Archive for January, 2010

SXSW and Austin-bound in March

January 27, 2010  |  miscellany  |  10 Comments

I’m going to be on a panel at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas in March, thanks to Trish Bendix of AfterEllen.com. Bil Browning from the Bilerco Project will join Trish and I on the panel, and Fausto from Feast Of Fun will moderate the discussion.

The panel is Engaging the Queer Community, and the description is “A discussion on maintaining successful and active blogs and social networking sites that are geared toward the LGBT community and its niches.” It’s set for 3:30pm on Saturday, March 13th, though the location is still TBA. Some of the questions the panel will attempt to discuss are:

How do you reach new readers?
How do you utlize social networking to reach the LGBT audience?
What can web series and video blogs do for your site?
What’s the best way to balance entertainment-focused content with relevant LGBT news stories and political issues?
How do you avoid getting your site blocked because of its gay/lesbian content?
How can you manage to address several generations that are all part of the same community?
How do you build an online community without becoming a social network rather than a journalism-based site?
What is the responsibility of LGBT blogs/websites/online communities?
How should the online world of the LGBT community deal with issues on “outing”?
How can LGBT sites with specific niches manage to not offend the other parts of the community (i.e. lesbian sites covering transgender issues, etc.)

Simple! No, just kidding. This is complex stuff, but very interesting. I’ve never been to Austin or to SXSW, I’m looking forward to it, though I’m already a bit overwhelmed by the number of panels that same day and the density of the event. I’ll be traveling with Kristen, which will automatically make it better.

I know it’s really expensive to come to SXSW, so if you’re in the Austin area and would like to come say hello, I’ll be doing a Sugarbutch meetup on Saturday, March 13th, probably at a dyke bar in the evening, 8pm.

I don’t have any other events planned while I’m visiting—though if you live there and want to book me to speak at your college, queer independent feminist bookstore, or sex shop, contact me mmkay? (I know that is extremely unlikely given that SXSW is going on, but hey, who knows.)

I won’t have as much time as I’d like to explore a new city that I’ve never visited, I think it takes more than a couple days to really get a feel for the place. I will be researching dyke bars, indie bookstores, sex shops, and public parks especially—those are my favorite places to visit when I see a new place. Any recommendations for me? Where should I go while I’m there? Also, food. What are the restaurants we should not miss? Are there any good vegetarian places?

So what do you say? Will you come share some Jameson with me in Texas?

Review: Under Bed Restraints

January 25, 2010  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

canadian pharmacy cialis” />These Under Bed Restraints are easy—easy to install, easy to use, easy to implement into all sorts of sex play, easy to like. I suspected (from the packaging, mostly) that they would be cheesy, low quality, or not strong enough, but they are not. They’re not leather, and they don’t have metal buckles that make that delicious clanging sound against themselves, but the nylon and velcro buckles are nonetheless simple and strong.

I picked these up because Kristen doesn’t have a headboard at her place, and thought it might be fun to keep these on her bed. I was very right, it IS fun, and they went way beyond my expectations. It feels like I have even more permission to throw her around, tie her down, or rough her up when I know these are on the bed already and so easily accessible.

I did not think I would like these as much as I do (I guess I am snobby about bondage, I like the “real” stuff, the shibari rope and the heavy leather and metal cuffs), but now they are probably one of the top toys I recommend most, especially to folks who are interested in exploring more bondage.

Do I need to explain how it works? It is kind of a capitol I shape, with the cross-bars, where the long vertical strap goes under your mattress and on top of the boxspring, and the two horizontal straps have cuffs at either end, and stick out. (If you only had a mattress and no boxspring I think it would still work.) It can also be made into an upside down capitol T to put the bottom’s hands together above her head at the head of the bed. I like having Kristen’s legs tied, but to let her still use her hands—I like to feel her grasp at my shoulders, and sometimes I like to watch her get herself off.

Affordable ($45), easy, sturdy—these get my highest recommendation. Definitely a must in my toy box.

The Under Bed Restraints were sent to me to review from sextoy.com. Pick up the Under Bed Restraints or other bondage toys from sextoy.com, or your local queer feminist sex-positive independent shop.

Lipstick Blow Job

January 21, 2010  |  dirty stories  |  10 Comments

Kristen: perfect. well i will come by around 9 then. that is late for dinner but oh well
Sinclair: okay, will be home. that will be our one plan
Kristen: ok
Sinclair: that + a blow job
Kristen: oh yes. yay
Sinclair: so, wear lipstick
Kristen: to yoga? :-)
Sinclair: ha! probably putting it on after is better. but, if you like …
Kristen: hehe

She bought new lipstick recently, thanks to a Sugarbutch reader who recommended her particular shade. It’s bright, but lovely and femme, and it doesn’t come off on anything, even tacos.

She walked into my place wearing lipstick, still in her yoga clothes. Not the new lipstick, one of her others that is more sticky and means I tend not to kiss her when she wears it, lest she get it all over my mouth. Sometimes I don’t care about that, of course. But we kiss all the time, so the wanting-and-not-having is kind of fun, for a little while.

I’ve been craving roasted garlic lately so I spread some on some toasted bread, then baked some sweet potato and potato fries with cumin, and constructed a pretty decent veggie burger (sauteed onions, pepperjack, goddess dressing, sprouts, lettuce). (I’ve had this recent revelation that I really like sandwiches, so I’m indulging in that a little these days. Plus, Kristen is a new vegetarian, and is skeptical of the veggie burger, but I’m a big fan.) We may have also had a beer or three.

So we had a nice dinner. Enough about the food.

We cleaned up, did the dishes, had a few bites of ice cream. Her lipstick had mostly wiped off after eating and I pulled her close before going into my bedroom. Though much of the last few weeks has been a struggle, we are also closer, more clear, creating something lovely and excited to dip back into each other. My weekend with her went smoothly and the things that are coming up between us are more conversations than anxious explosions, which feels good, great, but I’ve been missing the power play, which we haven’t done much of lately. I’ve been careful, wanting to really recalibrate before taking too much on or slipping into the wrong places, but we have talked about how we both miss it.

In my bedroom, I slip on my cock while she reapplies her lipstick. I pull her on top of me as I lay down on the bed and kiss her neck, her face. She gets breathless. Sucks in air as her mouth waters and tongue swells, I can see it, despite her lips already being darkened. I slide two fingers into her mouth, feel her tongue, push them just past the first knuckle so she can lick around the pads with her tongue. She closes her eyes and moans.

“Hmm, you like that?”

She moans a little. It’s not really a question I expect an answer to.

“Ready to get that lipstick all over my cock?” She looks up at me, gasps and her chest collapses a little, shuddering and giving in toward me. I grab her hair. Our lips are nearly touching. I run my fingers down her cheek and jaw and notice a smear of lipstick that must’ve been on them, from putting them in her mouth.

“Yes, ohhh,” she breathes softly. “I want to make you feel good.”

I lay back on the bed, hand in her hair, the other on her shoulder or arm or wrist. She positions her mouth over my cock. rings her fingers around the shaft slowly as she lets her mouth water, parts her lips, watches it in her hand as if it is getting bigger at her touch. I practically feel it quivering. Underneath, my clit swells and strains to feel her lips, to be swallowed in her mouth too.

When her lips finally touch it, it is always a revelation, always a surprise, how much I feel it, how much tenderness is in her light kisses, the soft soft pillows of her inner lips, her sweet wet mouth and tongue. She coos a little and I can’t help but to moan, she gulps down thick breaths of air when she pulls her mouth up and off, holds my cock her in her hand softly. Licks just the tip with her tongue.

My cock is covered in rings of lipstick now, smeared around the head and the little ridges of the underside. She gulps it down again, pushes it all the way back into her throat and holds it there while I push and press and pulse against her, eyes rolling back until they close and my back arches to go farther, get deeper inside her.

She gags a little and pulls off, smooth and quick, smiles, looks at me, a little shy, a little desperate. She knows how hot this gets me. I know how much she likes to be stretched open, filled. She’s wet between her legs by now, she likes sucking cock that much.

She does it again, swallows deep, deeper now, her lips all the way to the base and grazing my harness. She holds it way far back in her mouth again and I am tempted to grab hold of her by the hair, start shoving in and out of her at my own pace. She wouldn’t mind. She would like it. I grip her hair but don’t pressure her head down, just remind her of my arm strength and presence and control.

She takes it as long as she can, then pulls back again, gasping a litlte, wipes the spit from her chin. Her lipstick is gone, smeared all over my cock.

“Kiss me,” I say, and sit up, pulling her toward me.

She rises to her knees to kiss me, her mouth sweet and swollen. I kiss her hard and long, wanting, eager, remembering the feel of being thick insider her and still feeling my dick swell.

I pull back. “Oh thank you, baby,” I say between kisses on her cheek and jaw and neck, “you do that so well, god, I love how you suck it.”

She smiles, hums a little in satisfaction, a little sheepish, cute, sweet. “You like that? Do I make you feel good?”

“Yes, yes baby, so much.”

“I like to do it.”

“Mmm, my sweet girl. Take your shirt off, let me up.” I lean back a little, shift my weight, and stand next to the bed as she slides her tee shirt and thin bra over her head. She still has pants on, too, comfortable black ones she wore to yoga earlier. She looks at me expectantly. “On your stomach,” I say, pushing her down and pulling her over toward me.

I want to fuck her mouth from the side of the bed.

I’m not actually sure that will work, but I want to try. It’s a very different angle than her being above me or on her knees in front of me. Luckily (and not by accident), my bed is on risers, raised just to my hip height. She stretches out sideways on the bed and I pull her forward, mouth to my cock, and keep my hand on her head to guide my cock in and out of it as she stretches her tongue forward and looks up at me. I shift my feet to get more power and thrust in again, hips bucking. I like this. Go figure. I like having control of the depth and speed. I like how she looks up at me with just a hint of discomfort in her eyes, a little bit nervous, not sure she wants me to keep going, but so turned on. Oh hell yeah I like this. I feel the tension building in my cunt and want to fuck her, want inside of her; I keep thrusting for a moment but want us to be more connected, want to suck at her lips and pinch her nipples and hold her down while pounding into her. I hold her head a little harder, cock against the back of her mouth, and pull out swiftly: “Take your pants off.”

She breaths heavy, gasping for the air filling her lungs, and lies back on the bed, slipping her pants down her legs. I strip off my harness and pull out my other cock, my favorite cock, the one I love to fuck with, that is a little thicker and longer than the one I’ve been using for her mouth. (Plus, I bet it’s not great to get lipstick in her.)

She watches me, and her hand hovers a little between her legs. She looks from my cock to my face, one of her hands up on her chest, arm brushing her nipples absently, now totally unclothed and a little chilly in my drafty bedroom. “Can I …?” She starts.

I’m still buckling, adjusting. She wants to touch her clit. “Sure,” I answer, watching her as she does.

When I finish strapping on, smooth some lube over my cock, and lie over her on the bed, she’s breathing heavy and arching her lower back, still touching her clit, watching me. I grip her inner thigh with one hand and guide my cock with the other, touching her lips and skin softly, feeling how wet she is. She’s murmuring “yes, yes, please, ohhh … ” and I’m trying to draw it out, to wait, looking up at her and smiling at her gasping, that arc in her body straining for me, for that moment of contact, of friction between us.

When I slide in, it is slow and fully, all the way, and I lie my weight down on her simultaneously, pushing my forearm down into her chest and shoulders. She closes her eyes, opens her mouth in a silent tense moan. She comes so easily, gets there so fast, I don’t want it to be over yet, not that I can’t keep going but I just want to drag it out a little longer, she hasn’t come yet and she doesn’t usually go this long without doing so. I slow down, deliberate and hard, but she just tightens and tenses until her pussy pushes my cock out of her completely.

“Oh, you done with that?” I tease her, kissing her pretty mouth, hand in her hair while I hold my cock with the other, touching it lightly to her slick lips and hole. “You got enough, you don’t want any more?”

“No no no,” she starts, small and steady, “I want it, I want it, give it to me … ”

“Please?”

Please, please, give it to me, put it back in my pussy, please fuck me with it, please … ”

I do, of course I do, slide it back inside, she lifts her knees high and rocks back her pelvis so I can get deeper, shoving inside as she throws her hands up and back to grasp at the blankets, the edge of the mattress, the headboard, as she pushes against me harder.

Minutes pass, I don’t know how long, I can lose myself in this part, the soft melding of our curves together and the rhythms we create while we circle in and out of each other, cycle through pressure and pain and pleasure, the kisses, the grasping at each other. She sometimes comes like this, I sometimes come like this, but neither of us do so after a few minutes (or ten or forty) I shift to my knees and pull her hips up higher, my hands grabbing hold of her inner thighs to pull her to and from me, pulse my cock in and out of her, slapping her thigh for surprise and that shocking spasm of sting before moving my fingers to her clit, flicking it gently, and she starts to shudder, mouth agape, shoulders and arms and wrists held tense and flailing as she clenches everything tight, tight, tighter, pushing my cock out again … until she releases, groans in a long moan, relaxes back, breathes hard, and reaches for me, eyes still closed, to come closer to her.

I wrap my arms around her, lay my body out over hers, and kiss her, both of us catching our breath, vibrating in the aftermath, until we’re ready to go at it again.

Review: Roulette Dirty South (DVD)

January 21, 2010  |  reviews  |  No Comments

It didn’t take me long to watch Courtney Trouble’s new film Roulette Dirty South, I ripped it open the minute I got it in the mail from the production company, Reel Queer Productions. I’ve been looking forward to it since I heard Dylan Ryan was back with her real-life boyfriend Trucker Cash (since they made one of my favorite scenes of all time). And when I saw the trailer, I was thrilled:

Looks dirty, edgy, colorful, and fun—and it is. The film also stars April Flores (aka Fatty D) and Trouble and Pepper Sox, with fantastic music (as you hear in the trailer, Courtney Trouble has a great ear for these things—she was just nominated in the 2010 AVN Awards for Best Music Soundtrack for her former film Speakeasy) by Yes Please, Flexions, Jenny Hoyston in California Lightening, and Tami Hart. Roulette Dirty South also introduces a few other new performers (I particularly liked Charlie’s long brown hair all over her face while giving a blow job. Yes, very nice image).

I mostly watched this for the scene with Dylan and Trucker. I also really liked Pepper Sox—she was damn hot when she got fucked (I will have to find her other scenes. I think she’s Courtney’s partner?). I would watch Dylan’s scene again, Trucker fucks her ass toward the end of it (oops! I don’t mean to give it away) and I definitely liked that, but I doubt I’ll rewatch the rest of the scenes. Not quite my style. Still, the film is gritty and vibrant, and I’m glad to have seen it.


Dylan Ryan & Trucker Cash, photo by Courtney Trouble

Year In Review On Sugarbutch: 2009

January 19, 2010  |  miscellany  |  5 Comments

Remember when I used to do monthly roundup posts? I only did the first three months of 2009, which I actually kind of miss. Perhaps it’s something I’ll bring back.

So: what happened in 2009 here on Sugarbutch?

I’ve been dating Kristen, and in fact we were together all of 2009. Some of the dirtiest Kristen stories are here grouped together, though most of those occur in the first half of 2009, before my particularly difficult late summer and started playing with Daddy/girl play. I guess I wrote a little too vividly about Kristen, at times, because I got enough snarky comments and emails that I finally wrote some clarifying statements about what she represents in on getting girls off.

At the end of the year, I started giving Kristen homework, which prompted some questions about our d/s dynamic. I’m still working out the details on

(I did actually sleep with a few other girls aside from Kristen in 2009. Early on in the year, when we were starting out, our relationship was open. And, in the spring, Kristen and I had a threesome, which I did not write about here. I had hoped it would be our first of a few … but perhaps 2010 is the year for that.)

Aside from Kristen …

I won some awards in 2009! I got TWO Lezzy awards, for Best Gender Bender Blog and Best Sex/Short Story/Erotica Blog. I was also named to the Top Sex Bloggers list of 2009 for the second year in a row!

I launched Top Hot Butches in June, and that exploded in both good and painful ways. I initially included about a dozen trans men on this list, and that was a fairly poor choice, so I took them down, and wrote why I did so in on removing trans men from the Top Hot Butches list. I also contacted or was contacted by many of the trans men on the list, and in the end about half of them remained on the list (the other half I have not been in contact with; I did not hear from any trans men who were included on the original list saying that they wanted to be excluded).

After I went on a particularly transformative tantra retreat, I lost my job in July, though it didn’t officially end until September, when I was on administrative leave for the last few months of 2009. That meant that July and August were particularly I’m using the few months of cushion to launch my freelance work, which will be graphic design (like flyers, postcards, business cards) and web design (banners, ads, blog headers, blog templates) and writing.

I wrote a series called My Evolving Masculinity out of some of the difficulties and growing of the summer. Part One: Introduction, Part two: Yin & Yang, Part Three: “Daddy”, and Part Four: Personal.

I wrote a particularly vulnerable piece about what it’s like to come inside your lover as someone strapped on, and a piece asking, “is it a trans characteristic to wear a cock?” about cock-centricity and gender identity.

Apparently I didn’t write all that much on femme identity in 2009, but I did write a rather long, thorough piece On Femme Invisibility that I like quite a bit. I was also published in the Femmethology! Dacia recorded an mp3 version of my Love Letter to Femmes, and I kicked off the Femmethology blog tour.

I kept writing the Sugarbutch Star stories, but only wrote four out of five. In theory, there is one more coming, which I have started by not finished.

I tried to step up my posts on sexuality, bdsm theory, and domination and submission, and wrote some things I quite like, such as Sadism & the Study of PainHow do you get a dominant to dominate?, and Yes, No, and Consent.

Some more miscellany, from Sugarbutch and me around the web …

  • I curated the 15th Carnival of Sexual Freedom & Autonomy, which was my first major curation for a carnival, and I quite enjoyed it. I asked some specific questions about sexual freedom and sexual autonomy, and many different folks responded with beautiful essays on their own blogs. This was a lot of work, but I loved curating and recruiting and pulling various essays all together.
  • I launched MrSexsmith.com! This will be a place to keep track of my upcoming events and projects, outside of Sugarbutch. A portfolio of sorts.

  • I started a few different tumblr logs, but am focusing on one now: mrsexsmith.tumblr.com. The working description is something like “the personal media collection – images, video, songs, quotes – of Mr. Sinclair Sexsmith. Often featured are ribbons, pigtails, fishnets, lingerie, butches, and radical masculinity.” Generally, it’s all sorts of media and images that I like. The latest photo is currently featured over there in the sidebar.

  • I got a booking company! Phin Li Bookings is now representing me, and I am so thrilled to be doing more workshops and speaking engagements through them. What’s that? You’d like to bring me to your college or community center or local queer group? Well gosh, I’d love to! Let’s be in touch. You can find out about some of my workshops over on PhinLi.com and contact Seraphin of PhinLi Bookings, LLC at (646) 418-5152 or bookings (at) phinli (dot) com.

Other big news! Oh yeah, I write a column now!

I started writing for Carnal Nation in October, a column called Radical Masculinity. This is a major accomplishment, and a goal that I’ve wanted for a long time. I LOVE Carnal Nation and I love my editor, Chris, over there, and the pieces we’ve published so far are some of my favorite things I’ve written. I’ll always

I wrote a couple other things for Carnal Nation first, including being on their Perv Panel, which is on a hiatus. I wrote various pieces of advice, but I’m coming stronger to not really thinking I will pursue being an advice columnist. I like it, but I really don’t have time to get everything done that I’d like to as it is.

Oh yeah – I wrote product reviews, especially for sex toys. I think that might be a separate post, though – a roundup of all the products I reviewed, or a list of my favorites, might take a little time.

Whew! That’s a lot! Did I miss something? Also, what would you LOVE to see here in 2010?

Review: Even More Bang for Your Buck 2

January 15, 2010  |  reviews  |  No Comments

Buck Angel is known widely as “the man with a pussy” and is a hugely popular trans porn star. I remember hearing Buck on episode 124 of the Savage Love Podcast a while back, and I was really impressed by how eloquently he spoke about trans issues, gender, and sexuality. He’s also recently launched a more explicit educational component to his work, including Buck Angel Entertainment and his videos answering questions about sexuality and gender, Bucking the System (also displayed over at Buck’s pages on sexgenderbody.com).

He’s also listed as #62 of the Top Hot Butches, with his own consent. In fact, he told a mutual friend that he associates the term ‘butch’ more with gay men’s culture than lesbian, and is happy to be identified as such. (I’m paraphrasing through a game of telephone, forgive me if I’m misquoting, but I think the meaning was clear.)

Though I’ve been aware of him and his work for quite a while, I never actually saw any of his porn flicks.

Until recently.

I watched Even More Bang for Your Buck 2 over on VOD.sugarbutch.net, the Hot Movies 4 Her video-on-demand site specifically containing porn flicks I choose and think you might like to see. Damn, it was raunchy. It’s content is very gay, and to be honest porn depicting gay men is not my personal favorite, so I was watching it more for, um, the articles, than to get off to, but I admit, Buck really is hot. Muscley and sexy. And I love how guys in porn are just so unapologetic about lust, ya know?

More details: Even More Bang for Your Buck 2 is produced, directed, and starring Buck Angel. Music for this film is by Katastrophe, a very talented musician and FTM rapper (and, I believe, Michelle Tea’s partner).

Here’s the description from Hot Movies 4 Her:

2009 AVN Award Nominee for Best Transsexual Release
2009 GAYVN Award Nominee for Best Alternative Release.

Buck Angel fans are in for another treat from everyone’s favorite man with a pussy. Buck directs, produces, and stars in the latest release from Buck Angel Entertainment.

The first scene is with Brad S, a hot Latino with a big hard cock who wants to play hard with me. He does not have a hard time keeping that piece of meat ready for action. This is set in a construction site. Great pussy eating and fucking action.

The second scene is with a very shy but horny Mexican guy that I found on the net. He starts out a bit shy but as his cock gets hard from me sucking on it he starts to become really aggresive and the sex just gets hotter and hotter. I let him take control at one point and just ram my throat with his bulging cock. So much that I gag. This scene is one of my all time favorites. Wait till you see how I swallow that big cock!

The third scene is with FTM Boi fallen, a very cure FTM boy. I love dominating him in this scene. This is really my first scene with just me another transman. I love this scene because it has real hardcore action and we have great sexual energy together. If you have ever wanted to see me fuck another FTM this is your chance.

The fourth scene is filmed in London with a HOT skinhead. I meet him on the street and take him back to my place where we get right down to business. He loves to be my fuck toy and lets me do whatever I want. I love these kind of guys. The sex gets pretty nasty as he realizes I have a pussy and that makes him even more excited. he is into some heavey breath play as well. All these scenes end with great cum shots!

The film has music by FTM Rapper Katastrophe which adds to the the raunchy hardcoreness of this film.

I guess that’s about all I’ve got to say about that! Give it a try. Heck, it’s a new year – perhaps it’s time to expand your porn horizons. Maybe you’ll find that it’s totally your ‘thing’! You never know until you try.

Watch Even More Bang for Your Buck 2 or more videos by Buck Angel Entertainment over at Sugarbutch’s VOD on Hot Movies 4 Her.

elust #5: Quiet Holiday Version

January 12, 2010  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Welcome to e[lust] - your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #6? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

This Week’s Top Three Posts

Late Arrival: An Airport Encounter - I saw a possible haven ahead: a pilot disappearing into the pilots’ lounge. I could think of nowhere else that would offer us even a modicum of privacy. Time to brazen it out. With her still walking obediently alongside, I pushed my way into the lounge.

The Condom Question. Confession #397 – Luckily, this time I had my wits about me enough to reply with a categorical, Yes a condom is absolutely necessary, darlin, but history has proven that, while I’m naked and horny, I can offer no more justification as to why such protection is paramount.

No more… - “I’m so sorry, I can’t…”. Words, words, so many words… reasons and reasoning and things and stuff and none of it made sense, and through all of it, disbelief, dread, a sickness of heart… I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.

e[lust] Editress

Sex as a Panacea - As I begged “faster” “harder” “more!” I felt my orgasm come on, a mere minute or two after we began with this combination. A thunderous orgasm overtook me as he kept up with the dildo and I with the Climax for the first big wave.

Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick)

Bad Girl – I take off my coat and stand proudly before her in my black lace corset, suspenders, stockings and heels. She looks me up and down and smiles at me when she catches my stare. Desire is already zinging through my body.

See also: Pleasurists #59 and #60 for all your sex toy review needs

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Read More

Protected: Articulating What I Need When I Need It

January 11, 2010  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

My Evolving Masculinity, Part Four: Personal

January 8, 2010  |  essays  |  20 Comments

See also: Part One, Introduction, Part Two, Yin & Yang, and Part Three: “Daddy”

I started this series in the summer, nearly six months ago now. I have already written a post about some of what I dealt with personally in the late summer and early fall, and some of my point of part four I have already gone through – some of it was about me processing through what I was struggling with in light of masculinity and the ways that thinking about maturing my gender helped me overcome some of the hardships.

There were a variety of things I was struggling with—all of the major elements in my life were shaken, just a tad, and then there was a personal crisis (related to someone who I continue, somehow, to allow to haunt me) that was the straw that broke the Jameson glass. And I kind of lost it. I was full-on in crisis, fairly unable to keep myself stable. I have a lot of tried-and-true “coping mechanisms,” tricks that make me feel whole and solid and thoroughly like myself, and are comforting and grounding, but they were failing me too. Nothing was working.

Here’s what’s interesting: everywhere I went, in my own writing, in my conversations with Kristen, in my psychotherapy work, in my bodywork, I was hearing from everyone that I needed to be stronger. To contain more, let it out less. Hold my own better. To “man up,” in other words.

Part of me oh so resented that! I mean, excuse me? I am a dyke, by definition I overprocess! Are you telling me that because of my gender? Would the universe be telling a femme the same things?

But once I got over myself a little, I thought, what the hell. I can’t keep going like this, I may as well try anything because I can’t continue this way. So I tried some new things on. I tricked myself into being stronger for a while, to see what happened.

It’s kind of the psychic equivalent of holding your breath, and letting it out in a slow, controlled stream.

But – this is a double edged sword, isn’t it, for someone masculine? Hold back your emotions? Don’t express yourself? Handle it on your own, don’t ask for help? These are classic PROBLEMS with masculinity, not necessarily what should be encouraged in someone masculine.

But despite that, I was willing to give it a try, because I could tell I was in dangerous slippery territory and needed to get myself back to somewhere stronger. Things started shifting. I attended a yoga class where the instructor spoke about making the pose effortless, and I thought: that is my problem. I extend so much effort to everything in my life. What would happen if I didn’t? I mean, do I really need to extend so much effort in getting on the subway and commuting to my job daily? Or in meeting a friend for drinks? Or in writing, or meditating, or doing yoga, or preparing food? These things could be effortless parts of my life, why do I waste so much energy thinking they are hard and require so much work? They could be easier than I let them be.

And then there was the Modern Love column in the New York Times, Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear:

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “The End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

And there was Nicole Blackman’s poem, You Are Never Ready:

You must change your life. You are never ready.

There were other things, too. The new Tori Amos album was comforting. I re-read Tim Ferriss’s article on Stoicism 101 and was reminded of my coworker who used to say, “I like to be stoic about my suffering.” I re-read some of my notes from a recent Buddhist class, and meditated on suffering, and on effort, and on lovingkindness.

Something started unraveling, and my grip on whatever this suffering was started to loosen. I started thinking myself out of my fear of the forward movement, and into what is really happening for me: I’m growing. And growth requires the temporary suspension of security.

I know what I need to do to get to where I want to be. I know how I want to spend my days, I know what I want to do with my time, I know the subjects which I want to study. I have a much better idea of how to get from here to there than I ever have. I have a trajectory, I have thoughts, I have aim, I have focus. And now I need … what? Patience? Or perhaps endurance, perhaps stamina. Sometimes I need to be able to trust that when I take that leap of faith, something will catch me. That is precisely the definition of a leap of faith, after all. And grace, I need more grace, by which I mean “the ease with which one handles crisis,” I need more of that too. I pull so heavily on buddhist teachings when I get in crisis, or when those I care for are in crisis, I think I should really deepen that practice to give myself even more tools with which to deal with hardships and suffering.

I had a Part Five planned for this series, which was titled “In Which I Grow Up,” but that page has been blank since I started this series. I’m not even sure I know what I’m trying to say here. Something about how “grown up” masculinity actually is some of those things that we think are “bad” about masculinity—like stoicism or containing our emotions—and yet it is precisely that which opens up a whole new level of being, of caring for ourselves and others. Something about how that is not the negative, awful, repressive thing that, as a feminist studying masculinity, I was always taught and told. Of course, there are buckets of problems with this … but it is not so simple as just being a 100% bad thing. There are benefits, too. I’m struggling to articulate the ways that it is beneficial, I suppose we are lacking language and theory on this in general. But perhaps this small series—and, now, my Radical Masculinity column—can be a springboard to my further studies which shed more light on the ways this is useful.

Now’s the part where I ask you what you think. Please do chime in on what you think about the evolution of masculinity—your own, or those whom you have witnessed:

What has your experience been with “grown up” masculinity vs a younger masculinity?
What changed for you when you grew up?
What is different? What evolves, if anything?
What kinds of qualities would you like to see masculine folks embody as we get older?
How does masculinity evolve?

Protected: Kristen’s Homework: Will Return Soon

January 7, 2010  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: