trial basis, I go through everything I’ve subscribed to about once a month and weed out those that are not so interesting.
One of my RSS feeds is the Women-seeking-women section on New York City’s Craigslist – but not just every post, I took the feed for posts containing the words both “femme” and “butch.” Because frankly, if you’re not a femme looking for a butch specifically, I don’t want to date you. There’s a lot of “NO BUTCHES/NO MEN/FEMMES ONLY” posts happening over there, and I usually just skip right by them.
Last night, a new post went up, and reads as follows:
Reply to: [email protected]
Date: 2008-03-11, 5:54PM EDT
To all you bois, studs, butches, soft butches or whatever you want to call yourself, this is not back in the old days in which you had to dress like a boy or man in order to go out late at night without getting raped and harassed so why is it that you still dress and look like a male? Why would I want an imitation of a man when I can get a real man if I was straight. It defeats the purpose of being with another woman if I’m with a “female” who looks, acts and wants to be a boy. It’s such a turn off.
Why do you all act like you’re all that when you’re not? I realize the ones who act the most cocky and over confident ones are usually the ugliest too- go figure. You make the rest of the population think we as lesbians are freaks when the majority of us are not. Be born to be who you are, if you are born a male be one, if you are born a female then be one, but if you’re unhappy with your gender then get a sex change but stop looking like a adolescent 15 yr boy girls. Girls actually go down on you?! gross!! makes me want to gag.
For those of you who are femme who like and date these male wannabes, you have no taste LOL, have low self esteem, don’t want anyone to be better looking than you, you want all the attn or not real lesbians. Why anyone would want an imitation male or female is beyond me. Take off your beer goggles LOL nasty! you are why the rest of the population shuns away from us and we don’t have the same rights as straight folks.
If your appearance looks like you are confused with your sex/gender how can you expect the straight world to take any of us seriously? I don’t even take you seriously and I’m gay. You look like a pathetic wannabe. We will never get equality because of you. Do the rest of us a favor and get a sex change and really become a male, and if you were born a male and want to be a female then do it, instead if going in drag, it’s so fake. The rest of us will respect you more for it. Don’t be a coward and go through with the sex change instead of pretending to be something you are not. Stop bringing the rest of us down. You are not a representation of the majority of us. We shouldn’t all pay for your identity issues. Stop trying to stick out like a sore ugly thumb.
I don’t even want to reproduce the whole thing here because, frankly, it’s offensive, personal, below-the-belt punches, and I would not want any of you potentially reading this to feel hurt about this. I want to protect you, see? I want to be the buffer against the big bad world of gender-phobia and only write cool, celebratory things, yay femmes!, yay butches!, yay to people who don’t claim a label but understand why we do! But that’s not what it is all the time, I guess.
And frankly, I’m hurt by this. Me, personally. My identity, my gender, my sense of self – hell, my very mission of activism and tolerance and acceptance.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m fine, I’m not asking for your comfort or praise. I know I’m too damn sensitive. Generally, my butchness is pretty damn well accepted in my life – I’ve never had a single issue at my current job, I have fabulous friends who love me and celebrate my gender expression, I have community, I have this amazing space to write about things, I have lovers who appreciate my boyishness and have their own gender fetishes that compliment my own. I don’t feel ugly or like a “pathetic wannabe” or responsible for the inequality of homosexuals, for which that poster is blaming us butches. I know better than to believe that.
But it’s surprising. People really think this? Lesbians really think this? In New York City, in 2008? Really? Maybe I’m being naive here – but honestly the gender discrimination I’ve experienced in my life is usually about ignorance, not flat-out hatred.
I am tempted to pull the posting apart and write a response, but that idea just makes me exhausted. I’m too tired to defend my identity and sense of self and very essence and sexuality and sexual orientation toward femmes and gender and fetish to someone who has drawn angry, prejudiced conclusions about a group of people who she clearly does not understand. I’d like to write something; perhaps tomorrow I will feel more inspired and articulate. Today, I’m not even sure where to start.
This has created a little bit of lively discussion over on Craigslist; I’ve sorted through it and posted the responses after the jump. The original poster replied to a couple of the responses, most of which are people saying “you’re an idiot,” though one of which – the last one – was in support of the original post. Read them at your own risk, they’re hard to read, and may be offensive.
I heart Brooklyn Girls, the femme pin-up calendar, has definitely been making the rounds around my parts, but I hadn’t seen I Love LDN Girls calendar until just today. Honestly I wasn’t too impressed with this year’s BG calendar – last year’s was so gorgeous, perhaps I just had high hopes.
But, thank heavens, my queer pinup faith is renewed with the LDN Girls calendar. Plus, there are some gorgeous butch/femme photos, some androgyny, some femme/femme shots, all of which are really stunning photographs. I’m ordering mine now.
Some shout-outs & announcements:
- I’ve had a few comments & emails recently about my ads, particularly that they include some NSFW photos, and some expression that this is a bummer, as they’d like to read my site at work. Well … here’s the thing. The design of this blog is made to be read in an RSS reader. The posts in the reader won’t have breasts or photos that are NSFW (though the written content is another story). I’ve said it before, but honestly, RSS feeds & readers are the biggest thing to happen to blogs since Blogger, I swear, and if you aren’t using one you’re really missing out. Some people have said to me, “But I like visiting people’s actual sites!” Yeah, I get that, and there is something valuable to design and format – I’m a graphic designer! I definitely understand. But even still, RSS readers are invaluable, and this site is definitely aimed to be read through one.
- Following up on femininity & heterosexism, Figleaf has a new post about attraction, invitation, and the insufficiency of consent. Also, thanks to Jess over at the F-word Blog for the mention.
- FetLife is a social networking site for the fetish community … and it’s fun. Come be my friend.
- My first post is up over at The Lesbian Lifestyle blog, titled Consent is Sexy:
Sexy is in the physical communication between us. The way I compensate when she pulls back, which is the reason she pulls back in the first place: she likes to see me strain. Likes to pull desire from me like a soul-sucking kiss. Likes to entice and invite until I reach that breaking point and just have to take her down. Have to hold her still, keep her from moving, break those charms from her mouth and remind her that I am a little stronger, a little bigger, remind her that there are consequences to her toying.
- Last fall’s Sugarbutch Star contest hit a standstill for a few months there, and there was only ONE more story to finish. Well, today’s your lucky day – the very last piece (Shannon, a photography shoot) is almost complete, and will go up this weekend. In the meantime, review the other fabulous entries and decide which ones are your favorites, cause I’ll be asking you, the readers, to vote on them all, and determine whose story will be the winner. Any good suggestions for prizes? I have my own ideas, but I’m open to others.
- I’m, yet again, compiling a list of the queer women sexblogs out there. Got any good ones to suggest that I don’t have listed in the community?
- The Therapy Session: she took my fingers deep into her mouth like she does, letting me feel her throat and the back of her tongue and her soft palette with my fingertips. Two, three fingers. Her tongue, her teeth grazing my knuckles. […] And then on her knees. Her beautiful eyes looking up at me, cock deep in her throat, her hands on my thighs, on my ass, pulling me deeper into her. I’m moaning and gasping aw fuck and she takes my hand and puts it in her hair, I grip a fistful and hold her there, steady, as I pump my hips and fuck her face.
- Upon Leaving Mexico: 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.
- Passing, privilege, & butch/femme: 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. […] 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.
- Further thoughts on privilege & gender: 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.
- Nostalgia for the butch/femme dynamic: Can you really miss something you didn’t actually live through? Seems like there’s a better word for it than “miss” or “nostalgia,” because it’s actually longing for another time. But it’s deeper than that – it’s a historical connection to that time, an inhereted lineage that I really do miss and sometimes long for. […] Though the gender revolution/s that are currently happening – especially around butch/femme – are a resurrection of something of the past, maybe it’s actually more more accurate to call it something new – a similar idea resurfacing in a new way.
- Definitions on sex & gender: including the terms “butch flight,” gender galaxy, dress-up test, and GGG
- Guest post from the muse: An argument for butch/femme, which tells the story of how she came to a femme identity: After seeing the toppy look on her face that gets me instantly wet, makes me tilt my chin down and look at her wide and expectant through my eyelashes, my mouth dropping open a little, just before she leaned over and kissed me hard, interrupting whatever I was saying. After making out wildly in an overpillowed winebar, her hands running up my skirt and finding the baby pink band of my thigh-highs, looking at me surprised and saying, “oh, that’s nice.” After a shameless PDA marathon along 14th street, grinding up against brick walls and in the middle of the sidewalk and in dark corners and on subway platforms. [ … ] After all that, I was convinced of the utility of skirts. And heels, two and a half inches or more, that put her cock just below my clit when I’m up against a wall. Fuck yeah. A (high-minus? medium-plus?) femme was born.
A couple of password protected posts discussing my latest lover, and the end of that relationship:
He wrote about what sparked this idea, saying he noticed a particularly attractive woman:
I thought it must be inconvenient to attract so much attention, and then wondered what it would be like if I could attract that kind of corner-of-the-eye attention, and then I started thinking about the old “men first initiate, women then decide” courtship convention and wondering about how that creates a perhaps unnecessary imposition on women to attract attention (since they weren’t allowed to simply ask for phone numbers). […] [G]rowing up male it’s unspoken but totally obvious that women are about attracting us; meanwhile we grow up blind to the also-unspoken molding to be worthy. The climax of the Sleeping Beauty fable says it all: she’s not only beautiful but *in a coma!* He needs his shining armor to reach her through the thorn-overgrown castle. His kiss awakens her.
Man o man. Very well said. This makes my head spin a little, and strikes me as relevant to this discussion about femmes passing that we’ve been having lately – particularly, to answer the question of why femmes attract male attention, which leads to the sometimes-necessary conversation of outing onesself, which leads to the potentially dangerous situation of having been seen as ‘deceptive.’
Of course, it’s because femininity is seen as an invitation, a deliberate request for male attention.
(And this is precisely why using femininity to attract other women is a subversive identity. It messes with the entire premise, the entire purpose, of gender roles.)
Even though we’ve come a long way, baby, and women can now ask for phone numbers, can come on to men, can wear trousers! can vote!, some of these old subscriptions about how men and women must work are still carved deep into our subconsciousnesses. And one of those things is that the purpose of femininity is to attract men, male attention, the male gaze, the general hetero mating process.
So really, hitting on a feminine girl – queer or married or otherwise – taking how she looks as an invitation – is a form of heterosexism. It’s the foundation of the “she asked for it” defense.
Of course, some girls want to be hit on. I don’t mean to discount that femininity is used for attention – it’s a powerful tool that women (and some men, yes?) have in this heterosexist society. And most people are flattered to be noticed if the hitting on is done with respect, right? I mean, it’s a compliment – the problems arise when the guy (or whomever is doing the hitting-on) is relentless, won’t let up, pushes boundaries and doesn’t take hints. I suppose this is the place where the hit-ee needs to be firm and direct, as opposed to kind, though of course that doesn’t always work.
Maybe this small insight seems obvious – sure seems obvious to me, now that I am writing it out – but I appreciated the sociological perspective Figleaf added to my explorations of the subject.
Today is the last day to VOTE for the Lesbian Blog of the Year award over at The Lesbian Lifestyle … and Sugarbutch Chronicles is a finalist! I’m going to be in last place by a landslide, looks like, but even so, I’m oh so grateful to be nominated (thank you!) and enjoying the lesbian company.
Last chance! Vote Sugarbutch!
I haven’t seen I’m Not There yet, but I’m still thrilled about Cate’s version of Bob Dylan. I’m still looking around for some good interviews with her about gender and drag but haven’t found any yet.