Archive for June, 2010

BDSM is Not Abuse

June 12, 2010  |  essays  |  5 Comments

I recently went through the Orientation process for the Lesbian Sex Mafia, and we went over this list of The Difference Between SM and Abuse, which is also available on the Lesbian Sex Mafia’s website.

I am still surprised how often BDSM gets equated with abuse, and this list makes the distinctions so very clear, I like it. I have the feeling I’ll be referencing this quite a bit in various things. Hope the LSM doesn’t mind that I am reprinting it here!

The Difference Between SM and Abuse
A Statement from the Lesbian Sex Mafia

SM: An SM scene is a controlled situation.
ABUSE: Abuse is an out-of-control situation.

SM: Negotiation occurs before an SM scene to determine what will and will not happen in that scene.
ABUSE: One person determines what will happen.

SM: Knowledgeable consent is given to the scene by all parties.
ABUSE: No consent is asked for or given.

SM: The “bottom” has a safeword that allows them to stop the scene at any time should they need to for physical or emotional reasons.
ABUSE: The person being abused cannot stop what is happening.

SM: Everyone involved in an SM scene is concerned about the needs, desires and limits of others.
ABUSE: No concern is given to the needs, desires and limits of the abused person.

SM: The people in an SM scene are careful to be sure that they are not impaired by alcohol or drug use during the scene.
ABUSE: Alcohol or drugs are often used before an episode of abuse.

SM: After an SM scene, the people involved feel good.
ABUSE: After an episode of abuse, the people involved feel bad.

If you have further questions regarding domestic abuse, please call the New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP). They are educated in the differences between BDSM and abuse.
AVP, the Anti-Violence Project
24 hour hotline: 212-714-1141
240 West 35th Street, Suite 200 New York, NY 10001

e[lust] #15 includes my “Waking Up”

June 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] #16? 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 ~

Evolution – Open Marriage, Swinging, & Polyamory – Do we REALLY believe that there is one love for us? Do we really believe there’s one cock or pussy to fuck for the rest of our life?

Sweet To Taste – “I’m dinner tonight,” she breathes. “So don’t let me get cold before you start feasting.”

Having a boyfriend makes me feel fat - I know my worth as a person isn’t devalued by my weight – but I can’t get past the notion that my worth as a partner is.

~ e[lust] Editress ~

Fucked by a StrangerFor as long as I can remember, I’ve had this bizarre, twisted fantasy. The roads leading to it were different, but the end result the same: a stranger fucking a very willing me in my bed in the dead of night.

~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~

At Her Mercy“You have been such a good boy today. Where do you want me to put your cock next?” she said with a wink.

See also: Pleasurists #78 and #79 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

The Great LGBTQ Photo Show Opens Next Week

June 11, 2010  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

The Great LGBTQ Photo Show
June 16th to July 10th, 2010
Opening reception Tuesday June 15th, 6-8pm
Leslie Lohman Gallery
26 Wooster St (btwn Canal/Grand) in New York City

This exhibition features works by, among 80 international photographers, Velvetpark’s Editor in Chief Grace Moon and Sophia Wallace.

From Not Stone to Stone-ish

June 11, 2010  |  advice  |  8 Comments

I’m finally getting around to the Ask Me Anything questions from Sugarbutch’s 4th anniversary. I hope to get through them all, though it might take a little bit of time!

My question: How do you relate or not relate to stone identity? To what extent do you ID/not ID as stone and how do you feel about that? Maybe you’ve written about this here before and I missed it … I’ve had a big process going from not stone to stone-ish to stone, and I’m curious about how other butches feel. —Bond

I haven’t written much about this, I don’t think. I don’t identify as stone, but I do identify as stone-ish. I’ve never been all the way stone, but I do remember on my first date with Kristen I said, “I’m basically stone,” as I was trying to describe the ways that I was a top and wanted to be in charge perhaps ninety percent of the time. I’d told this to other lovers on other first dates, but it didn’t always make sense to the other person, and I was trying to put it out there stronger and more specifically this time, lay everything out clearly as early as possible in hopes that she’d get it.

(She did, she does.)

But that is really new in my history—I’ve dated girls even in the past four years that I’ve been running Sugarbutch that were tops, or toppy, and to whom I bottomed. My first long-term relationship with my ex-boyfriend of five years was kinky, in a kind of entry-level kink way (light bondage, light percussion) and we experimented with some switching, but mostly I was bottoming to him. As our relationship drew on, we started taking some classes on kinky sex (at places like Babeland) and I started learning more and more about topping. It wasn’t until I got out of that relationship entirely and had a series of revelations that I started realizing I was more of a top than bottom, and that perhaps I’d never really been submissive as much as bottoming.

I’m mentioning all this because stone is tied to topping, for me, because I’m not stone so much as I’m a top. I’m not opposed to being touched or penetrated, and I don’t have strong emotional reactions to those things, as I know some other stone folks that I’ve talked to do. (I don’t think that’s the only way to be stone, but in my experience stone often goes along with a gender dysphoria and a disagreement of gender between body and mind.) As I’ve been dating (and chronicling my dating here), I started getting more and more specific about who it was I wanted to date, especially in terms of identity keywords like bottom and submissive, and I did start describing myself as stone or stone-ish to girls I was flirting with or on first dates. I wanted to see what their reaction was, what their relationship to stone was, and whether or not they knew what to do with that. More than one girl seemed to understand and then behaved differently in bed, which was not what I wanted.

There is a relief that comes along with not being touched (very much), though. It means I don’t have to try so hard, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m going to get off ‘that way’, whatever way she’s touching me, it means I don’t have to be in that particular position of surrender when I often (at least nine times out of ten) do not want to be. I much prefer getting off while strapped on and fucking … and yes, I suppose that does have something to do with gender, that I prefer my orgasms to be related to my cock and not necessarily while being penetrated.

I don’t always prefer to get off that way—I was just writing about masturbation and My Ultimate Masturbation Toys, one of which is that genius Pure Wand, which is just the right size and shape for me. And sometimes, especially it seems right before I start my period, I crave getting fucked, sometimes hard. That tends to be when I ask to be fisted. I don’t do that often, maybe three times in the last year and a half relationship with Kristen, but when I have, I think they have all been around that time of my cycle.

But generally, when I’m with someone else, when I’m with Kristen, I want to get off through fucking, through my cock. I want to be dominant, in some way, using some sort of physical strength that tightens my muscles and makes the getting off all the more intense. I want to be using my gender fetish, which I don’t ever fuck without, anymore. I want there to be a gender component and a power component, with me in particular places on those spectrums, and usually, that involves me strapped on, on top.

That doesn’t quite make me stone, at least not the way I understand it. But there’s something useful in the language of stone that helps get across that top identity, that dominant identity, and that butch identity, so I have relied on stone in the past to help me make all those identities come together.

What about you? Do you identify as stone? Stone-ish? Not stone? Why or why not? What’s your relationship to the identity of stone? What do you define it as, what do you think it means?

On Processing & Analyzing

June 7, 2010  |  essays  |  33 Comments

Here’s the thing.

People have told me—in comments, in emails, sometimes even my friends in person make little comments or raise their eyebrows incredulously—that if my relationship with Kristen needs this much processing, perhaps there is something fundamentally wrong with it, perhaps we just aren’t “meant to be.” This argument usually continues with something like, “My girlfriend and I have been together for x years and we never need as much analyzing as you do,” or, “Real couples don’t need to work this kind of thing out so constantly, I should know, I’m in a relationship and we don’t do that,” et cetera.

Well.

First of all, these comments have discouraged me from posting the analyzing, which I’ve been realizing lately I’ve been a bit nervous to do, precisely because of this occasional feedback. But not posting them publicly doesn’t actually solve this complaint, and isn’t actually a rebuttal to this argument.

And I just flat out don’t agree: I know that I am in a good, solid, beautiful relationship, and it is incredibly important to me. I’m not about to end it, certainly not because a stranger says my relationship is no good, and certainly not because we process (according to someone else’s standards) too much. But, yes, we do tend to talk (and talk and talk) about our inner psychological landscapes, about our feelings and histories, as a way to work things out, both individually and within our relationship.

So I got to thinking about that.

I think some people are just more or less analytical than others. I think perhaps we have some sort of “processing orientation,” that some people want to talk and process and analyze interactions and emotions constantly, and others despise doing so, and would even see that as a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

I don’t think one or the other is any more healthy—I think it’s just the way an individual works, or doesn’t work. I do think it’s important to be able to express our emotions, of course, especially to our partners, especially when there’s something bugging us, be it about our partner, about our relationship, or about our life in general, such that the relationship and our partner can be a bit of a sanctuary for us, but that looks differently for everyone.

Given that we all have a slightly different orientation toward processing and analyzing, then, what is important is not whether or not the analyzing and processing is happening, but to what degree, and whether the two people in the relationship are satisfied with that degree.

Despite our frequent verbal processing and analyzing, Kristen and I still have very different processing styles. She likes to talk quickly and immediately about what is going on, and I tend to let things sit, settle in, and to go over it all in my head or on paper before being able to express it to her. She figures things out as she talks, and I talk only after I’ve figured something out. It’s really hard for me to talk through something that I don’t feel I already know. Sometimes, that is really infuriating for Kristen, or so I’ve gathered, as she wants to talk now now now and I am still off in my own land of my head.

(I’m working on this—both by accepting that that’s the way I tend to work and by attempting to be more communicative when I’m off in my own head, even if it’s just to say, “please, can we talk about this a little bit later, I need a bit of time to think.” And by attempting to talk through things, even if it’s not entirely comfortable of my preference, when it is very important to her, and recognizing that it’s not pressure, it’s just part of how she works.)

It’s not as if it’s a perfect system, this human communication thing. We all bring so much to the table, and no matter how much we unlearn, no matter how much we practice being in a state of absolute Bodhicitta, there is so much in our minds, so many complicated moments folding over onto themselves in my muscles and tendons, in the grey matter of my brain.

And sure, it is possible, even (or perhaps especially) for those of us who are inclined toward emotional processing and psychological analysis to overdo it, to spend entirely too much time going around in circles micro-articulating every little thing. Sure, I’ve been guilty of this in the past, even in the past as recently as yesterday. I’m not trying to say that every aspect of processing and analyzing is necessary, just that perhaps we all have different levels of tendency toward these skills, that some of us see the world in a more analytical way and seek to understand our own emotions, psychology, and relationship in these ways. I’m certainly trying to find that balance, that place where I am understanding and expressing my emotions in clear, healthy ways, while not being indulgent or repressing how I feel. Where I am listening and being open, coming to new conclusions or altering my understanding of the situation as needed, and then, and perhaps this is the key part, moving on. (Sometimes it’s easy to just stay in the analysis part.)

So yeah, maybe I do have a tendency toward over-analyzing or over-processing. It is certainly possible that I process or analyze more than you do. Maybe you think it’s unimportant or that I am dwelling or making things harder than they have to be. But just know that we all have different levels of our tendencies to do this, and just because mine is not the same as yours doesn’t make mine or yours any better: it just makes it different.

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Come to Sideshow! The Queer Literary Carnival June 8th

June 1, 2010  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

It’s that time again … Sideshow! The Queer Literary Carnival, the reading series hosted by myself and the lovely Cheryl B., is upcoming next week on Tuesday, June 8th. Since June is Gay Pride Month, we wanted to do a queer theme, and decided on interesting perspectives on butch and femme. It’s going to be a great mix of readers!

If you’re in New York, or nearby, please come join us.

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
June 8 @ Phoenix, 47 East 13th Street @ Avenue A
in the East Village of New York City
Doors, 7:30pm. Reading, 8pm.
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)

RSVP on Facebook!
Follow us on Twitter: @sideshowseries

This month’s theme is BUTCH/FEMME, in honor of gay pride month, starring:
Syd Blakovich! Diana Cage! Miriam Z. Pérez! Jack Stratton! Teresa Theophano!

How fucking hot are they?? This is going to be good.

The Readers:

Working in the adult industry since 2005, Syd Blakovich dedicates most of her time training to fight and working for Pink and White Productions (pinkwhite.biz), internationally acclaimed pioneers of independent, adult, queer cinema and four time winners of Feminist Porn Awards. She is also one of the most notorious figures in the adult submission wrestling world. With a record of 10-2, Syd is currently the number 1 ranked wrestler of UltimateSurrender.com. Follow Syd on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sydblakovich.

Diana Cage is the author of several best selling, hilarious and informative books on sex and relationships, including Girl Meets Girl:A Dating Survival Guide and Box Lunch: The Laypersons Guide to Cunnilingus. She’s been called everything from an “unapologetic pioneer,” to “flirty, raunchy and in your face.” Diana’s obsessions include high heels, fashion week, gin martinis, Luce Irigaray and extreme lesbian processing. She’ll pretty much talk about sex with anyone who asks. Look for her most recent book, A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Ecstasy, coming out later this year.

Miriam Z. Pérez is a writer, blogger and reproductive justice activist. She is the founder of Radical Doula, a blog that lives at the intersections of birth activism and social justice. Pérez is an Editor at Feministing.com and works with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Her writing has appeared in various publications and two recent anthologies: Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists and Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape. Pérez lives in Washington DC.

Jack Stratton is an open minded, sex positive, mostly-straight, mostly-top, non-monogamous, writer, skeptic, foodie, graphic designer and aspiring dandy. He is a native New Yorker who is obsessed with kink, fan fiction, postmodernism, women and ties. He’s hardly been published anywhere, which is a damn shame. He thoughts and work can be found at writingdirty.com.

Teresa Theophano is a writer, social worker, and community organizer. She is the editor of Queer Quotes, published by Beacon Press in 2004, and of the forthcoming anthology Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Illness. She has also contributed to numerous anthologies and Web sites, including glbtq.com and Planned Parenthood. A former assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press, Teresa now does social work in Harlem with mentally ill homeless adults, and assists with projects at the National LGBT Cancer Network.

And as usual, Sideshow! The Queer Literary Carnival is hosted by me, Sinclair Sexsmith, and Cheryl B.

See you there!