Ask Me Anything: Standards of Beauty

October 5, 2010  |  advice

While I was on the plane to Portland for Butch Voices this past weekend, I dug through my files and responded to the last of the questions from the Ask Me Anything questions from Sugarbutch’s 4th anniversary. Expect more of them posted throughout the week.

From some of your posts I think I’ve made an assumption that most of the women you date tend to be conventionally attractive/attractive by dominant culture’s standards of beauty (i.e. not fat, not particularly full figured, Eurocentric features, etc) So my first question is – is that accurate? And if it is, is that something you interrogate within yourself – as part of redefining masculinity (or the social concept that one way to prove your masculinity (in the dominant culture) is to have a (conventually) hot chick on your arm)?—J-Femme

No, that’s not acurate. I have dated girls of various sizes, with various ethnic backgrounds, who often have not fit into the dominant culture’s standards of beauty. I am definitely attracted to femininity, and those who are submissive in bed, but there are many unconventional qualities I look for in a date or a lover or a relationship, and the things I need in someone I date have nothing to do with conventional beauty—self-awareness, self-acceptance, empowerment, embodiment, expression. I date people I’m attracted to, and always have, regardless of cultural beauty standards (or, sometimes, regardless of what I know about my own orientations—which is how I have ended up dating femme tops, on occasion).

I haven’t always stated what the girls look like exactly, and I haven’t written about all of the girls that I dated in the last four years—some of them didn’t want to be written about, for example. I decided purposefully to leave out much of the physical body descriptions, partly because I was telling true stories from my dates and relationships, and, for a while, while I was still writing online anonymously, I didn’t want to expose myself. After I was out, and honest about writing about the people I was sleeping with (a lesson it did not take me long to learn), I asked permission to write about someone, and I respected what they wanted, which usually was to keep them as anonymous as possible.

Also, I decided deliberately to leave out many physical body descriptions about body size, shape, skin color, and hair qualities in order for the readers to superimpose themselves and their own experiences as much as possible onto the story. It’s a challenge to portray things like body size or ethnicity in writing without fetishizing it, in general and for me specifically, and especially as I started writing more and more erotica, I adopted that as a deliberate stylistic choice.

This policy of not describing women’s bodies in unconventional ways in my erotica hasn’t always worked the way I wanted it to, though. I’ve been criticized before for not including more full-figured women in my erotica. Sometimes I want to point out the stories that I’ve written and ask someone to point out where it says that they are thin—but I also recognize that by not stating it, I’m riding by on some assumptions. I’m letting people believe what they want to believe, and our brains tend to assume certain things, which usually line up with the dominant cultural norm, unless otherwise stated. That is not particularly effective activism.

But this is not necessarily activism—these are my fictional(ized) stories. This is art, and this is the thin line between art and activism. The activist in me wants it to be one way, driving home points about unconventional beauty and body size and features, but the artist in me reads those descriptions and cringes, because they feel unnecessary, surpurfluous, forced, awkward. I’ll keep flirting with that line, and hopefully find a place where the stories can rest, instead of pushing something into it that doesn’t belong, or ignoring an important opportunity for celebrating unconventional standards of beauty.

Secondarily: Yes, it is very important to me to interrogate the ways that the dominant culture views someone as more masculine if they have a conventionally beautiful woman with them. I have certainly done a lot of thinking about that in my relationships and my own orientations, and I’m frequently thinking about it in terms of what I’m representing through my erotica. My stories about Kristen have been criticized because of how I depict her multiple orgasms—people saying that most women don’t come like that, for example. Yes, I know that. I know that not only from the mountains of feminist and women’s sex books that I’ve read but also from my own experiences over the past ten years dating and fucking women. But here’s the thing: that’s what happens. Kristen is a real person and that is our real sex life, and that is the way she really comes. A dramatization or slightly fictionalized version of our sex life, sometimes, yes, but always based in truth.

Yes, I tend to be attracted to femininity. Yes, I tend to be most turned on by girls who are a little smaller than I am—I like to be able to throw them around. But I know butch tops who are really into girls who are bigger than they are, because it makes them feel all the more like a badass top. But there have been occasional femme tops who turn my head, some of whom I’ve dated. And there have been occasional butches or guys who got me all crushed out, too.

It’s a delicate balance between knowing myself and understanding that certain things just work for me more than others, and also being open to trying something if a sparkle comes along and surprises me. I don’t want my orientations—sexual, power, gender, or otherwise—to get in the way of a good fuck, or potentially good date or relationship. I try to keep myself challenged that way. It’s tricky because some of the things I am most oriented toward do line up with some conventional expectations—butch top / femme bottom, for example—but not because it is unexamined. In fact, it might be more because it is over-examined, because I know so much about gender and sexuality that I fetishize the conventional.

I don’t care about having a “conventionally hot chick” on my arm—what I do care about is having a girlfriend, a sexual partner, someone to play with that I am attracted to, with whom I can communicate, who is commited to our sexual growth, both separately and together.

 

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26 Comments


  1. hmm, this is really interesting – and, having read this question, i think i made similar assumptions about your partners. part of that is the general lack of description, which defaults to "conventional" – but i think another significant part is how enthusiastic you are about the way your partners look. i don't know if that makes sense, but you've never hedged or excused your opinions on girls. like, no "yeah, she's kind of nerdy/fat/skinny/etc. but she's so hot," just real enthusiasm, and i think that's kind of uncommon – i think people tend to expect pushback for liking something "unconventional," and preempt it.

    also, i think i really appreciate the vagueness of your writing (you know, it's easier to imagine oneself or ones lover if you don't keep specifying physical traits ;), but it does inherently supports ideas of conventional beauty. on the other hand, eek! specific description of people in erotica tend to be super fetishizing and really, really a turn off to me – even when they are "conventional." but, i think that's because a lot of erotica i've read is crappy writing, and tend to go the "here's her vital statistics" route, or pound some "oooh, exotic" personal detail into every other sentence. i think you are a hell of a writer, and could probably do a subtle job of conveying a few characteristics here and there (and do, if not in great detail or frequency).

    • Thanks for that, lady brett—I think you're right, that I'm just focusing on the "omg she's so hot" part, rather than qualifying it with "she looks like this, and she's so hot." Especially since a lot of the writings are about real people, I am excited to show them how hot they were in my eyes, and sometimes any description of someone's 'unconventional beauty' can end up coming across to them as overexposure, and vulnerable. It's different to write about how hot and sexy and wet and beautiful someone was when we were fucking than to write about her slightly chubby tummy … it's just hard to do!

      But I should be challenging myself to do that, as I keep going with this path of writing dirty stories.

      • I have to agree with Lady Brett (and also acknowledge that hers a fabulous name and reference).

        There's something unsettling about the vital statistics listing, or when an erotica writer tries to slip in specific visual, fetishing details… like "I touched her 36DD breasts." I don't know about you, but I don't usually check her bra size before I sleep with her, so that detail is purely to ignite a fetish, and often in lesbian erotica I've read, I feel the details slant toward the male gaze — or what someone assumes all lesbians would want, as if there is a single criteria for attraction.

        I've gotten a similar form of criticism — my writing is too vague. I like to let readers fill in some of the details. I like interpretation, even if that leaves a my writing open to an interpretation I don't necessarily agree with. I also like to let readers write some of themselves into the story, because I enjoy erotica as voyeuristic. But when asked by an editor of a specifically anti-racist erotica publication to put racial details on my characters, I had to really examine my own privileges and assumptions in terms of my writing in a way that was scary. And mindblowing. And ultimately, good. I fuck people of different sizes and races and backgrounds and privileges, but writing a character (or even a real partner), from my own viewpoint, can still be so difficult.

        Plus, as you noted, you're writing stems from the specific experiences and women in your life. Changing their descriptions to diversify them wouldn't be true to why you write or who you're writing… and when you have that memory, it's not always malleable, even with artistic license.

        It's awesome you took the question, and the comments on here have provoked some really interesting thoughts for me, too. Thanks!

  2. As somebody who is feminine presenting (who often gets stared at/hit on/yelled at etc. on the street, in the world at large)- part of the appeal of butch women is that society doesn’t traditionally deem them to be attractive. It is fun to show off and be the arm candy of someone that others might look at and think is chubby, manly, confusing (of course they do not catch the gleam in her eye, overlook her impeccable grooming and style, and are not attuned to her magnetic charm and chivalry the way I am). The fact that I appeal to some people who ascribe to normative beauty standards but am not available to them, that I might confound them by swooning over my butch partner, (because she is good to me, because she knows how to fuck, because within the queer coterie she is sought after and admired) is just hot. I guess there is an appeal to being subversive in this way BECAUSE I am considered “conventionally attractive/attractive by dominant culture’s standards of beauty”- and that small act of sexual resistance fuels my feminist and queer politics. However I am also critiqued by other queers for having such a type, for being attracted to masculinity rather than being more fluid and accepting of all gender presentations. But I have found that erotic attraction is not something you can always take a stand on, you are compelled by a force beyond yourself, the chemistry you cultivate with someone else when you realize that you are their type too and compliment one another. As a writer of erotic fiction SS might consider varying the representations of the characters and bodies portrayed, simply because there IS such an egregious dearth of accurate and complex representations of queers in the culture at large, however since her life and art are so intimately intertwined, it would be remiss to put her on the defensive for sharing her honest experiences and reactions, which is really what keeps people reading her work in the first place.

  3. I’m interested in this idea of “fetishizing the conventional.” That’s one of the things that is most attractive to me about butch/femme dynamics, that it may look something like a straight dynamic but is inherently challenging (at some level) straight gender/sexuality. Also, since gender/sex roles are adopted probably more consciously, you can pick and choose the most attractive parts of that, while still breaking out of expectations.

    I also agree with the poster above about how hot it is to be “arm candy” for a butch/masculine presenting partner. It can totally throw straight men who would otherwise hit on me for a loop, since they don’t know whether to fetishize me as a hot woman/lesbian, or feel challenged by my obvious lack of interest (and complete engagement with my date).

  4. I don't know.I was amused by the lack of racially (and bodily) diverse images on your Tumblr. Presumably, you select the pictures you post there based on your standards of attractiveness– white and thin.

    • You're right—my Tumblr isn't very diverse. That's primarily because I tend to re-post images from the Tumblrs I follow rather than post my own images there, mostly because I just don't have time. And I run in very standard sexuality circles, so most of the Tumblrs I follow tend to be depicting women as white and thin, and most often bottoms or submissives. It's not entirely rare to see a woman as a top, but it is incredibly rare to see a man as a bottom or submissive. Part of it is the crowdsourcing problem—the dominant culture being reproduced.

      But this is not to say that it's an excuse, really—I'm just thinking through for myself why it is that my Tumblr tends to be white + thin + submissive women. It's also partly because I don't want to exoticize or fetishize people of color or heavier girls. But I shouldn't be letting that stop me from reposting something I like (which it does, sometimes). I'll keep thinking about this.

  5. "Yes, I tend to be most turned on by girls who are a little smaller than I am—I like to be able to throw them around. I know butch tops who are really into girls who are bigger than they are, because it makes them feel all the more like a badass top."

    I must be the baddest cuz I got the fattest? Now, come on… Did some Butch top actually share that with you? lol

    If you happen to dig slender Femmes, good on ya for discovering and honoring your desires. I know it can be exhaustive to consider all aspects beyond our own experiences, but I wanted to add there are Butches (top and bottom, big and small) who don't care to use Femmes to boost their egos at all. Some of us simply appreciate fat Femmes because they're fawkin delicious! :)

    Just as real as a psychic Butch cock, there are genderqueers of all descriptions whose brave sexual expressions are a source of struggle and fierce pride, blooming beyond the limits of mere physicality and assumptions. Tons of cocksure Daddies under 5 foot tall, hirsute high Femmes who shave their beards or not, 400 pound tiny babygirls, big badass Butch tops who are constantly moved to tears, Trans-Femmes with dicks that aren't dicks at all, and all their blessed, hot lovers who really do *GET IT*, not just lusting between the ears but also with the eyes.

    Ultimately, any "alternative" sexuality or gender expression is all about just being exactly who you truly are, and hopefully the challenge of our own unique journey makes most of us check more of our own assumptions.

    ~Daddy Rhon

    • yes, I actually do know butch tops who prefer girls who are bigger than they are. I think it’s about power—they don’t have to be physically stronger, they can be so powerful with their presence and words that they can control the scene and top.

      I like that last line you wrote especially. “The challenge of our own unique journey makes most of us check more of our own assumptions.” I think that’s true—and sometimes I need to check some of mine a little more aggressively than others.

  6. I agree with Lina. Even glancing to my right, all of the depicted women (and etc) are white and thin. When you post about things that turn you on from photos to descriptors it represents white and thin. Preference is allowed (heavens I have some interesting ones) and no one begrudges but it’s hard to read about, look at when you are the opposite.

    I was thinking about this subject a lot over the summer, writing about bodies and how to make sure to leave out descriptions for the sake of open ended experience. Like, what is my responsibility as a Native person and a fat person and a radical queer person?

    I came to the conclusion that I absolutely want to be an activist in my erotic writing, to write about the people you see but don’t see. The people I fuck. The people I enjoy seeing fuck. The people who also enjoy fucking. I want to post lovingly about the backside of a fat girl or the woman in a wheelchair who fucks her. I wanted to give respect but also not shy away from sexualizing and raunchifying (poetic license to make up words!) the experience.

    This is not to say that it is your responsibility as well but it’s a point to ponder when posting photos of what turns you on or having sidebar porn affiliates (i know you also do NOFAUXX who I have posed for before as well as other friends of size and color and ability and etc thank god for Courtney) perhaps consider your broader audience and what they’re thinking when they don’t see anything that represents them in your sweet little microcosm.

    This is a GREAT blog entry. I love that you do not shy away from things that are hard. Thank you for saying to me recently (paraphrasing) “you are too hot to waste your time on that (re:someone who is fatphobic). I keenly felt the conviction behind your words. Very solidifying.

    • Thanks alysia.

      Same with the Tumblr response I wrote, above: the images in the sidebar, mostly ads, are white-thin-etc mostly because that's what's offered as pre-made ads, and I don't ask them to custom make something or custom make something myself. But I do choose them, so there's that. And it IS important to me to have a range of people represented: therefore, how much work am I willing to do to get that to happen? I don't want to blame it on laziness, and it's not that, exactly, I guess it's just not as much of a priority as other things. But perhaps I need to change that.

      I'm going to have to keep thinking about how to depict things in my smut writings in ways that make sense. I struggle back and forth with responsibility and radical activism vs I-can't-be-everything-to-everyone vs be the change I want to be in the world.

      You're right about audience, too. I'll keep thinking about this and see what kind of things I can shift.

  7. I am unspeakably grateful for these words.

  8. for the record, i'm one of those butches you just described :) i'm a butch bottom who loves feminine girls who top me.. hard. and are typically bigger [taller, curvier, heavier, or any combination] than i.. and i'm glad i found one who fits.

  9. I'll be honest, it drives me NUTS when lesbians feel the need to make every damned thing into something political, activist, inclusive, whatever. You know, it's okay to desire different things and no, not every damned story/show/character has to include every a-"typical" style of woman. Can we not just have erotica that is hot because it's hot? I find that for the most part, the people we're aiming our so-called political actions towards aren't even paying attention to see the political act, let alone thinking about what it might mean.

    I'm femme. I'm petite. But personally, I like androgynous to butch dominant women. Why? Because they get me hot and bothered. I couldn't give two shits if someone approves, disapproves or is thinking about the political act of who I like. When we're in bed together, I'm not thinking "this is a political act and I hope the world knows it." No. I'm thinking, well, ideally I'm past the point of thinking! But I'm probably saying "oh god yes, fuck me harder." If not, then I'm in the wrong bed!

    I'm politically active. I volunteer on campaigns, I am socially aware. I get it – my body type is represented everywhere and that's frustrating for those who aren't of a similar bodytype. Believe me, I'm dying for more erotic soft butch top characters in erotica. But can there not be areas of our lives that are just because they are? You like feminine bottoms. So? Why do you have to apologize for that? There are many others out there who, like Daddy Rhon, prefer the fat-bottomed girls (TM Queen). Good, cuz there's someone for everyone.

    To me, the hottest stories are the ones which get the author off while she's writing it, which means, it talks about her authentic desires. If her desires are for 400 pound biracial femme tops, and she talks about her with raw desire, I'll get off on it. If she's writing about that woman because she feels she has to for political points, I'm sure I'll be able to tell and it's just not hot.

    Make your erotica what gets you off. Afterall, all of your readers are here because we like your voice and what you represent. If not, there are plenty of other blogs to go to. But please, let's have some erotica that's for the sake of erotica, not for the sake of activism, because we, as lesbians, need more hot writing that's truly lesbian-centric, not aimed at men. And that, to me, is the most politically activist thing we can do, period.

  10. Although we see things in a different way I do appreciate you clarifying your points.

    P.S. I do write them.

  11. WWG,

    I feel like as a self subscribed “petite person” with a “body type (that) is represented everywhere” you miss out on showing how you recognize your privilege and how pervasive your “pshaw lesbians stop trying to make everything political” is out there. People like me (a native and fat person) are either not seen or overly seen and it’s not unheard of to want to be represented (not necessarily by Sinclair) as sexual beings whether in prose or non-fiction. Since we aren’t it takes radical acts and big mouths to get us there.

    Being intentional with word and expression when writing is not political per se, it’s just inclusive and boundary pushing. Queers have felt “other” for long enough.

    It is thought provoking that you followed a sentence such as “You like feminine bottoms. So? Why do you have to apologize for that” with “There are many others out there who, like Daddy Rhon, prefer the fat-bottomed girls (TM Queen). Good, cuz there’s someone for everyone.”. It appears to a reader (me) that you might be insinuating that fat bottomed girls are not feminine.

    Also, not all of us who read and write erotica are lesbians. Some of us are queer and want to reach expansive audiences and yes, even men if they’re into it.

    • Alysia,

      I thank you for responding, but you missed my overarching point, which was that it bothers me that everything HAS to be political. Sometimes, I just want to desire women because I do, without thinking of the political implications of every part of it. Heterosexual women aren't thinking "well, I like a skinny feminine style men as a fuck you to the patriarchy and the expected norms of liking a masculine frat boy style man." No, they like the David Beckhams of this world because he makes them wet. Simple as that.

      It frustrates me on occasion that every goddamn part of being a lesbian has to be a political act or all about inclusion. When I'm in bed with someone, unless I'm in the middle of an orgy, I've chosen to be exclusionary, because I'm choosing various characteristics in my lover over others. If I write erotica about my fantasies, yes, I'm going to be exclusionary because *I'm writing about what gets me off."* THAT is what's authentic and hot.

      You've completely misconstrued what I wrote on another level. No, I am not insinuating that fat bottomed girls aren't femme. I know a lot of em who are! I took two very different comments (Sinclair's comments about what SHE likes and Daddy Rhon's comments about what SHE likes) and referenced both of them. They are separate. I was addresssing Sinclair with the "you like feminine…" and that if she prefers smaller women, so what? Why does she have to apologize for that? Because there are many other women out there, for instance Daddy Rhon, who prefer bigger women. Hence my point about there being someone for everyone.

      My point is simply this – if you want to see more "native and fat" characters that are central to an erotic story, write them! But make sure when you write a story, you are being authentic to your own desires because, at the end of the day, what makes us lesbians are our desires for women as they are. If Sinclair finds smaller femme bottom women hot, I'm not really going to feel her desire if she writes about thick butch top women in her bed. I mean, would you? So, if you love the buttery crease of her thighs, the feel of her dreads tickling your skin, the ripple of her arm muscles, the scratches her stilettos make on your back as you fuck her, then by god, write about it please! I personally am aching for more real lesbian erotica, written by women, for women. The more we write our own desires and put it out there, the less anyone will have to consciously write erotica to include marginalized groups because someone will have already gotten there first and they'll have done it authentically.

    • Oops I missed your point about not everyone being lesbian. Okay, point. But again, any writer will tell you that they are told "write what you know", or in this case, write what you desire. I also hold that honest portrayals of one's desire will always trump conscious and "commercial" writing, at least in quality.

  12. an interesting read. It made me think about how many of the girls featured here i assumed were skinny. I definitely made that assumption more often than warranted, but it's a bit disingenuous to say it comes from nowhere. I think I could point to a pretty specific line in one of the Callie stories as to why I assumed that about her (although i think those are gone), and you have posted pictures about Kirsten (and described her as small). Obviously throwing girls around is part of your repetoire, and it's hard to talk about that without implying they are small. Even if they're not, it's not sexy to say you "heaved" someone over. But it's hard to separate these things completely…language is culture too.

  13. I'm not sure if i have any deeper analysis or criticism, but I just want to put this out there.

    Statements like:

    "Yes, I tend to be most turned on by girls who are a little smaller than I am—I like to be able to throw them around."

    are part of the reasons that I hated myself and my body for years, most of my life. The reasons I thought no one would ever want to date me. Because it's not that people don't LIKE fat people, it's just that they're not turned on by them, explained by whatever statement – like "I like to be able to throw them around." Now that I'm more fat-positive, it seems like thinly veiled fatphobia, but sure, still, everyone gets to have whatever turns them on. And I'm back to the things that led to self-hate years ago.

    • Ella, power dynamics are a funny thing, and we all have something that makes us feel powerful/vulnerable/open/whatever. It's incredibly invidivual in many ways and I think Sinclair touched on that well in her post. That which makes one person feel powerful and hot makes another feel off and odd. You have to figure out what does it for you.

      In my (personal and therefore limited) experience, it really has to do with liking your body, regardless of what it looks like. Before I came out, my friend, who is a size 16 and I, a size 4, would go out and nine times out of ten, the men would hit on her and ignore me. When I went out on my own, I'd get plenty of attention but standing besides her? Nada. We're equally pretty face-wise.

      For me, I'm not in shape right now, so I don't feel happy with my body, even though the world looks at me and sees "skinny." I grew up very athletic and I love the power and flexibility that comes with working out. THAT is what makes me feel sexy and confident in my body, not that I'm small by the world's standards, because I'm still small and I feel ugh, and I know it shows in my attitude and confidence levels.

      I hope you come to appreciate and accept your body because there will be someone out there who thinks you're smoking hot for days. In the meantime, if you haven't already and if Sinclair doesn't mind, I'd tell you to check out these three links:

      http://queerfatfemme.com/ http://www.femme-cast.com/ http://obesitytimebomb.blogspot.com/2009/07/rad-f

      I've met Bevin twice and she's a force to be reckoned with. She owns her body, her sexuality and her fierceness and she's made people surround HER. Cool with me!

      • these "i have a friend who's fat and she gets hit on all the time" kinds of stories are just ways to pretend that fatphobia doesn't exist. it does. it feels to me like instead of acknowledging your thin privilege, you are trying to explain to me all of the ways that you are in fact oppressed by your body.

        • My body doesn't oppress me, but it has. I was born with a birth defect that should have killed me and should have been found years before it was. Due to my being athletic, my body saved me, literally. I've also had some unfathomably severe accidents that should have killed me or left me paralyzed, no joke. Others may look at me and see "thin=sexy" but for me, it is my strength that makes me feel sexy.

          I'm not saying that fatphobia doesn't exist; I'm well aware it does. However, I've had friends of various sizes throughout the years and I've always noticed that my heavy yet confident friends had no problems finding partners, while my heavy but insecure friends did. As for the friend mentioned above, it was her confidence that radiated out that people responded to.

          I hate the word privilege. It has become such a cutting and lazy remark. Don't like someone's point of view? Accuse them of having privilege. We are all born with advantages and disadvantages, and it is our duty to handle them and utilize them to bring about our best life and be helpful to others. Why be ashamed of what you've been given? You shouldn't. Okay, so I'm thin, but I bet you have talents I'd dream of having, no? Should I accuse you of privilege for that? Yes, I've been given some amazing opportunities in life, opportunities others only dream of, but I've also had some intense setbacks. I took them all on the chin and kept it moving forward, as we all should.

  14. So, I actually have ZERO complaints with your erotica. Please continue to write it – and honestly, write more of it – that's why I came to this blog. I majored in queer studies and get enough of that in my day job! It's hot, and I love that there's a BDSM/butch-femme blog out there with someone who writes great erotica. Seriously. :-)

    So, that said, I have some comments about the NON-erotica aspects of this blog and your Tumblr.

    “Yes, I tend to be most turned on by girls who are a little smaller than I am—I like to be able to throw them around.”

    I do agree that this statement represents somewhat of a failure to self-examine. "A little smaller than I am" seems like a thinly veiled way to say "petite and skinny."

    As a longtime reader, I also agree that, even before you posted photos of yourself and/or your lover on this blog, it was very, very clear that you were white and had a lot cultural and educational capital, including an upper-middle-class, urban, perspective. From the masculine stereotypes you admire (James Dean, white dudes in suits, Elvis hair, whiskey on the rocks, etc) to the feminine (a lot of 50s housewife/retro images), they were often set in white or wealthy cultural scenes. You also use a ton of theoretical language and phrases that are typical in extremely academic queer theory contexts, but aren't particularly accessible to a lot of GLBTQI folks without the time or interest in spending hours deciphering whether Judith Butler is actually making an original point (pretty sure the answer is: not really).

    I say that as a femme white low-income bottom with a lot of educational privilege who loves your erotica.

    I think that describing who you're sleeping with is kind of irrelevant, especially since that's not a huge sample size at the moment. :-) I do think that spending some time reflecting on the ways that the cultural figures, type of language, and topics you cover reflect your racial and cultural capital, might be more productive in addressing these issues.

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