Archive for November, 2009

On Femme Invisibility

November 23, 2009  |  essays  |  43 Comments

G at “Can I Help You, Sir?” asked about femme invisibility recently, and the topic has gone around the gender/queer blogs a bit, with some great posts and thoughts.

First, and probably most obviously: I am not femme. So I am writing from a perspective of having dated and known many femmes in my life, but I do not experience visibility directed at me, but through stories and my witnessing. I am only an indirect, at best, expert on this. But these are my thoughts on femme invisibility, i.e. femmes not being recognized as queer because of their gender presentation.

This is a real thing. Femmes everywhere and from all parts of my life have told me this. One of my first femme mentors, Tara Hardy, has multiple poems about femme identity, one of which quotes: “I no longer get sad if they ask me at the door if I know it’s dyke night: I get mad. I mean, how much pussy do I have to eat before you let me in the club?”

And early on, I knew I was attracted to femininity, knew I wanted to date femmes (though I wasn’t quite sure how). The revelation that there are gay women who like to be feminine, and that I don’t have to chase straight women who will, probably, by definition, leave me to date men, was a relief. But I know that that’s not so easy to grasp for many people.

At the Femme Conference in 2008, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha said in her keynote address, “Femme invisibility is bullshit. You just don’t know how to look.” And I wanted to stand up and scream FUCK YEAH, because sometimes when femmes say “I feel so invisible” I want to say, but I SEE YOU! But I know I don’t always, not every single time, and I know I don’t make up for the other thousands of people who don’t see you, or for the discrimination and rejection from the queer communities that seems to continue, despite that femmes are a very significant part of queer communities.

One of the bottom-line issues about femme in/visibility, for me, is that it is a form of gender discrimination. When someone refuses to recognize a femme as queer, that person is saying, straight women are feminine, dykes are not, therefore your gender presentation trumps anything that might come out of your mouth about how you identify or who you are, and I am more right than you are about your identity. The sex-gender assumption is too strong and too fundamental for many people to be allowed to be overridden.

And gawd if that doesn’t get my boxers in a twist.

Especially since, let’s be honest, I fetishize the theorization of gender a little bit (or, um, maybe a lot), so the verbal explanation of gender and sexuality that femmes are pretty much required to do (because the sex-gender assumption is so strong) is all the more hot to me, and even sometimes MORE valid than the androgynous or rejection of femininity presentation of many other dykes and queers. Because, I mean, your strappy sandals are really hot, don’t get me wrong, but if you can’t use words to talk about femininity and sexuality and dykeness and a claim to queer culture and an acknowledgment of the complications of living in a culture which heteronormatizes femininity, are you going to get my blood pumping? Probably not. The femininity without the intention behind it is less appealing – to me, personally – than the ability to explain it.

From what I can tell, the issue of femme invisibility is at least threefold: visibility to straight folks, visibility to queer folks, and visibility to femmes themselves.

Passing: In/visibility to the Straight World

Not being seen as queer and recognized as radical by straight folks is a common complaint I hear from femmes. There is an added burden of constantly having to come out verbally, constantly having to remind the folks around you that you are queer, constantly having to deflect and defend yourselves against unwanted straight male attractions, since in this culture the display of femininity is presumed to be for the attraction of men, men’s gaze, men’s sexual advancement. It is seen as an invitation to being hit on, in fact. A girl out on the town and all dressed up in heels, dresses, lipstick, must be trying to “catch a man.” Of course, this isn’t true. Whoever this girl is, she could be wearing those things for all kinds of reasons, for her boyfriend, for her friends, for herself, for her wife.

And this is constant. Walking down the street, catching a cab, on the subway, at work, at a party, at a play, at a concert, in a bar – everywhere a femme goes, her femininity is assumed to be for men and to attract a man.

(This is also, in fact, one of the reasons femme-ness is subversive, and feminist: it re-creates femininity not as a tool to catch men, but as an authentic mode of expression for onesself and for queerness, disrupting this idea that femininity is “natural” for women.)

This is also called “passing,” and though I have had femmes tell me they like that they get to hear what people say when they don’t know someone gay is listening, I think generally passing carries with it a great burden, not privilege. The burden is that of constantly coming out, constantly having to argue with folks, constantly having to defend one’s orientation as gay when the sex-gender assumption does not line up.

There is also, as some femmes have mentioned to me, the problem that, after coming out verbally to someone (especially a man who is attempting to hit on you), you are sometimes in more danger than you were before, or than someone masculine- or androgynously-presenting is, because the person feels “tricked.” (I’ve written about this before, a little.) This defense is often cited in trans hate crimes, also – this notion that the trans person was presenting some other way than how they “really” are, therefore the hater was “duped” in some way.

Honestly, I don’t know what femmes can do about this particularly, aside from continue to come out. We – if I may speak for queer and gender and feminist activists – are trying to reach the straight world, we are trying to raise visibility and disrupt the idea that femininity is an invitation, but that is going to take some time. I hope there can be some assurance, regardless, that femme femininity is valid and not intended to be a tool of attraction for everyone, but for whomever it is you choose for it to be for. You can’t choose who sees you when you walk down the street – you put yourself out there in a semi-public domain and you can’t pick who you interact with on a daily basis. But you can choose what those interactions mean. And here, you just have a more advanced sense of this sex-gender assumption than they do. You are right. They are not.

Recognition: In/visibility to Queers

The second issue here is the visibility of femmes to queer communities. This, I think, is more personal and more of a vulnerable topic, since femininity (and expression of gender), to some degree, indicates desire and sexual signaling, and when those symbols of gender are not recognized as being symbols of attractiveness or attraction, that can be incredibly invalidating and disheartening.

It is a vulnerable process to put oneself out there, to make oneself available for rejection, to get dressed up for an event, to walk in and think, “my people!”, only to have them not recognize you as one of them. It hurts. It is a constant struggle.

It’s also frustrating to be hitting on people you are interested or attractive to and to have them not recognize what you’re doing as an invitation, or to resist or be skeptical of the validity of the invitation.

I understand the resistance, being on the other side of that equation, of a masculine-presenting person who has been taught over and over not to get caught up with straight women. I know a lot of butches and transmasculine folks who have a history of dating straight women, and the heartache of that inevitable loss is one we learn early. It is also dangerous – plenty of societal factors will jump in to police any attempts to “convert” a straight women to our lecherous queer ways, be it the girl’s boyfriend, friends, parents, or complete strangers, and because of the masculine presentation, the threat of violence is implicit or, sometimes, direct.

Not that this is an adequate excuse for the refusal to recognize femmes as queer, especially after a femme says “I’m queer” in some form or another.

I mean HELLO – butches and transmasculine folks and all of you queers and fucking everybody, while I’m on the subject – can we please just start to practice believing a feminine woman when she says she’s queer? Stop questioning her agency. Stop forcing her to defend herself. Stop being an ignorant idiot and realize that femmes exist and are real and valid queer identities. Any time you call a femme’s queerness into question, that is what you are doing.

Yeah so some of you might’ve had your heart smashed by a feminine straight girl in the past. I know. That sucks. You might be skeptical that you could get hurt again. Yep, okay, that’s valid. Entering into any relationship requires you to put yourself out there a little, and involves some risk. But regardless of her orientation, you might get hurt. Regardless of whether you marry this girl or date her for ten years or one year or just have a one night stand or just buy her a drink or walk away in one minute, she could hurt you. (No wait – she could reject you. You can choose whether or not that rejection is painful. But that’s a slightly different topic.)

Also: I’d like to put out there that, when in a queer space, it is okay to assume that the people in attendance are queer. Now, this does not mean that everyone is there for your own personal pleasure, and that it’s okay to blindly hit on anyone and everyone, so the “don’t be an asshole” rule obviously still applies. But if there’s a feminine person over by the jukebox at the dyke bar, it is more likely that she is gay than not. She still might not be – but if she’s in a dyke bar, and you are nice and thoughtful and polite and reasonable and respectful, it isn’t a problem to assume that she’s gay and to ask her if you can buy her a drink or tell her that you like her shoes. If she’s not gay, okay, depending on your goals of the evening (to pick someone up vs to converse with interesting people vs something else), be polite. If she is gay, that still doesn’t mean she’ll sleep with you. You might not be her type. She might be taken. You might be her type and she might not be taken, but she still might not sleep with you because for whatever reason, she doesn’t want to. Oh well! If you can, don’t take it personally, and move on.

Proof: In/visibility to Oneself

In the post Alphafemme wrote about femme invisibility, she touched on something very interesting:

It starts with not being able to see myself. That must be at the very root of it. As a little girl … I loved tea parties and dollhouses and dresses and patent leather shoes, I loved American Girl dolls and dress-up and imagining my future wedding. I was obsessed with … figure skaters and ballerinas. I fit snugly into my gender box. No questions asked. … it took me quite a long time to come out to myself. … There was no way I was gay. It just didn’t make sense. I was a girl. I was supposed to like boys. That was that. … Understanding of sexuality is so, so so tied up with gender. That’s really what makes femmes so invisible. To ourselves as well as to others. There often aren’t any outward signs that we digress from the norm. They’re all inward. And society tells us (all of us, not just femmes) all the time that the inward things? Are figments of our imagination. … So unless you look different, unless there’s some physical proof of it (whatever it is), there’s plenty of room for people to doubt you. And judge you. And feel justified in doubting and judging.

What a complicated, heartbreaking, turning-ourselves-inside-out that coming to a new identity process is. And when it is not marked by physical proof, when someone looks the same, there is no particular indication that Something Big Has Changed, so how do we know? By speaking of it, by talking about it, by documenting it in some form. Still, so much of the data we take in is visual, so even when our minds take in that something is different, if we don’t see the physical proof, it might not register the same way. I think this is also partly why the process of coming out as a dyke often involves things like cutting one’s hair off – which is the rejection of femininity and the association that femininity is performed for the attraction of men, yes, but also a physical marker that something has changed.

These are just things that are “true,” according to our culture: femininity is a tool for the attraction of men; dykes reject this and therefore don’t have to perform femininity; if you are a dyke, you also come to a more androgynous gender identity as part of your dykeness. Sexual orientation and gender presentation are so tied together – that is the sex-gender assumption in a nutshell.

It is a radical and subversive thing to occupy an identity that disrupts these social “truths.” It is hard. It is a constant battle. I think it does change, though, in two ways: we come to a more accepting, understanding place about our own identities, with a lot more sovereignty, so we don’t have to constantly feel defensive and at war with the world; and culture is changing, too. Culture is not a static fixed thing. Queer culture is advancing like mad. We are pushing the edges of it, calling into question the sex-gender assumptions in big ways. I think society is getting more accepting and understanding, as time goes on, and we do come to more solid places within ourselves, and we do get to know more and more people who are like us the longer we explore these identities.

A few more things …

Femme invisibility is gender discrimination based on the sex-gender assumption. It is not about you, it is about a culture-wide unspoken societal rule that says femininity is for the attraction of men and feminine women are straight.

Don’t take it personally. I know that’s more easily said than done, but I still think it’s true. There is not some magic femme symbol that, if you were wearing it, or if you were more gay, or “really” gay, they would have recognized it. This is their problem, not yours. There are many, many of us who recognize femme as a completely legit queer identity, as one of the cutting edges of queer identity in fact, and who know how difficult it is and how deep it runs. Your experience is valid, your orientation is valid.

Of course, femmes don’t always go through the process of invisibility. Lady Brett wrote a piece about the relative newness of invisibility in her life, and growing up a tomboy. There are so many ways to experience femme-ness and queer community involvement and recognition, and while claims to overarching truths can be called into question, our own experiences are always valid and real.

Chime in on this conversation, if you like. What do you think about femme invisibility? What has your experience of it been? What’s it like for you? How do you transcend these frustrating moments of invisibility, both to other queers, the straight world, and yourself? What have you witnessed in your femme partners or lovers or friends? How do you give a secret nod or wink to other queers?

Want to write some smut with me?

November 17, 2009  |  miscellany  |  5 Comments

This just in! Stop the presses! Last minute announcement of how to stalk me this week …

As if I haven’t had enough events this week and last: I was in Northwest Illinois visiting the fine folks at the Students For Sex Against Sexism in Society club at Knox College doing my Fucking with Gender workshop this past weekend, last night I was at Columbia’s Conversio Virium talking to a whole bunch of kinksters about Gendering Power: How to Spice Up Your Role Play, and on Friday I’ll be at Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia for the Trans Day of Remembrance.

And now, I’ll be at The Eulenspiegel Society‘s Queer SIG (special interest group) in New York City this Thursday.

Here’s the details:

Thursday, November 19, TES Queer SIG Presents: PIY: Porn It Yourself
Nayland Blake on photography, Blaise on filmed pornography, Sinclair Sexsmith on written smut

Mainstream porn often just doesn’t cut it when you’re kinky and queer, and that’s why there’s been a long history of people making their own. Join the queer SIG for three half-hour workshops on the pleasures and pitfalls of different kinds of porn production and publishing: filmic, written and photographic and pick up tips on how to represent the sex that’s hot for you.

Members $4; Non-Members $8 Joria Studios, 260 W 36th, 3rd Floor Doors open at 7:30 pm. Meeting starts at 8 pm.

It’ll be three different half-hour segments, one on film, one on photography, and one on written smut, with lots of tips about doing it yourself. I’m excited to see both the photography and the film segments, since I do have that nice little Flip video camera that is just begging to be used, and since Kristen is getting a bit more comfortable in front of a camera … in fact, I just ordered a pinup book to play with, and we were just looking at the Pinup Finishing School‘s pin up and hair workshops.

Want to book me for an event? Check out my profile at Phin Li Bookings, or contact me directly:

Scarleteen: Help Lift Sex Ed to a Higher Plane

November 17, 2009  |  essays  |  1 Comment

stfund09_160I’ve written about the sex education network Scarleteen before, calling for support and donations to help keep this invaluable resource going strong.

I’ve been following Scarleteen and the work of its Executive Director, Heather Corinna, since probably around 1997 or ’98, and have been enamored especially of her photography and her work on her site femmerotic.com. Seems she’s not doing quite as much photography these days as she used to, though perhaps that’s partially because she’s working full-time AND running Scarleteen. (Yeah, sounds like something I would do, I know.)

Scarleteen’s had a big year – it’s now part of The Center for Sex and Culture out of San Francisco. But it still needs support, by which I mean DONATIONS.

littlesxCorinna also released her book S.E.X. in 2007 – “the in-depth and inclusive sexuality guide! Covering everything from STIs to sexual orientation, body image to birth control, masturbation to misogyny, the anatomy of the clitoris to considering cohabitation, and written for you whether you’re male, female or genderqueer; straight, gay or somewhere in between, this is THE everything-you-need, comprehensive, progressive sexuality handbook to get you through high school, college and the rest of your life.” Donate more than $75 and get a copy of the book.

Please consider passing on $5, $10, $100, $500 to this fantastic resource. You can also follow Scarleteen’s blog to keep up with some of the discussion.

More information about the site and its activism follows.

You probably know Scarleteen has been the premier online sexuality resource for young people worldwide since 1998. We have consistently provided free inclusive, comprehensive and positive sex education, information and support to millions for longer than anyone else online. We built the online model for teen and young adult sex education and have remained online for nearly eleven years to sustain, refine and expand it.

What you might not know is that Scarleteen is the highest ranked online young adult sexuality resource but also the least funded and that the youth who need us most are also the least able to donate. You might not know that we have done all we have with a budget lower than the median annual household income in the U.S. You might not know we have provided the services we have to millions without any federal, state or local funding and that we are fully independent media which depends on public support to survive and grow.

You also might not know Scarleteen is primarily funded by people who care deeply about teens having this kind of vital and valuable service; individuals like you who want better for young people than what they get in schools, on the street or from initiatives whose aim is to intentionally use fearmongering, bias and misinformation about sexuality to try to scare or intimidate young people into serving their own personal, political or religious agendas.

To try and reach our goal, we’re asking supporters to consider a donation of $100 or greater. If that isn’t possible for you, whatever you give will still help and will still be strongly appreciated. To donate now (or to view or link to the rest of this email online), click here. If you’d first like more information on why we’re setting the goal we are, what Scarleteen has done in the last year and during the whole of our tenure, our plans for 2010, and what the scoop is with our budget and expenses, keep reading.

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Review: Buck

November 14, 2009  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

Oh, Vixskin. (Sigh & swoon.)

I often get questions about which cocks I recommend, and I always say Vixen Creation’s line of Vixskin material. They are very realistic, made with or without balls, in lots of different sizes, and come in three colors: chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. I find the vanilla matches my skin tone best, but I do have a caramel which is not far off, and still feels like mine.

buckThe one I am going to tell you about today is Buck.

Material

Like Bandit, Lonestar, and oh, EVERY SINGLE OTHER cock in the Vixskin line, the material for Buck is fantastic. It’s high quality silicone, which means it is completely sterilizable and one of the safest materials available on the market, but the Vixskin type of silicone is also much more pliable than regular silicone.

(But if you’ve been following Sugarbutch, or are aware of materials already, you probably know this.)

Shape

This one’s pretty typically shaped. It is a bit veiny, which I don’t actually love, but I suppose I don’t mind. Maybe it’s some leftover hesitations about having something realistic, and though I now definitely crave something realistically shaped (like with a head and corona) and colored, but all the veins are a little bit too … skin like? fake? Something, I’m not sure what. No balls on this one, and not quite as floppy as something like Lonestar.

Size

Buck is a very lovely size, I gotta say. It is 6″ x 2″ – I thought it might be a bit small, since the Vixskin cock Maverick (7″x2″) is my very favorite, but that extra inch is not as missed as I expected. Holding Buck next to Maverick, it seems like Buck is a tiny bit smaller around, but they say it’s the same girth. Maybe it’s that Buck has a 2″ head but then tapers a bit smaller and has a 2″ base, but Maverick is pretty much the same width all the way down.

Maverick is just a wee bit too big for good blow jobs. I kind of like that it’s a wee bit too big, I kind of like seeing Kristen try and gasp and gag a little, which she is very willing to do. But Buck is just about perfect. I thought it was the girth that was too much, but perhaps the way Buck tapers that eases that issue. And because it’s a little bit shorter, she can take it closer to all the way down. (Something I always love.)

Buck has quickly become my go-to (after Maverick). My second favorite Vixskin cock, and works for just about all the kinds of sex I might be craving to have. Definitely recommended, especially for folks who think the 7″x2″ of the Maverick is a little intimidating.

Buck was sent to me by Eden Fantasys for review. Buy Buck at Eden Fantasys or your local queer, feminist, sex-positive sex toy shop.

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Review: The Big Cock

November 12, 2009  |  reviews  |  4 Comments

I don’t know if this sucker has another name. I’ve just been calling it The Big Cock. Because, well:

bigcock bigcock2

You see, when you write about sex on the Internets, sometimes people send you things. And I came home to this big ol’ box one day about a month ago and um. omg. #sixteeninchcockfail.

Yes, that’s what I said. SIXTEEN INCHES. and 2.5″ in girth.

I kind of thought I could do (ridiculous, campy) a photo shoot with this thing, before it arrived, but when I saw it? No. No way.

I like a big ol’ thick cock as much as the next cockcentric guy, but the size is just ridiculous. It can’t possibly be usable! Plus, it’s a bad material, smells like that awful plastic. So then the question was, of course, what the heck do I DO with it?

So, of course, I asked the Hive Mind, aka Twitter. (Read chronologically from the bottom up.)

bigcock_tw2

And what do you know! Sending The Big Cock to Courtney Trouble and seeing it possibly make its debut in a porn film seemed like a PERFECT thing to do with it! I wouldn’t get to use it, or be photographed with it, but I think I can easily give up that dream. I don’t think it made its way all the way to California in time for her October 9th shoot (that Jiz Lee mentioned), but perhaps it’ll be in something else. It’s WAY more likely to get used sitting around her place than it is sitting around mine.

So, bye-bye, Big Cock. I hope you find a good new home.

Thanks to sextoy.com for sending me The Big Cock to review. Buy other bondage and kink sex toys through sextoy.com.

Fucking & Making Love

November 11, 2009  |  dirty stories, essays  |  11 Comments

She looked so damn hot yesterday.

I don’t know what it was exactly. She was in an outfit I’ve seen, tight slim jeans, her girly black tank top with the silver star pattern, little yellow sweater with the clear buttons. Maybe it was her hair, she’s been letting it grow and it’s getting longer, almost to her chin, it’s thin so it’s starting to flip up at the ends. So. Fucking. Cute. Maybe it was the earrings, simple large silver hoops, the ones she’s worried are a cliche but I keep trying to assure her they’re classic, sexy.

Off hand, she said yesterday that I am obsessed with my hair. I said ‘obsessed’ was a bit strong, but I see her point. Maybe it’s not just my hair, either, but hair in general. Still, I don’t want to pressure her into doing things like growing her hair long because that’s what I like – I hope it’s okay for me to state my personal preference while at the same time accepting however she prefers to present. Because while it’s true, I do prefer long hair, even more than that I prefer her to make decisions based on her own wants and needs and personal expression, not on what I desire.

Still. Her hair was so much shorter when we met, nearly as short as mine is now; I’ve been growing mine too, going for that early Elvis look. I’d dye it blue-black like his but I really like the few strands of gray that are coming in at my temples.

I guess I really am obsessed with hair.

Point is: she looked so, so good. Fun, flirty. Femme.

We chatted on the couch after I got to her house. How are you, how’s your day, how’s your sister. Maybe it was that I hadn’t seen her in more than a day after spending many days in a row with her. I felt my appetite for her growing, bubbling up. At one point she tipped her head just slightly sideways, her hair doing this little flip on both sides, the lines of her silhouette so perfect, those big hoop earrings brushing her neck, and she gave me a little smile, eyes twinkling. If I’d been on a TV show, it would’ve cut to a shot of me, my spine becoming jelly, my hands to my face, crying OH GOD as I slide off the couch before springing up and throwing myself on her, wrapping around her and kissing her hard, my mouth wherever she’d let me put it, then the camera would snap back to the shot of us on the couch as we were before and nothing would’ve actually happened, just me, sitting there blinking, in awe, probably totally transparent and readable and ooey gooey in love. Am I so obvious? Moments like that I feel oafish, bull in a china shop, too big and awkward next to such grace and elegance, like I am certain how much she knows she’s got me wrapped around her little finger.

Oh and here I am being all dramatic and admirational again. Are you bored of this femme-worship yet? Three and a half years of Sugarbutch and I only love femmes more, I am only more certain of my orientation to them in such a specific way. Only three and a half years of Sugarbutch, but I met my first femme nine years ago, and I knew then … what? Something. The way she shocked me to life, lit up the night like a shower of sparks from fireworks.

And I’ve never had it this good. I tell myself that every day: every day of this relationship I am grateful, so appreciative of every minute we have together. I’ve not known a bliss like this and I’ve never known it to last this long.

When Jesse was here, she had a brief little snag with Violet, some conversation where it wasn’t quite perfect, but she didn’t let it phase her or lose her unwavering faith in their relationship. “We’ve always been able to talk it through, whatever it is,” she said. And so far, Kristen and I have that too – not big explosive fights and feelings getting deeply hurt, but conversations of honesty and self-awareness and accountability and care. There are some things looming, a little, I’ve felt their weight lately, our differences and complications and inadequacies and places where we need more support, but we have always been able to talk things through, even if the journey is more illuminating than the destination, even if the only conclusion is, “well, now we know, that’s how we work, that’s my particular quirks and assumptions coming up against yours in our unique relationship way. We’ll just have to watch how this plays out.” We still come back together, appreciate each other, speak the deep truths. I feel like I am heard, always. And oh how important that is, what a relief to have it in my relationship, with her.

Dacia has a piece she’s read in public a few times lately which has the lines, “I write about the relationship I wish I was having,” and “I buy my own bullshit.” I’ve done that, here, in the past. I’ve written myself into love, used this site to woo and court. I haven’t wanted to do that with Kristen. It’s too precious, too real; I’ve learned from my mistakes, or rather, I am learning, I am trying to learn. That is a major reason why I haven’t written about her like I have others.

Plus, I’m all the more protective of my heart these days. How many heartbreaks is one heart made to withstand, anyway? I love writing about my relationships, but it can also be a crutch – I become obsessed with micro-articulating my feelings and emotional landscapes in writing, sometimes to my own detriment, overdramatizing and letting the articulation of the emotion be more important than the experience, the story, the audience, the effects.

I don’t want to do that anymore.

So I am protective of this relationship, as it has swelled and sometimes burst, its ups and downs. I haven’t chronicled it all here, preferring instead to articulate it to her as best I can. And there are things, snags, places between us which are murky and lurking a little for me right now, things that have come up and we’ve said “we should talk about that more later,” but now it’s later and I don’t even remember what they were, so that makes me all the more nervous. The unknown rather than the known. I should’ve kept a list, I keep thinking. But I’ve got to calm my nerves about this, not let it affect the really good highs inside of which we still so easily slip. So far, we’ve been able to talk through everything, and for now I’ll rest comfortable on presuming we’ll be able to do that in the future, too.

Yes, I was high when I reached out for her upper arm and pulled her onto my lap, and she’d just told me about how she’d done her homework this morning by playing with her ass while getting off, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t also in love, wanting to make love, wanting to be inside of her, drinking her in as I sucked her nipples into my mouth and left bite marks on her neck and shoulders. She cried out and I thought, someone should be videotaping this she is so goddamn hot.

In the bedroom we slipped off her clothes. “Take off your shirt.” I slid her tight jeans down her legs. She was in this matching bra and panties I hadn’t seen her wear before – she does wear the bra, a little white one with pink polka dots and pink satin bows, very femme, but the matching panties have layers of ruffles. I’ve never seen her in them.

I didn’t take them off.

“I want to see your ass. Turn over.” She does, gets on all fours. “Show it to me. Get down on your elbows.” She parts her knees a little and arches her back, I run my hand over her curves and feel the outline of her cunt and ass under the thin fabric. I let my fingers trail over her softly, slowly. My mind raced. There’s so much I wanted to do to her, with her. All that ass talk earlier made me want my fingers in her there, to get out the little plug I’d brought to leave at her place (her further homework), wanted to plow her ass hard and make her scream. I won’t do that, yet, of course, it’ll take some time to work up to it. I wanted her to stay on her knees, ass in the air, while I gripped her hips and fucked her slow and hard. I wanted her on her knees, mouth full of spit eyes looking up at me as she sucked me down.

But most of all I wanted to be close, pressed against her, kissing her, wrapped around each other. So I strapped on, peeled off her pretty bra and panties, told her to turn over, slid inside, and got lost in her, got lost in the way we wind around and hold each other. We barely spoke, just felt each other, just took it all in with our bodies.

There were a few times I slowed down, savored her, looked at her, but the vibration was so strong between us, I couldn’t didn’t want to stop. Sometimes I wondered if I should, if her hips were okay, if she needed more of a break, but I kept getting so close and ultimately was able to come inside of her for the first time in a long time, I was glad I didn’t stop. (I don’t know why I haven’t been coming lately. I broke out the Spartacus harness I’d retired hoping that would help. It did, apparently.)

Later, she said, “I thought you were going to stop … but you didn’t. That was good.”

Yeah, that was good. And I’m glad she said that. Always affirming to know I wasn’t pushing her. I want to push her, I want to have that kind of power and trust and knowledge and skill, but that has to be earned, that has to be worthy. I want to do so much more with her, to her, want to take her to all sorts of dirty places and cradle her and worship her and honor her and fuck her and smack her around and force her and hold her and let go with her and trust her.

There’s time. It’s been almost a year, but I know enough to know that we’re in this. And that we’ll keep building, and exploring, as this keeps getting deeper and stronger.

Radical Masculinity: How to Make Masculinity Stop Hurting

November 11, 2009  |  essays  |  No Comments

It’s up!

My second Radical Masculinity column for Carnal Nation is titled How to Make Masculinity Stop Hurting. Here’s the beginning:

radical-masculinity-hurting-big

My dad’s best friend died last week. Heart attack. He was 60, barely older than my dad, not old enough for his heart to give way. They’ve been friends for 35 years, longer than I’ve been alive. I got a heartbreaking email from my father about how they met, where they’d traveled together, and his favorite joke (What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything).

In his eulogy, his son wrote that he was “a devoted family man, one who extended the term to cover a great many individuals, supporting and caring for those who needed him.”

And I thought, that’s radical masculinity.

How does one learn how to be that? How do you grow up into a masculinity, a maleness, an adult manhood, despite this culture’s obsession with bad boys and lunkheads, to be a caring protective provider, to make effective, positive changes in this world, to build something that will last, to be generous with your heart and mind and love and time?

Traditional, limitational masculinity says don’t talk about your feelings. That masculinity says be strong all the time. It says a “real” man is tough, and the worst thing you can be is a sissy, a pussy, a girl, feminine, weak.

Radical masculinity says: I am listening. Who do you want to be?

Read the whole thing over at Carnal Nation, and read my other pieces there, too.

Suggestions or requests for the third column are very much welcome! Got any good ideas? What were your favorite parts of the first two that I could perhaps expand upon? Anything about masculinity that you’ve been dying to hear my opinion about? Please do let me know.

Truer: Sophia Wallace’s work in NYC

November 11, 2009  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

Sophia Wallace, one of my favorite photographers, has a collection called Truer: An Autobiographical Love Story, which has been included in Slideluck Potshow XIV, a potluck and slideshow this Friday.

I love the photographs in Truer so much I actually purchased a print from Ms. Wallace. (Not this one below, a different one.)

truer11

Event Info:
Aperture Foundation
Slideluck Potshow XIV
Inside Out
Time: November 13, 2009 from 7pm to 11pm
Location: The Aperture Foundation
Street: 547 W. 27th St, 4th Floor
City/Town: New York, NY 10001
Website or Map: http://aperture.org
Event Type: slideshow, potluck
Organized By: Slideluck Potshow & Aperture

Fucking in Public in Liberator Lingerie

November 9, 2009  |  dirty stories, reviews  |  13 Comments

Kristen and I dispute how many times we’ve been to the particular play party that we attended on Halloween. I thought we’d been before at least once, but she thinks it was only one other party in the same space. Perhaps because we also attended a completely different party around the same time (where the rocking chair blow job happened) I am blurring the parties together.

Regardless, we hadn’t fucked in “public” in a long time, and Kristen had the perfect costume for the Halloween play party: this “Secretary” outfit from Liberator.

secretary

Okay, you got me: it’s more lingerie than costume. Really it’s just the cuffs and collar that cross it over that line. Not really sure why it’s a secretary outfit, either; I guess because it has pinstripes on it, it is business-y? Whatever. The lingerie is hot. It arrived in a lovely fancy black box in pink tissue paper, and since Kristen tried it on earlier in the week I’d been looking forward to fucking her in it.

This is only the second Liberator item I’ve been sent to review – the first being the Throe, the moisture-proof blanket Kristen and I use pretty much every time we have sex. Well, every time at my house, anyway; we should get a second for her place, too. I’ve been looking forward to more from their product line, particularly some silk pillowcases to see if something higher quality will do less damage to Kristen’s hair, which is inevitably a tangled mess after thrashing against the sheets for a while. (Those of you with fine, baby-thin hair out there may know this problem. So far there’s no cure except conditioner and a shower. Suggestions?)

Instead of the pillow cases, though, they sent us Kristen’s pick for lingerie, just in time for the Halloween party.

It’s kind of hard to order clothes online, especially lingerie, where it should be very form-fitting and specific to a body’s shape. Liberator lingerie comes in x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, and 2x, and the customer service folks told Kristen that it runs small, so she ordered what she thought would be the closest to her size. She seems pretty happy with the fit, but it was a bit of a gamble; we may try a slightly smaller size next time, but it’s hard to say, that one might be too small. Returns to Liberator have to be pre-approved, probably because they do sell all sorts of products for sexiness and they aren’t about to accept used sheets or used sex furniture, but if it’s because the lingerie was the wrong size I bet they would understand. Be sure to ask, though, if you’re not sure.

We dressed at my place; she slipped into it as I got my harness ready under my black slacks, tee shirt, and button-down. When I announced I was ready, she said she was too, and I thought, really? You’re going to wear that out, without anything on top of it? She zipped her jacket up over it, her very short jacket, coming only to her high waist. The garter is almost a mini-mini-skirt, if you stretch your mind a bit, and we were driving, walking only the few blocks from her apartment to the play party. Plus, it IS Halloween, which is practically Scantily Clad Day, and I’d be with her – it’d be okay. (It did make me feel a bit protective, but also hot, that she was willing to venture out into public wearing so little. And knowing I’d probably fuck her later in the same lovely outfit made it all the better.)

We arrived at the play party a bit late; it was packed and going strong. Someone recognized me upon my entrance (who were you? I could barely hear or see, I apologize) and Kristen and I made the rounds, watching the various scenes in progress already: someone holding onto the bars of the “jail cell,” two pairs of dykes giving/receiving blow jobs, someone on a leash being led around by someone very mistressy, a girl with lovely curves face down being smacked by her top in a cowboy hat. Every once in a while the music would quiet just a little and I’d hear someone screaming or yelling or moaning and go investigate – I do love that it is a safe space to come and be naked, be vulnerable, be exposed, and be hot and sexy.

We didn’t stay long, but we wanted to play at least a little. I like to show her off. I like for others to watch her and see how ridiculously sexy she is when she comes or how good she is at her particular talents, like sucking me off.

I’m not sure how it started; with a kiss, I think (isn’t that always how it starts?). I love the way she kisses, from subtle, supple energy to hard, insistent, demanding. I love how she meets me, pushes me for more, mouth and lips and tongue so sweet and open, lovely, tender. I can’t even explain it without resorting to cliche flower metaphors.

Somewhere in the winding labyrinth of little black nooks and crannies I leaned against the wall, feet apart shoulder blades pressing back, cock already tucked into my slacks when I was in the other room, not a packing cock but a fucking cock so it is straining at my zipper and pulling at my belt already. She presses against me and can feel it, rubs up against it, which makes me groan. She winds her fingers through my hair. Puts her mouth to my neck. I feel myself coming undone, coming thickly into my body and connecting to her, those invisible strings that pull us to each other becoming taut.

She wants to be somewhere more public. I want to be somewhere quieter, we were right under the speaker and I can’t hear her noises, can’t hear her breathing. I lead her into the back room, full of signs that read “BDSM and sex only – no chatting please,” where Crash Pad is playing in the background, and I find a chair. We keep kissing before I sit back into it, just enjoying reconnecting and building the sensuality between us.

To be honest, we hadn’t fucked in a while. A few days, probably. Maybe there was some morning making out in there, some quickies, but no half-day laze in bed like we are used to. We kept disconnecting, we’d traveled and had visitors and then were decompressing from a week of socializing, we weren’t arguing but I was particularly exhausted and not communicating that well or being very attentive. It was a relief to let the world fall away outside and just be with her, just feel her back and shoulders and waist, her ass all round and squeezable in that gorgeous high-waist garter.

We kissed for a long time. Standing, arms wrapped around each other, melting a bit, finding the edges of each other again. Finally I pulled back to say, “there’s a chair behind me. I’m going to get my cock out, you’re going to get on your knees. Got it?”

She nods. I kiss her again, so sweet, savoring her lips, and drop back to the chair behind me as she drops to the floor. It is doubtlessly good whenever she ventures to put her mouth on me, but this time was exquisite, the kissing still reverberating on my mouth, still feeling her tongue and pillowy lips, how is it that after nearly a year it just keeps getting better? (I ask myself this regularly.) She kisses the head of my cock, softly. I feel it jolt through my body. Her tongue running along the corona. I shiver, swelling. She pulls it into her mouth deeper with suction and my eyes roll back in my head, I nearly fall out of my chair.

I love to watch her this way. I let her go on, watching the room watching us a little bit, dykes over by the doorway biting their lips and sucking on their fingers absently, eyes fixed. Enjoying them enjoying the view of her ass, her back curved, leaning forward.

The couple in the far corner leaves and the swing is unused. I pull her mouth off my cock with my hand on her chin and kiss her. Her mouth is wet.

“Let’s go back into the corner.”

I tug on my slacks so they don’t fall down around my ankles, lead the way. I undo my button down and slip it off, set it on the bench next to the wall, by the swing and the table that is suspended by chains from the ceiling. She stands next to me as I drop down to my knees and unhook her garter belt to slide her black panties down her legs, then hook up the belt again.

“The swing?” I ask her. “Or the table?” Both are free. She looks over to the table coyly and we take a few steps over to it, maneuver her up onto it. Kind of hard to do without proper leverage. There was a couple fucking right here as we watched earlier and it’s kind of a thrill to do something similar to what they did. She lays back, grabs the chains for leverage, wraps her legs around my waist as I lube up my cock and slide it in. I work it in and out a little, softly, she’s quiet and not nearly responsive enough. I can’t reach her to kiss her from this ninety-degree angle at which we’re fucking.

I can’t hear her, either. The music is too loud, plus there’s porn playing on the TV behind us, and other people fucking nearby, so any joyful noise, so to speak, could be coming from anywhere. I can’t hear her. I can barely see her, it’s so dark in here, a windowless basement with only bare colored dim light bulbs from the ceiling and the light from the TV. It’s not enough for me to tell what’s going on with her, but I can feel it, something’s not quite right.

“You okay?” “Yeah.” She wants it to be okay. (So do I.) But we can both feel something is off.

We mess around for a little while, I hold her, hold her down, push her ankles onto my shoulders so her legs are up, touch her clit, she gets off once or twice. But her heart’s not in it, and she forces it a little, makes it happen faster than necessary. I suspect she wants to go.

I lean down to wrap around her for a moment and she responds immediately, softens and pulls up into me. “Let’s get out of here,” I say. She nods into my neck. We get up, clean up the area, put our clothes back on, I tuck my shirt in.

It was fun, thrilling to debut her lingerie in public, fun to show her off a little, thrilling to watch her go down on me in front of a room full of people. But it isn’t quite enough. We haven’t had enough connection lately. I need some cuddling and intimacy and kisses all night long, wrapping around each other and sleeping late, making breakfast and laughing and leisurely lazing around on the couch watching reruns of 30 Rock, holding hands. I need some quiet to ourselves, with the world on the outside shut off and put away. I need to catch up on the last week, decompress together, let her know what I thought of the parties and people and fun times and her cooking and all the events we’re sharing. I need things to just slow down so I could catch my breath.

I pack up my cocks, we get our jackets, venture back out into the cold, and walk the few blocks back to her place, where we whisper sweet nothings quietly before falling asleep together.

Review: Seven Minutes in Heaven (DVD)

November 2, 2009  |  reviews  |  2 Comments

Good Releasing Presents Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out by Courtney Trouble at GoodVibes.comOn Friday, Kristen and I sat down to watch No Fauxxx‘s latest DVD from Reel Queer Productions, Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out. And we decided to “live tweet” our reactions – so we were updating my Twittering account as we were watching.

(When comments are in italics, that’s someone else making a comment directed at me.)

  • watching @nofauxxx’s seven minutes in heaven with kristen. we’ll be live-tweeting our reactions.
  • “hi, I’m carson …” oh yes. we know. #livetweetingporn
  • “she’s cute” – kristen, about joline parton #livetweetingporn
  • mmm we both like the black dress with polkadots. “I’ve got a carson crush.” – kristen #livetweeting porn
  • first scene: nice black gloves & slapping. #livetweetingporn
  • @TeresaIkard: @mrsexsmith @nofauxxx’s Seven Minutes in Heaven was filmed in my flat and I still haven’t seen the hotness. Porn party soon at my house :)
  • @TheresaIkard kicked out of your own apartment! how rude. #livetweetingporn
  • @TeresaIkard: @mrsexsmith I was there but @courtneytrouble is great at respecting performers that some scenes were closed. She takes care of them well!
  • whoa I dig carson’s top. and that redhead is cuuute! #livetweetingporn
  • @audaciaray: @mrsexsmith ok, I love my job, but feel slightly jealous of watching hot queer porn in the middle of the day
  • @audaciaray I have a hunch you’ve had more than your share of watching good queer porn in the middle of the day
  • “who’s that?” (ie: who’s ass is that?) “that’s the redhead.” “ooh, nice.” still into the redhead. also, great music! #livetweetingporn
  • “I want to see her come! I bet it’ll be pretty.” – kristen #livetweetingporn
  • oh, yuck, they’re smoking. definitely a turnoff. #livetweetingporn
  • “I’ll show you my cocks.” – puck goodfellow. hahahah yes please! oohh very nice collection! #livetweetingporn
  • oh damn what harness does puck have?? @courtneytrouble help! #livetweetingporn
  • @courtneytrouble: @mrsexsmith as for puck’s amazing harness, i don’t know where/what it is… maybe its even custom?
  • “oh she’s got a whip now does she? okay … well then … ” – kristen, about carson #livetweetingporn
  • damn who’s that moaning in the background? also, carson is good with the dirty talk & instructions. #livetweetingporn
  • I like carson’s jaguar harness, very hot. “am I doing good?” – puck, aw sweet. #livetweetingporn
  • @courtneytrouble do you have a list of cocks used in this somewhere? can’t quite tell … #livetweetingporn
  • shoot, music swells & can’t hear what they’re saying. love the dirty talk in carson’s scene, kind of hard to find on film! #livetweetingporn
  • “oh my god she’s so hot.” – kristen, about carson. “somebody’s getting off in the other room, a lot!” #livetweetingporn
  • love the blue curtains in the bedroom! & the mirror, pretty. @theresaikard #livetweetingporn
  • carson + joline parton. yes I’ve been waiting for this scene. you can just tell joline is a good submissive/bottom. #livetweetingporn
  • (“hold on, I have to check my work email.” – kristen) #livetweetingporn
  • niiiice pink flush on joline’s ass & cheeks. “look how cute she is!” – kristen #livetweetingporn
  • @jolenestarshine: Watching @mrsexsmith livetweet about 7MiH, and about me especially, is VERY surreal. Thanks for the compliments!!!
  • @jolenestarshine oh! you’re on twitter! now I’m embarrassed. hi. #livetweetingporn
  • gagged (with a washcloth?) … with a lelo in the bathtub … left her boots on … damn. #livetweetingporn
  • “I wouldn’t leave that in my mouth if it were me. but oh I’m not a bottom.” – me #livetweetingporn
  • oh it’s not a washcloth, it’s her panties! (duh) #livetweetingporn
  • are those vampire gloves on tina horn? ow. also, how’d joline get those awesome marks?? #livetweetingporn
  • mmm very nice flogger work, & flogging mini-lesson, by tina horn, I like that inclusion. #livetweetingporn
  • a little truth-or-dare with the whole cast … looks like they’re having fun #livetweetingporn
  • I really like @jolenestarshine’s cute laugh & smile in this truth or dare scene. #livetweetingporn
  • whoa … I think this is about to turn into a gang bang … three cocks out … “this is good.” – kristen #livetweetingporn
  • sarah lee sinful looks HOT with that cock on. #livetweetingporn
  • puck goodfellow is using mr. bendy/silky! VERY NICE. #livetweetingporn
  • “oh this is great!” – kristen “yeah but somebody should put their cock in her mouth … ” – me #livetweetingporn
  • we both got a bit distracted by the finale – “I want to wear a strap on or get fucked by a strap on.” #livetweetingporn

Highlights of the live Tweeting included: Theresa mentioning that the film was filmed in her apartment, discovering that Jolene, the hot redhead Kristen & I kept mentioning, is on Twitter and was reading us as we live-tweeted, and Courtney Trouble‘s comment at the end: “and thats not even the finale!” Oh. Oops. It kind of was the finale for us, we got a bit … um, distracted.

The last scene, though, that we definitely paid attention to, was Carson and Tina Horn. I loved how they got a bit rough and tumble with each other … definitely seemed like two tops goin’ at it.

Can you tell that Carson kind of stole the show?

Photo from CourtneyTrouble.com; see more photos from the 7MiH shoot there
Photo from CourtneyTrouble.com; see more photos from 7MiH

All that running commentary doesn’t really tell you that much about the film, though, does it. Well, here’s the premise:

Reality porn is coming out of the closet in this first ever gonzo queer film. Award-winning director Courtney Trouble invites 7 diverse, fresh-faced performers to a kinky slumber-party for fun and games… only tonight there are no rules, no limits and no bedtime! The amateur cast picks their own partners, their own sex toys and their own ways of getting off. Spin the Bottle inspires an unscripted fuck-fest and first-time fantasies come true during a Truth or Dare strap-on sex scene. With honest video confessions, authentic orgasms and natural bodies, Seven Minutes in Heaven is the real queer deal.

Cast: Carson, Puck Goodfellow, Joline Parton, Sophia, Tina Horn, Sarah Lee Sinful, Jae

And here’s the trailer:

That should tell you all you need to know.

Buy Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out by director Courtney Trouble from Good Vibrations, or through your local feminist, queer, sex-positive sex toy shop. This DVD was provided to Sugarbutch Chronicles directly from Good Vibrations for review purposes.


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