Archive for December, 2010

Fantasy: Titillating and Taboo Workshop at the Lesbian Sex Mafia

December 31, 2010  |  miscellany  |  3 Comments

I’ve been helping out with some of the programming for the Lesbian Sex Mafia based here in New York City, and our first workshop in January was just announced, featuring one of my favorite femme sexuality educators: Megan Andelloux.

So if you’re nearby, join us.

Lesbian Sex Mafia presents:
“Fantasy: Titillating and Taboo: What Gets You Off and How to Get It”
with Megan Andelloux

Does dirty talk turn you on? Want to be punished? Want to force someone to do naughty things? Really want to make those wicked thoughts a reality? This workshop will cover some common desires, like restraints, impact play, and dirty talk, as well as how to communicate your desires, confront personal shame/discomfort around fantasies, and maneuver such desires into your sex and play. Through small group discussion, interactive and reflection activities you’ll explore expressing your deepest fantasies and how to get what you really want.

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011; 8pm – 10pm
Location: The LGBT Center, 208 W 13th St, NY (Google Maps). Get directions using Hopstop.
Cost: LSM member: $5; Non-members $10 (Members – renew now and continue to get all the benefits of an LSM membership!)

About Megan Andelloux

Megan Andelloux is a nationally certified Sexuality Educator through A.A.S.E.C.T and a board certified Sexologist through A.C.S. She is the Founder and Director of the non-profit Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, located in Pawtucket, RI.

Ms. Andelloux lectures internationally at colleges, universities, medical schools, and sexuality institutions on issues surrounding sexual politics, pleasure, sexual health, and erotic justice. To date, she has taught at over three dozen higher educational institutions, including medical schools and Ivy league universities such as Brown, Yale, and Harvard.

She is an author in the books, We Got Issues A Feminist Response to Cultural Attitudes On Feminism and Sex and Society, a comprehensive guide to current knowledge and expert analysis of sex and sexuality.

Ms. Andelloux was named “Vagina Warrior of the Year” from the Vagina Monologues for her work regarding sexual communication and fear reduction. She has been labeled as “The Princess of Pleasure” and more recently, “The Sex Ed Warrior Queen”.

She is listed on Wikipedia as an American Feminist, Writer and Sex Educator and on the Erotic Heritage Museum’s Hall of Heros, which showcases icons of sexual revolution.

Year In Review On Sugarbutch: 2010

December 30, 2010  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

Another year is coming to a close, and aside from reflecting on my life personally, I’m reflecting on the accomplishments. I did a Year In Review On Sugarbutch for 2009 and I like it, it feels like a nice wrap-up of some of the accomplishments of that year, so I’m going to try to do this again.

To get started, here are the most popular posts on Sugarbutch during 2010:

  1. Desperation & Dominance
  2. Lipstick Blow Job
  3. Waking Up
  4. Nominations Needed for Top Hot Butches
  5. Sweat & Summer
  6. Gabrielle, Guest Star
  7. Best Anal Scenes in Queer Porn
  8. On Making Sex Last: Cheerleading & Open Relationships
  9. Occasional Effects of D/s
  10. The Relaunch of Top Hot Butches

Clearly most of these are smut stories, ya pervs. Two of the posts are about the relaunch of the Top Hot Butches project, which is now Butch Lab. And then there are a few random others, the anal sex scenes post is a nice representation of that anal week (that turned into anal month) exploration I did in early 2010.

Remember when I used to do monthly roundups? I still kind of miss that, but I can’t seem to make time for it. It was a really nice look back at the last month and what has happened here, which also told me what else I should focus on in the coming month. It made it easier to do these year-end roundups, too. So I’ve been going back through and making some notes about the year.

So, what happened.

I dated Kristen the whole year. She moved in with me in September, and we celebrated our second anniversary in December. We did manage to have a couple threesomes this year, one of which I wrote about in Gabrielle, Guest Star.

At the end of 2009, Kristen and I started exploring heavier D/s, and we still are, though I haven’t been writing about it as much. My public appearances have picked up tremendously (more about that later) and it’s been harder to put all of this in public. So I wrote a lot more password protected posts this year, and 2010 kicked off with three big ones in January: Occasional Effects of D/s, then a piece about D/s “homework” and why I was taking a break with it, and a piece about articulating what I need when I need it, which, though it sounds simple, is probably one of those life skills we all have to learn and re-learn and re-learn, something that hopefully gets easier but is never easy.

The good news is, late in 2010 I finally got the password/mailing list working, so I don’t have to do that manually anymore. If you want the password, I’ll trade you for adding your email address to my mailing list, where I (try to) send out updates on my work once a month.

Events:

February kicked off my year of travel, and boy, did I travel. After I got a booking company, PhinLi, last year, I have been doing more and more public events. I went to KinkForAll Providence in Rhode Island, Brown University in Providence, SXSW in Austin, Texas, Drew University in New Jersey, Tuscon Arizona for a strap-on workshop, Portland Oregon for a Strap-On workshop and a second time for the Butch Voices regional conference, Seattle for the Sex 2.0 Conference, Seattle and Southeast Alaska for Kristen to visit where I grew up, Albuquerque for an erotic energy retreat, The 2nd Annual CSPH Conference in Pawtucket, RI, and Northampton MA to visit Smith University. Am I missing any? I think that was it. Aside from that, I also did quite a few workshops in New York City, including at the Lesbian Sex Mafia, cunnilingus class at Purple Passion, Conversio Virium, Columbia University’s BDSM student group, and NYU for Trans Week.

The national Femme Conference was held in 2010, as well as regional Butch Voices Conferences in Portland, LA, and New York City. I was on the committee for the Butch Voices NYC Regional Conference which happened in September, which was a huge success. Some of the pieces I wrote up were: What’s going on at the BV NYC Conference?, the conference starts today!, BV NYC is over … … but BV Portland is this weekend. Syd London took photos. I did a countdown to the national Femme Conference that happened this year in August in Oakland, too, by mentioning and reviewing some of my favorite books about femme identity.

I started hosting regular porn parties on Twitter, starting with Fluid. We also watched Tight Places: A Drop Of Color (which was so good) and four episodes of the Crash Pad Series. I also hosted Butch Brunch a few different times, mostly in leading up to the Butch Voices Conference in New York City, but I’m interested to do a bit more of that. It’s fun to get together and talk about gender (go figure).

I launched Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival in April, a reading series I am co-producing and co-hosting with my good friend Cheryl B. Syd London took some amazing promotional shots of me & Cheryl for Sideshow’s materials, and we launched queerliterarycarnival.com after running it for a few months. We even have an intern, as of December! (More on him soon.)

Cheryl launched her own new project in 2010, WTF Cancer Diaries, after being diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma. And perhaps as a nice counter, if you need a pick-me-up, my girlfriend Kristen started a Butches With Cute Animals tumblr. Submit your photo!

Perhaps the biggest project of my year was the relaunch of the Top Hot Butches project, which is now Butch Lab. I also put a call out for nominations and the “list” is now more of an unordered, unnumbered database, and the site is more community-based and includes a blog and a monthly writing prompt carnival called Symposium. I wrote a piece about being butch enough.

Publications:

Early in February 2010 I started a weekly column with SexIs Magazine called Mr. Sexsmith’s Other Girlfriend. I kept writing columns for CarnalNation.com until they closed in the fall. I’d love to find another place to house my Radical Masculinity column, but haven’t yet. I’ve written there basically weekly since then, with a few weeks off. I’ve also written pieces for AfterEllen and the Lambda Literary Foundation this year, and I am writing a quarterly roundup of lesbian erotica on LambdaLiterary.org, two of which were published in 2010, in the fall and in the winter.

If you’d like to follow the pieces I write elsewhere, you can follow to the blog over on mrsexsmith.com online or by RSS.

In books, I have pieces in Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica and Best Lesbian Erotica 2011. Stories of mine were accepted to Gotta Have It: 60 Stories of Sudden Sex and Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, but I haven’t seen copies of either of those yet. Persistence is due out in the spring or summer of 2011, I’m not sure exactly when.

The big news for publications, though, is the BDSM lesbian erotica anthology I am editing for Cleis Press! Deadline for submissions is January 1st 2011, and it is due out in the fall. I’ve had some amazing submissions so far, but there are still a few more days and I haven’t read everything. I’m really excited to be editing an anthology, and I’ve had some fantastic submissions so far.

Reviews & Affiliates:

I wrote a ton of reviews in 2010. In fact, in looking back over the archives, sometimes the reviews were completely dominating any other types of posts. I’m sure you can understand it is really fun to get sex toys in the mail. And it’s hard to turn them down when they are so generously offered. But … I have an overflowing toy box. I have most of the toys I’ve wanted, and I’m being a lot more discerning about what I review and what I take into my (not so spacious) apartment. I haven’t completely stopped doing reviews, though I hope you’ve noticed that there are significantly fewer posts about products than there used to be.

I’m trying to review more books than I used to, so I introduced Friday Reads. I’m trying to feature a queer or gender or sexy book on Fridays, though it doesn’t seem to be every Friday so far. So it goes! But one of my own personal goals is to read more books, so this is a good way to do that.

I added quite a few affiliates in 2010, including my own store at the Stockroom, Early 2 Bed in Chicago, and Cocksexual (because everyone can have fun with cocks), as well as affiliations with the new sites Heavenly Spire and QueerPorn.TV.

Awards:

You all voted Sugarbutch as the Best Sex/Short Story/Erotica site for the Lezzy Awards for the second year in a row! And I was included on the Best Sex Bloggers list at #27.

Last but not least, after that roundup, here’s some of my favorite pieces from the year that weren’t top viewers but are worth reading, and told the story of what was going on for me.

There is still two more days to December, so perhaps I’ll get something else written and up. But if I don’t, then I hope this will keep you occupied while I take my break and write like mad in January.

Happy New Year, all.

January’s Leave of Absence

December 27, 2010  |  miscellany  |  4 Comments

You know how sometimes, something happens, like an explosion, an emotional evening where you end up yelling and crying and rushing out of the house in the middle of the night for some fresh air, and beating yourself up for being in the same patterns … and how sometimes, when that happens, your brain makes a sudden leap forward, and BING a light goes on, and you kind of “get it” in a new way? And then you know how sometimes when that happens, you create this whole new system for yourself, A New Way Of Being Or Operating, and you gear up to implement that in your life?

Yeah, so that happened last week.

And I decided I’m going to take January off of writing here, to remove all the tasks that are not essential (which leaves me with writing my SexIs column weekly, and promotion for Sideshow, LSM, and Body Electric), and devote the whole month to a larger project I’ve been dreaming of the last two months.

So I’ve been letting this idea percolate as I’ve been preparing to go on a self-imposed writing retreat, and this week I decided I would get up early on Monday morning and head out to the writer’s office space that I rent near my apartment.

But yesterday, the snow showed up, and this morning, the subways around my house were down. The MTA advised we should stay inside.

The winds are up to 50mph and I hear the wind chill is 6 degrees. But out my window, the South Brooklyn rooftops look beautiful.

You know how sometimes you make a decision, and you think, “Okay, this is it, it’s going to be different this time, this is gonna work, this is how I’m going to move forward,” and then something conspires against you? So weird. I guess this is just the world telling me to prove it: Prove how much I want to make this really happen, for reals, not just something my head intends to do but I don’t actually follow through with.

So I’ve been working at home today, and one of my tasks is to write a blog post. I’m going to try to write through some of the posts I’ve been intending to get to in this next week, to clear my to-do list and be prepared for this month-long retreat in January. I’ve got some word count aims, some daily aims, some weekly aims. At the end of the month, I’m going to head upstate for a week and write there, isolate myself a little more for the final push.

This is a new experiment, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m going to have to ramp up my discipline and structure and really go for it. It kind of seems like it corresponds with the whole New Year’s resolution things, and in some ways I guess it does, since I tend to get pretty reflective in the dark time of year, but in other ways it’s just what is next for me.

Who knows if this will work, and take me to where I want to go—but it’s a start, and it’s an experiment, to see what happens. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t.

I have plenty of emails to catch up on, Butch Lab to work on, the next Symposium to plan, articles to write, Sideshow … no shortage of projects and fascinating things to think about. So I’ll be writing a few more things this week, and then I’ll see you in February.

But now, I’m going to take a walk in the snow, and get back to work after the sun sets.

Femmes Needed for PhD Study

December 26, 2010  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

UPDATE: Matt has more than enough interviews for his study, thank you for helping!

Why hello femmes, I have a request:

One of my most favorite people, Matt, a buddy of mine from Seattle who now lives in the Bay Area, is doing his PhD research on femmes who are currently partnered with a trans man. He’s coming Eastward in early January and is looking for subjects to interview in New York City and possibly Northampton as well. I think he prefers to do these interviews in person, but he is willing to do them by Skype, too.

Here’s the flyer for the study, which describes who he’s looking for and what he’s seeking:

Study Recruitment of Femmes

Are you a femme identified woman over the age of 18? Are you currently coupled with a FTM identified person who has begun medical transition? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a study regarding the nature of a range of feelings and attitudes about body image. Study participants will be asked to participate in a 1-1.5 hour recorded, confidential interview. This study is part of a dissertation, a requirement for completion of a PsyD at the Wright Institute. If you are interested in participating, please contact the researcher, Matt Goldenberg, M.A Thank you very much for your interest.

Contact him directly if this describes you, and you’re interested in participating. I’m including his Letter Of Introduction here in this post after the jump; read on if you’re interested. And please do pass this on.

Read More

Kelli Dunham: Mini-Interview

December 21, 2010  |  on butches  |  2 Comments

"I don't have to fix cars or even be tough. I'm not tough, I cry at dog food commercials, I cry on the subway. I like that part of myself, and I'm glad as I've gotten older that I've been able to move away from needing to pretend to be the strong and silent type (which I ain't) in order to be butch."

Read More

Elisha Lim: Mini-Interview

December 20, 2010  |  on butches  |  2 Comments

"I'm a gay butch, I'm attracted to other butches. That seems to immediately abandon a lot of butch stereotypes. Domineering, possessing or even providing for a feminine person doesn't profit me, and I hope I can always confront any accompanying butch sexism, in myself and my surroundings. I'm a proudly feminist butch."

Read More

A Queer, Divine Dissatisfaction

December 20, 2010  |  journal entries  |  12 Comments

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive.
—Martha Graham

I find myself thinking about this quote often lately, the “queer, divine dissatisfaction” frequently bouncing around in my mind. There’s something up with me these last few months, something askew, something just not quite right that I can’t place.

Despite that my writing and freelance design (did you know I build websites professionally?) work is going quite well, despite the launch of Butch Lab last week after three months of work, despite having my very first erotica anthology in the works and the inbox filling up as the deadline approaches, something still feels unsatisfactory.

Unlike many folks, I actually enjoy the winter holidays, and I’m having a good time building a home out of my lovely apartment that I share with Kristen, especially since my former roommate left and we have the space to ourselves. It’s our first winter holiday season together—I haven’t been going back to where I grew up the past few years and Kristen decided not to go this year, so we are going through our families’ traditions and choosing our favorites, making up some new ones as we build our life together.

I feel better and better about New York City, I never would’ve guessed I’d be here this long and despite traveling to the West Coast four times this year, I had a dream a few months back that I had to move back to where I grew up, and I was all for it, excited to be returning, until I realized I would be leaving New York. No more Sideshow, no more readings at Happy Endings and the Bowery, no more D train across the Manhattan bridge and events at the Center, no more Lesbian Sex Mafia, no more Kelli and Cheryl and Dacia and Mamone and Anne and Em and Grace and Diana and IDP and Prospect Park. And I panicked, in the dream, and yelled NO I’m not ready! and I woke up realizing I really wasn’t. I’m not. My Brooklyn freelance life is great, the best way I’ve lived in New York so far. I’ve been in the same apartment for three-plus years, longer than I’ve lived in any single place since the house I grew up in. I’ve been in New York five and a half years, and I left Seattle after being there six and a half years, so I’m getting close to having lived here longer than anywhere else. And though I thought I’d be way ready to go after this long in this concrete jungle, that I’m staying and making a life here actually feels pretty good.

And hi, have you seen my very sexy, gorgeous, radiant girlfriend? Not to objectify her, except well, yes, to objectify her just a little, because she likes that and I generally have permission to do so here in my little online world, and because her sexy gorgeousness is just one part of her and one part of what I’m madly in love with about her, other things being: her adventurous baking experiments, her kitchen tenacity in general, her extraordinary ability to communicate emotionally, the way she can work a room at a party, the shade of blue her eyes sparkle when she’s excited, the shade of pink her skin flushes, her high high sex drive, her openness to playing, how determined she is to make a place for herself in the world, how incredibly thoughtful she is at making the people around her feel comfortable and safe and interesting, her sensitive big heart.

I could go on.

Not to brag, except well, yes, to brag just a little bit, out of an honoring of what I’m grateful for, and because I really thought I’d never find somebody this amazing, and I was starting to get really convinced that I’d have to settle, that I wouldn’t find someone this good for me.

I almost feel stable! I love what I’m doing, I love where I’m going and what plans I have in 2011, this last year has been probably my favorite time period my whole life, I’ve never been this happy or satisfied … so why am I feeling a little bit unhappy and unsatisfied? My logical brain can’t quite wrap my head around it, but there’s something kind of shadowy that I get a glimpse of every once in a while, lurking behind my lungs somewhere.

And … well, that’s about it. On the one hand, my beautiful life. On the other hand, this shadow. I don’t know what it is. Hello, shadow, what are you? Who are you? Where do you come from? I’m not that scared of you right now, more just … curious. Tell me what it is you came here for. Let me know what you’re hiding from me.

It seems to be so quiet, subtle. I’m not sure I can force a shadow to reveal itself, especially not if I go after it with a spotlight.

So I’ll try to wait, and make a space for it to show itself, and be ready to hear whatever is going on, when it is ready to reveal itself.

Lesbian BDSM Erotica Anthology: Submissions Due January 1st

December 20, 2010  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Reminder! I’m editing my very first anthology for Cleis Press of lesbian BDSM erotica to be published in fall 2011, and submissions are due January 1st.

I’m especially interested in some play stories, with impact toys, floggings, knife play, bondage, leather gear, whips and chains, play parties, saint andrew’s crosses, role play—things like that.

If you haven’t submitted yet, or written a story for this anthology yet, there’s still time and I’d love to read what your dirty minds can come up with.

Call for Submissions: Lesbian BDSM Erotica Anthology
[Title Forthcoming]
To be published by Cleis Press in fall 2011

Editor Sinclair Sexsmith is looking for hot, sexy, well-written stories about kinky sex between queer women, from bondage scenarios to power play to role play to sadism and masochism to sensation play for a new anthology of lesbian BDSM erotica. Looking for characters with a range of age, race, sexual experience, gender identity and gender expression: butch, femme, genderqueer, gender-non-conforming, dapper, and others will all be considered. Cis women, trans women, and genderqueer characters who identify with the lesbian community are welcome. Stories should have strong literary voice, characters, tension, and rising action. All characters must be over 18, prose only will be considered. For examples of what I am looking for, see Tristan Taormino’s collection Best Lesbian Bondage Erotica.

Payment: USD $50 and two copies of the book upon publication.
Deadline: January 1, 2011
Unpublished stories preferred.

How to submit: Send your story in a Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document (.doc) with pages numbered of 1,500 to 5,000 words to [email protected] Double space the document and indent the first line of each paragraph. US grammar required. If you are using a pseudonym, provide your real name and be clear under which you would like to be published. Include your mailing address and a 50 words or less bio in the third person. Publisher has final approval over the manuscript.

About the editor: Sinclair Sexsmith runs the award-winning personal online writing project Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at www.sugarbutch.net. With work published in various anthologies, including the Best Lesbian Erotica series, Sometimes She Lets Me: Butch/Femme Erotica, and Visible: A Femmethology volume 2, Mr. Sexsmith also writes columns for online publications and facilitates workshops on sex, gender, and relationships. Find her full portfolio and schedule at www.mrsexsmith.com.

John Gagon: Butch Mini-Interview

December 18, 2010  |  on butches  |  No Comments

"Butch also has a ballsy feel and while not necessarily rough and tough, it can be and it can be prone to a little anger. It's adventurous and playful, not overly ticklish. Can be emotionally sensitive but not too physically sensitve."

Read More

Kestryl Cael Lowery: Butch Mini-Interview

December 17, 2010  |  on butches  |  1 Comment

"I didn't learn what 'butch' was until I had been out for several years. It was the same summer I got my first motorcycle jacket, and a lover asked if I had read 'Stone Butch Blues.' "

Read More