Happy Solstice Crash Pad Series Membership Giveaway

December 23, 2009  |  journal entries

Though I did grow up celebrating Christmas, my family is not particularly religious. I’ve been to Christian church services probably less than a handful of times (I can think of twice, off the top of my head). The past few years, I’ve resolved to celebrate the holiday as winter solstice, rather than Christmas – we’re getting more and more broad in our “happy holidays” wishes, more inclusive, I think, in the mainstream, and the difference of celebrating on the 21st instead of the 25th is negligible.

My family still does gifts on Christmas morning, and that’s fine with me – tradition, familiarity, ritual. But being some form of pagan & buddhist, what I’m really celebrating here is the darkest day of the year, and the return of the light.

Winter solstice is an astronomical event. It has to do with the placement of our Earth in the solar system, the rotation of the Earth’s axis, how we spin around the sun. It is the day – in the Northern hemisphere – where the hours of daylight are the shortest, and from here until summer solstice, they build to longer and longer hours of daylight.

The Winter Solstice occurs exactly when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun [in the Northern hemisphere] at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the Winter Solstice lasts only an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used as Midwinter to refer to the day on which it occurs. More evident to those in high latitudes, this is the shortest day, and longest night, and the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time. – Winter solstice at Wikipedia

That last part is especially interesting to me – that most cultures have holy days around this time of year, that many of the festivals involve pretty lights or candles (to signify the darkness and cold days), family gatherings (to signify love and support despite the potential affects of SAD), gifts (to show how we are cared for), and resolutions (symbolizing rebirth and renewal). And to me, the ritual that is the least stripped of human prosthelytizing is the one that celebrates the earth, the seasons, the move around the sun, the changes in our relationship to light.

I’ve often mentioned the Wheel of the Year here on Sugarbutch, and have often said it is something that I’d like to more intentionally observe. And the combination of Kristen’s obsession with eating seasonal, local foods, means that I’d really love to throw four wheel parties next year, at the solstices and equinoxes. (There are four lesser holy-days too – candlemas, beltaine, lammas, samhain – that occur at the midpoint between a solstice and an equinox, and I would love to do something to acknowledge them, too, but I’m not sure what – probably not a whole dinner party, just lighting a candle and acknowledging the day – perhaps with a blog post – would be plenty.)

So, Kristen made dinner: butternut squash soup with ginger, garlic, and peanuts, kale with garlic and butter, baked sweet potato fries, and cardamom-orange sugar cookies, on Monday, December 21st, in celebration of solstice, and we talked about the rebirthing process, the things we wanted to allow to blossom in our lives as the days get longer through to the summer solstice.

This is the post where I wish all my best to YOU all, readers and visitors, friends and strangers. Thank you for reading, for following along, and I wish you the best and brightest in this dark time of year.

Oh, but my spiritual beliefs probably aren’t why you’re reading this post. What you really want to know about is the giveaway, right?

Well here it is: to warm your midwinter, I’m giving away one single two-month long level 2 membership to The Crash Pad Series, which I am constantly touting as THE BEST QUEER PORN available. Hands down. No contest. Anytime Kristen and I watch anything else, we usually say, “well, it’s not Shine, but …”

I made up this rule for myself oh, about ten years ago, that I would never pay for porn on the internet. And it’s pretty easy to keep that rule, with all those big amateur porn sites and an easy enough Google image search and all the trailers and freebies at the good porn sties, sure. But as soon as I got a Crash Pad membership, I kicked myself: why didn’t I do that sooner?! It really is that good. It might not even be the best queer porn, it might be the best porn, PERIOD. The skill and smarts and aesthetic and filmmaking … even the premise! I love it. I anxiously await the next episode.

There are so many different types of queer folks depicted in their scenes, no matter what kind of queer you are attracted to, or what kind of sex you like to watch, there is tons of it in The Crash Pad Series. Strap ons. Vibrators. Punky girls. Tattoos. Piercings. Shaved heads. Femmes. Butches. Long-term lovers. Skilled rope work. Belts. Flogging. Slapping. Fisting. Anal. Knives. Force. Negotiation. Melted wax. Punching. Threesomes. Squirting. Sweet lovemaking. Begging. Dirty talk. Oh yeah, there is a little bit of everything.

For some of my favorite scenes from The Crash Pad Series, check My Favorite Scenes in Porn Flicks. And if that’s not enough, watch this teaser, featuring Julie and Michelle Aston.

The Crash Pad Series also puts out DVDs, many of which I have reviewed here on the site, but for about the price of the DVD, I’d recommend instead a one-month level 3 membership, which has permissions to download the videos that you like. Then you can test it out, go through and find the ones you want, and download them. The DVDs generally have about 5 scenes on them, but with a site membership you get access to every episode, and can save your favorites.

Tell ‘em Sinclair sent you. (That’s the same as using that link < —- to purchase a membership, since if you do it through my links on this site, I get a little bitty kickback from the purchase. I’ll even do my Elvis impression for you: thank ya, thank ya very much.)

How generous of The Crash Pad Series to offer a membership to one of you lucky folks! Thanks!

So, to enter this little giveaway:

Leave a comment with one thing about the holidays: why you love them, what your favorite family ritual is, how hard it is to be queer and deal with extended homophobic family (h/t Essin’ Em), the ways you keep your kinkiness under wraps in order to be “appropriate,” your blessings for brightness in the wintertime, your favorite thing about winter, the way you celebrate this time of year, or something else entirely. You get the idea. The winner will be chosen at random from the comments on Monday, 28 December, after we’ve all had a chance to eat with our families and come back to our queer lives.

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71 Comments


  1. everything for my family this holiday is boys against girls- making dinner, cleaning up from dinner, playing games, fooling around… pretty uncomfortable for someone who isn't one of those! they assume that i'm a girl who just has trouble looking the part, and so they actually go out of their way to include me as "one of the girls." i'm realizing more than ever that if you're not one of the mothers, one of the fathers, one of the daughters, or one of the sons, you're pretty much out of luck for having a role in the family besides "the odd one out."

  2. I was standing in the kitchen at the counter talking with family, people who have known me since I was a baby, people who saw me wear frilly dresses and curly pigtails. Now they were seeing me with my short hair and my men's jeans. And you know what? It was okay. I realized that I'm 22 and it's finally okay for me to be me. To be butch and genderqueer and nerdy and happy. For the first time in my life I didn't feel like I needed to pretend to be anything I wasn't. I got to be me. It was the best Christmas Eve I've ever had.

    I miss my grandparents but it's amazing to finally be happy.

  3. While at my girlfriend's place we were informed by her landlady (who lived upstairs with her husband and kids) that we were not to "touch" in front of their 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son because it might confuse them! The clincher? The landlady was my girlfriend's ex-lover of five years.

  4. This Christmas, I'm doing it my way. No big family gatherings, no buying presents for everyone and their dog.

    My blood family seems very far from me this year, as their ideas about what is acceptable for my life don't jive with my ideas. :)

    So my new holiday tradition is lots of snuggles and quality time with my chosen family, consisting of my lovely partner Jen, a small chihuahua, a 3 legged cat, and good friends. And Dina Martina :)

  5. My holiday celebration consists of cooking dinner with my girl…..I watch, she cooks….and entertaining our dogs and birds.

  6. I just bought the Crash Pad Series, #3, after reading about it on your site. I let them know that I first saw it here :)

  7. the most meaningful thing for me this solstice was a 5 rhythms dance the day before where the facilitator encouraged us to respect the darkness of that day, the day before we call the light back in, and find that dark soft mysterious place within ourselves.

  8. is it extremely odd to say that i appreciate the holidays because being around my family often reminds me how lucky i am to have my other group of family = my friends, who are what i need while the stuck-with-on-christmas family is not.

  9. This is the first year in a very long time that I haven’t celebrated the Winter Solstice (because of some very difficult personal issues) and it was lovely to happen upon this post. At a time of the year when other religions shine brighter, and with far more presents, (my 6-year-old son said with a sigh last week, “paganism is boring – we just talk about the sun all day and dance around,”) thank you for this reminder of the season.

    Blessed be. :)

  10. This is my first sober Xmas, and it was awesome to laugh, enjoy good food, and feel grateful, all without a beer in my hand–even though my family DID drive me nuts…

  11. I taught my toddler nephew, who is not very verbally communicative, to ask "What's up?" whenever he sees me, which is definitely the best part of the holidays this year.

  12. I've been trying to come out to my family for the last several holidays, and they simply haven't heard me. The attempts have become my own holiday ritual. This year they heard me — an aunt on one side of the family awkwardly invited me to bring "a friend or something" to Thanksgiving, and I knew she meant the girlfriend I've been talking about for two years; an aunt on the other side finally came right out and asked me how I managed to be casually seeing someone new and have a girlfriend, and if I was a lesbian or if I liked men too (and, of course, since I do, she went on to ask me whether I planned to marry a man and have babies. I told her I'd like to find a life partner with whom to have children, but I'm by no means convinced that person will be a man…and when she asked who would bear the children if I partnered with a woman I suggested she might be getting a bit ahead of herself). It will be interesting to watch them learn more about my poly queer life (and I think I'll keep the kink to myself), but it's good to know they're listening.

  13. well, I just wrote a post about how much I hate dealing with homophobia when I'm with my family for the holidays, so instead I'll comment here on how my favorite thing about Christmas is going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve at the (Episcopal) church I grew up attending. I'm not even remotely religious anymore, but there's something about the ritual… the incense, the music, the candle light, the pipe organ… it's just so peaceful.

  14. On Christmas Day this year, I went to my grandparent's house with all my extended family. I feel like my faggy prep school boi outfit was probably lost on them-straight leg black velvet pants, sweater vest with an old pin of a crest jauntily attached below my collar bone, a crisp white button down rolled to the elbows- but I felt good, and had vowed to stop dressing in assigned gender clothing for family occasions. Some time after I got there, my aunt asked me to go select a wine and open it for everyone. Such a small thing, and she said it casually, but I felt seen and recognized as the adult butch that I am. It was the best part of my holiday.

  15. The holidays are often painful as I am no longer in contact with most of my family. However, I am still close with my aunt and this year, I spent a few days with her. Unlike any other place I’ve been to, I am able to be carefree here, to cast aside my worries, relax, read, and enjoy her company. I am thankful to have her and time to take care of myself this year.

  16. Solstice is the day my sister and her husband got married 4 years ago. For the past 3 years, I have spent Winter solstice with my best friend…watching the sun set and talking. Usually followed up by dinner together or with friends and sometimes a trip to the Hothouse.

    I am not the only queer one in the family though I would classify my older sister as a urban hipster lesbian (which is totally fine). My family doesn't get who I date (generally butch, FtM, gender queer individuals but they try and are respectful). As my sister said I should invite the person I currently am dating, I spent a lot of time laying ground work…sending a email to see if they were all on board (because the last time (the first time) I brought someone home I guess they really were not…). In that I also let them know that my date is gender queer which then led to a discussion about different definitions (i.e. Genderqueer, Transgender, Transsexual)…which I thought was awesome! So my date came to dinner and dessert, I think it went well. My family is very uber protective of me and has strong opinions so I am sure at some point I will get "gentle" feedback but I really don't care as I got to spend most of Christmas day with both my family and the person I am dating and it was nice having him there with me :)

  17. Every Christmas my Grandma loves to tell the story of how, in my family's first big loft apartment, I made my whole family join hands 'round the tree and sing "Dahoo Doray" because I had just seen "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Sure, it's embarrassing, but I also kind of love my little self for it.

  18. While holidays can be tough with homophobic/racist relatives, I challenged myself to put more energy into appreciating the few queer friendly moments, rather than get upset by the bigger picture. It was actually pretty sweet to have even just a few awesome moments when my family both acknowledged and accepted my life. By appreciating the positive instead of getting worked up by the ridiculous comments, I was able to relax and enjoy time spent with my family.

    Although I am a little skeptical of my family's love of the consumerist christmas spirit, I do fully support coming together with a group of people to cultivate love and positivity. So for a change i tried to actually live this mentality with my family and let go of frustration.

  19. This was the first holiday season I spent on the opposite side of the country as my family. My roommates and I decorated the apartment with candy canes, the fireplace with our stockings and the first night of Chanukah my girlfriend drove the four hours from her house to celebrate with me. We lit the candles and sung the songs. It was nice to know that we can mix traditions.

  20. This Holiday I was on-call as a nurse and had to give up my child-free romantic get-a-way on the WA coast (too far from the hospital). So instead I surprised my butch by renting a fancy room at a (much closer, but still not home) resort style hotel, soaking in jetted tubs, taking in horbor-amic views and presenting my gift of a Mr. Silky… much debauchery insued!

    Not at all typical, but a lovely way to spend all that pent up holiday energy.

  21. My favorite way to celebrate the holyday Solstice is with an all-night candlemaking party. It starts at sundown on the longest night of the year and lasts until sunrise the next morning. All night long friends gather, drop in, libate, eat, laugh, sing, share, and all the while I'm/we're making candles. I've found it to be the most personally fulfilling way I can recognize the dark time and rebirth of light. Additionally, I get a slew of candles made, each steeped in the memory of the collective celebration.

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