authority on the internet

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha

I’ve quoted that before, but I’m reminded of it again recently. It’s a quality that I always seek in those from whom I wish to learn.

I’ve been using the internet actively for the past fifteen years, since I was fourteen, and that’s not actually exaggeration; I caught a little bit of the BBS days, but really got my feet wet with the telnet chatrooms that were gaining popularity. I’d use the public library’s telnet system and my dad’s engineering computer to chat – live! with people from all over the world! – in Coffeehouse and Shadowlands.

And, as many have said, including Audacia Ray in her recent study of sex on the internet, new technologies are always first used for porn and sex. So, as a teenager, not only discovering a new technology, but also discovering a new sexuality, my primary sexual awakening was online – writing, corresponding, typing out fantasies, and asking questions to a hive mind of various perspectives and orientations and kinks.

I didn’t experiment a lot in person, it wasn’t appealing; but online, I could do anything, and it was safe. Of course, it wasn’t always safe. But I did pretty well for myself. I learned lessons, got smarter.

I started my first personal web pages in 1996, and have had open diaries, livejournals, javascript notebooks, and finally, blogs, online ever since then, in various forms of anonymity. Sometimes totally anonymous, sometimes under my real name. I understand how these communities build and fall and swell and fade, I’ve watched many of them, I’ve built some of them, I’ve heard stories from others who are interested in these things.

In 2000, two major things happened for me: I went back to college after taking four years off after high school, and I came out as queer. At college, I further my informal studies of feminism with gender studies, queer theory, and postmodern theory. I have two degrees, one in Gender Studies with an emphasis on social change, one in English with an emphasis on creative writing.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours reading books, watching films, going to workshops and conferences, seeking out mentors, reading blogs of personal expeirences, going to feminist sex toy shops, talking to friends, about gender dynamics, their personal relationships, queer oppression, social change, labeling, sex, sex techniques, sex toys, seduction, pick-up artistry, androgyny, lesbianfeminism, the 1980s sex wars, intersexuality, transitioning, binding, packing, taking T, putting on makeup, shopping for dresses or bathing suits or earrings or purses, shopping for ties or cufflinks or slacks or a tuxedo, radical acts of subversion, generational differences, strapping on a cock, the history of gender in the US, kink, domination and submission, rope bondage, BDSM, and uh all sorts of other things.

Not to mention that I, personally, have experience with these things in my relationships, my life, and my communities.

When I think about it, all of that history makes sense that here, fifteen years later, I’ve finally settled into this small niche of my varying interests – writing, inner emotional landscapes, sexuality, queer theory, gender theory, feminism, butch/femme dynamics, self-awareness, love, and relationships.

I’m not writing this to brag.

I’m writing this to show where my authority on these subjects about which I write come from.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll continue with all this research into these topics if or when I meet someone and develop a successful, fulfilling relationship, I’ll be disinclined to continue, because I can simply live it, instead of theorize about it all day every day. Perhaps I’ll move on to my next obsessive research subject – building alternative families or aging or performance poetry or who knows what. Perhaps all this has just been my own research into How To Be Me – chivalrous kinky writer, queer butch top, and feminist lover of femmes – In This World. Sometimes I feel like once I “figure it out,” I won’t have to be constantly doing all this work all the time.

Of course, there’s no easy way to simply figure this out, and once it’s “figured out” it’ll probably change, anyway, because it’s increidbly fluid; not only my own understanding of it, but the cultural understanding as well. It’s amazing how much has changed in the past ten years – even five years! Things are moving and growing, and I want to be a part of this activism, this forward motion, this quest for us all to be our highest, best selves, accepted by the world in our freakery.

(I digress.)

My point is, I was reminded recently how easy it is to get online and create yourself as an authority about something on which you are not. And it’s sad to me, and disappointing, how easy it is for people to get sucked into something so false.

I know the internet. Know these blog circles quite well, I correspond with hundreds of people, read intimate, detailed blogs, have friends that I’ve never met but whom I’ve followed for years online. There are some amazing, lovely folks here who are using these tools, this digital medium, to express what is the most true and beautiful and real about them.

But that’s not true of everybody. I find I can usually spot those who are not authentic; they stand out, somehow, I go to their site or read their work and think, something’s just not quite right. It puzzles me, because I don’t use the internet that way, and because there’s such a better way to use this digital tool to connect, so why would you do it the other, less effective and more inauthentic way? Probably out of pure ignorance, frankly – but I don’t really know.

For y’all out there reading, especially about things as completely personal and delicate as your butch/femme gender and sexual identities, this is just a reminder not to believe somebody unless you have reason to do so, don’t take them purely on their word, wait until they prove themselves to you. Identities are fragile, and can get damaged so easily when we don’t have adequate support and validation around them. It’s so easy for one big, painful misunderstanding to put someone off of something entirely, when in fact it is not indicative of how it could potentially function.

Dan Savage had a great call on his Savage Lovecast last week (seriously, it’s now the #1 podcast on the internet, and you’re not listening to it yet?) about developing a bionic bullshit detector, which has also got me thinking about all of this.

Many of us place our trust in people too easily. And when it comes to the very personal and delicate subjects, such as what I discuss here on this site, I really hope you do (respectfully) disagree with me sometimes, I hope you don’t assume I always know what I’m talking about, I hope you question me sometimes, I hope you ask who the man (ahem, “man,” don’t get the wrong idea) behind the site is, I hope you check authority credentials and expect proof of authorty.

I also hope I’ve earned it, from you, from visitors to this site, from readers, from friends, from acquaintances, because I work hard to do so, to stand behind my philosophies by living inside of them, to have a consistent personal narrative, to have reliability in my character, to admit what I don’t know, to speak on things that I know well. In some ways, I’ve made a formal study of these things too, since the one particular ex who manipulated me into such a frenzy.

There’s no easy way to know who’s conning you and who is authentic except to be cautious, I think. (Dan Savage and his caller had a few ideas, too; see, now you really have to download the podcast, don’t’cha?)

As much as I have made a semi-formal study of these topics, and as much as I do have some authority here, I also will always say that everyone needs to figure it out for themselves. I’m thrilled that my process is useful to others, and I’m curious about the processes that don’t look like mine, too. This is me, doing this work, going through the processing, reaching these identities for my own self – now, you go do yours.

This Is How I Want You Next

In lingerie like tonight. Black stockings, seamed. Strappy sandal heels. Fresh red predicure. Pushup bra.

But unlike tonight: hair tight up off your neck. A clip would be good, chopsticks would be better. A wrap-around dress with no buttons, only ties.

Greet me at your door like this. Have my drink ready – you know what it is. Be ready to bend over for me. Be ready to get on your knees. Be ready to say please in that lovely aching way you do – with desperation, longing.

femme conference 2008

The Femme Conference 2008, taking place in Chicago in August, is put on by the Femme Collective. Take a look at their mission statement: Femme Collective is committed to creating conferences by Femmes, about Femmes, and for Femmes and their allies. We understand that Femme is more complex than just being a queer person who is feminine; it is a part of how we interact with and shape our world as queer academics, activists, artists, homemakers, parents, professionals, students, teachers, etc.

I really hope to attend the conference … we’ll see if I can make that happen. More information at femmecollective.com.

Here’s the press release:

Queer Femmes from all over the Globe to Gather for Conference
Femme 2008: The Architecture of Femme will take place August 15th-17th in Chicago

(CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 12, 2008) The Femme Collective proudly presents “Femme2008: The Architecture of Femme,” an international conference celebrating queer femininities August 15th through August 17th 2008 at the Chicago Wyndham O’Hare: 6810 N. Mannheim Rd. near O’Hare International Airport. The conference will feature three full days of programming, including keynotes, workshops, panels, performances and even a film festival. Regular registration is $75 through July 15th, 2008 and then registration will go up to $95 for late registration, which is open through the conference. Registration covers all of the conference events and can be made by going to www.femmecollective.com.

review: gettin’ off, butch style

How do I love Babeland … let me count the ways.

Well, so first, they asked me if I’d like to review the Papillion vibrator. And of course I said sure, I’d probably review a paper cup for Babeland if they asked me to, and I’ve been looking for a small-but-powerful vibe when I don’t want to power up the Hitachi. The Papillion is a little girly in some ways … the butterfly is not exactly my style, but they don’t really make butch vibrators. But hey, if it works well, it doesn’t matter so much what’s painted on it.

Turns out, part of the proceeds from this sweet vibe goes directly to the Living Beyond Breast Cancer organization, which is pretty darn cool. I didn’t get a cute little butterfly vibe to review, but instead, the fine folks at Babeland sent me a few other treasures – and both in black! Much more butch, I appreciate that.

First, the Laya Spot vibrator. It’s small, cute, discreet, easy to control, pretty powerful. It’s got three different “buzz patterns,” gentle pulses of vibration that are pretty fun to play with. Still not as powerful as the almighty Grandmother of vibrators, the Hitachi (you have one of those, right? It’s up there with the bunny as Toys That Should Be In Every Toy Box). It’s kind of an upgrade to the Silver Bullet – better looking, much more suave, better vibration power, better grip. It’s like the Silver Bullet’s suave older brother who has his own car and comes home from college on the weekends with a different blonde and his laundry. Still needs something else to really get the job done, but it’s a great start, and coupled with a few other goodies – like jacking off with the Share – mmmhoney yes.

Okay, so. The Share double dildo. I reviewed Feeldoe’s version of this dildo recently and wasn’t particularly impressed, but the Share has subtly altered a few things that make a big difference.

The material is much nicer, for one. The Share is silicone, as is the Feeldoe, but the Share is a kind of matte finish which is silky and lovely, where the Feeldoe feels like slick plastic (not so sexy).

I’m pretty particular about how I want to have control of a cock with which I fuck, so controlling a double without a harness was very difficult. The internal part of the Share – the one that goes inside of me – is thicker than on the Feeldoe, and differently shaped such that it stays in much easier. I still have to exercise my kegels a bit, but I can tell that I have a much easier, better grip on it, which – hopefully – will mean that my precision will be better with this one.

Can’t tell you yet, exactly, because I’ve only used it to jack off so far. I probably won’t be busting out the Share with Penny – it’s too long, too thin. And honestly, I don’t know any girls who prefer to get fucked long rather than in girth; it’s that feeling of being stretched open that, in my experience, female-bodied folks want. If a cock is too long, it starts hitting against the cervix, which actually can be painful.

Long & thin is really great for anal play, though … hmm, ideas.

I’ve got a few more things coming from Babeland soon, I hope, which I’m excited to keep exploring. They are very queer- and gender-friendly, many of my friends have worked there in the past, their staff is really super smart and knowledgeable. They’ve gone through some changes in recent years, but they still have tons of great books, resources, and a sex-positive environment to explore sexuality, sex toys, gender, play, sensation. And yes, I know they’re sending me toys and all, but I’ve always adored them – when I moved to Seattle ten years ago their store was one of the first things I sought out. I credit them with much of my adult sexual awakening, and love the work they’re doing.

More on Butch Bras

Thanks, all, for the feedback and comments on that last post. Butch breasts and binding and female masculinity are all so deep in this topic, and as one reader mentioned, too, this is also an issue relating to females with large breasts in general. Sure, the gender stuff adds a slightly different dimension, but many women go through this and are challenged by having the right, comfortable bra.

A few more tips, and also some recommendation, since I’ve had a few emails about where to get these butch bras.

First: get the right size of bra. Sports bras obviously are a little less precise in their sizing, but even if you don’t intend to wear any regular bras anymore, figure out your size. It’s amazing how hard it is for us to figure that out. There really is a difference between a 34D and a 36C, and they are not the same size. This seems to be a particularly difficult one for many of the butches I know, because bra shopping is just about The Scariest Thing Possible, and going in there and asking a professional to help figure out what size you really are is pretty much like walking into hell. But, let me just say, it has made a really big difference in my bra-buying since I actually got measured properly, figured out why the sizes are different, and what size I really am.

Now, some product recommendations:

  • Title Nine store has a variety of great sports bras divided by size and by “barbell,” telling you the no-bounce factor. The Frog Bra is particular famous for binding.
  • I personally run into a slight problem with many of the sports bras or compression vests because I have some shoulder issues and if the straps are too much of a racer-back shape, it can cause further problems with my shoulder injuries. So for that reason, the best one I have found is a Champion Powersleek sports bra (I found mine at Macy’s – their site doesn’t seem to list it any more, but I think this is quite similar). Also, because it has a clasp, instead of being pulled over my head, I can actually buy a size that is slightly smaller and tighter, which I love.

Bras & binders are primarily held in place with material like elastic, and the stretch on those does give out pretty easily. I’m finding that I need a new one every few months (although, I suppose if I had more of them, I wouldn’t wear them out so quickly!).

Suggestions? Recommendations? What products do you all use? Any particularly good online resources for figuring out your bra size, or that explains why the sizes are different?

On Butch Breasts, Binders, & Bras

I’ve returned to earth – mostly – from the altered state of consciousness of the Power, Surrender, & Intimacy workshop by Body Electric that happened here in New York City over the weekend. I have so very much to say about it, but that’ll have to wait for now, I need more time.

What I do want to write about is breasts. Specifically, mine – more generally, butch breasts.

Last week, I went for one day without my binder, which is really just a tight sports bra that clasps in the back rather than being a solid over-the-head slip-on. I wanted it laundered for the workshop, since I’ve been wearing it practically every day since I bought it.

I wore a backup bra that day, and all day long I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror, in storefront reflections, in my button-down work clothes, or when I looked down. I remembered how I used to hate the uniboob problem, which many of my friends and lovers deemed unsexy or mannish, and it’s not that I like the uniboob look particularly, but as my gender has changed and grown and dropped into itself, the uniboob doesn’t look like a uniboob anymore: it looks like a chest.

It is not that I want to do away with my breasts. Don’t misunderstand me here: I think breasts are butch, just as I think the menstrual cycle is butch and pregnancy is butch and cunnilingus is butch – everything the female body does can be butch, because butch (in my use of the word*) has to do with masculinity on a female body.

And because I believe that the things a female body does are butch, and because my gender philosophies are deeply rooted in love and acceptance of my body as it is and in not classifying human experiences as owned by one gender or another, I have been holding back my desire to delve farther into my own masculinity. I’m afraid of it. I’m afraid it means I’ll be leaving my roots in female-ness behind, I’m afraid of being seen as reproducing the heteronormative paradigm or embodying penis envy. I’m afraid of being rejected by feminist and lesbian communities for being too masculine, for becoming the ‘enemy,’ for rejecting femininity instead of reclaiming it.

Breasts are a big piece of this fear for me. Mine are not so small – part of why I rarely pass: a 36DD, and have been since middle school. I’ve said since I was a teenager that a breast reduction is the only surgery I would consider. I read about Jess’s surgery – or others’ surgeries and body alterations – and I’m jealous.

But I’m afraid of what it means to want that alteration, to want to physically change my body to better fit a gendered idea.

After that day last week of wearing a regular bra, I started wondering: why do I even have this in my closet anymore? Why do I own this? My exploration of my own masculine/butch/boy/male embodiment is young – I’ve been calling myself butch since 2001, but only in the last three years have I really embraced it and actively, consciously developed it. And now, the farther I get into my explorations of gender, the farther I want to go.

It takes time to cycle through a wardrobe, and I don’t quite have the disposable income to go purchase all new bras – but I certainly won’t be buying any regular ones anytime soon. I’ve gone through this with my underwear already, years ago now, have cycled through all the old girl undies and haven’t owned any of those in years, only have boxers and briefs now. But that feels less obvious than binders and sports bras – no one can tell I wear only briefs except my lovers, I guess, but everyone can tell I bind my chest.

And see, what’s what it is now: my chest. Very different than boobs, breasts, tits. I have those, sure, but they’re underneath, they’re the other layer, the inner ring, something that now gets protected and covered, not out of shame or denial but simply out of layering, complexities, performance, a rich inner life, a duality, a whole person – me.

* Some say men can be butch, that “butch” is a term for a queer masculinity, or a non-traditional, progressive masculinity. I’m not certain I agree, but we definitely lack language to discuss different types of masculinity, and I have definitely observed some men who have a sense of butch energy.

Learn to use that safeword, girl

Wear a short skirt or dress, the shortest you have. Nothing underneath. Bare legs. Bare feet.

The extent of force will be up to you. If you want me to enter unannounced, unlock the door to your apartment at 9:28. I’ll be arriving at 9:30.

If you want to let me in, keep the door locked, and I will knock. But we won’t speak. No small talk, no chit-chat. You can say things in character – however much you like. You don’t have to pretend you don’t know me, you can still ask what are you doing and you can say no. You can struggle.

But I won’t stop.

You have a safeword now. You’re going to have to use it.

you’re going to come for me.

“Harder,” she whispered. “Fuck me harder, please, please.”

In a dingy bathroom in the downstairs of a Tibetan restaurant. Her cheek against the peeling greasy paint, legs kicked apart, stockings pulled down just to below her ass, dress shoved up around her waist, in front of the filmy bathroom mirror where she could see my arm flexing as my fingers – two, three – thrust inside her. Photos of the Dalai Lama on the wall. Penny joked about her being a bad Buddhist.

But I couldn’t resist.

An hour, more, of discussion: I’d send her a BDSM checklist about possible things to play with; we spoke about how much anger came up for her last weekend when I was hitting her; we spoke of my upcoming workshop and the BDSM techniques I’m hoping to practice with her, she was especially interested in the breast rope-binding ritual.

I imagined her, bound. Wrists behind her back, whimpering.

(Witness of that moment of giving in stirs something in me that nothing else does.)

I couldn’t get the angle right. I know well enough now to know how she likes to get fucked, to know the pressure she needs to come. Palm of my left hand holding her tailbone, working three fingers inside, right hand reaching around on her clit, pressing between the two like I’m cradling her pelvis.

She was up on her toes in her heels. Hands pressed against the wall, gasping, pressing back against me.

“Goddammit,” I swore softly into her hair, her neck, biting her shoulder, pressing into her harder, faster, “you’re going to come for me. Do it.”

She moaned. Couldn’t. It wasn’t going to happen. She needs a deeper bend in her hips, bent over or legs up. Something about how the muscles stretch and open.

But oh she was open for me last night. And I love the way she lets me shove her against walls, lets me fuck her in bathrooms in restaurants, up against trees in parks, up on my roof looking at the Manhattan skyline, Prospect Park, the South Brooklyn police precinct three doors down. Cars on the BQE whirring by, her hair dishevled against dark blue sky.

She’s even more of an exhibitionist than I am. This makes me want to test her limits, and mine. To find the places she won’t go and challenge her.

What an honor, such an honor, the ways she lets me in.

We attempted to leave the restaurant smoothly, the walk of shame past steaming plates of hot food and waiters and waitresses eyeing us suspiciously. Outside I caught her hand, laughing down the East Village streets, occasionally twirling her into my arms for a deep kiss. Supple, she gave in so easily, so eagerly, so sweetly at times my knees went weak and my throat growled with power.

She knows how to make me feel strong. Which makes me want to take her down all the more.

These mid-week dates are the tease, the warm-up. They get me going and keep me hard for days until I get to fuck her, for real, bent over something, on her back, head banging the wall or falling off the bed, arms up and grabbing for the headboard behind her, pressing against something, anything, for better leverage and pressure and power, oh the way she gives in.

Like last Friday, after mojitos and making out on the roof, she walked slowly, deliberately, into my room and bent over the edge of my bed, forearms in front of her. I think she would’ve stood up fairly quickly, really, but time slowed and the desire that swelled up in me in those few tiny moments were enough to keep me going for hours.

Swiftly I came up behind her and smacked her ass. “Bending over for me, are you? Just so eager to get fucked.”

“Yes,” she whimpered, barely audible.

I shoved her panties down – cute, a muted vintage pink and cream, lacy on the edges – fast, was ready to rip them apart, her dress up above her hips, held her cunt open while I unzipped and pulled my cock out, quickly unrolled a condom, spit on my hand, thrust inside her. Fast. Hard. Not even my fingers first.

I like the noises she makes when she’s caught off-guard. Thick moans from deep inside somewhere.

And did I mention the dress? Summery, cream-colored, halter top that tied behind her neck and behind her chest, shoulders bare, two knots, skirt below her knees. I kept hold of the ties and pressed her into the bed. Head down.

Hand pressed around her hips and onto her clit, just how she likes it, slow and soft as I fuck her hard and deep, and as soon as I started working her clit harder, faster, I could feel it swell, could feel her body shuddering, and she came, fast and hard, still working my hips to stay thick inside her, until she collapsed with her low hums of oh god ohh baby ohhh.

It’s the release I crave to hear the most. The letting go. The body stores things hidden inside joints, muscles, sinewy tendons, veins. How else to get the energy, the prana, moving again than to up the heart rate, force you into all the edges of your skin, sensation everywhere, pleasure bursting from the core of you?

What an honor, such an honor, to be received. To be allowed to go inside and touch those untouched, unlandscaped places which hold secrets, soft and dark, and dangerous raw beauty.

still on the tip of my tongue (sugasm #136)

My piece about going down on Penny was featured on Sugasm today. Thanks!!

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review: tantric sex for women

My Tantric Sex for Women book review went up over at Eden Fantasys today.

I really wanted to like this book, I did – I want to know more about tantra and I’m even open to the woo-woo new agey aspects of it, but I just couldn’t get over the ridiculous aspects used in the exercises in this book (which is what makes up the majority of the content). There are some interesting things, but ultimately it’s not worth it.

Read my full review, and, if you feel like helping me out by upping my “reviewer rating” by commenting on or rating my reviews, I certainly wouldn’t mind.

how suave I really am

“You could come to my house. I have a dress you could borrow for work tomorrow.”

“Uh, I appreciate that, but, ya know, I think your clothes would be too small for me.”

“True.”

“We really need a teleporter. We could go to my place, get my clothes, go back to your place …”

“And get your cock.”

“Oh, I have that on me.” I’d been packing all night.

“You do?!” She grabbed my fly for proof.

“Yeah. You know my motto – I’d rather have a cock and not need it, than need it and not have it.

“Dammit, what were we doing? Now I feel like the whole night’s been wasted.”

“You didn’t want to talk identity politics and buddhist philosophy and BDSM theory? I knew it, you’re just using me for my socks.”

“…”

“I mean sex. Cocks! Fuck.”

Penny laughed. “I’m going to have to start writing for Sugarbutch to show how suave you really are.”

eye candy: bedroom eyes

My hot papi Jess of HouseofJero.com. She’s bringin’ butchly back. – Tina

Tina sent me three shots of her partner Jess because, she said, she couldn’t just choose one. It was tough! This one is so smooth. I actually met these two at Curly McDimple’s queer blogger weenie roast last summer (and there will be another one!), and I gotta say, they’re really sweet together. Tina’s quite the eye candy herself. 

And, uh, didja notice that headboard? Looks very … functional.    

radio show aftermath

Texts on my way home, before the show:

SS: I am still so hot for you. (this is ridiculous)
Penny: I was just thinking of you baby. xo
SS: Oh? something dirty I hope. I want you up against a fence, where everyone can see how you flush when you come.
Penny: Dirty boy. I want your head between my legs where it belongs.

… and that did it. God I love it when she says things like that. This is some of the dirtiest sex I’ve ever had, with Penny, and she keeps pushing me, pulls topping from me in new ways.

I had to get off before going back to Midtown for the radio show last night. I kicked off my shoes and shorts, strapped on, jacked off.

I came fast, swearing fuck and oh god with a string of dirty language in my head: that’s right. take my cock in deep. I like it when you struggle against me. Go ahead and resist, I’ll just go harder. You can take that can’t you. Can’t you. You like my cock in you. You like it when I come inside you. That’s right. … but eventually it was the memory of her clit pulsing in my mouth, my fingers tightly squeezed inside her, the way her thighs shake, that sent me over the edge.

(It occurs to me now that I’ve rarely seen her face when she comes. She likes it from behind, my fingers on her clit. Moaning into the mattress. Then there is mymouth on her, quickly becoming a surefire way to get her off. I rarely see her face. I’d like to. Like to see her eyes, her mouth open and gasping.)

So I jacked off. And – crap, lost track of time. I sped into Midtown, still strapped on* with my favorite Silky.

I got out of lateness free because my name wasn’t at the security desk out front – sometimes it’s under Smith instead of Sex, but this time it was just not there. Diana blamed security, but I knew it was because I’d spent that extra minute with my cock in my hand.

Diana looked great. Penny tuned in, and I read an excerpt from open up for me, a password-protected post from May. Diana went right to commercial, blushing, and said, “Damn, that is dirty! Dirtier than anything you’ve read on the show before … ”

And she’s right. That girl is filthy. I love it.

Plus? I was having the best hair day ever** – too bad it was radio.

Things I meant to mention on the radio last night:
* #1
** #2

you like those breasts, eh? wanna keep ’em?

Cynthia Nixon has sent a message to us gay women: learn the facts & take control of your breast health.

Don’t forget those breast exams too – they say it’s so important to detect cancer early. (Doesn’t it feel sometimes like it’s not whether or not you will ever get cancer, but when, and how early you will find it? Sometimes I feel like we live in a scary time, when we’re so susceptible to such mutations of our bodies.) So don’t forget to do those breast exams, your own, your girlfriend’s, your lovers, your fuckbuddy, your booty call … I do find it’s best if you ask first. Just sayin’.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has lots more information on their site at komen.org.

jenny shimizu, strappy sandals, and me on the radio

I’ll be on Sirius OutQ Radio for The Diana Cage Show tonight at 10pm EST. You may know of Diana from such fabulous things as books like Box Lunch, Girl Meets Girl: A Dating Survival Guide, or formerly editing the fantastic dyke sex magazine On Our Backs. And now, she blogs at OurChart.

Get a 3-day trial for OutQ radio – news, interviews, and music for the queer community 24/7 – online at SiriusOutQ.com. Listen in tonight to hear me ramble about really good sex with Penny, dating, being an aspiring stud, butch identity politics, and who knows what else.

Jenny Shimizu is also scheduled to be on the show tonight, and I hear Diana promised to wear strappy sandals for me. It’s also nearly a hundred degrees in New York City – it’s gonna be fun.

In Praise of Femmes: Trust

I’m going to attempt a new series of writings in praise of femmes. This is the first officially, but it follows in line with in praise of stretchmarks.

This past weekend and some amazing time with Penny (more on that later) has me thinking about trust and femmes. I wrote recently in a dramatical moment, “I just don’t trust femmes anymore” – with immediate caveats and retractions – and I want to expound.

It is femmes that I perhaps trust the deepest. The way I am received – not just cock-and-cunt, not just my fist inside the muscular bowl between your legs, but all of me: when my strong hands weaken and flutter, when I cry, when I laugh too loud, when I give up give in let go, when I feel my power slipping and you put it right back into place with a gentle flick of your wrist.

It is within your embrace that I make the most sense. Callie was the first femme I ever dated, the first relationship where my affections were returned tenfold (before that, I’d loved a femme, my best friend, for years, but that was tragedy. After that, The Ex, who I thought was more femme than she was and that caused constant tension between us).

I know who I am around you. My carefully manufactured, deliberately manifested masculinity suddenly has a purpose, a function, a use, and it excites you, makes you cry out and give in and let go, turns you on. My gestures are held by you, witnessed, caught gently and cradled, and oh my god thank you for that.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

This dynamic runs deep in me. Who knows why – nature, nurture, socializing, fetish. I need it, ache for it, me a teenaged pretty-boy (you say), you a powerful goddess. And you must know I never use words like goddess to describe women (too cliché, too overused) but yes that really is what I mean here: magical, strong, miraculous, seductive, creational.

I was made against you. I can think of a couple of you specifically against whom I break and become myself: Callie. DateDyke. Muse. Strong enough to catch me, strong enough to let me sharpen myself against you.

And it is this power that scares me, that now brings these feelings of mistrust. Because I love this dynamic so much, fetishize it even, it touches deep primal nerves in me. I become carried by it and have trusted it – the dynamic – more than I trusted the person. I let her use her femme-ness to get what she wanted, I let her use beauty, seduction, soft skin and flirty submissive eyes. I watched it, I even knew what was going on, and I let it happen anyway.

I know better now, I guess, I hope. I should pay attention to the red flags of constant “conflict,” I shouldn’t have gone to Mexico, I should’ve been more honest, I shouldn’t have fucked her if I didn’t have the aftercare in me.

I’ve said it before – it is one of my greatest flaws: I trust what people tell me. I am convincible.

There really are charms that only femininity, only femmes, only queer femmes who know how to treat sugarbutches like me, possess. Charms that unravel me deeply, that pull me apart. When it’s good, it clears out the cobwebs, shines light into every dark corner, exposes all the cracks and flaws and structures that hold me up, and then, even, fixes them, or attempts to. I am made more whole, more complete. When it’s bad, I have been destroyed foundationally, or attempted to be. Piece by piece picked off and explained in a new way that suited her. My dick in a mason jar under a sink, punished. My every action her fist closed tight around.

It is good I am strong. I come from a strong family who gets along, a queer lineage of kisses, teachers who respected and taught me, who sheltered me and pushed me hard, who said I was worth something, who said we all are, who said stories of marginalized groups and communities must be told, who said I could and should change the world, who said I could do anything, who encouraged me to come alive, who said they liked what I had to say. And I have this place – this personal writing project I refuse to call a “blog” because it is so much more than that, it is revolution, it is community, it is self-awareness and witness and a very lighthouse.

I have built up these tools around me so I don’t fall prey to this problem of trusting femmes. It is because femmes are who I love, who I partner with, for whom I deeply ache that they are capable of such unraveling. If I partnered with butches it would be a problem trusting butches, if I partnered with straight boys or trans women or blondes or tennis players it would be a problem trusting them. And perhaps this is why women as a whole – and femininity – are seen as untrustworthy, sneaky, manipulative in our culture: because men – hetero men – are the ones who partner with this, and men are the ones who have held the pens to write our histories, to write their great love stories, which have involved many broken hearts and many malicious women, because love is scarce and precious and delicate.

Femmes are not untrustworthy. Femmes are who I trust the very most, with whom I make the very most sense, with whom I am more myself than anywhere else.

I am scared, and skeptical, about what it may mean for me to trust, to explore, especially around the specific ways that I can lose my head in this dynamic. It’s new to me, and it affects me deeper than any relationship ever has – I’ve never lost myself so completely in a lover before. So now comes the fusion: the combination of the intense, passionate sexual dynamic that comes with gender play, and the knowledge of relationship tools that I have been collecting and building upon since I began dating fifteen years ago (half my life, now. Amazing). I have the support, the community, the friends, the knowledge, the inner strength.

So.

Bring it on.

Balanced On the Tip of My Tongue

Here’s a secret: I’m quite insecure about my ability to go down on a girl.

There are a few clear reasons for this.

The Ex, from the infamous LBD relationship, didn’t get off. I used to go down on her for hours, and … nothing.

Since she & I split nearly two years ago, I’ve been fucking around, and in my efforts to practice safer sex, I’ve only gone down either when we were fluid-bonded (rare), or with protection (also rare, actually).

And I hate to be “That Guy,” but going down on someone with protection just isn’t as fun. It’s hard to be detailed, hard to feel the right pressure or wetness or subtle, small ridges in the delicate tissue, which makes it all the more frustrating.

Going down on a girl, I think, is actually one of the most intimate sex acts. I will do all sorts of things before I’d go down, partially because of the fluid/safer sex issue, and partly because it takes a lot of vulnerability – for both giver and receiver – to have someone so completely focused with her face between your legs, your face between hers.

I also have a tongue piercing, and while I would like to think that it makes me more skilled at things like kissing and going down, but I don’t really have proof of that.  sometimes I am paranoid that I don’t really know how to use it, or that really it’s just getting in the way. I’d like to think it enhances what I do with my tongue, but I’m not really sure.

So because of these things, because it’s an intimate act for me, because I’ve been fucking around, because my ex couldn’t get off that way at all, I actually don’t have a lot of practice at it. No one’s ever told me I’m actually bad at it, don’t get me wrong – and once I know how to get a girl off, I can usually reproduce it in various ways: fingers, cock. It should extend to tongue, too, right?

But I’m insecure about it.

(I actually picked up Tristan Taormino’s DVD Guide to Cunnilingus at her launch party for her book Opening Up, but haven’t watched it yet. I should do that.)

So, on Sunday – after a lovely date with Penny on Saturday night where we watched the Sex and the City film, had dinner, drinks, dessert after, went to my place and kept each other up until 3am – we were lounging, satiated from a morning of breakfast and sex, talking about her plans to move to San Francisco.

Penny was lying tucked under my arm on the couch, and asked, “What’s on your mind?”

“Going down on you,” I said. I felt her body pulse in response.

We talked. Safer sex, my history, hers, why I don’t go down, that I wanted to with her. This conversation, inevitably, led to kissing, my mouth on her neck, clavicle, nipples, which was suddenly such a heightened sensation because we were both so aware of the idea of her clit in my mouth.

Pushing her into the bedroom, I stripped her bare swiftly, laid her out on the bed. She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me to her in the sweetest gesture of vulnerability and desire; it was one of the strongest moments of the weekend.

“I want to taste you,” I murmured into the skin of her neck and cheek. “I want your clit in my mouth. I want to get you all wet, then fuck you, get my cock out and slide it in deep …”

(This was actually my backup plan in case I couldn’t get her off with my mouth. I had no idea if it would be easy or hard, if I was any good at it, if I could get her off this way at all. But at least I’m pretty good at getting her off with my fingers on her clit while fucking her, now, so that was the backup.)

Her back arched in response, pressing against me. Mouth opened, breath thick.

“You’re going to have to wait.” I said, pulling myself up and hovering over her. “Just for a minute, so I can get up and put my cock on.” She nodded, a tiny gesture, eyes wide and liquid and full, a look I see rarely on her. So sexy.

I rinsed my cock, fast, still sticky from fucking her that morning, and strapped on. She pulled me to her again, eager, kissing me open-mouthed and supple in a way that made me melt.

Softly, I slid my fingers inside her. Maneuvered down her body to touch my tongue to her clit. Light and soft with a wide tongue. I hadn’t had that close of a view of her cunt before, and she was beautiful.

She moaned. Whispered, “oh baby,” and I kept going. Looped my arm under her thigh and brought my hand to her pubic bone, pulled her cunt open with my fingers from above, leaving two fingers of my right hand inside, gently curled, light pressure and thrusting but not heavy. Just a little, just so she could feel it, just so she could feel stretched and full.

Her clit strained in my mouth, so clearly, so subtly but I could feel it, and I hardened my tongue and began moving it back and forth quicker. Pursed my lips around it to push the flesh away and let my tongue touch that one spot, that tiny spot, pulling back the hood and balancing her every nerve on the tip of my tongue.

Nude and strapped on, legs half-on and half-off the bed, I attempted not to let my hips shake and thrust involuntarily, but once she started pressing against my hand and mouth in rhythm I just couldn’t help it, my body responded accordingly. I wanted inside her, I wanted to fuck her, hard.

Of course, I didn’t move. Kept my mouth just where it was.

She tightened on my fingers and I pushed my fingers faster, a little fuller. Steady and thick with pressure against her gspot, pubic bone, the underside of her clit, I could feel it between my fingers – inside – and tongue.

And she came. Shuddering, gasping. Quickly, in fact. Sooner than I’d expected, thighs shaking, then her fingers around my wrist of the hand that was inside her and I pulled out slow. She pulled me up to her breast, pulled me to her.

I didn’t want to stop, not yet. I wanted her over and again, and again.

She laughed that little laugh that sounds like joy, the one that echoes in my mind after she’s gone. “I didn’t like that.” All sarcasm.

I laughed too. “I didn’t think so. Well good, because I didn’t like doing it.”

“I’m like a teenage boy,” she said, eyes open, skin bare, feeling exposed, referring to how fast she came. I pulled a soft throw blanket over us.

I kissed her again, soft, deep, she was so supple in that way that only a long day of sex makes you, and I could’ve done anything, for hours, could’ve done whatever she wanted, felt a superhero strength, an inexhaustive dominance that could’ve gone on and on.

Then there was my mouth back on her skin and neck and soon my hand back between her legs, the eager way she parts. Between her legs I gathered lube for my cock, but she was sore, a little hesitant when I slid inside her.

So I brought my mouth to her again instead. Slight tongueful of lube in the beginning, but I didn’t care. I caught her clit between my tongue piercing and the tip of my tongue and flicked it, kept it taut.

After a minute, I nearly panicked. What if I couldn’t get her off again? What if that first time was just a fluke, what if she was already bored? What if I actually wasn’t any good at this? What if I was being cocky thinking I would do it again, just like that?

And then I heard her moan again, baby, ohhh baby, which she rarely says, rarely calls me, and I worked my fingers inside her again, not too much but a little pressure, gently, sweet, tongue hard against the soft folds of her, eager, lapping, the ball of my tongue piercing tracing her hood, sucking her into my mouth.

So sweet.

And she came again. Pelvis and spine rolling on the bed, thrusting against me, thighs clenching around me and shaking, stomach contracting. I wished I could see her from far away, all of her, observe, watch the way her body builds and releases.

I wrapped myself around her again, kissing her, fingertips feather-light along her body, bare skin flushed and heated.

“I’m going to have to practice that some more, I think,” I said. She laughed and sighed, rolled to her side as I pressed against her back, cradling, and she pulled my arm around her, held it against her chest.

there’s still time: CBE in Seattle

June 20-22 – Seattle
There is still time to experience
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
Led by Lizz Randall

Dear Friend,

This Solstice Weekend I invite you or a woman friend to join me in a circle of women in a safe, serious and playful space to explore and celebrate empowered sexuality and spiritually integrated eros. Through breath, movement, communication, touch and massage:
* Feel more alive, curious and safe in your body
* Deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit
* Expand awareness, sensation and pleasure
* Receive and give without losing yourself
* Release fear, shame and negative patterns
* Communicate your desires and boundaries more clearly
* Accept yourself just as you are
* Enjoy sex more and have more fun
* Discover the healing potential of sexual/spiritual energy

The workshop runs Friday night 7-10PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-7PM both days. It is non-residential and held in a convenient Capitol Hill location. I welcome women of all ages and sexual orientations who are open to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sensuality and sexuality. Please share this email with any friends who might be interested.

Tuition: $395 (Register with a friend and you both receive a 10% reduction)

Robyn Lynn
206-579-2603
[email protected]
TheBodyElectricSchool.com

What Happened in May

May was an incredibly busy month for me – not only did I take two trips out of New York City, I also had visitors, performances, writing deadlines, and started seeing Penny a bit more seriously. I took a break mid-month and didn’t do any writing here for more than a week, so it was a fairly light month in the number of posts.

The new masthead quote comes from a conversation with Ally, long ago. The photo is a snippet of my tie collection. Kind of a departure from the usual black-and-white I’ve been going for, but hey, it’s summer now, seems fitting.

Here’s what happened in May:

Sex:

Gender:

  • On misperceiving someone as femme or butch, and then a follow up further clarifying was the hinge of this past month. In fact, I got so frustrated by the conversations around these posts that I stopped writing for a while and took a break. It’s hard to do this kind of gender writing and work sometimes, I guess I just needed to step back and think about it, and attempt to get to a place where I was not taking it so seriously.
  • Eventually, I posted gender frustrations and clarifications about my response to those two posts, and some round-up thoughts on onward & upward, gender explorers. I’m not going to stop writing entirely, but I do need slightly more structure and, occasionally, self-protection around this work, because sometimes, clearly, it gets to me.

Relationships:

Miscellany:

Leave a comment if you’d like to be added to the list to receive the password for protected posts.

learnin some new rope tricks

Lately, I’ve been thinking about rope.

I have tied Penny, spread-eagle, to my bed, and she has said she would not be opposed to doing that again (actually, her words were probably more like, “I didn’t like that at all. I’d hate it if you did it again” because she’s so damn snarky like that).

And, the Body Electric School course on Power, Surrender, & Intimacy is coming up in a couple weeks, and I received the supply list:

1. One (1) length of 40 feet of ½ inch thick soft rope (nylon, polyester, or mixed cotton/nylon)
2. Two (2) lengths of 13-15 feet of ¼ inch thick soft rope
3. Sex toys of any kind that you would like to use are welcome including cuffs, feathers, floggers and spanky toys.

I did PSI years ago – maybe 2002 – and had such revelations (I’m a top? Really? And other people perceive me as butch?) that I’ve been watching for it ever since. You have to complete the Celebrating the Body Erotic – level one – course in Body Electric to do PSI, so all of you who are currently salivating, to you I say, you should’ve done the CBE! (There are CBEs coming up in Seattle and Oakland in 2008, it’s not too late.)

So, I’ve been thinking about rope. And I’m a big fan of Two Knotty Boys, so here ya go – a fun little rope trick for handbinding.