Archive for August, 2008

box of darkness

August 18, 2008  |  poetry  |  2 Comments

The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me a
box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver
from Thirst

with what and where would you like to be spanked?

August 18, 2008  |  reviews  |  14 Comments

Naked before me in the middle of our living room, blindfolded and tied to a chair, her delicate toes gracing the insides of my favorite shoes, her beautiful ass raised high in the air. I had left any sense of my integrity at the door.

Yeah, I felt like shit. But I couldn’t take anything back. Not a fuckin’ thing. And the thought of this made me whack her hard with that skateboard, landing just underneath her ass on the meaty part of her thighs. She cried out this time, without a saucy backup line to follow. The cry teetered between pleasure and pain, a perfect balance of both. I needed to do it again. Swinging the board up high, I aimed at the dead center of her buttocks and caught it just right. This caused the entire chair to move, and the flesh on her ass sprang back and forth again. A rush of air escaped from Logan’s lungs.

- from Logan by Rosalind Christine Lloyd

Rachel Kramer Bussel’s new anthology Spanked is out and making the blog rounds on a blog book tour – and today is my day.

I have all sorts of elaborate notes for an article that includes my review, but I was at the Femme Conference in Chicago all weekend and am today so exhausted and catching up on work that I will not have time to write all three parts.

On the plus side, one of the reasons that I’m so exhausted is because I was up until past the sunrise on Saturday night (Sunday morning), and had the opportunity to flog the cutest cheerleader wearing a gorgeous pinup-style bathing suit over the edge of a hotel bed.

So until I can get a little more caught up, consider this the introduction to the upcoming series of posts on reading pansexual erotica anthologies, smut, and this spanking anthology in particular. The other parts go like this:

  1. The Suspension of Heterosexual Belief
  2. The Ick Factor
  3. Review of the pansexual erotica anthology book “Spanked”

Since I don’t have much to review today, Rachel says I can give away one copy of the book, so here’s what you gotta do to win it:

Leave me a comment and tell me either:

  1. a great place you were spanked
  2. a great implement with which you were spanked
  3. somewhere you’d like to be spanked
    or
  4. something with which you’d like to be spanked

UPDATE: I really didn’t mean to make this so damn bottom-centric. Actually as the results came in, I kept thinking, where are the tops? Then I re-read and realized oops, it is quite pointed toward bottomy answers. So, you of course can also respond by saying:

  1. a great place you spanked someone
  2. a great implement with which you spanked
  3. somewhere you’d like to spank someone
    or
  4. something with which you’d like to spank

I guess I am a little bottom-centric at times, oops. But I don’t mean to be! I was dashing this off as fast as I could while at work today and didn’t write through all the options. It’s just cause I was salivating at the idea of reading some great bottoming stories … but of course, top perspectives on the spanking stories are so welcome too!

So, leave me your comments and I’ll get a guest judge to help pick the hottest answer tomorrow.

Don’t be shy; just give me the first one that comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be long – just a few lines of the key details.

Keep following the Spanked book tour as it makes the rounds. The book also has it’s own blog, and tomorrow’s review will be at Breathing In and Breathing Out.

Sugarbutch Star 2007 chapbook!

August 14, 2008  |  miscellany  |  5 Comments

The Sugarbutch Star chapbook is DONE! I picked up the first fifty copies yesterday, and they will be making their debut at the Femme Conference this weekend. I’ll have copies available online soon.

The 2008 contest is officially underway … I received the very first submission already. I’m reading them as they come in, and as much as I want to say that I’ll be impartial and evaluate them all once I get to the end of the submission period, I find myself already getting attached to ideas that people are throwing out there. Submit your stories sooner rather than later, is what I’m saying.

I’m leaving for Chicago for the Femme Conference in a few hours, so posts will be on hold until I get back on Monday.

if I had a red pen

August 12, 2008  |  essays, journal entries, miscellany  |  16 Comments

If I had a red pen that worked on internet web pages, I would go around and circle all the places where “Sugarbutch Chronicles” appears as “SugarButch Chronicles” or “Sugar Butch Chronicles.”

It’s a little thing, and it really doesn’t matter that much, what matters the most is that someone has seen this little space on the web of mine and likes it enough to link back to it in their own little space on the web. I’m always touched when I find Sugarbutch linked from a new place. So I’d never email somebody and be picky enough to say, “Hey, thanks for linking me, but will you change your capitalization?”

(I love how you can see the paper texture here, how the ink is just a little bit smeared. And that the word is “gender,” of course. So hot.)

But I always, always write this site name as “Sugarbutch,” so I’m not sure why people change it. The heading, the page title, the blog title, any comment I leave – it’s all one word. I admit, it’s a pet peeve of mine. I’m a grammarphile, after all. An English major. It’s not just the bad grammar that bugs me, but also the not calling things the way they want to be called, and lack of attention to detail.

Maybe other sugarbutches write the word differently and have different philosophies about why they capitalize or don’t capitalize the letter B. I don’t claim to have made up the term, but when I started using it, I’d never heard anyone else use it before me.

The way I see it, sugarbutch is a compound word. Part of why it is important that it is a compound word, why the B in butch is lowercase, is because the poetic meter of the phrase is a dactyl: the emphasis, when said, is on the first of the three syllables: SU-gar-butch CHRO-ni-cles. Adding a capital B gives the impression that it should be cretic: SU-gar-BUTCH CHRON-i-CLES, or, worse yet, that the “sugar” and the “butch” are separated completely: SU-gar BUTCH.

There’s a reason for the lowercase b, is what I’m saying.

(Thanks to the Movie Screenshot blog for the stills from Secretary.)

The red pen scenes always remind me of watching the film Secretary with The Ex. After she saw it for the first time, a few weeks later – it may’ve been our anniversary, or some such event, because I was definitely dressed up, and had brought flowers – she gave me two small gifts: one was very nicely wrapped small box, and in it was chewed up gum and pencil shavings. The other was a red Sharpie with ribbons tied around it.

Just remembering that moment where I opened the box makes something stir in my pelvis, some sort of heat of power. Sometimes she really knew how to play with me, how to get me going. It was so exciting, in the beginning.

When I opened these gifts I was in her office – she was the president of the queer student government group on my college campus, of course she was – and I locked her door, punished her, and fucked her on her desk long enough for us both to miss our next classes.

In the aftermath, we were tidying up, laughing, trying to listen to see how many people were in the adjoining lounge to figure out whether or not they knew we were in the office, and she took my hand and said, “Since I moved into this office I wanted to be fucked on this desk … thank you.”

One of my favorite moments of sex with her. Jeez, it’s so good in the honeymoon phase, isn’t it?

eye candy: standing around

August 12, 2008  |  miscellany  |  10 Comments

I ran into this shot of Jenni from butch.org recently, and she kindly gave permission for me to reprint it here.

The caption read: “What Do I Do at Frameline32? I stand around outside the theater just waiting to see who I will run into (pictured here at the Victoria this past Sunday night before the Transtastic program). Sometimes I even go inside and watch the movies.”

And here’s a bit about Jenni: Jenni Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT cinema history. Author of The Queer Movie Poster Book (2005, Chronicle Books), Jenni founded PopcornQ at PlanetOut.com back in 1995 and continues to write about and actually make queer film. Her feature debut, The Joy of Life is now available on DVD.

romance vs chivalry

August 11, 2008  |  essays  |  16 Comments

What’s the difference between romance and chivalry?

Colleen and I had an interesting discussion a while back. The two can look nearly identical, we thought – bringing flowers, pulling out a chair, taking a jacket – but something separates them.

I do think some things are not so chivalrous and are exclusively romantic – candlelight dinner, gazing into each other’s eyes, promises of love + affection – but pretty much all the chivalrous actions seem to fall under a romantic umbrella. Like a sub-set of romance.

But see, sometimes chivalry is purely kind and thoughtful, with no romance whatsoever. When I hold the door open for a stranger, or for my mom or sister or a straight girl friend, I do it with no romantic intent.

Ah – so perhaps that’s what differentiates the two: intention. That’s what Colleen and I concluded.

Chivalrous actions are done purely for the sake of doing the action – kindness, thoughtfulness, observation of something that would assist someone else.

Romantic actions, however, are done with a particular purpose: of wooing the other person. Romance does want something in return, and when the relationship changes to “just friends” or ends, the romantic gestures cease.

So the gestures of romance and chivalry can appear the same, but are given with different intentions.

So (here’s the part where I get personal), I’ve always been a romantic. Big time. Love poems, handmade gifts, mix cds, sweet nothings. (I know, you’re shocked.) Lately I have been extremely suspicious of romance and the webs of seduction it spins, but I haven’t let go of chivalry. In fact, my chivalrous impulses have gotten stronger.

Trouble here is, I think my chivalry is often misinterpreted as romance. Paying for dinner, holding her door. I’m told these aren’t things that many transmasculine folks do, so they can be interpreted as grand gestures, even though honestly that’s just how I am.

As with everything else in my dating life, it seems, I need to make my intentions clearer in matters like this. I’m learning, I guess – to have better boundaries, to trust they are in place, to be clear, to listen to others and hear when they are not accepting of the boundaries I have.

Sometimes I feel like the boundaries I have in place are too strong, too much, too thick. Huge cement walls with barbed wire instead of lines in the sand. But the strange thing is, it isn’t until my huge cement walls are accepted – really accepted and acknowledged – that I can start putting up a chain link fence instead, then a picket fence, then a hopscotch chalk line.

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers

Update: I also wrote about chivalry on the post for March’s masthead, bringing butch back – specifically the ways that I approach chivalry as deeply feminist.

Define: Transmasculine

August 11, 2008  |  essays  |  15 Comments

I’ve been adopting the word “transmasculine” to use to describe, generally, folks who were assigned female at birth who are male-identified, masculine, and/or masculinely presenting, in some way. I tend to stumble over this in these writings here – “butches and other masculine-identified females” or “butches and trans guys and bois and other girls who are boyish,” et cetera – and ugh, it gets messy to describe it that way.

So let’s start using the term “transmasculine,” okay?

I’ve been hearing it knocked around in the gender/queer communities more and more lately, but it’s from the TransMasculine Community Network that I am adopting this definition:

Transmasculine refers to any person who was assigned female at birth but feels this is an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender.

That’s quite broad – considering the “masculine” element in the word, I would probably say it’s more used as in, “an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender and they have some leanings toward the masculinity areas of the gender galaxy,” but in some ways I do like how inclusive their definition is. Regardless, I tend to use it to mean those of us butches, bois, trans guys, faggy femmes, and all sorts of other genderqueers. I’ve found myself using it in a few different articles I’m working on, so I wanted to be sure to introduce a definition.

I imagine the idea of butch as a trans identity is not so hard to grasp, and I’ve written about femme as a trans identity. The inclusion of the word “trans” as part of it feels touchy to me, because while I do agree that “trans” could – and probably should – be used as a great umbrella term for many gender descriptions, it also calls to mind for many an adherence to a strict gender binary – that if you are masculine, and female bodied, that you must be “actually” trans, not butch or masculinely female, as those spaces sometimes feel discounted. But that’s not how I intend to use it here.

Actually, I think I used to use “butch” in this way – as a catch-all phrase for anyone born female who leans toward masculine performance. But as my gender studies have gone on, I’ve come to accept and use a concept like transmasculine (for which I hadn’t had a term until now) as much more accurate, as I see “butch” as actually a very specific sub-set of being transmasculine. For me, butch is very much tied together with chivalry, a classic style of masculinity, feminism, and a sort of romance.

I of course think people should define these terms for themselves, but the more I do get involved in the genderqueer/transmasculine discussions, the more I see commonalities in those of us who identify as butch, and I see why some bois or other transmasculine folks don’t necessarily see that as their identity. I think in the past I’ve been much more inclined to say things like, “there is room for you in ‘butch’!” And it’s not that I take that back – certainly, if your lips tingle a little at the idea of calling yourself butch and claiming a butch identity, there is room for you in that identity and I think you should go for it, try it on, see if you like it, if it fits – but I’m seeing the ways that butch is actually more specific than I used to think it was.

Fascinating, how these things evolve. There’s so much to still create and discover and uncover and remake and expose about how gender works, what it means, our relationship to it. Man, I love this work.

Protected: new place, new learning

August 10, 2008  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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‘sugarbutch’ tag on flickr

August 9, 2008  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

Hey look! People have started tagging photos of hot butches as ‘sugarbutch’ on flickr. And by people I mean honey darling.

Kind of makes you want to go through your own flickr photostream and add the sugarbutch tag, doesn’t it? Hint, hint.

I’ll be featuring some of these here on Sugarbutch, assuming that you allow your photos to be blogged.


www.flickr.com

More photos or video tagged with sugarbutch on Flickr

Sugarbutch Star Contest 2008: launch!

August 8, 2008  |  miscellany  |  3 Comments

Well, it’s that time again … I’m doing another Sugarbutch Star Contest!

Here’s the deal:

  • YOU send in the details for an erotica/smut story
  • I pick my FIVE finalists, my favorite scenarios
  • I write up those finalists, one at a time …
  • When they’re all written, readers vote!

Want to be a star on Sugarbutch? This is whachoo gatta do:

Come up with a good scenario for me to write out. And I mean good. Read through last year’s, they are elaborate, fun, and hot. The infamous winning entry, The Diner on the Corner, remains one of my favorite smut stories that I’ve ever written

Include in your scenario outline the characters (who is doing the fucking), the setting (where are we fucking), and the plot (who does what to whom).

Here’s the Claire Danes example I used last year:

Characters: Sinclair & Claire Danes. Claire: redhead, petite, great legs. Particularly proud of her pouty mouth, that could be a nice detail somewhere.

Setting: Central Park & Claire’s apartment. We are both in the park to watch a free concert and catch each other’s eye. Claire approaches Sin, flirting ensues, Claire invites Sin to walk her home.

Story: Claire is very bold and asks Sin up for a nightcap; proceeds to seduce her with jazz music, fingers in Sin’s hair, a short skirt. When Claire gets Sin to the bedroom she gives Sin a blowjob and then straddles Sin, fucking until they both get off. Claire then ushers Sin out kinda fast and laughs at her attempt to get her number.

So make it look something like that. The details are key! Especially in the characters, give me some defining clothes they might wear, facial features, hair color, all that, so I can add those details in. But please, make your submission half a page or less.

EMAIL me this description at: aspiringstud at gmail dot com.

Prizes are TBA, but will probably include some good smut books, possibly some sex toys, and maybe even a night out on the town with yours truly.

DEADLINE for entries is Monday, September 1, 2008. Three whole weeks folks …c’mon, give me your best shot.

(You are definitely welcome to reproduce that image on your own blog, and link back here, to www.sugarbutch.net/sugarbutch-star-contest. And hey, thanks!)