Hogtied.

cnvax-b-hogKristen sits on the edge of the bed. I kneel, take her calves in my hands, shackle the ankle cuffs on her one at a time, then rise and hold out my hand for her wrists.

I love this part. A tiny moment of patience and waiting as I’m not sure if she really will give me her hands, or if I’ll have to take them. After one breath too long, she looks up at me, brings her hands together, and pushes them forward.

“One at a time,” I say, and wrap black rope around one, then the other. Four points of tension, four points of restriction, four points of restraint. She’s ready. I can see it in her eyes, that impulse to struggle, to strain against the edges of what is possible.

I pull her by the dangling rope back onto the bed. Push her down, push her legs open, hold her there, then turn her over.

I love that meditative bell-like sound of metal on metal that belts, cuffs, and leather straps with D rings made into hogties make.

She knows what I’m going to do. I’m nervous, haven’t used this before. I use clips to get the cuffs connected to the hogtie, tie the rope directly. She’s on her stomach. It makes an x over her back that is beautiful, seems like a natural object to put onto her body, contoured to her curves like jewelry. There’s more room in the tie than I expected. I thought her limbs would be pulled taut, but in reality she can move around quite a bit, though at some cost. She gets her hands under her shoulders to lift herself up, can pull her knees under her to get her ass in the air.

(I like that.)

I let her try out the restriction, the limitations. She’s not tied to anything, only to herself, and she’s small, so there’s quite a bit she can do.

After a minute I catch her by the hair. “You’re starting to squirm.” I say, low in her ear.

She breathes out, a tiny voice. “Uh huh.”

I’m still mostly clothed, but my cock is out, hard, stiff from my fly. I kneel behind her, push on her shoulderblades so she’s facedown on the bed again, and tease her pussy with the head of it. “Waiting to get fucked?”

“Yes,” she says in a small voice.

“What?”

“Yes.” Louder.

“Yes what?”

“Yes, I’m waiting to get fucked. Fuck me, please, please, put your cock in me, baby, ohhh … ” and I do, of course I do, when she asks so pretty like that.

I leave her hogtied for a while, taking her as I want her, telling her to put her ass in the air for me, get up on your knees, head down, face still shoved into the blankets of the bed as I pound her, biting her shoulders, slide in and out, she’s so wet, slamming into her hard, from behind, from above, until we both collapse, my mouth at her ear, at her cheek, at her neck.

Later, I untie her hands and leave her legs bound. Then unhook her ankles and hold her, weave our bodies together, faces nearly touching on the pillow.

Thanks to a particular sex toy store for providing the hogtie, one of their many bondage items. Kristen thanks you, too.

Mailing Lists & How to Get the Password

Sugarbutch Chronicles has two different mailing lists, and one way to get the password to the protected posts. Since I’ve had a few more password posts than usual lately, I’ve had some folks asking, so it’s about time to put up a new explanation.

1. The Newsletter

The newsletter is the once-a-month mailing list where I send out announcements about the site, special offers (sometimes I have passwords or offer codes from some Sugarbutch sponsors), and general updates. Email me – aspiringstud[at]gmail.com – to get on this mailing list, or leave a comment with your valid email address in the comments of this post.

2. Sugarbutch Daily to your email inbox

If you aren’t really a “blog person,” if you don’t read half the internet every day (like I do), if you don’t subscribe to RSS feeds and spend a lot of your time on the web, but you still love reading Sugarbutch, you might want to consider subscribing via email.

Entering your email address in below will send you ONE email per day with the text of all the posts that have been published that day. If there are no posts, you won’t get an email.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

3. Password protected posts

The password protected posts tend to be more personal, often musings about my own self-awareness, emotional processes, or the details of my relationships, which often feel vulnerable in a way that writing about sex does not (I know, weird, but that’s how it is). (Sometimes they are very smutty, dirty stories, with kinks or explorations that are dark and difficult to reveal – so it’s not all omphaloskepsis, there is some sex stuff too, sometimes.) Leave a comment in this thread with a valid email address and a link to your blog, your myspace, your facebook, or some other way to verify that you are a real person. If you ask for the password, I’ll also add you to The Newsletter mailing list.

QEC: Call for homo photographs

banner_sm
Queer Eye Candy: Call for Submissions!

“Queer Eye Candy is the on-line family photo album for the queer community.” – Geek Porn Girl

“As a straight woman I do not expect to identify with pictures of lesbians right away, but I do, because love is love, laughter is laughter, and happiness is all the same. Thank you for helping me to see this in a new light.” – Kelly

“After being featured in Queer Eye Candy as a femme, and reading all the comments, it made me feel like it was OK to be feminine again.” – Em the Femme

Queer Eye Candywww.queereyecandy.com – is a community website dedicated to showcasing visual representations of butches, femmes, and all sorts of other queers. We as genderqueers know what it’s like to be out in the world and treated strangely, questioned (“Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?” “What are you doing, this is the ladies room!” “Don’t you know it’s dyke night, honey?”), or constantly stared at as we navigate through our days. We know what it’s like to feel outcast because of the way we look. But what if more people were more used to seeing us, in the wide variety of representation? What if the thousands of ways that butch and femme are reclaimed and performed were collected, so we could see how much variety exists within these identities?

And so, our mission of visibility was born.

With weekly features such as Wednesday Butch Hump Day, Date Night Thursday, and Femme Friday, Queer Eye Candy showcases all sorts of representation of and from our communities.

But we can’t do it without your participation! Here’s the part where we ask you to send in fabulous photos of yourself, your lover(s), your friends, your family. You do not need to identify as butch or femme to participate, though the project does focus on butches and femmes.

Submit your high quality, work-safe photographs to queereyecandy@gmail.com and go to http://www.queereyecandy.com/submit/ for further information about sending us your photograph. You can also submit photos through the Flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/queereyecandy.

We hope to see your smilin’ face on the site.

Cheers,
Amber, Cheree, Denise, Tina, and Sinclair


Please reprint this call for images on your blog or message board or community or via your email list! And here are some new buttons you can use to link to Queer Eye Candy in any way you wish.


qec_were
250x250
qec250x250
250x250
qec150x200
150x100
   
qec150x100
150x200

Top Hot Butches of 2009: Help!

The 2009 AfterEllen Hot 100 list was announced on May 11th – it’s “the sexiest women according to women” (as opposed to other hot lists, which are picked by men). I kinda enjoy this list, I’ve followed AE’s lists in the past few years, but this year especially I looked through it thinking, where are all the butches?

Seriously, in this, 2009, The Year Of Dr. Rachel Maddow’s Serious Badassness, there are only … what, 6? (at best) genderqueer, andro, or masculine women included in the list of 100 hot women.

This year, unlike other years, AE also put out some supplemental lists of Out Women, Women of Color, and Women Over 40. Aw, isn’t that nice – they’re at least recognizing that this Hot 100 Chosen By Women List is completely lacking in women who are publically out, not white, and not young. And yet … still no acknowledgment that, according to this list, sexy women are feminine.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from running Sugarbutch for three years, it’s that there are a whole lot of y’all out there who think butches and genderqueerness and masculinity on women is hot.

So, let me introduce to you: the 2009 Sugarbutch Top Hot Butches list.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

  1. Leave a comment nominating a genderqueer, andro, masculine, or butch woman who did something awesome in 2009 (or late 2008). Like the other top hot lists, this list will lean more toward celebrities and folks who are somehow in the public sphere. Linking to a hot photo of her or to an article about her would be a bonus. NOTE: these women do not have to identify as butch, but should be at least somewhat masculine, androgynous, or genderqueer in appearance. It would be best if she was out, but that won’t ban her from the list.
  2. A panel of judges will determine the order of hotness. (I know, other hot lists are chosen by voting, but I am not able to compile and coordinate and count votes, so this is the best way to do it.) The panel will include a couple self-identified butches, some femmes who love butches, and a few genderqueer folks who love butches too. I’ll announce the judges soon.  The list will be judged by sexiness primarily, but other factors include: impact on society, major accomplishments, queer community work, etc. If you’ve got other suggestions for how we should determine a) who should be on this list or b) how we should determine the order, leave that in the comments too.
  3. The list will be posted on Sugarbutch in June for all your swooning butch-love attention.

So, tell me – who are the hottest butches in 2009?

Review: Crash Pad 4 (DVD)

cp4“This is another unmissable installment of the finest feminist lesbian porn series around.”

First, I have to confess, I have completely misplaced the Crash Pad #4 DVD that Blowfish sent me. I keep thinking it’ll show up, but I’ve cleaned my room and I am generally pretty darn organized – I just have no idea where it went.

And then I saw the the announcement that Crash Pad 4 is officially out and available on the Blowfish Blog and thought, aw shit. Better get moving on that review.

So Kristen and I settled in to some blueberry pancakes, logged in to my Crashpadseries.com account, and set to watching each of the episodes individually.

Here’s a scene-by-scene recap, with a couple thoughts:

  1. Brooklyn Flaco and Carson. Both are genderqueer and boyish, though when Carson’s hair comes down she starts looking more feminine and I really liked that (obviously, my bias shows through here). Lots of I-do-you-you-do-me switching (or, your-turn-my-turn sex, as another friend says), using their hands with no cocks or toys. I was getting into it when Brooklyn starts fucking Carson at the end, but then Carson doesn’t really come – or, if she did, it was kind of imperceptible. I was expecting a big finish. Their scene was too quiet – where’s the dirty talk? Where’s the noise? Where’s anything aside from heavy breathing?
  2. Jiz Lee and Dallas. Both genderqueer and boyish, with a big bag of toys to share. They are clearly into each other and having a great time. I think Dallas is freakin hot – especially when she’s toppy – and the whole scene is really playful. Jiz gets fisted [which I believe you can’t show in a DVD, so the online episode is probably a bit more explicit than what you’d see if you purchased it] and squirts, which I always like to see. 
  3. Toppy Sadie Lune and sub Tricksie Treat. They enter into the scene with some roleplay which felt awkward and forced, but I did like how Tricksie submitted, later. We skipped through most of this one, it was awkward and actually kind of hard to watch.
  4. Butch Cash and femmey Stella. Cash is in a button-down and tie (hot!), Stella’s hipster hair was distracting. Stella straps on and fucks Cash for a while, and Kristen’s favorite part was when Stella’s fingers were in Cash and Cash jacks off, and comes hard. It’s actually kind of rare to see a butch getting off in porn, and I have a feeling Kristen will go back to this scene for that part especially. I found myself getting kind of uncomfortable a few times – is that what I look like? I look like that, don’t I? – feeling exposed, but also a little fascinated with the ways that masculinity plays on a female body. The scene closes with doggy-style fucking – this time Cash is strapped on – and Stella comes hard, and hot. I’ll watch this one again.
  5. Top Ex and sub Muscle Beach. MB is very boyish and fucking adorable – I will definitely look her up and watch more scenes. Ex is a badass top, very impressive and clearly very skilled; she’s got this long hippie hair, round body, and nice smile, which made me think she was going to be a sweet and kind of motherly top, but she was a badass daddy type and her confidence and expeirence as a dom were mesmerizing. It seems obvious that she and MB haven’t played together (much? at all?) before, were surprising each other a little bit, but turns out I’m WAY wrong about this – according to their bios on Crashpadseries.com, they are long-time lovers! It’s definitely clear that they had a repor, laughing, playful, having a great time together. Ex does some ropework, some humiliation (ashing her cigarette into MB’s mouth? Ew), and orders some bootlicking … she gets her cock out and Kristen exclaimed, “well, that looks familiar!” Indeed it was the same one I was wearing, occasionally groping, as we’d moved from the kitchen with our pancakes to the bed to watch the final few episodes. I’d watch more with Ex, I think she’s got a few more scenes on Crashpadseries.com if I remember correctly.

Overall: the sex is skilled, the chemistry is hot, the depictions of queerness are real and varied. I will probably watch the butch/femme scene again, but generally this isn’t one of the DVDs I’ll watch over and over. Of course, I have a particular bias toward the butch/femme dichotomy, so generally that’s a prerequisite for scenes that I watch again and again.

One of the questions Kristen and I kept kicking around was, where are all the butch/femme couples in porn? I mean, I know it’s all passe to be pro-labels and into the butch/femme dynamic, but there seem to be a real lack there. There’s a lot of genderqueer folks fucking other genderqueer folks, there’s quite few femmes … but where’s the butch/femme? If you’ve got recommendations, let me know.

While I’m talking about it, here’s a note about Crashpadseries.com: I put off getting an actual membership for a long time – long after I’d seen the DVDs, long after I’d watched the trailers and freebies on the site (over and over and over). I mean, the internet is for porn, right? I have this general philosophy that I just don’t pay for porn on the internet, that I don’t subscribe to websites.

But damn if I wasn’t missing out. Now that I have a full membership, I really wonder what took me so long – and I kick myself a little for not getting the membership sooner.

This is the best porn out there, people. If you’re willing to spend $35 on a DVD like this one - and you should! because it’s amazing – consider spending $35 on a month-long membership to Crashpadseries.com and trying it out. You won’t be disappointed, I guarantee.

blowfish

Cynthia & Chris: butch/femme couple engaged!

I’m a week late on this news (but what can I say, this isn’t a news blog): Cynthia Nixon announced last week at the New York City Action=Marriage Equality rally that she and her girlfriend, Christine Marinoni, are engaged.

After hearing this, I did some searching for some photos of the couple, because, well, they’re butch/femme! (At least in adjective, if not in identity.) And they are so fucking cute together! I get touched in a different way when I see dykes who have gender that is similar to mine … I just recognize them and it really makes me happy.

It got me thinking a little bit about the celebrity world, and why it isn’t a bigger deal that Cynthia Nixon is gay – she’s a major star of Sex & the City! The film only came out last year, it should still be relevant. Reminds me that the 2009 After Ellen Hot 100 list just came out, and I was frustrated that there aren’t more a) butches or genderqueer folks (I count 5), and b) women who are actually out and queer, instead of women whose characters are gay on tv. I know this is kind of another topic, and I’ll follow up on this later (eventually).

Congratulations on the engagement, I wish you two the best.

cc6

    

[ Largest image from The Insider. Thumbnail image sources, l-r: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]

Define: Unthought Known

The “unthought known” is a phrase that I first heard through my therapist, when we were talking about trauma and memory specifically. But immediately, I recognized it as extremely useful to identity development, especially in that many of us feel that we’ve always been this way (whatever way “this” might be – queer, kinky, gendered), but never really knew that we were.

That’s basically the definition – something you’ve always known but have never thought about, have never really known that you know.

I remember going through these realizations multiple times as I developed a feminist identity, then a queer sexuality, then a butch gender. As soon as I had those moments which really “clicked,” I was almost confused as to why I hadn’t gotten to this sooner. It was so familiar on a cellular, deep-gut level, and yet it was never how I’d been previously.

One of my former writing mentors used to say, art is a way to get to know what you don’t know that you already know, and I think that’s related – or, maybe more specifically, art is one of the techniques that we can use in order to get the unthought known to become the thought known, as sometimes the creative process can take us to new places and uncover connections to things that are already inside of us, but that are not quite conscious.

I did some research online trying to find more references to it, and there is not a whole lot. It’s a psychology term that was coined in 1987. I did find one interesting essay – Embeddedness, Reflection, Mindfulness and the Unthought Known by Michael Robbins – which is worth reading. Only 4 pages, and it discusses some very interesting concepts related to the unthought known and mindfulness.

What then is the “unthought known”? Christopher Bollas first coined this provocative phrase in 1987 (Bollas, 1987). Basically it refers to what we “know” but for a variety of reasons may not be able to think about, have “forgotten”, “act out”, or have an “intuitive sense for” but cannot yet put into words. In psychoanalytic terms, it refers to the boundary between the “unconscious” and the “conscious” mind, i.e. the “preconscious mind.” In systems-centered terms, it refers to the boundary between what we know apprehensively, without words, and what we know, or will allow ourselves to know, comprehensively with words. (In many ways, although the methods are very different, the psychoanalytic goal of “making the unconscious conscious” is equivalent to the systems-centered goal of making the boundary permeable between apprehensive and comprehensive knowledge.) [… W]e conceptualize the unthought known as what we already know but don’t yet know that we know.

Embeddedness, Reflection, Mindfulness and the Unthought Known by Michael Robbins

I find it really useful to think about in terms of gender and sexuality, since so much of those identity concepts are deeply, deeply embedded but often completely subconscious. What do you think? Are there particular things in your life that have been “unthought knowns”? How did you get them to be thought knowns? What was your identity development process around them?

Happy birthday, Kristen!

Today is Kristen’s 26th birthday! She’s planning a very elaborate 5-course meal for some of her favorite people this weekend (she is quite the top in the kitchen, remember) and I get to play bartender, so I spent some time researching the appropriate wine pairings. The signature cocktail of the evening will be a dirty slut birthday girl gimlet. (It was a dirty dirty dirty martini, but since the cocktail hour is coming after dinner and before dessert, we decided the extra-spicy olives and pickles she likes in her martinis wouldn’t go that well with the almond birthday cake with sherry-lemon buttercream icing. So, gimlet. I’ll share the recipe if it turns out perfectly.)

I’ve got some secret plans for the weekend, too, which definitely includes birthday spankings, gifts, and a few other things …

vettriano
Game On by Jack Vettriano, one of my favorite artists

Happy birthday, baby. I’m so glad I get to celebrate this day with you, and so glad you’re with me. I’ve never had it so good, it just keeps building and building, getting better and better – I know how lucky I am, and I am so grateful. Hope this day is joyous in every way.

Wish her a happy birthday for me, willya? She is a huge part of why the smut writing has been so good lately, after all …

Review: Bandit

banditI’m pulling from my cock-review structure to give you the low-down on the Bandit, a Vixskin silicone strap-on cock.

Shape:
Immediately, the shape is what makes this unique from many other cocks, even many other silicone Vixskin cocks: it has balls, which are made to fit behind the harness’s O-ring. I was worried this would interfere with the strap of my harness (which, since it’s a single-strap like a g-string, hits my clit perfectly and makes me able to get off while strapped on & fucking), and though the extra material behind the O-ring does mean that the harness doesn’t quite hit me the same way, I’ve already gotten off twice while fucking with this cock, so if I’m not coming it isn’t the fault of the dick.

It does have a great head and shape to it, no particular curving, not a lot of veins but a little bit of realistic texture. Definitely very realistic in shape. It comes in three standard Vixskin colors – chocolate, vanilla, and caramel.

Size:
I thought it would be a little small. It’s 7”x1 3/4”, and my favorite (aka “desert island dick,” since I’d take it with me to a desert island) is 8”x2”, so I figured eh, I’ll try it out, but I’m sure Maverick will still be my go-to cock most of the time.

Turns out, the 1/4” width makes a big difference, especially for blow jobs. The cock is smooth and not too highly textured, which, Kristen tells me, makes it go down easily. She can take it deeper and for longer than she can Rick or another larger cock, so I have been picking this one up to use quite a few times since I got it, because, well, shit, she sucks my cock so pretty, I always want her to do more of that.

It is also much more floppy than the Rick cock, perhaps because it has such less girth, so the silicone is less dense in the center? Or maybe there’s actually another hard material in the center of the Rick, which is not in the Bandit? I’m not sure, perhaps someone from Vixen will be able to answer this for me (or someone who spends a lot of time dissecting sex toys, which, I’m just sayin’, seems like a waste to me). So, because it has a lot more give in the shaft of the dick, it is so much easier to pack with! I probably wouldn’t go out in public wearing this, it would just not be discreet enough and does get a bit pokey in the pants after a while, but for hanging out in the living room, watching another episode of Mad Men and drinking a martini, waiting for permission to fuck her again? It tucks perfectly into my jeans.

And goodness knows, I like to be ready when she is.

Material:
High-quality silicone, the special “vixskin” kind that Vixen Creations makes, which means it is more like cyberskin (malleable, kind of soft) than it is like the hard kind of silicone cocks which are predominant in sex shops. But, since it’s silicone, it can be completely sterilized.

I’m impressed with the Bandit. I thought because I already have a couple different silicone Vixskin cocks from their collection that it’d be something I liked, but not something I used all that often. But that hasn’t been true – I’ve picked this one up a lot in the past few weeks since it arrived. I love having my choice of cock for precisely what I want to do – I love being able to choose just the cock to fuck her right.

Sugasm #165: All Five Senses in the top 3!

This Week’s Picks

More Sugasm | Join the Sugasm

My favorites this week:

F*cking with Gender: a workshop in Chicago

I’ll be in Chicago next week on Tuesday night for a workshop with Northwestern University. If you’d like to join this lively discussion, the Rainbow Alliance is kindly opening this up to the public. Come say hi!

F*cking with Gender: Gender expression, identities, labels, transcending the mutually exclusive binaries, queer culture, and hot sweaty sex.

Join Sinclair Sexsmith in this interactive workshop about gender, sexuality, and sex. We’ll play with concepts of how gender identity and sexual identity intersect, butch/femme roles as a language of desire, how labels can be restrictive or liberating, whether gender is a fetish or a kink, and how to have more dirty queer sex. Mr. Sexsmith writes the 2008 #1 sexblog Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top, at www.sugarbutch.net.

May 19th, Tuesday, 7:30PM

Space is limited, please RSVP through Jessie, Princess of Vibe for the Rainbow Alliance at Northwestern University in Chicago (jessicapkaiser[AT]gmail.com)

sinclair1

Poll: What do you think about labels?

You might want to vote in the poll before you read me yammer on about my own thoughts on labels and identity, so I don’t unfairly influence your answers.

[poll=3]

I realize this is a very non-scientific poll, somewhat limited to the visitors of this site, and therefore not a very good sample of the queer communities’ attitudes toward labels … but hey, you gotta use what you got, right? And this is what I got.

So please, leave comments with more explanations (or feedback on why my poll sucks) about your relationship to labels, and read my own thoughts about labels and identity below.

In pursuing this work of identity, specifically gender and sexual identity, one of the first and deepest and most difficult things I come across is the concept of labels.

I see questions about these things all the time: why do we have to label ourselves? Why is the lesbian community so into labels? Why can’t we move beyond labels? What good are labels? Why do I have to conform to someone else’s idea of what I am or am not? Why can’t I just be me?

One of my “gender rules” (something I’m working on, hopefully more on that in the next few weeks) is that everyone is the expert of their own gender, and so thus to always respect however another person feels about their gender. So if you want to reject labels, and that is the way you feel most like yourself, most liberated, most outside of this confining system of gender, then I say go for it and more power to you.

That’s not the case for me, though, not really. I find a lot of liberation inside of the labels – I don’t feel restricted by them, I feel more free to be more myself than I was before.

So I find this curious. I don’t want to be prostelytizing about how everyone needs labels, and I don’t assume that what works for me works for everyone – or anyone – else. But I do know it works for me, and as I’m developing my own gender theories, I’m struggling a bit to explain why.

There is a perception, espeically of the lesbian communities I think, that lesbians are really into labels. From the outside, a lot of words are thrown around connected to lesbianism and queer women, like butch and femme, dyke, homo, queer, bisexual, I actually think the dominant attitude in lesbian communities is very anti-label, very much a rejection of gender identity and sexual identity words. It seems to me that the heat of the community – the visible folks, the young and activist-oriented – are embracing the word “queer” very strongly, which is a much more inclusive term than many of the others, a huge umbrella under which bi, poly, trans, gay, kinky, genderqueer, non-conforming, et cetera, all can come together and find a place.

What I’m saying is, I think it’s interesting that from the outside, this community appears overly obsessed with labels, but once you get inside of it, there are a lot of ways that the dominant discourse discourages labels and micro-identity development.

But when I started thinking through that, I wondered: maybe that is just true for me and not necessarily a truth about the community as a whole. Perhaps that’s just unique to my experience (and, to be fair, the experience of many other butches and femmes, as I’ve heard stories of gender identity development from many of us and they are similar) and perhaps the dominant community thinks something else. But, I thought, it’s not like there is a study I can turn to about what percentage of queers embrace labels!

And, gee, if I can’t use my blog for research like this, then what the heck is it good for?

I hope the options give a wide enough range of your relationship to the concept of “labels” that one of them fits pretty well for you. If it doesn’t, please do leave a comment and tell me, more specifically, what you think about labels, identity, and you personally.

Personal favorites, and more answers

More answers to questions (from bzzzzgrrrl of City Mouse Country).

What’s your favorite bit of smut you’ve written in the last three years?

The Sugarbutch Star stories in general, and probably Diner in the Corner (last year’s winner) and The Girl in the Red Dress (from this year) in particular.

I also really like the stories about Kristen, go figure (have I mentioned I kind of like this girl?) – like My slutty little girl and Wait for me on your knees. Look in the sidebar under the “popular” tab for more of the very top posts on this site – usually the readers and I agree about which ones are the hottest.

I’ve been working on getting a “best of” collection together, the page is still not up, but you can look through the “best of” tag if you want to get a sense of some of the other favorite things that I’ve written.

What’s your favorite bit of smut you’ve read elsewhere in the last three years?

I’ve read so much … if you follow my Google Reader shared items, you’ll see many, many of my favorite things that I’m reading in the sexblog circles. I am still reading a lot of smut and erotica books, too, but they are slower, and often not as good, as the good sexblogs – the online stuff seems more cutting edge, more real. Also probably because I get to start developing deeper relationships with these blog writers, I follow their stories through identity development or heartbreak or growth, so I become more invested.

So: what jumps to mind, and a story that I frequently come back to (and jack off to), is Jack Stratton’s story A Life Exposed and Amplified from his blog Writing Dirty.

I’ve also been really into Patrick Califia lately, and re-reading Doing it for Daddy and Macho Sluts. I also often re-read some parts of Carol Queen’s book The Leather Daddy and the Femme (like the gangbang, gawdamn).

What’s your favorite comment?

I don’t know if I could pick one single comment. I love the ones where people say they understand something about themselves, or about their lovers, better, because of what I’ve written. I love the ones that say someone is coming to a new identity, a new understanding, a more solid and improved place. Those tiny moments of transformation are huge, and I’m so thrilled to have any part of it, so glad that my stories resonate, at all.

What comment caused you to stop and think most?

I don’t know about which comment overall for the site caused me to stop and think the most, but lately, someone has asked about putting a warning label on potentially triggering stories (especially regarding BDSM and the ways that can possibly trigger survivors) and I’ve been thinking a lot about that. It’s why I put up the warning (“If you’re new here, you should know that this site contains BDSM, kink, gender explorations, and explicit queer sex. You may want to subscribe to my RSS feed, or not. This warning will self-destruct.”) which will go away after you visit the site 3 or 5 times or something, but I’m still wondering if individual posts need to be more contained and protected too. I have a lot of thoughts about why to do this, or why not to do this, and I’m still asking around and chewing on it.

What perspective do you wish someone else would write about, well?

I find it fascinating that women are the primary authors of sexblogs. I think this is for a few reasons, like for example that depiction of men’s sexual desire is not rare and perhaps perceived as not even interesting enough in this culture to read about or consume, and also that men do not have to create and re-create spaces for their desire to be explored and heard the same way women do. But I also think we’re in a transformational point in masculinity, which I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and I think it’s really important for men to be writing about “the new male” gender stuff, defining it for themselves, talking about it. Like Figleaf’s Real Adult Sex for example, which is incredibly thoughtful and cutting edge, and always one of my favorite blogs.

Other perspectives I’d love to read more of: guys who identify as femme, butches (we seem to be on the rise, but there still aren’t as many as there are femme blogs out there), guys who identify as butch, gay guys (where are all of those sexblogs? I must be just totally out of the loop), butch bottoms, femme tops … there are so many different ways to identify and navigate and explore sexuality, I’m interested in just about all of them really. Especially the ones that are underrepresented.

Sadism, and the Study of Pain

i have noticed elsewhere online that you have added ’sadistic’ to your lineup of adjectives. i was very interested in your explanation of how you came to claim those words as part of your identity (forgive me if this is not accurate), and would be interested in hearing a similar description of how you came to claim sadistic as well.

Yes, I have added “sadistic” in a couple of my taglines or bios or descriptions recently, and it is an identity label that I claim, at least to a degree. I think the identity of “sadist” is understood much less – outside of kink communities and circles – than the other identity tags I use (queer, butch, top), and it can be incredibly off-putting for folks who don’t understand it.

There’s just so much stigma around it – you like to give others pain? You enjoy that, you get off on it, it turns you on? That’s seen as, well, kind of fucked up by a lot of people.

And it kind of is fucked up, if that’s the way you’re looking at it. But the details of how sadism works a lot more complicated than that – at least, it is for me.

It’s taken me a long time to come to claim a bit more of a sadistic identity, and it’s still something that I say with a little bit of reservation or even shame, partly because I don’t want it to come on too strongly and freak someone out.

First: playing with sadism, for me, must be consensual and intentional. I do not enjoy being cruel in general, and actually it is sometimes very difficult for me to treat someone I love with humiliation or damage, to hit them, to slap someone in the face. I’ve had to go through the feelings of top guilt and, to a greater extend, sadist guilt, when I started exploring this. Those feelings aren’t completely gone, but I know what I’m doing more now and I have more confidence in my perspective and standpoint, so I don’t have as much guilt about it.

I remember precisely when I realized I was a sadist: it was 2002, and I was in a Body Electric workshop called Power, Surrender, and Intimacy. (This is going to get a little bit sacred sex/spiritual, just to warn you.) We had been discussing power, dominance, and sadism – and receiving that with surrender, submission, and masochism – and had been doing exercises all relating to tapping into those feelings. We were in the middle of a ritual (I won’t go into details) when someone had a very strong reaction, and began crying. I was going through my own experience and starting to really feel myself come into some power and dominance in a new way, and I was flooded with the witness of her release. It was a solo ritual, so we weren’t working together or touching, and she probably wasn’t even aware of me, she just started sobbing, loudly, in her own world of release, and I felt the energy as the grief and emotion flooded through her, I was so attuned to the shifts of energy in the room, and started realizing that I was incredibly turned on by her release. It was beautiful – pure and unhindered, just letting go of some really deep things that she’d been carrying and holding on to for who knows how long. I wanted to coax her through it, support her, and in my mind I was soothing her, cradling, holding the space around her so that she herself could have room to be safe and release. I loved the feeling of doing that for someone (even though I wasn’t really doing that for her, I was just imagining the scenario where I would do that) and I got such a rush and release myself from witnessing someone else get into that space of deep release, deep surrender, and then come back, smiling and whole.

So there’s a lot of psychology to it for me: we carry around all sorts of grief, pain, shame, anger, rage, distrust, disassociation, and guilt, especially about our physical bodies and our sexualities. And one of the ways that BDSM and power play and pain play taps into that is through acknowledgment and, ultimately, release – which is why we can feel renewed, refreshed, energized after a deep scene.

We also just don’t have very good tools for release and replenishment available to us. We’re not exactly taught how to remake ourselves and let go of some of our deep grief, and I believe this kind of emotional release is one of those ways.

Aside from the psychology, I also like pain. And as much as I talk about being a sadist, I have spent many years as a masochist also – I’ve been beaten, flogged, caned, whipped, pierced, cut, and slapped; I’ve had 13 piercings (only one of which I wear anymore); I’ve had some experience submitting and surrendering, and using pain as a way to get more present in my body, and then to let go.

There’s a degree to which, though, at this point, I feel like I’ve had enough of that kind of release, I seek something else now. I know how to get myself into a state of deep body release, mostly through yoga or meditation or masturbation or running, and I wanted to explore other things related to that kind of bodily release – namely, guiding it in others. I get more out of the experience of taking someone through it than I do going through it myself, these days. I don’t expect that to be permanent, but I don’t expect it to change either – for now, I know I’m a top who really likes to play with my sadistic side, and that really works for me.

So, after this series of revelations and after some further investigation, and being very sure that I wanted to get deeper into this kind of play, I began studying it more intentionally: how to get someone into that state, how to keep them safe when they’re there, how to encourage the release (but not overwhelmingly so), and how to bring them back from it.

There’s also that moment … how do I describe it. Where put your hand in water and you can’t tell if it’s super hot or super cold – how our senses cross-fire sometimes when sensation is so deep and heavy and stimulating that we can’t tell if it’s pain or pleasure.

I love playing with that line, partly because it is a way to practice pain without suffering – a way to practice pain without being hurt, but to experience it as a release, change, and growth. I think pain play can do a lot of that, too, and it is very interesting to me, as someone who is interested in algology (the study of pain), and someone who studies the cessation of suffering, how to encourage these moments of transformation where pain becomes pleasure, useful, and a methodology of study.

What I’m saying is: sadism is the intentional use of pain, discomfort, and other dark emotions to find deep release, move energy, and renew the self. As someone who is deeply interested in dark emotions, the messy stuff, the hard stuff, and personal transformation and self-awareness, this is a tool that I find incredibly useful.

Sugasm #164: Slutty little girl.

This Week’s Picks

My picks this week:

My post My slutty little girl. was included, which, despite not being in the top picks, is one of my favorite real-life stories that I’ve written in a while.

Let’s Get Gay Married!

postcard-m

I’ve been wanting to write a post about the changes in gay marriage legistlation that have been happening in the US lately. I’ve even started drafting some notes. But by time I get back to writing it, I find that yet another state has put something new into law.

Suddenly, it’s like a domino effect: Yesterday, the Maine House of Representatives voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and now Maine; DC also passed legistlation to recognize gay marriages performed in other states (something New York and New Jersey also do).

postcard-mPlus, there’s Massachusetts, which was the first state to let gay couples marry in 2004, who is I’m sure just sittin’ back going, “Whut? What’s the big deal? Oh, gay marriage? Yeah, we did that like five years ago. You guys haven’t done that yet?” (Apparently Massachusetts speaks in a lot of slang.)

Oh, and Connecticut, which began performaing gay marriages last fall.

Not only that, but Nate Silver, genius statistician behind FiveThirtyEight (which kept me sane during the 2008 election, along with Dr. Maddow), developed a model to estimate when other states will follow suit and pass gay marriage rights: “The model predicts that by 2012, almost half of the 50 states would vote against a marriage ban, including several states that had previously voted to ban it.” He recognizes that there could be a backlash, or a paradigmatic shift in favor of permitting gay marriage, and these could be completely off, but it seems quite possible that they are at least going to be partly accurate. And seeing it all in print like that is just … thrilling.

Sugarbutch is definitely not a news source, really, but as long as we’re making some serious headway, I think it deserves mentioning.

Wait, what? Sorry, what did I just say? THE number one gay civil rights issue is … succeeding? I feel like I’m in a cartoon where I have to shake my head and it gets all blurry. Really?

postcard-mSo now we’re equal, right? We’re the same, we’re going to be treated with respect, 11-year-old kids aren’t going to committ suicide because they are being bullied, taunted about their sexuality? Harassment is over, workplace discrimination is over – oh yeah, nobody can get fired for being gay anymore, right?

And don’t even get me started with the transphobia and genderphobia – where genderqueer folks are getting murdered through blatant hate crimes. At least “surprise” is less of a defense these days.

I have issues with the marriage focus of the gay rights movement. I understand that marriage is pretty much the ultimate symbol of a legitimate relationship (in this culture & society), so I understand why it’s important to work for, and I understand that perhaps for many people, it will be an important symbol in the step toward acknowledging the legitimacy of homosexual relationships.

(I could go on here about other legitimate forms of relationships that also deserve governmental tax breaks, the normalizing and construction of monogamy, the question of where is the separation of church and state in this issue, the belief that marriage is the ceremony and civil union should be the legal part, that marriage is also a class and privilege issue … lots of people are having this conversation lately, it’s all been said before.)

postcard-mBUT: gay marriage is not THE END of the gay rights movements. It really hurts to read that gay advocacy groups are closing their doors because hey, we can get married now! There’s nothing else to fight for, is there?

Look, don’t get me wrong, I am SO GLAD that we’re gaining movement with the gay marriage issue. Thank heavens. Maybe we can now move on to some of the OTHER issues of the movement, like, oh, I don’t know, PEOPLE DYING.

Part of me wants to be snarky and say, “So you think this makes up for all that discrimination? Huh? Huh?” But hey, you’ve come around now, and that’s what matters. So: thanks, Maine. And thanks, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, DC, and all the other states who are helping make history, create change, support equality, justice, and validate all kinds of love.

A celebration of Butch Voices

Upcoming fundraiser in Brooklyn for the Butch Voices conference in Oakland this fall! There is a lot of information on the Butch Voices website that details the conference’s goals, what BV is about, and the logistics of the conference in Oakland in August.

bvwebbanner4

Announcing A Celebration of Butch Voices…

An evening of performance, fashion and general butch mayhem to celebrate the diversity of Butch Voices with performances by award-winning gender illusionist Dred; Nedra Johnson, poet Renair Amin and dorky dyke comic Kelli Dunham. The evening will include a fashion show developed with the help of Paris Amari of the Sophisticated Aggressive Gents as well as a butch cook-off.

May 9, 2009, 9:30 PM until 2 am
Re/dress
109 Boreum Place
Bergen Street stop on the F/G train
Brooklyn NY
Admission is only five bucks

For more information contact kellidunham@gmail.com