The Femme Show in Boston

Announcing: The Femme Show’s Second Annual Boston-Area Appearance

October 10 and 11, 8:00 PM
Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre, 820 Mass Ave in Central Square
$11 in advance, $12 at the door

After a summer of East Coast touring, the femmes et. al. of The Femme Show are back in the Boston area with an all new show. From Barbie dolls to garter belts, from 1950’s dyke bars to suburban back yards and late night taco joints, from hula hooping to clowning, this show takes audiences on a wild ride. The Femme Show offers a variety of diverse perspectives on femme identity with subject matter that is at times thoughtful, sad, sexy, funny, and fun, with film, dance, storytelling, burlesque, drag, and performance art.

Visit www.thefemmeshow.com for tickets, volunteer opportunities, preview shows, and femme community.

Fancy Tie Trick

I’ve posted this before, but it was nearly a year ago and I still get a lot of questions about it, so it’s about time to repost.

It’s a full Windsor knot, the instructions on the video below, and perhaps in some ways it’s not so impressive on the table as it is to do on your neck, but I can’t quite get the full Windsor tie on the neck to come apart as smoothly as the tie trick Windsor does. I can’t quite figure out how to explain this other than to say that the two knots, though they appear similar, are slightly different in their construction, and the narrow-tie-end pulls smoothly out of the trick tie, but the knot has to actually be untied in the version on the neck.

So, if my drunken explanations at parties don’t quite teach you how to do the tie trick, here’s the video, which is much easier to learn by. It took me a few days of trying until I could really do this – it’s great, now that I got it, but it’s not all that easy to pick up. That’s exactly why I love online instructional videos, ’cause I can pause and rewind and pause and replay and do it over + over without any teacher getting exasperated.


How To Tie A Tie Under 10 Seconds – Unbelievable!!Watch today’s top amazing videos here

when waitresses are kinky

If you didn’t see it in my Google Reader shared items or on my shared items sidebar (over on the left), There are a few photos of me & Jesse James over at Jesse’s blog from my recent visit to Seattle. I didn’t have much time with Jesse, but it was enough to go get tipsy at some swanky bar and then go shopping.

Jesse took the afternoon off work to come play with me. A little snippet:

Sinclair to Cute Waitress: I’d like a Knob Creek on the rocks please.

Cute Waitress: Certainly.

Jesse: Hmmm, what do I want, what do I want. I can’t decide. Something fun.

Cute Waitress: Like a Manhattan? A — eeee!

Leggy Blonde Waitress walks by behind Cute Waitress.

Cute Waitress: She just pinched my butt! [Laughs, a little flustered and blushing.] Oh gosh, I’m sorry.What did you want?

Jesse and Sinclair exchange significant glances and try not to laugh.

Jesse: Can I have a bloody mary with tequila instead of vodka?

Cute Waitress, still laughing: Sure, got it.

Exit Cute Waitress to behind the bar.

Jesse: Dude, I am so totally in lust for you!

Ah yes, good times are had with good friends in Seattle. Jesse tells the story about what we did after that, which was basically have a little party in the dressing room and buy Jesse an entirely new fall wardrobe.

It was hard to come home this time, I needed the down time of being away from my life and obligations and freelance and writings and work and social life, but I didn’t get the real rest I need because I was running around with family so much. So really one of the very best parts of the trip was seeing Jesse for an afternoon, and then having a lovely dinner with about half a dozen of my closest friends in that city. I got my favorite black bean burger at my favorite brewery-slash-pub, made a visit to the famous lesbian bar, and slept on Jesse’s (very flat) futon while the Seal dozed in her cute dog bed nearby. I didn’t see Violet much but she was quite lovely and warm, and I so appreciate them letting me crash their place for a few nights.

Her Best Line

This is the first Sugarbutch Star 2008 story, the submission is from Eileen at A Place to Draw Blood Laughing.

Her Best Line

I’ve heard the New York City subway referred to as a “hotbed of sin,” and it’s true, New York has the most attractive people with their most attractive fashion at any given moment.

Tonight, I’m on my way to meet the guys, play some pool, drink more whiskey, share weekend conquest stories. Jesse’s got the night off and will join us later.

She gets on at 9th Street, I notice her immediately. Petite, dark hair, gold glowing skin, big dark eyes, a thin swingy white wrap dress tied at her hip, simple white sandals with a small kitten heel and four straps over her ankles. She sits across from me and doesn’t notice me, she’s absorbed in Murakami’s Wind-up Bird Chronicles.

She’s gorgeous. She crosses and uncrosses her legs slowly, deliberately. She’s got this smoky eye makeup on that makes her dark brown eyes even bigger, liquid and pooling and I haven’t seen her lower her lids and look up under her lashes, but I’d like to.

I wonder if she’s queer. Then I wonder if that matters. Sure it does – it’s more fun to sleep with a girl who knows how to treat a butch in bed. We’re strange creatures, to some, after all. I think what I often think when I see a gorgeous leggy girl, reading some intellectual book, in barely enough clothing: if she’s queer, man, all is right with the world. I keep an eye on her, watching her movements, the way she brings a fingertip to her mouth and laughs to herself, the way her eyes dart, how her palm flips as she turns pages. She leaves her legs uncrossed once and turns her ankle in slightly, an unconscious but slightly submission that makes my hands ache.

I turn up my iPod, attempting to stop staring. She slips me a tiny bit of eye contact, just a sip, and a sideways smile that says she’s known I was there all along.

Damnit.

I shift unconsciously, take my leg down from the seat in front of me and cross my legs, sit up straight. My cock shifted wrong in that maneuver and now it is digging into my inner thigh, but I can’t adjust it – how tacky to go poking at my junk when she’s watching. I can’t shift my position again yet either or she’ll know I am adjusting myself for her gaze. I’m starting to wince from the way the cock is pressing into me, dull pain that may be making a bruise. That’ll be attractive.

I try to look casual and stare out the window as the subway takes the Manhattan bridge into the city. She turns pages, crosses her legs again. I reach into my pocket and finger one of my cards with only my name and cell number, black text on a simple white background. Classic. Minimal. I don’t need adornment. Except maybe her.

At Broadway/Lafayette I adjust my cock – finally, finally – as she shifts and other passengers block our view of each other, then I move to stand above her, holding onto the rail. She doesn’t look up. The train pulls into the station and I place my card in her book. She looks up, startled, and I get that amazing view of her eyes, the one I was waiting for, peering under her long dark lashes, open and big and I could get lost in the way they shimmer. She sees me and blinks.

“In case you want to call me,” I say, then step off the train.

I’ve stopped sweating by the time I get to the bar. My cell rings while I order my first Jameson rocks.

“Hello?”

“Well, if it isn’t Sinclair Sexsmith.”

No caller ID. Could it be her? I gulp. Does she know me? It must be her. So soon? “Yes, who’s this?”

“Jane,” she says. “On the D train. I thought I saw you notice me.”

“… You were impossible to miss.”

I can almost hear her blush. “Are you busy tonight?” she says.

“Out with friends at the moment, but I could be free later,” I say.

“Good. Come out to the bar at 24th and 10th. 10pm. Alright?”

“… Alright.” Why would I argue?

*

The bar is nearly empty, low lights and a few single patrons at the dark counter, quiet. Some low music is coming from somewhere, soft and subtle and electronic. The bartender is polishing pint glasses and laughing low with a woman in red, candles reflected in the glass as she polishes.

“Hey,” I say as I approach the bar, making eye contact with the bartender. “Can I get a Jameson rocks?”

She nods, but continues to wipe the glasses. I shoot her a puzzled look. She nods again – a gesture this time, I catch it, she’s directing me to look behind me.

I turn and she’s there. Jane. Same white wrap dress, same long legs and strappy sandals, same gorgeous dark eyes. She’s sipping a martini. A smile on her face like she’s amused. She has a second glass on her table: whiskey. On the rocks. Ready for me.

I take one, two, deliberate steps to her table. Place both my palms on it and lean over her, still standing, so she has to look up at me.

I tip my chin to the drink. “That for me?”

She swallows, holding back a smile like she’s the cat who got the canary, and nods. Almost nervous, but she’s covering it well. She’s so sexy with her tiny little movements, fingertips on the glass, looking at me shyly from the side. I don’t believe she’s queer. No, that’s not it – I don’t believe she’s the kind of femme who primarily sleeps with women. Yet. She picked me up, sure, but I’m beginning to fear I’m her experiment. Maybe she’s just a fan – but then again, so what? So maybe she knows what I like – am I being taken by the ways femme can undo me? Am I so preoccupied by her smooth legs (oh my hands on her ankles running up to her knees), her big eyes (looking up like she could swallow me), that I become willing? I’m a sucker sometimes. I’m skeptical. This girl clearly knows how to wield her power.

I keep eye contact for just a flicker, say “thank you,” sit down, and take a sip.

*

“I changed it,” she’s saying. “It’s my middle name, really. My grandmother’s. My mom is a second-waver, gave me one of those gender neutral names I always hated. But I never was a girly girl until I started dating butches.”

She leans in, as if telling me a secret. My second Jameson is melted ice and she’s halfway through her second martini. “I grew up a tomboy, I have three brothers. I mean, I was the bully on the playground! I begged my parents to let me play T-ball and little league like my brothers did. I was the only girl in the league, for a while. Others came after me. My first girlfriend in high school, we met on my softball team. I know, so gay.”

We laugh. I knock the ice around in my glass. High school girlfriend. Duly noted.

“I used to dress up for dances and stuff and get made fun of so much. ‘Hey, I thought you were gay!’ So I put my dresses away. Tried to fit into the lesbian uniform.” Jane shrugged, fingering the speared olives in her glass, leaned back again. “But, Sin, seriously – once I finally took my real gender out of the closet, it’s been adolescence all over again. New desires, new awakenings. I feel like a teenager.” The tip of her toes brush against my ankle.

“Is that so.” I lean in, catch her gaze; her eyes are alight.

“’Femme is knowing what you’re doing,’” she says, looking down into her drink, then giving me a penetrating stare. “Isn’t that how you say it?”

She’s quoting me. It’s hot. She gulps the martini, the liquid too much for her mouth, and chokes a little, sputters, then smiles and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. My cock stirs.

“C’mon,” she says, and gets up.

*

Her place is nearby. It’s why she chose that bar – to interview me before taking me home. She planned the whole thing. Those were here best lines back there. She wants me, and she’s willing to work for it. I like that.

She locks the door behind us, positioning herself next to me, taking a few steps like it’s a dance and she’s leading so I follow, and then my back is against the door and she’s sighing and flipping her hair and waiting for me to kiss her.

So I do.

She tastes like cream. Smooth, just a tiny bit of thickness, mostly ease and softness. She waits for me to guide her. To show her how I like to be kissed. She doesn’t rush in and thrust her tongue, just makes herself warm, wet, open, available.

I let desire increase slowly. Start soft as I get a grip on her hips, her lower back cradled in my forearm, fingers eagerly pulling at the thin fabric of her dress. She lets it get stronger in me, slides her ankle against my calf as she wraps one leg around mine low. I start growling a little, that ravaging tone that is not quite a moan, but a hunger, building.

She arches her back, gasps, cries out, leans into me like she’s nuzzling, and starts laughing, delighted. “Fuck,” she says and looks at me, catches my gaze, then gets shy and looks down. She fingers my buckle.

“Unbuckle your belt?” she says. And I take it back – that’s her best line.

I do, swiftly, pulling the button open, popping the fly, taking my cock out as she kneels, knees wide and pelvis tilted like she’s already on top of me and easing down on something big.

She takes me in her mouth tentatively at first, just the head, wraps one hand around it, gauging the length. Can she swallow it all? She’s thinking. She laps her tongue, runs her lips down the shaft, then draws a breath and swallows me whole. It’s too much for her mouth and she makes a little gulping sound, choking a little. Her smoky eyes water and she looks up at me, keeping it in her mouth. I fight the urge to thrust in again. I can feel the tight O of her throat clenching and she tries to get hold of her gag reflex, then pulls her mouth off and puts her hand back. She rocks her pelvis a little as she sucks, the pretty white fabric of her dress between her knees is falling open and I want my fingers there, want to hear her gasp and oh and yes.

Goddamn she feels good.

She keeps hold of my cock at the base, keeps it pressed against me so I can feel everything. She works it good, pressure and speed and oh god I’m going to burst in her mouth. My hands in her hair, on the back of her head. Her gorgeous smoky eyes are smudged and she looks even more beautiful.

I love it when they start to dishevel. Makes me want to tangle her hair, pull at her dress, smear what’s left of her lipstick.

*

“Fuck me,” she whispers, a command, a request, a desperate need, as she pulls me on top of her on the bed and wraps her legs around the backs of my thighs. I drag my palm from her knee up under her dress and push it aside, tear at the tie and it falls away in one neat cascade of fabric. She nuzzles into my neck again, arms around my shoulders as she sucks my earlobe into her mouth and flicks it with her tongue.

I groan. Fuck. Exposing her skin I take her all in, tracing my gaze along her body, her curvy waist and small soft belly, round breasts, small but thick, a handful, cherry nipples and no bra. I catch one in my mouth and encircle the other with my hand. She arches her back, sighs a little, taking a breath in and leaning back, her mouth open, eyes closed, hands at my shoulders, gasping.

I lift up to kiss her. Her mouth supple again and she’s eager, open. I’m hard and a little fierce, desire honed and sharpened and ready. Her noises are muffled by my mouth.

I bring my hand to the back of her neck and take hold of a fistful of hair. A gamble with some girls, but Jane wants to be taken, I can feel it. She responds immediately, like a cat does to a stroke of its back, arching and curling into the touch of a hand. Eyes closed, she’s taking it in. A gasp and she’s still, waiting. I keep my grip. I drag my other fingers down the side of her body, gently, and her nerves are increased from the immobility. She shivers but does not squirm. Waiting.

My hand at her stomach, on top of her thigh, pushing her legs open. I smile. I’m smug in these moments, I can almost start laughing from the waves of power and dominance and pleasure. Go ahead, try me. Go ahead, give in. I’ll take you, I’ll catch you. I’ll make you. Come.

I cup her pussy with my hand and drag my fingers along her lips from on top of her sweet smooth panties, I can feel the outline and she’s swollen. She unhinges her hips and spreads them wide, but I need them together so I can slide her panties off. I twist and pull and toss them aside, pull her up by the wrists so I can push the dress from her shoulders, expose her fully.

My mouth on her clavicle, her skin sweet and smooth.

“Please,” she whispers, airy, her breath hot. “Please.”

I nearly laugh aloud, nearly chuckle, something strong moving deep in me, grinning and restraining myself. I push her gently back down, grab at my cock with my hand.

She reaches for it, lifts her head and shoulders and her stomach flexes. She licks her lips, looks at me. My eyes are on my cock, pushing at my jeans, peeling back the split around the zipper so it doesn’t obstruct. It’s a silicone cock, just boiled, and doesn’t need a condom. I find her cunt with two fingers, my thumb along the shaft, and she’s wet, eyes begging for it, waiting, mouth open, jaw tight, one hand behind her on the bed, grabbing at the blankets and waiting for me, breathing in, trying not to growl or scream or hit me, trying not to roll right off the bed and run with all the energy buzzing under her skin right now.

“So sweet,” I murmur, tip of my cock touching her cunt. “So, so sweet.”

She’s tight, I can feel her contract, thick, around me as I slide in. Slowly, slowly. I get to the base and extend my torso, she’s watching me and I capture her mouth in a kiss as I slide out. Softly, softly. She adjusts her hips. We are quiet. Sounds of breath and bodies. Her brown eyes are smokier than ever, big and open with flecks of gold that catch the light and I swear I can see myself reflected as she gives me the shyest smile.

“Oh – oh – fuck,” under her breath, she leans her head back and her neck is long, stretched, as I pull out quicker, slam back inside. “More –” she gasps, “more.” Right in my ear, a whisper. I shudder, work in her faster.

“Goddamn,” I mutter, a little breathless, my dick swelling and I can feel how she tightens. Her legs around my waist now. Pressing hard against me with resistance, friction.

She bites my shoulder. Claws into my upper back with her hands and I take a sharp breath in, like a splash of cold water, a sudden sharp sensation.

And it’s there again, that urge to laugh, to chuckle low as I regain my breath and control. I take hold of her hair again, position my arm across her chest so I’m holding her down and lift myself to my knees, legs apart and slid under her hips. I get the angle just right. Low and tight. A little room to wiggle and the strap of my harness is hitting my clit just right.

This goddamn girl is going to make me come.

She can feel the shift in me and her eyes widen, gaining a look of intensity, concentration, focus. So much effort, so much work, to let someone in, to trust a stranger to hold you up, even your dirty, dark, private places. I want to. I want to be able to catch her, I feel she’s falling into some other space and her stomach contracts, she clenches everything as I thrust in, and again, and again, until finally it is precisely right, that one perfect spot and pressure and we are both unraveled, bursting, shaking at the seams, simultaneously, all at once, then shuddering, shaking, gasping, reveling in each other’s bodies, and in our own.

“So,” Jane says after a moment, low murmurs in her throat, happy sounds of quiet satisfaction, satiation, saturation. “Indian or Thai?”

“Thai,” I say. My hand traces lazy circles on her hip, over her skin, delicate as lace.

She kisses me, soft again, supple and deep, and gets up to make the call. She doesn’t ask me what I want. She pulls on a robe that barely covers her ass and winks at me as she leaves the room. I tuck my cock into my pants and tidy my perfectly messy hair.

She returns to the bedroom with another whiskey rocks and a glass of white wine, replaces the phone on the nightstand and opens the curtain on her bedroom window, revealing a sliding glass door. She opens it and gestures to me; I follow. It is a lovely view of 10th avenue, a dozen floors up, and we watch the traffic. I marvel at the quiet when I am just above the city.

The quiet is a little long and I should say something. I open my mouth.

“So, Sinclair,” says Jane. “Where are you from?”

I grin, and take a sip of the whiskey, so smooth, and the mouthful goes down easy.

Carrying the torch: Obama ’08

It’s hard to admit, but I’m terrified about the upcoming election. I know, many of us are, especially the liberals who so desperately want Bush out of office, who want the democrats to regain power and attempt to undo some of the changes that are eroding our civil rights.

It is no small thing to write about politics on a public forum like this one – it is probably safe to say that my readership is primarily progressive liberals, but certainly not 100%. It is not impossible to get death threats.

Though I was raised by parents who are registered independents and who vote Green, who say the democrats are too conservative for them, who have been activists for decades, who believe in grassroots organizing and social change and that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, I have been often disillusioned with the political process in this country.

I grew up in Alaska, where the polls close last and we have three electoral votes. This means that as the polls closed around the country, my parents would watch the results roll in and would wait to vote, often until the president had already been announced.

Clearly, our votes really mattered.

I understand now that it was a political strategy – that they would be certain Alaska would not be any sort of swing state or tiebreaker so they could comfortably go vote for the third party. But at the time, it was confusing. I believed that voting was a key important part of a democratic process, that by not voting you’re showing apathy and disinterest, and the only way to contribute is to make your position known.

This is how I witnessed voting until I was 18 and began voting in my own presidential elections – two so far – 2000 and 2004. Which, as certainly you remember, were a disaster. 2000 did not help to restore my faith in the political process of this country. Hanging chads? Seriously? And what happened to all those missing ballots? Oh, they were found in the dumpster out back? Really? Why did all those people get turned away from the polls? They were voting democrat … I see. And someone could win the popular vote but not the electoral vote? Isn’t there something wrong with that? And 2004 … I was kind of excited about Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich for a minute there, but who’d we end up with? A cardboard cut-out. I don’t remember a single thing the guy said, he was so flat and boring. I could for a while quote some of the things Dean and Kucinich had said, but nothing memorable ever came out of Kerry’s mouth.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I did support Kerry simply because he was the democratic party candidate. Although I resent that part of this system, too – that the political parties to which I am closest aligned do not have serious candidates, or, if they do, they are blamed for the democratic loss of the election, having “stolen” votes away. (This is another can o’worms entirely that I’m not willing to open – debate whether or not the third parties are valid or detrimental somewhere else, please.)

My point is, ever since I was old enough to vote, I’ve lived in George Bush’s America. And even since I was a kid, though I had a brief babyhood with Carter, I’ve grown up in Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush America. Capitalism rules – votes are for sale, influence is for sale, lawmaking is for sale. It’s depressing!

I grew up in the shadow of the civil rights legacy – social change through grassroots activism that clearly worked, that stopped the Vietnam war, that changed women’s gender roles, that shattered segregation, that united queers around the country. Parents and teachers who taught the political movements of the 1960s and ’70s like scripture, and I was – we all were – the next generation, the new movement, those who would pick up the torch and carry on.

And yet … and yet. The Right has been incredibly well-organized and effective. This country is divided on issues vs values. I find it so goddamn hard to believe that the election is so tightly close – I mean really? There are really just as many people voting for Obama as are voting for McCain? How can that be possible? It’s so hard to believe. Just like it’s so hard to believe that Bush Jr. was elected – twice – and took office – twice – and we didn’t stop him – twice.

However much those elections were fixed or rigged or fairly won or a systematic corruption of our voting system, we didn’t do enough to make it stop, did we?

I’m not a political scientist, I hesitate to even write about this because I feel like so many other people are so much more well informed than I am. That was one of the things I loved so much about The Ex, actually, was that she was a political scientist and could engage with me about political issues in ways that really helped me understand. So I know enough to know that I don’t know very much. (Which is why I’m linking like crazy, not only to source myself, but to encourage information gathering from other places. And to put all the links and resources I’ve been collecting in one spot.)

Oh jeez, and then there’s Sarah Palin. And the nonsense about Palin vs Hillary Clinton, which I don’t even want to speak to.

I do have some information about Palin, being that the Alaska Governor’s mansion is down the street from my mom’s house and my aunt works for the legislature. But if you’re paying any attention to the email forwards that are going around about Palin, then you probably already know what I know: basically, she’s vindictive. You’ve probably seen the Kilkenny email, the commentary by Gloria Steinem, and Women Against Sarah Palin. I probably don’t need to tell you about Palin’s anti-feminist, anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-LGBT, anti-freedom philosophies: pro-gun. Anti-abortion. Against same sex marriage. Bans books. Anti-evolution and pro-creationism in public schools. Against sex education in schools. The list goes on.

This stuff depresses me. About now I start thinking, wtf can I do?

Check out the Action Center on barackobama.com for more ideas about what you can do to get involved.

Donate to the Obama campaign.

Encourage everyone to register & vote – voteforchange.com has registration, absentee & early vote info.

If you want Obama buttons for your own site, they’re at /downloads – took me a bit of poking around to find them. I even downloaded an Obama wallpaper for my work computer, which is going to be slightly controversial in my conservative office, but I don’t care.

Meanwhile, fivethirtyeight.com‘s electoral projections are keeping my hopes up.

upon returning, a small complaint

I was out of town last week, and now have returned from the other coast, the coast where the sun sets correctly into the water rather than over land, where I was in the Pacific Northwest primarily visiting my very large extended family for five days. I have all sorts of ideas about family and heritage and where I come from, about having kids and having a traditional structure, about how much my sisters and I are the freaks of the family.

Also strange to be referred to as niece, daughter, sister, granddaughter. Those words have never felt so ill-fitting. At some point I went to the bathroom and the door was labeled LADIES and I nearly stopped right there and turned around.

I am not a “lady,” not really. It’s not that I’m necessarily offended by it – I feel lucky to be part of groups of ladies at times, I love that I’m in women’s circles and women’s groups and women’s friendships, but even that word – woman – I’ve never quite felt right about it. I never refer to myself as such.

It’s not that I’m offended by it, it just doesn’t fit. Like too-big clothes or trying to put a hippie in black goth lipstick.

I have a friend who tells childhood stories that always start, “When I was a little girl …” and it struck me when I noticed it that I never refer to myself that way. I’ll say “kid,” as in “when I was a kid.” These days, I say “guy” – “I’m that kind of guy” – when referring to myself. Sometimes I use dyke or queer or butch I suppose, but I don’t ever use woman, lady, girl, or even sister, daughter, niece.

Still, it’s not that I’m transitioning – I’m not – and it’s not that I don’t identify with the lesbian/feminist communities – I do. Maybe I’m too much the poet, too much the semantics theorist, but some of these words just don’t fit.

I suppose this is just one of those frustrating gender binary things, and yet another of the reasons why butch is a trans identity of sorts. And yet another reason why I am still, continuously, inspired to keep doing this work, to understanding gender and creating new language to adequately describe myself and others, to contributing to the community and lifting each other up.

So there was a wedding in the Pacific Northwest, which is what prompted the large paternal family reunion. There are few events that are more gendered than a wedding. I thought it was going to be a small family wedding, as a few of the others had been, but the 20-something family members were actually in the minority and the community of friends and colleagues were abundant. At the church, I got sneered at by the small-town strangers. I was a bit flamboyantly dressed – pink button down, black argyle vest, no tie (I didn’t think it was going to be so formal!). But certainly I was not the only one dressed up, it was a freakin’ wedding!

Just served to remind me that I’m an outsider. I forget that, in New York City, where I don’t generally get noticed walking down the street unless I have a particularly good hair day. I fit in, I don’t stand out really.

The throwing the bouquet / throwing the garter felt like very strong gender-defining moments in the evening. No way in hell I was going to go out there and catch the bouquet – and actually I’m not sure I have ever been to a wedding where one was thrown, now that I think about it. But I did get out there when it was time to throw the garter. I couldn’t stay, though – I was too much on display in a room-full of too many people who had been giving me too many bad looks throughout the day.

I was little more than The Dyke From New York City all weekend.

I’m lucky, I suppose, is what I should take away from that experience – if I lived there, I would not dress as I do, would not have the fun I do with my hair and pink button-downs and vests and ties and belt buckles and cufflinks and jackets. I’m glad I have that opportunity, that I live in a place that not only accepts it, but encourages and, at times, demands it.

I didn’t expect it to be the reason, but really, I came to New York City so I could learn how to dress. Nothing has taught me fashion or style like this place.

Sometimes it is so uncomfortable to not conform to gender roles.

PS: I’m tremendously behind on email and correspondance, forgive me as I catch up.

sex blogger calendar 2009

I’m going to be one of the pinups in the The New York City Sexbloggers 2009 Calendar.

This is a brainchild of Tess Danesi, aka Urban Gypsy NYC, and I can’t even believe how fast she pulled together sponsors, models (Audacia Ray, Desiree, Diva, Elizabeth Wood, Jamye Waxman, Lux Alptraum, Mariella, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Riese (who was also a TLL blog of the year finalist), the famous Tess herself, Twanna A Hines, and me), sexbloggers, designers (that’d be me + Jack), a photographer and stylist and makeup artist and hairstylist, a venue … This was a very difficult undertaking and a definite labor of love. I’m so honored to be a part of it!

Proceeds of the calendar will go to Audacia Ray’s Sex Work Awareness Project, and you can buy a day in the calendar for thirty bucks, which includes a copy of the calendar itself, or a day all by itself for $10.

Can’t wait for the photo shoot where all these hot ladies dressed up in burlesque gear start takin’ it off at the Slipper Room. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing for my shoot yet, but I will tell you that I got a shiny new pair of black and white wingtips.

accessing the protected posts

So the former password protection post is spilling over with requests. With the intention of me not missing requests for access to the password protected posts, this is the new post where you leave a comment.

It would be best if you left your website, too, even if it’s your myspace or facebook address, as I’d like to know you’re a real person. You can email that to me if you’d rather it not be published publically. It’s not a requirement, if you don’t have one, but I’d appreciate it, as these are very personal writings.

About the password protected posts:

They are primarily my personal journal entries: reflections on my relationships, and my real life sex stories. Sugarbutch started so that I could have a place to reflect on my relationship difficulties, which included the problems with my relationship with my ex where I wanted to be more butch (and wanted her to be more femme) but felt unsupported to explore that, and the problems we were having with sex, which was that we were having none. It evolved into a place where I processed my relationship with another girl that I immediately got involved with, and when that relationship ended spectacularly awfully, it has been chronicling my evolution back to myself, my committment to myself, my “aspiring stud”-ness in trying to get laid, and trying to get my shit together such that I can enter into a healthy, stable, positive, committed relationship again.

Meanwhile, though, it has been lots of gender theory. Lots. And some smut stories. Which are also fun.

And as I’ve gained a larger and larger readership, the personal stuff is entirely too exposed, so they have gone under password protection. I still want a place to write about my relationship evolutions, and I still love having writing and blogging as a medium to explore my own sense of self, so I tend to write a few of these a month.

So, if you’d like to read the personal posts, leave a comment at the beep and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Beep.

On Pronouns, Mine

I’ve had almost half a dozen people ask me in the past few weeks about my pronoun of choice, so here’s the deal.

When referring to me as Sinclair Sexsmith, I go by the masculine honorific – by Mr. Sexsmith. That, I do feel strongly about. Pronouns have generally then followed, so I am often referred to as “he” and “him.” That’s fine, and I think the masculine character that I have cultivated here as my alter-ego fits quite well with masculine pronouns. I didn’t expect it to happen and I didn’t quite plan it, and I don’t know if I ever would have asked for my friends or lovers to play with male pronouns in my personal life, and I very much like it, more than I thought I would.

But, female pronouns in referring to me as Sinclair are also totally fine. In fact, in some ways, I like that some people refer to me with male pronouns and some with female pronouns, because I firmly am occupying both spaces. In some ways I like the gender neutral pronoun options like ze and hir (pronounced “here”). The Gender Intelligence Agency introduced the pronouns pe (pronounced “pay” not “pee”) and per, short for person, which I quite like but which is proving incredibly awkward in speech. Maybe I’ll try to write a story with them in it sometime, just to try it out, get more used to it.

Problem with pe and per is that it doesn’t have a third possessive adjective version of the pronoun – the “his/her/its” version. I guess that would be per, again? To borrow wikipedia’s structure, it looks like:

Pe laughed.
I called per.
Per eyes gleamed.
That is pers.
Pe likes perself.

Yeah, I like the philosophy behind that. But looking at the fifteen different gender-neutral pronouns that wikipedia lists as potential options, I hesitate to think that we need more of them. I guess we keep making them because the others don’t quite work, yeah? I kinda wish there was more consensus, but some part of that has to come about organically, about what gets put into use in daily life for a significant piece of a community.

In my offline life, I do not go by male pronouns, at all. As things go on, that is becoming more strange, actually – my sister referred to me recently as her sister, and I thought, oh yeah, I’m a sister to someone. I’m a daughter. Someday I’ll be an aunt, a mother. I think lesbian dad is rubbing off on me that way, in that I don’t know if I’ll ever be “mama.”

I do go by sir, sometimes boy, and other masculine words like that in a sexualized context … but there really aren’t very many of those words for butch tops in bed. But that’s a slightly different post.

So yeah, did I make that clear? Either pronoun of the main two pronouns are fine, neither of them fit exactly – but please do use the masculine honorific (and thanks to jesse james for finding that word for me).

the fate of Bitch Magazine is in your hands

Those of you who are RSS readers will not see the small banner in the sidebar about the fate of Bitch Magazine, so I figured I’d give a little heads up here too.

Bitch needs $40,000 by October 15th in order to print the next issue, and is looking for advertisers and donations. Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe – it’s always better to subscribe to a magazine than to buy it on newsstands as the magazine itself gets so much more of the money. Like purchasing the album at an artist’s concert instead of buying it through your local store, even if they are independent and (Perhaps I should take out a Sugarbutch ad!)

Bitch Magazine was instrumental to my identity development as a feminist. I started reading Bitch in 1997 when the sex issue came out, and until very recently I owned every single issue – when I moved from Seattle to New York City in 2004 I donated them all to my college library through the Women Studies librarian, who assured me they’d have a good home.

In 1997, I was just out of high school, still with my high school boyfriend, quickly losing what I thought I already had in a bisexual identity, and quickly discovering more advanced feminist discourse that, ultimately, saved me from myself and my own internalized ideas, especially about what it meant to be an adult woman. I quickly found so many resources to further explore in Bitch Magazine, quickly found other websites and books and authors that I fell in love with, which eventually led me on the path out of my relationship and to coming out, and coming into my own butchness, a few years later.

I love this magazine and I eagerly await and tear through each new issue.

So again, I say, get a subscription, get your mom a subscription, get your best friend a subscription, and donate. Read the entire call for donations over on Bitch’s blog and watch the short video of the editors explaining the crisis.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by the letter B and the most awesome nectarine that is patiently waiting on my desk to be eaten.

brief celebreality moment

I can’t resist. I don’t go much for celebreality but I remember watching Ellen’s old sitcom, I remember what a big deal it was when she came out, I love that she’s got her own daytime show now. We need images, ya know? We need representations of ourselves.

(Also, I’m still a bit obsessed with Josh Radin. I even dragged the Muse to see him perform last month. I can’t believe they flew him in to perform that song, it was so lovely.)

Okay, you are now returned to your regularly scheduled Sugarbutch Chronicles.

Define: Need a Word For Receiving Chivalry

Now that I’m on the subject of definitions, I have a request. I need a word for something.

Sometimes the English language fails us; we really don’t have enough words for the precision of things. (For example, I’d love to differentiate between the “I’m sorry” that means empathy vs the “I’m sorry” that is an apology, especially since those two things are widely different and it makes it difficult to communite your true intention when language falls short. But that’s a sidenote.)

I’ve been thinking about chivalry lately – which is not rare – and in a few discussions recently I’ve been kicking around the idea of someone who receives chivalry, and how that too is a skill.

Some women don’t much care for chivalry, and some do; those who do have a different kind of interaction with it, an appreciation and understanding that definitely alters the dynamic of the exchange. It’s actually kind of complicated to allow someone to pull out your chair, take your coat or help it on, to take their hand or arm or elbow. Those are skills, too: how to receive chivalry.

I think we need a word for this. It has been suggested to me that perhaps we can use the same word – as in, “That femme is chivalrous, she knows how to accept chivalry from me” – but that doesn’t quite convey what I’m trying to say. I keep thinking of other forms of nouns for two people in a give/take relationship – gifter/giftee, inviter/invitee – but that doesn’t quite make sense with the structure of the word “chivalrous” and “chivalry.” Makes me wish I knew more about the origins and structure of language.

Got ideas?

Define: Cisgender

In the recent past, gender activists have tended to use the term “bio” to define non-trans folks. As in, bio-male, bio-women, bio-guys.

But let’s think about this a minute eh? There’s nothing non-biological about trans folks.

The words cisgender and cissexual are becoming more and more prevalent for describing non-trans folks – folks whose subconscious/internal sense of your own gender identity generally matches that of your biological sex.

The word has its origin in the Latin-derived prefix cis, meaning “on the same side” as in the cis-trans distinction in chemistry.

Julia Serano has been significantly altering my own perception about cis/trans issues, particularly within feminism. Though I haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend her book Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, and I will be writing up a review of it eventually. I also recommend Serano’s recent article Rethinking Sexism: How Trans Women Challenge Feminism from AlterNet on August 5, 2008 (beware, many comments are hard to read – attacking, misunderstood, incensing). Serano was one of the speakers at the Femme Conference, and it’s clear her work is really cutting-edge of the gender activism and theory, and I’m really excited to read more of her philosophies.

I’ve got a thousand things to say about cis privilege and the social construction theories that have been prevalent in gender studies thusfar. Sadly, I haven’t finished writing that up yet. But I hope to, eventually.

See also: The Cisgender Privilege Checklist over at Questioning Transphobia.

BSB: the creation myth

Really? I mean, really?

My story The Creation Myth won the first ever BSB writer’s contest, and I am taking home this fabulous For Your Nymphomation sex toy case which I’ve been coveting ever since Essin’ Em (who has a new URL, by the way) reviewed it a while back. (Also, did you know they also have a rolling suitcase-type of toy trunk? Holy crap, how did I miss this!)

I’m sure this is not the only source of the concept of a professional submissive, but a few months back I heard about this book The Pleasure’s All Mine: Memoir of a Professional Submissive by Joan Kelly, and that’s what came to mind when I was writing this Jackie character. I just started the book, I’ll let you know how it is.

A little taste of my short-short story, The Creation Myth:

“You don’t need to know yet,” she says. “You don’t need it.”

Flattering, but frustrating. I am convinced her case holds the key to some heretofore untapped topping in me. I play the idea of her correcting my technique as I beat her, guiding me as I fuck her, over and over in my mind when I jack off. I imagine this would entice me and enrage me until I lose control a little, unleash, and let her have my all.

Until I surrender to my power.

I’m also particularly fond of the line ““She breaks us like horses,” my friend B whispers loudly after Jackie leaves our table at our usual watering hole. “Ruthless.” “B” is actually the fierce fat femme top Bevin Brandlandingham of The Femme-Cast, and when I submitted the story I had included Bevin’s name and link, though I forgot that the submission was supposed to be anonymous so Catalina (the BSB editor) and I hid her identity.

Read the whole thing over at BestSexBloggers.com.

What happened in August

If you’ve just tuned in, you are joining our hero, Sinclair Sexsmith, on his ongoing quest for sex, gender exploration, and relationships. This is what happened in August; let’s watch.

SEX:

  • Uh, there wasn’t really any smut posted this month. I was single and haven’t been seeing anyone steadily, so there were no real-life adventures, and I’m preparing for the Sugarbutch Star 2008 contest where I write up various fiction stories, so I haven’t been writing much smut lately.
  • I did write the suspension of heterosexual belief about reading smut or watching porn with participants who aren’t particularly within your erotic orientation, and being able to suspend your orientation enough to appreciate the technique and skill of the sex in the scene
  • I also write on choice feminism and compulsory gender roles, which is something I’ve already referred to often, especially in regards to making all potential options valid in order to make a legitimate choice.
  • There’s a sexy seduction story, summer game plan, I posted over at Sappho’s Girls. What, you didn’t know I was writing there?
  • Sugarbutch Star Contest!– the official launch! and the announcement of the 2007 sugarbutch star chapbook which you’ll be able to buy from this site soon.

GENDER:

  • In praise of femmes: hair & shaving. I start out by talking about the difference between my personal preferences and what I think the options are (or should be) for women in general. I wish more women didn’t shave, honestly. Shaving probably wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for me one way or the other, but I do particularly like freshly shaved skin. I see it as being yet another way to increase physical sensation, and as such, it’s a sex toy.
  • On butches: hair: “Sometimes I even like my five o’clock shadow. I’ve developed the habit of scratching my chin like the boys do. Feeling when I need a shave. Letting it grow on weekends, on weeks when I don’t have work. When I was in Mexico I didn’t touch it once. Ten days without shaving, I am sure a personal record. I didn’t even know my hair would grow that long, that dark, that thick. … Sometimes, I even like it. “
  • Both of these pieces were extensively commented on, by butches and femmes and various folks within the gender galaxy around the blogosphere. The comments & posts are particularly worth reading and I would even say are more interesting than my original posts – it’s fascinating to hear the details about how people keep their bodies, and the reasons for it, and the ways that shaving or body hair is subversive and resistance. Add your own comment to the mix about what you do, or post it on your own blog and leave a link.
  • I theorize about romance vs chivalry: What’s the difference between romance & chivalry? The two can look nearly identical, we thought – bringing flowers, pulling out a chair, taking a jacket – but something separates them. …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.”

RELATIONSHIPS:

MISCELLANY:

In Praise of Femmes: The Architecture of Identity

This is what I learned at the Femme Conference.

Oh, the Femme Conference. I have so much to say about what happened there, both personally and in relation to this gender work. Oh yeah, and I have some hot stories to tell y’all, too.

First: THANK YOU, everyone who donated money to help me attend. I was able to go because of this website. I may not have gone otherwise because I really can’t afford to travel. Thank you.

The theme of the conference was The Architecture of Femme, and as such many of the panels explored the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of femme identity. As my background is in social theory and social constructionism, I tend to come from the place that says femme is constructed primarily physically, on the body, that all gender is performative. This means through symbols of femininity – shaving, long hair, skirts/dresses, heels, jewelry, makeup, etc.

One of the major themes I’ve come across in running Sugarbutch is femmes who feel invisible – that they are not read as queer because lesbians are not feminine, femininity is a constructed gender role within the heteronormative paradigm, and the perceived notion that a femme is really either bi or straight.

This misconception has to do with physical symbols of gender, and required alignment of sexual orientation and gender.

The first keynote speaker at the conference, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, said: femmes are not invisible, you don’t know how to look.

And this is point number one that I want to make. I’ll pause here to let that sink in for you.

Femmes are not invisible, the lesbian community just doesn’t know how to look.

That deeply resonated with me. I feel I’ve been trying to say that to femme friends and lovers for some time now – “well, I found you, didn’t I? Do you not go to the clubs, do you not get dates? Of course you’re queer.”

I know it’s not this simple, really – I know there is much difficulty when someone is not recognized by their own community because they are being true to their own sense of gender. That’s not an easy contrast to reconcile, and I don’t move through the world that way so I can’t really speak to the daily experience of what that’s like.

Before the conference, I started a conversation about femme eye candy – remember this? I’ll get back to that in another post more fully, but the relevance is that Muse & I were discussing requesting photos along with some text about how the femme in the photo queers femininity – how her femme-ness is coming through in any particular way that indicates that she’s femme, not straight.

[TO BE CLEAR: this is NOT be about proving queerness whatsoever. I am working on the details of how to write this up, and will explore this much more in-depth in another post soon.]

The point is to use the femme eye candy as a visual lexicon of physical symbols, as an attempt to notice any emerging patterns and begin to record the physical markers of femme identity.


DEFINE: Markers: physical details which indicate that the person is using their fashion and style to construct a queer identity. Examples of usage: Femme markers, butch markers, queer markers, hippie markers …


I have some ideas about what these markers might be – vintage and pinup clothes, hyper-femininity, high contrast, for example – and I must thank Sam and Maggie from Toronto who did a wonderful workshop at the conference on the construction of femme identity through fashion and style, where many of my thoughts on this were refined.

The discussion at the workshop quickly went from “what are some of the femme markers” to “what are ways that femmes construct identity besides through physical markers?”

I kept thinking about these things throughout the weekend at the conference: the markers, and the ways femme is constructed besides markers.

Five things stand out greatly from the discussions as ways to construct femme:

  1. In contrast to butch – the classic in some ways, the stereotype in others. We all talk about how butches lend visibility and how different a femme is perceived and treated alone verses with a butch. The conference brought up the issue of femme history, too, and how hard it is to find femmes, and one of the ways to do so is to find the butches’ visible queerness and search for their partners.I think this is an incomplete, problematic, and outdated construction of femme identity generally, but it is relevant historically and it still applies at moments. Plus, for some of us our own sense of identity is so greatly magnified when in contrast to our particular desire orientation – I am not just a butch, for example, but I am a butch who loves, desires, and partners with femmes, and that is also a key component to my identity.
  2. In community – Maggie, the beautiful dancer and wicked smart femme behind the Femme Show (who has a wonderful girlfriend, I was disappointed to hear, as I developed quite the crush on her over the conference) spoke of how when she is in queer spaces, she expects that she should be read as queer. It should just simply be a given. It is not a given that the feminine girl at dyke night is queer, because the lesbian community is still closed off to the ideas that feminine girls are lesbians. I mean, in some ways that is being shattered – maybe that’s one good thing the L-Word has done for the lesbian communities – but in practice, many many queer women still don’t recognize femmes.(I could also speak to how this is probably engrained in butches especially, in butches who are attracted to femininity, from a young age, because we do tend to go for the straight girl or the L.U.G.s and end up getting our hopes up and our hearts broken when she, inevitably, leaves us for a guy, because, well, she’s straight. I still watch butches go through the realization that femmes exist – that femininity exists in a queer context – and wow that sure can be a revolutionary realization. But this is another topic to discuss later, too.)
  3. Through language – Someone commented to say she has no particular physically queer markers, and in fact she prides herself on that, and would rather constantly construct her queer identity by constantly coming out verbally. But even if a femme does see herself as using many queer fashion and style markers, there is still always an element of constructing identities verbally and through language.This brings up one other idea, which is that I think all of these ways of constructing femme identity happen for everyone, that it isn’t just one or another, that some are stronger for some femmes than others, that there are many different combinations of them that make up each unique femme expression of each person.
  4. Through fashion and style and through markers. There are hundreds – thousands probably – of ways to construct femme through physical feminine presentation. The conference was amazing that way, to see as many different representations of femme as there were femmes in attendance. I loved seeing the similarities, the differences. There was such an amazing array from the fanciest drag-queen femme to the pencil-skirt-and-glasses femme to the pinup girl femme to the punk rock femme to the tomboy femme to the sundress-and-cardigan femme.And the SHOES! Oh good lord, I could write an entire post on the shoes at the femme conference. (Swoon.)Honestly, I never cared for fashion until I began discovering, uncovering, and creating conscious and intentional butch/femme gender understandings. I wish I had a better grasp on fashion and the history of fashion sometimes, some folks were saying very interesting things about the evolution of women’s clothing options during the conference.
  5. Through theory – feminist theory, gender theory, power theory, BDSM and kink theory, postmodern theory, historical contextual theory. The intellectualizing of my own gender has been a key component to constructing my own gender identity, and this resonated strongly at the conference.

I’m going to have to work on the butch version of this idea, the ways butch identity is constructed, though I imagine it is in many ways similar: in contrast to femmes, in community, through language, through markers, through theory. But perhaps there’s more to add, perhaps butch and femme are constructed differently? Ill keep thinking on that; please do add your two cents if you’ve got ideas on this topic.

Two specific questions for you, at the end of this looooong summary of what I learned at the Femme Conference about the architecture of femme:

  • What are some other tools with which you construct your identity, femme or otherwise?
  • And what do your markers look like?

top 100 sex bloggers

Uh … wow. I am kind of at a loss here. Rori at Between My Sheets emailed out last night that the Top 100 Sex Bloggers list she’s been compiling was up, and I was shocked – I am still shocked! – to have come into the top 5, let alone the #1 spot. Wow.

Thanks, Rori, for compiling this list, and thanks to everyone who nominated me. Thanks for reading, thank you for contributing, thank you for writing your own stories on your own blogs and for sharing your adventures and explorations of sex and gender with me, too. It sounds kind of cheesy to say, but I’m not doing this alone, I owe so much thanks to being situated and surrounded by and in conversation with this amazing community.

I’m including some of Rori’s announcement post because I really love what she put forward, and the Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2008 complete list. Visit these folks, they’re great.

[E]very day, as I read your blogs, I’m humbled. Everyone in this community has so much to share, so much to teach. … We’re writing personal stories about our lives and opinions about sexuality. This is about sharing our hearts. Everyone is so deliciously different, too. I love it!

1. Sinclair Sexsmith http://sugarbutch.net
2. Radical Vixen http://www.radicalvixen.com  
3. Curvaceous Dee http://curvaceousdee.blogspot.com
4. Always Aroused Girl http://aagblog.com
5. Ellie Lumpesse www.lumpesse.com
6. Catalina http://catalinaloves.com
7. Selena Kitt http://selenakittyn.com
8-9. Wifey and Hubby http://wifeytalk.com
10. Roger http://wwww.dirtyboy2.blogspot.com
11. Shanna Katz http://essinem.blogspot.com
12. Amber Rhea http://www.beingamberrhea.com
13-14. Richard and Amy http://247richardandamy.com
15-16. MJ and MJ’s Slave http://www.aslavestruenature.blogspot.com
17. Thursday’s Child http://thursdayschildhasfartogo.blogspot.com
18. Narration by D http://narrationbyd.blogspot.com
19. Andrea Zanin http://www.sexgeek.wordpress.com
20. The Provocateur http://theprovocateur.wordpress.com
21. Violet Blue http://tinynibbles.com
22. Autumn http://dreamsofaneroticaqueen.sensualwriter.com
23. SSS http://sweatshopsissy.wordpress.com
24. Storm http://ambientstorm.blogspot.com
25. Sub lyn http://longdistancesub.blogspot.com
26. Tara Tainton http://www.taratainton.com/tarastrysts/index.html
27. Jake http://factsandfriction.blogspot.com
28. Cherry Bomb http://cherrybombnyc.blogspot.com  
29. Lakey http://fairelaffaire.blogspot.com
30. Scarlet http://feministfucktoy.com
31. Glenpreece http://lastbreath.wordpress.com
32. Lolita Wolf http://www.leatheryenta.com
33. Vixen http://blue-eyedvixen.com
34. Tom Paine http://perverselypoly.blogspot.com
35. Tongue Tied Blue http://tonguetiedblue.blogspot.com
36. Maymay http://www.maybemaimed.com   
37. Miss Bliss http://blog.blisswarrior.com  
38. Mistress Maeve http://7d.blogs.com/mistress
39. Nadia http://www.kinkylibrarian.net
40. Luka http://barbedwireboudoir.blogspot.com
41-42. Odysseus and Penelope http://marriedexploits.blogspot.com
43. Eileen http://bloodylaughter.com
44. Calico http://dominatrixnextdoor.com/blog
45. Caroline Shepherd http://feministsexcarnival.blogspot.com
46. Kathleen http://polyspace.wordpress.com
47. Packing Vocals http://packingvocals.blogspot.com
48. Audacia Ray http://www.wakingvixen.com
49. Axe http://unspeakableaxe.com
50. Baccus http://www.erosblog.com
51. Chelsea Summers http://prettydumbthings.typepad.com/chelseagirl
52. Debauchette http://debauchette.wordpress.com
53. The Butterfly Temptress http://thebutterflytemptress.com
54. Dirty Little Girl http://dirtylittlemind.blogspot.com
55. Sexy Whispers http://sexywhispers.wordpress.com
56. Wendy Blackheart http://www.heartfullofblack.com
57-58. Padme and Anakin http://darkside-journey.blogspot.com
59-60. Him and Her http://sexcakes.blogspot.com
61. Slip of a Girl http://aslipofagirl.blogspot.com
62. Blowjob Babe http://strokesuckswallow.blogspot.com
63-64. Dirty Debbie and CJ http://dirtydebbie.blogspot.com
65. Scorpio http://adventuresofascorpio.blogspot.com
66. Charlotte http://charlottethorpe73.wordpress.com
67. Bitchy Jones http://bitchyjones.wordpress.com
68. Anastasisa http://www.chaosnoir.com/anastasia
69. Alice http://anonymous-alice.blogspot.com
70. Anita Wagner http://practicalpolyamory.blogspot.com
71. Jack http://roughwords.blogspot.com
72. Mistress Matisse http://mistressmatisse.blogspot.com
73. Mariella http://wannaplaymariella.blogspot.com
74. O http://eros-logos.blogspot.com
75. Shasta Gibson http://shastagibson.com
76. Gwen http://www.pop-shot.blogspot.com
77. fivestar http://www.iamfivestar.com
78. Lilly http://dangerouslilly.blogspot.com
79. Penny http://birdsaresmart.blogspot.com
80. Figleaf http://www.realadultsex.com
81. Tony http://www.comstockfilms.com/blog/tony
82. Viviane http://www.thesexcarnival.com
83. Six http://sixelaborates.wordpress.com
84. Bob http://bobsbestboobs.com
85-99. Fiammetta, Jill, Robyn, Scarlot, Melissa, Kitten, Karly, Holly, Surgeon, Stacey, Tara, Jessica, Gina, Wendy, and Tori http://deepthroated.wordpress.com
100. _________________________ Why is #100 blank? Because I know there are dozens…hundreds…of other amazing sex bloggers out there, and I want everyone to be a part of this list.

The 2008 Sex Bloggers page has further profiles of the Top 100 Sex Bloggers, check that out for recommended posts and more information about the folks behind these great blogs.

femme conference roundup, & links

Now that I am finally putting my thoughts together about the femme conference, here is a small roundup of other posts I’ve seen out there in the blogosphere about others’ experiences.

  1. fatgirl femme: femme conference 2008: “I left the conference feeling energized and excited, and like I can totally have the femme community I want. I feel really committed to making it happen here in Seattle, and also really blessed that even if it DOESN’T happen in Seattle, I have some really valuable femme community in the blogosphere, and that’s still pretty fucking remarkable.”
  2. the femme show – some first thoughts: “… what I want to share with you now … is how much I want to go back. How I want to be part of two hundred or so femmes and allies telling each other we’re beautiful, strong, sexy, survivors of misogyny and worse, capable of loving and fucking and building a movement and changing the world. How when I was alone on a street in some Chicago neighborhood I can’t even name, waiting for a bus, I looked at groups of women carrying purses and diaper bags and birthday presents, women in dresses going out to dinner, and I saw them as friends because I’d just spent 48 hours surrounded by people in dresses who were friends. How I want to keep seeing all feminine people that way, to let go of the idea that femininity in queers is subversive and special and superior and make this about chosen femininity, not about special us queers are with our big glasses and big earrings or whatever it is this year.”
  3. femme FATale: post 1 of lord knows how many others: “who knew … being around people of various shared communities that are separate at times and converging at others could so quickly feel like home, that i’d go to chicago excited and leave with a heart full and achey with missing? to answer the questions i’ve received from readers and from friends: the femme conference was amazing. it was validating and caring, but it was also intense and hard. there was support and there was community, as much as there were the reminders of how much further we need to go to be good to each other as femmes. as loving and thoughtful and supportive as we are to our butches and our bois and to our allies, we need to be good to ourselves and to each other.”
  4. coffee and gender: the architecture of femme: “In the workshops and keynotes we attended the discussions were so closely focused on femmes that allies often were relegated to sitting and listening: which is exactly what allies should be doing 80% of the time. However, there are always times when workshops or lectures are really meant for the self-identifying members of the audience and not for allies or family members/significant others. I don’t believe in “safe space” but I strongly believe in “safer space”, and it can be hard to tell when a lecture or workshop might be more easily received and understood if the attendees all belonged to that one identity group.”

If you know of other posts or wrote one yourself, please leave the URL in the comments + I’ll add them to the roundup!

There is a Femme Conference 2010 in the works, I hear it’ll be in Atlanta. There are some specific folks that I would really like to see at the conference in 2010, and I’m going to call you out publically because I can. Please consider coming. Please make your life revolve around creating the ability to come to the next conference. You will not regret it. You need to be there: sublime femme, Miss Avarice, Lady Brett, Green-eyed Girl, and Essin’ Em.

Speaking of femme community and links to what’s happening in the blogosphere, Hussyred recently posted on her fabulous blog about the concept of a femme archive, specifically positing this challenge: “Let’s post the who, the what, the where, the when of how we got to call ourselves “femme.””

There have been some lovely responses being kicked around: Sublime femme writes on what makes me a femme, Green-eyed Girl says who am I, Lady Brett Ashley rides around with her rag top down, and Belle (yep, she’s back) discusses supporting other femmes and her own femme competition.

It’s a great question, this idea of where we came from, how we our gender identities developed, when we called ourself by our chosen identity labels and why. If you’d like to explore this in the comments, please do so. If you post about this on your own blog, please do leave a link!

Review: Goodfella

Yep, it’s the Goodfella from Vixen Creation’s Vixskin line. I have yet to come across any cock that is superior to the texture, feel, realistic-ness, and quality of the Vixskin.

(Is it just me, or does the Goodfella always remind you of The Godfather? It’s just the g-f- thing, I know, but every time I read it or write it I think of Brando’s famous scratchy voice.)

The Goodfella really should’ve been included in my write-up on packing cocks 101, and would have been in tight competition with the Silky as The Best And Most Superior And Most Comfortable Cock That You Can Pack AND PLAY With On The Market Today.

Just to be clear, I still think the Silky is the best it is more comfortable to pack with. The Goodfella can be a little pokey in the pants, in my expeirence. There was some question about which one was larger, and they are nearly identical in size. The difference is that the insertable length of the Goodfella is shorter than the Silky, because the Goodfella has balls and Silky does not. But, on the other hand, the Goodfella has balls and that is pretty damn cool.

Have you noticed that Eden now has a few new categories that rate their dildos – rating (number of stars out of five, based on the customer reviews), popularity, and material safety. Material safety, this is a big one. If you take anything away from my reviews of sex toys, it’s to be careful about the materials that you are inserting into your precious parts! They are not all the same, and some of them are harmful to you. That’s bad! So I love that Eden’s got some more visibility about safe materials in the products they sell.

Silicone, glass, metal – those are completely sterilizable, and the best. Then watch out for things with phthalates, that’s the really bad material.

You can also read my review of the Silky over on Eden, or hey, skip the review and just check it out.

queer bodies in psychotherapy conference

QUEER BODIES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY CONFERENCE
www.ciis.edu/publicprograms for more information.

Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy calls attention to queer sexualities, identities, and practices that are inadequately addressed in both psychodynamic and somatic psychologies.

The Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy Conference is an opportunity for LGBTQI and straight therapists, queer theorists, somatic therapists and practitioners, members of various queer communities, scholars, activists, and educators to surface questions, develop theories, share case examples, and explore best practices in this emerging field. The Somatic Psychology Department at CIIS and The Center for the Study of the Body in Psychotherapy are organizing this conference as part of our ongoing commitment to exploring issues of embodied difference, marginalization, and the sociocultural understandings of somatic formation.

DETAILS

October 17 – 19, 2008
Hotel Whitcomb
1231 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

$225 for full weekend
$25 for Tim Miller Event (if not attending conference)

FEATURING

Tim Miller
Jewelle Gomez

Alzak Amlani, PhD
Matthew Bronson, PhD
Richard Buggs, PhD
Randy Connor, PhD
William F. Cornell, MA, TSTA
Dossie Easton, MFT
Karen Erlichman, MSS, LCSW
Zachariah Finley, MA, MFTI
Connie Hills, PhD
SJ Kahn, MFT
Kristin Kali, LM, CPM
Betsy Kassoff, PhD
Keiko Lane, MA, MFT
Janet Linder, LCSW
Connors McConville, MDiv, MA, MFTI
Elena Moser, LCSW
Rev. Trinity A. Ordona, PhD
Vernon A. Rosario, PhD, MD
Shoshana Simons, PhD
Steven Tierney, MA, EdD
Dylan Vade, PhD, JD
Center For Nonviolent Education and Parenting

COSPONSORS

Community United Against Violence
Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for
Gender and Sexual Diversity
Maia Midwifery and Preconception Services
New Leaf: Services For Our Community
Pacific Center
The Psychotherapy Institute
Visual Aid
Women’s Therapy Center

Visit us on the Web!
Go to www.ciis.edu/publicprograms or call (415) 575-6175 to register

you don’t have to take MY word for it

Check out the first flash fiction contest over at bestsexbloggers.com – 500 word story with a For Your Nymphomation sex toy case in it somewhere. Vote for your favorite story and the winning author gets one of these cases!

Well, since I’m already linking to the sex toy case over at Eden, I may as well mention that Eden’s got a great little ad up in the top corner of my site. I really appreciate what the folks at Eden are doing in their interactions with the sexblog community, many sexbloggers are toy reviewers for Eden, and I love that we’re acting as little sex educators, reporting on what’s good, blech-ing at what’s bad, and raising awareness for safer sex toys, fun gendered sex toys, and generally encouraging better sex lives. I mean, what could be better?

Remember on Reading Rainbow where Lavar Burton would say, “But you don’t have to take MY word for it!” I loved that segment, short book reviews by kids. I used to pretend I was on that show and review my books that way, like it was a little performance. I guess I’ve always enjoyed sharing things that I thought held valuable information or experiences or sensation.

If you haven’t surfed around at Eden Fantasys, I do recommend it.

why is leather so damn sexy?

I’m not sure I get it really, why leather turns me on so much, I mean, hell, I was vegan for about five years and got very political about using the skins of other animals … but I just find it so very sensual. Even the smell. I remember Babeland once carried leather-scented lube … I’ve often wished I’d bought some.

Spartacus Leathers sent me a couple goodies that arrived this week, and I’ll be writing ’em up soon. When they approached me about some reviews, I asked them about their company policies and how they operate, and this is what they told me:

Spartacus Leathers is legendary in Portland, OR for the retail outlet we’ve had downtown since 1987. The brick & mortar retail store has two sections: The “all-ages” section full of alt-fashion and costumes and accessories, and the “18+” section full of sex toys, BDSM gear, and adult books and videos. It is extremely woman-friendly, staffs a huge range of freaks and fabulousness, and is managed by a lesbian woman.

Spartacus Leathers is also a manufacturer. Our biggest sellers are our cock rings and nipple clamps, but we also specialize in a wide range of bondage and S&M gear. Both the company and the store support local leather groups, gay pride groups, and all sorts of alternative sexuality groups because, well, they’re our people AND our customers. We are extremely health-conscious. We offer lots of phthalate-free elastomer and nitrile cock rings and vibrators.

All things that I really love to hear! I had never heard of Spartacus before, next time I’m in Portland I’ll definitely visit their store (and Powell’s of course, which is just about the best bookstore in the world). I’m really impressed with the quality of their leather. There are a couple more things on their site I have my eye on now – I’m still in search of The Most Amazing Perfect Harness Ever, as I’m just not happy with any of the harnesses I have at the moment, but perhaps I’ll find that through Spartacus. Here’s hoping!

Masculinity Depictions in Disney Films

I ran across this short film about depictions of masculinity in Disney films recently and was interested and impressed. Of course there are all sorts of problematic things happening with gender roles in popular media, and Disney films have no shortage of criticism written about them in general, but most often I see those critiques from the perspective of femininity and women, less so with the emphasis on masculinity and men.

I’m glad this work is becoming more commonplace, we really need more revisioning and reclamation of masculinity in our culture.

September masthead: gender buddha

September’s masthead is up! and comes from a quote from the Muse, where she called me the Gender Buddha because of how some of my philosophies match up with a quote from Sharon Salzberg: “The Buddha’s enlightenment solved the Buddha’s problem. Now you solve yours.”

What I mean by this quote is that my butchness is my unique solution to what I see as a gender problem in the culture and society in which I live. I feel like I ran around wildly, trying on different genders, until I finally landed inside of butch … and it just so clearly makes so much sense to me, it resonates with my sense of self and with my sense of how gender works in the world, my deeper philosophies about the value of the body.

It acknowledges that my solutions might not be your solutions – that your ‘gender problem’ might have a completely different landscape or solution than mine does. In fact, it should have a different landscape, a different path, even if it does arrive at similar solutions, because we are two different people with different life experiences, different family backgrounds, different habits and thoughts.

I do hope that some of my gender ramblings are useful to you on your own paths, but I always want to recognize that your path might be very different than mine. Then again, we might be walking along hand-in-hand … and that sure is nice too. It’s great to have company, it makes this journey so much less lonely. Thanks for coming along in the adventures, wherever you’re at.

PS – Did you know you can find an archive of past mastheads on the about page? It’s true!