Archive for November, 2011

What’s Happening in December

November 30, 2011  |  miscellany  |  1 Comment

November was huge.

I mean like gigantic. I don’t think I even understand everything that happened in November. December means things are slowing down a bit, thank goodness, because I need time to integrate. There’s so much coming up in the spring for me, but for now, just a few exciting things.

Events with Mr. Sexsmith

Monday, December 5, 2011 Owning Your Birthday Suit: Embodiment for Queers, Genderqueers, & Other Outlaws: Queer, genderqueer, trans, and outlaw folks often find it hard to be present in our bodies, to feel the powerful connection between genitals, heart, and mind. Explore a variety of playful experiential exercises to increase embodiment while respecting stone sexualities and everyone’s boundaries. Learn some simple tools to feel erotic energy, build connection to your desires, and feel more alive and at home in your body. Experience the taboo power of sharing this exploration within community. Amy Butcher and Sinclair Sexsmith met at a tantra retreat three years ago and have worked together for deeper embodiment and gender liberation ever since. They both study erotic energy and write smut. LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), Manhattan, NY. gaycenter.org

Thursday, December 15, 7pm Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 release party at Drunken! Careening! Writers! Featuring: Amy Butcher, Deborah Castellano, Julia Noel Goldman, Anne Grip, D.L. King, Ali Oh, Xan West, Introduced by Sinclair Sexsmith, With your hostess (and series editor) Kathleen Warnock. Join us for our annual holiday tradition at Drunken! Careening! Writers! Each December, we celebrate the publication of Best Lesbian Erotica, because we’re religious that way. Copies of the book will be on sale. Buy one for grandma! Contributors from near and far are congregating on our little corner of the East Village to read from their work, including this year’s Guest Editor, the lovely & talented Sinclair Sexmith. Drunken! Careening! Writers! is a reading series based on the proposition that all readings should be by: 1) Good Writers; 2) Who read their work well; 3) Something in it makes people laugh (nervous laughter counts). And 15 minutes tops. For more information, please email [email protected], visit www.kathleenwarnock.com, or follow me on Twitter @kwarnockny. KGB Bar, 85 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003, East Village. Free!

Events in New York City You Shouldn’t Miss

Thursday, December 1, 8pm Red Umbrella Diaries, www.redumbrellaproject.com Happy Ending, 302 Broome Street between Forsyth and Eldridge, Manhattan, NY

Friday, December 2, 7pm Ruckus reading series: Ruckus is a reading series showcasing the work of Queer and Transgender writers, artists, and performers of color. Curated by kay ulanday barrett and Victor Tobar, Ruckus features some of the most dynamic QTPOC artists, we strive to create a space of safety, integrity, and artistry. This month’s Ruckus features Ashley Phillips, Kirya Traber, and Tara Shuai. Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

Saturday, December 10, 10pm “Why is the Fat one Always Angry?” Kelli Dunham’s CD Recording party in SF! Kelli Dunham is a genderqueer Brooklyn based ex-nun nerdcomic; a Wisconsin farmboi transplant who juxtaposes midwestern friendliness with New York attitude in a way that has been described as both “horrifying” and “hilarious.” In “Why Is The Fat One Always Angry” (her sixth one person show and her third comedy CD) she continues on her quest to make comedy where slam poetry dares not tread. The show will address the important questions of our time, such as: Why were there so many failed tubal ligations the year Kelli was born? Is it okay to call your mom for the sole purpose of obtaining comedy material? How is the Bible like the DSM? What does being over 40 have to do with dead rabbits and the butch ego? How many library books can one person take on vacation anyway? IN SAN FRANCISCO, The Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission Street (btwn 18th & 19th Sts), San Francisco, CA 94110

Friday, December 16, 8pm Lesbian Sex Mafia: Leather Storytelling with Sassafras Lowrey. Leather Storytelling is about taking ownership of why we find solace, and pleasure in the things that we do, and coming out of the shadows to make our voices heard. This workshop is designed for all variety of folks who find leather to be a driving force in their lives regardless of context or dynamic(s). The workshop is not specifically about writing porn/erotica though of course sexually explicit themes are welcome, but rather this is focused on telling the stories of our dynamics, of our communities, and of ourselves. Leather Storytelling is focused on exploring what it means to tell our stories when as leather folk we are often silenced, and pushed out of even the most progressive spaces who deem us as inappropriate or obscene. Through guided writing exercises, workshop participants will discover the transformative power of storytelling and how it can be used to break down divides, foster and preserve community, and build coalitions within leather community and beyond. LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), Manhattan, NY

Saturday, December 17th, L Boogie Productions presents, Boxers Off: An Evening of Butch Burlesque, with your emcee—L Boogie. Join us as we explore representations of butch identity in a bold, new, sexy way. Lea Robinson, as L Boogie, emcees this evening of HOT burlesque from some of New York City’s finest performers. Join us for raffle fun, go-go dancers, sexy sound cues, and of course your host L Boogie! A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to a local LGBTQA youth organization! Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey, NYC. Tickets: $10 (advance), $15 (door)

Saturday, December 24th, 10pm Submit Party, submitparty.com, a BDSM play party for women and trans folks only. I suspect Submit is NOT happening in December, will update this when I get that confirmation. No Submit party in December! It’ll return in January. Brooklyn, NY. For exact location call 718.789.4053 or email [email protected]

Saturday, December 31, 9pm-1am New Year’s Eve, Party, Lounge, Performance, NEW YEAR’S EVE: USHERING IN A GREAT COSMIC SHIFT. A great cosmic shift is coming in 2012 and we want you to ring it in with hot queers, old friends and new lovers. Join us for a great show of comedy, music and burlesque plus a hot, sexy DJ all night long. Drink specials all night long so come on in and have drinks, hang with your friends, meet a new lover or two, and let your ball drop. Or both!

Show starts at 10 pm. DJ starts at 11 pm. Join Bevin Branlandingham, your Femmecee, with: Diana Cage – Queer (Femme)inist, Author, Kelli Dunham – ex nun, nerdelicious author & comic, Bambi Galore – the chameleon of tease, Jessica Halem – bad feminist, Ben Lerman – Sick and brilliant ukulele comedy.

Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey, NYC. Tickets: $10 cash only at the door

My schedule is kept up on mrsexsmith.com/appearances if you want to see if I’m coming your way. You can even subscribe to the RSS feed (if you read things that way—I’m mourning what Google Reader just did and probably in search of a new aggregate reader) and it’ll tell you when I update anything new.

If you’re interested in bringing me to your town or college, check out what S. Bear Bergman wrote: Bear’s Guide to Getting the Artists You Want. It’s got some great tips for how to fundraise and make an offer to bring the people you admire to come do some custom work just for you & your friends. (Hint, hint.)

Last but not least, here’s my 2011 workshop offerings in a PDF so it is easy to download, you can also download my one sheet PDF or high res photos in my press kit). Get in touch if you’re interested in booking me, you can contact me directly—mrsexsmith(at)gmail—or my booking company, PhinLi, at bookings(at)phinli.com.

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The Sugarbutch 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

November 30, 2011  |  reviews  |  14 Comments

Here it is! The sixth annual holiday gift guide for those of you who need some inspiration for the holidays. You’d be surprised how many folks tell me that they (or their partners) are lousy at gift-giving … it is definitely a skill that, like any skill, gets better when worked on, and it’s something that I love being good at. Sometimes my gifts are duds, but I try and have had some good wins this past year.

A tiny piece of advice? The best thing to do is to hone your observation skills, and keep an eye out for things that they covet, and do a little poking around to see what it is about that shirt/dress/accessory/handbag that is so appealing. It took me a long time to figure out that what Kristen loved most about the purses we kept looking at was a kiss clasp (and then a little longer to figure out what the name for that metal closure dohickey really was), but then I found a really great purse for her last year during the holidays.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Occupy movement lately … I think it’s really important to put our money where our mouth is and to shop locally and buy from indie and queer artists as much as possible this holiday season. It really does make a difference to make some specific choices about what to do with your money. Spend the time to find things locally, if you can. Spend the time to shop at independent stores. I know it’s more time consuming, but sometimes it can be really easy.

I’ve tried to link to as many local, small business type of places as possible. Sometimes I’m linking to Amazon not necessarily because you should get it there (though if you do, and use my links, thanks for that—I do get a teeny little kickback), but because I’m trying to show you what the product is so you can go find it at whatever source you might have near you.

Hope it is helpful!

THINGS I’M WISHING FOR

‘Cause Santa, I’ve been a very good boy.


A black leather belt (with a removeable buckle), also called a “belt strap,” usually comes all by itself for around $20. I love belt buckles. I have a bunch of belts, but somehow I am missing a good solid black leather belt—and I mean good leather, I bought one last year maybe that ended up being “man made leather” and has frayed and broken down and warped and feels lousy. So here’s some suggestions: Easy, simple distressed leather belt from Amazon. Beltmaster has some good ones in various styles. A nice one on etsy that comes with a buckle, very plain and simple, comes in nice color options, great to start somebody out with a belt buckle collection if they haven’t started that yet. And last but not least, if you’re looking at this for a kinkster, you might consider scrapping the interchangeable buckle belt and just going for a bondage belt from Aslan Leather. Don’t forget, you might have a local leather store! Shop locally! And if you want to get them started with a belt buckle collection, too, there is every kind of belt buckle imaginable on etsy. Whatever their interests, just put that + “belt buckle” into the search box and you’ll find something rad. (Bird + belt buckle; car + belt buckle; bicycle + belt buckle; you can even get ‘em customized.)

probably time to purge a few


Neckties … Kristen at some point said she’d never know which to get me, since I have so many. I said, you know, it’s not so much about getting me some special one that I don’t have as much as it’s about picking out one that you like, which will remind me that it came from you when I wear it. She has since bought me two that I really like, a lavender one with filigree that I wear frequently and a striped bowtie that still needs to make its debut. I would love a few more bowties for my collection. I keep going back to thetiebar.com because they have great sorting options, but there are also plenty of local stores and discount outlets (Filene’s, Century 21) that are excellent tie sources. I tend to prefer non-silk ties these days because the silk ones are a little more formal, but then again a good silk tie is pretty darn great. A good tie bar is also a great thing for someone you know with a tie collection … I’d love one with something fun on it, like a personal message on the back (etsy has everything), or little flame.

some of my favorites, though Maker's Mark is currently my #1 choice


A really good bottle of whiskey is always a good gift for me, right size and color, as they say. I like having a little bit of a whiskey collection around … and I haven’t tried the Maker’s 46 yet, though looking forward to that. I’ve been collecting a bit of the whiskey accoutrements lately and have some really nice glasses and a small bitters collection, but I’d still like a big ice cube tray that will make extra big ice cubes. If the whiskey drinker in your life doesn’t have any bitters yet, the Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic bitters are the classic. Pick up an awesome book about bitters while you’re at it.

My cufflink collection is still in progress, I don’t have very many, though the ones I have I really love. I went to get a pair the other day and realized they’re scattered all over the drawer where I keep all my accessories. I could really use a nice box to keep ‘em in. And of course, etsy is an amazing source for custom and indy artist cufflinks, they have every type of thing there you could want (and a few you—or I, rather—would certainly not want, like I just caught a glimpse of molar cufflinks). Cuff Daddy has great options, too—I’m still lusting after these Superman cufflinks.

On the more expensive side, I’d love a pair of leather chaps. But I don’t even know where to start to get those … probably the Leatherman here in NYC. That goes on the dream wishlist.

I’m kind of going back to the old staples of butch accessories here, I realize, but these are actually the things at the top of my list this year. I tried to give some ideas and options and not just say “a belt” and “a tie.” Hope that is helpful!

Toys that deserve to be in your toy chest

What’s that? You want to turn it up, buy some explicitly sexy stuff? Oh yes that is a great idea. Here’s a few suggestions for my favorite stuff.

Liberator silk binding sashes. Especially lovely if she (you) likes to be dressed up as a present you (they) can unwrap. Can also be used as a belt for a little black dress. You know, just sayin’.

Aslan Leather Handy Cuff. I am kinda in love with this thing right now.

The new Pete packing briefs from SpareParts (the ones who make that Joque harness that everybody loves). These are comfy and awesome and perfect for a little soft pack. Get ‘em at Babeland or your local sex-positive feminist queer sex toy store.

I’m in progress of building a Cock Confidence Product Guide, where I’ll have a bunch of cock-centric stuff listed, like harnesses and accessories, all of which I recommend highly. So if you’re wanting something in that arena as a gift this holiday, know that is coming soon (and why they’re left off here).

See also: 2011 Valentine’s day gift ideas for more sexy things.

things I’ve bought kristen that were a hit

I can’t tell you what I’m planning for her this year (obviously, she reads this site), but I can tell you some of the wins from the past year, and I’ll link to the places I got ‘em. Mostly Etsy.

I’ve been keeping an eye on these ever since I saw Natalie Portman’s Lolita clutch while she was promoting Black Swan (remember that? I remember looking it up and it was like $258052) and I found an amazing Etsy store I kept checking back on periodically. Eventually I saw a cookbook, with a checkered cherry lining, and it was perfect. Book purse by prettytheory.

Hanky flowers by Shilo McCabe, aka kinkycraft—she’s on vacation until 2012! But you can be notified when she comes back and this is a necessary gift.

Custom door knocker earrings by bestnamenecklace. Kristen’s say “feminist.” (Sadly, I don’t have a great shot of them and she’s working late today, so I’ll have to get her to model them later.)

Garter Flask by youniquegarters . (That was for our second anniversary. Our third anniversary is coming up in just a couple weeks, and we’ve got a romantic weekend getaway planned.)

Glass cake stand. Tons of places make these, I think I found the one I gave Kristen at Century 21. Here’s one on Amazon. I worried it’d be frivolous and just take up space, but we use it all the time, kind of as a bread box.

Also, Erotica

Don’t forget the dirty books! Makes great stocking stuffers, if, you know, you’re into that.

    

You may also want to check out the gift guides from years past, since often they aren’t date-specific anyway and there might be some good ideas here: 2007 gift guide, 2008 gift guide, 2009 gift guide, and 2010 gift guide.

Alright! That was all I wrote—now tell me, what do you really want this holiday? Any gifts you are particularly lusting after? Any gifts you gave in the past year or so that were particularly well-received? I’d love to know more gift-giving secrets or tips, if you’ve got ‘em.

Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 is Here! My Introduction & the NYC Release Party

November 28, 2011  |  reviews  |  3 Comments

BLE is here! Kristen’s copy from Amazon arrived last week and we had a toast, read the first and last story out loud, and of course found a few typos. (Can’t have everything!)

As usual, series editor and reading series host Kathleen Warnock is hosting the New York City release party on December 15th at her Drunken! Careening! Writers! series at KGB Bar in the East Village. (When I have the Facebook invite and such I’ll let you know.)

Meanwhile, though, here’s my introduction to this year’s Best Lesbian Erotica. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, there are a lot of great (dirty!) stories included by many of my favorite writers. Pick it up if you get a chance. I really hope you like it, and I’d love to hear what you think after you get a chance to read it.

Introduction
Sinclair Sexsmith

I know what I want.

I knew exactly what I was looking for when I read the submitted stories for this anthology: dirty, smutty, smart about gender, smart about power, packed full of sex with the bare necessary descriptions of setting and context, and, oh yeah, good writing. It doesn’t have to be dirty in my personal favorite ways—with sultry accoutrements and costuming like stockings and strappy sandals, or with strap-ons and lots of fucking, or with blow jobs and dirty talk. I like stories where the characters are so turned on and lusty that I feel it too, even if it is not my particular kink or pleasure. I like stories with unique descriptions and rolling prose and insatiable narrators and rising and falling action. I like stories where I want to recreate the action for myself, when I am inspired by the delicious positions and settings and words.

Yes, and the words, let’s not forget the words. That’s what these kinds of books are all about, really. If you wanted a quick, easy turn on, you could load up any of dozens of queer porn sites—there is no shortage of real, good queer porn out there these days. But for some of us that is too crass, and a well-done turn of phrase gets us swooning and biting our lips and rubbing our thighs together even more than a dirty video.

I didn’t always know what I wanted. When I was coming out in the late 1990s, though there was a serious lack of queer porn in the video stores, there were plenty of people paving the landscape for what would become the blossoming queer porn of the 2000s. Diana Cage, On Our Backs magazine, Good Vibrations, (Toys in) Babeland, Annie Sprinkle, Susie Bright—and, of course, Tristan Taormino. It was Tristan’s 1998 Best Lesbian Erotica anthology that for me clicked something into place, something I could no longer pretend wasn’t there. I would hide the book in the back of the shelves at the bookstore where I worked so it wouldn’t get purchased, and I’d sandwich it between two others and sneak it into the stock room to read when it was slow. I wore creases into the spine with Toni Amato’s story “Ridin’ Bitch” and Karlyn Lotney’s story “Clash of the Titans.” I was genuinely confused as to why I liked these stories so much. What was this affect they had on me? Why did I love them so much? What did it all mean?

I began to find other books, short stories, and essays that helped move my budding baby dykery along: Nothing But the Girl—oh, swoon. That essay by Anastasia Higgenbotham in Listen Up: Voices From the Next Feminist Generation. Cunt by Inga Muscio. Breathless by Kitty Tsui. And the Herotica series, which was erotica for women before Rachel Kramer Bussel’s prolific erotica editing career.

I bought one of the Herotica books at a little indy bookstore—now gone—on Capitol Hill in Seattle when I visited one summer, before moving there. But it proved to be too threatening to my boyfriend who, enraged some night after yet another argument about my sexuality, stabbed that book and two other lesbian erotica books with the wide-handled screwdriver which I’d used to masturbate since I was a teenager.

These books are filled with three powerful things: 1. women, who are 2. empowered, 3. about their sexuality (which, by the way, does not involve men). Even the books themselves are threatening.

These books of lesbian erotica are not fluff. They are not nothing. They are not frivolous or useless.

For queers coming out and into our own, they are a path.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve managed to snag myself a lesbian bed death relationship, going out of my mind with desire and disconnection. I stopped writing, because the only thing that I was writing was how miserable I felt, how much I wanted out of that relationship—a reality I wasn’t ready to face. I decided that to work off my sexual energy, I would either go to the gym or I would write erotica. Well, I ended up writing a lot of erotica, rediscovering this tool of self-awareness and self-creation that had led me to smut in the first place, and I began writing myself back into my own life, back into the things that I hold most important: connection, touch, release, holding, witness, play.

My first published smut story was in Best Lesbian Erotica 2006. Between the time I wrote it and the time the book came out, I was beginning to end the bed death relationship, in no small part because I’d reminded myself of the value of the erotic, of my own inner erotic world, of erotic words. Between the time I wrote it and the time it came out, I started Sugarbutch Chronicles, which has carried me through these last five plus years, often being my sanctuary, support circle, best friend, and confidant.

Writing these stories, for me, has not been frivolous. They have not been nothing. They are not fluff or useless.

For me, they were a path back to myself when I got lost.

When I was lost, I had no idea what I wanted, aside from the basic daily survivals: work. Eat. Pay bills. Sleep. Shower. But when I wrote, when I connected with my own desire, I felt a little piece of me bloom and become in a bigger way. I felt more like myself.

I turned again to the great books of smut to help me find myself, to help me find a way back to a partner, a lover, a one night stand—hell, even an hour with a Hitachi was sometimes enough. The Leather Daddy and the Femme. Mr. Benson. Switch Hitters: Gay Men Write Lesbian Erotica and Lesbians Write Gay Male Erotica. Back to Basics: Butch/Femme Erotica. Doing It For Daddy. And Best Lesbian Erotica, always Best Lesbian Erotica. I still eagerly buy it every year to see what the guest editor’s tastes are, to see what the new trends are, to read the emerging new writers, to get my rocks off.

I rediscovered what I wanted through reading smut and writing it. Through carving myself a path in connection with a lineage of sex positive dykes and sex radicals and queer kinksters and feminist perverts.

After six years of writing and publishing erotica, I am thrilled to be a guest editor for the series which sparked me into queerness in 1998, thrilled to be choosing stories for the same series that published my very first piece, “The Plow Pose,” in 2006, which helped spark me back to myself. It is so exciting to be contributing to this queer smut hotbed that Cleis Press has helped nurture all these years, and I’m so glad to continue to be part of it in new ways.

I know what I want, now. And lesbian erotica, or as I prefer to call it, queer smut, has helped me not only visualize what is possible, but create a path toward getting what I want.

The stories in this book reflect my taste, my favorites, my personal hot spots, certainly, but also the best-written stories from a large pile of well-written stories by some of my favorite authors, like Kiki DeLovely and Xan West. There are some less-well known writers in here whose work you may not be familiar with, yet, but who will leave an impression on you, writers like Anne Grip and Amy Butcher. I found dozens of moments of signposts, signals directing me toward myself, words illuminating my own meridians of ache. With each story, with each act of lust, with each dirty command or submissive plea, I rediscovered my own want.

I hope you find some of what you want within these pages, too.

Take a Tour of Kink.com in San Francisco

November 28, 2011  |  reviews  |  2 Comments

Back in August, when I was in San Francisco for the Butch Voices National Conference, I took an afternoon tour of Kink.com and it was rad. I dragged along two butch buddies, BB Rydell (who has a piece in my forthcoming anthology Say Please!) and Amy Butcher (who has a piece in Best Lesbian Erotica 2012, and with whom I’m teaching Owning Your Birthday Suit on December 5th).

We were excited.

The armory building that kink.com occupies is HUGE and incredible! The most amazing part of seeing the inside of the kink.com empire, aside from actually standing in all those places where all those beautifully hot scenes are made, was finally understanding all the work that goes into making the place look so old, dirty, and distressed. That’s all done by their art department—as they said, you could actually lick the walls, because everything gets sterilized after every scene. It doesn’t look like it, but all the rust and wear is all an elaborate paint job. Check it out:

I particularly liked the Upper Floor, which looks like an upscale club and is on a live feed 24/7. You can probably tell as I took about a dozen photos up there, more than the other rooms. I want one of those toy cabinets! And maybe a bar and poker table, too, while I’m at it.

We had a really excellent time seeing behind the scenes and asking questions about what goes on at kink.com. My impression from all the models and porn stars I’ve talked to about it is that kink.com is really ethical and treats their folks really well. I certainly got that impression from the tour and meeting some of the staff.

A tour gift certificate might be the perfect thing for that person on your holiday list, hmm?

Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 Has Shipped!

November 22, 2011  |  miscellany  |  4 Comments

Kristen & I received notice that Best Lesbian Erotica 2012—for which I am the guest editor!—has shipped! If you pre-ordered a copy, you should get it any moment. If you haven’t yet, well, as the series editor Kathleen Warnock says, this is a perfect holiday gift. Add it to your wish list. Buy it for Grandma.

(More holiday gift suggestions are coming, I’m working on a list.)

I can’t wait to hear what y’all think of this compilation. I think it’s very, very dirty.

Pick it up from your local independent bookseller, Amazon, or directly from Cleis Press.

School Boy Valentine

November 21, 2011  |  poetry  |  2 Comments

I’m a school boy, in between
unsure of my body’s edges under
my skin, sliding a valentine

between the slots in your locker.
You are the valentine. Or
you are the one who watches

as I cut out hearts from red
construction paper. I’m the one

the teachers ask to stay and talk,
not because I’m bad at school
but because I wear too much

black. You’re the one who sees
full color spectrum in the sparkle

in my eyes, who waits for me
on the merry-go-round after band.
We spend nights in the cemetery,

halfway between our houses, trying
not to let unfinished spirits take

over before we start our own
lives. You kiss me in the dark hall

by the locker rooms. My pink
slip falls from my hand to the floor.

Talk Dirtier, Own Your Birthday Suit, & More Workshops With Me

November 21, 2011  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

I’ve been working my ass off getting gigs and performances this fall—posting my potential schedule for the next six months or so has helped. I’m still booking things in the spring and right now hope to get to Mills College in Oakland, American University in DC, International Ms. Leather in San Francisco, Smith College in Northampton, Atlanta, Chicago, Durham, New Orleans, and a few other places. It’s going to be a big year.

But, more immediately, here’s what’s coming up in the Northeast in the next few weeks.

Talk Dirtier: How To Let Your Tongue Go Tonight!
Monday, November 21, 2011, 9pm
Conversio Virium, Columbia’s BDSM Student Group, in 316 Hamilton, New York, NY
Free, open to the public

Talking dirty in the bedroom can be terrifying at first, but once you unlock your tongue, you’ll find yourself saying all sorts of delicious things! Come to this workshop and we’ll figure out what’s tying our tongues in the first place, what’s holding us back from being more free with our language in the bedroom, and what the heck we should say to enhance our sex and intensity our sensation. The brain is the biggest sex organ, after all, and the more we can turn on our minds, the better our experiences will be.

Radical & Responsible Gender Workshop
Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 6:30pm
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Academics breaks down and deconstructs gender. How do we build it back up radically and responsibly? How does one adapt masculinity or femininity “positively”? How do we become responsible about gender? How do we continue to break down the gender role restrictions that are hurtful and traumatizing? In this interactive, engaging workshop, we will cover some basics about what gender is, what gender roles and stereotypes are, and how they work, then cover basic gender theory, breaking things down into small parts, in order to build them back up again “responsibly,” by which I mean thoughtfully and intentionally, with feminist principles and anti-sexist perspectives strongly in place. Participants will go away from the workshop with a better sense of how to use labels as liberation instead of limiting, as celebrations rather than restrictions, and be able to more fully embody whichever gender roles they choose.

Owning Your Birthday Suit: Embodiment for Queers, Genderqueers, & Other Outlaws
Monday, December 5, 2011, 8-10pm
$20 suggested donation, sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds
LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (between 7th & 8th Ave), New York, NY.
RSVP on Facebook

If you’ve been curious about all this erotic energy stuff that I do with the Body Electric School, or the tantra concepts I sometimes talk about, this workshop is a great one to attend to start getting some introductions to the concepts and foundational principles we use in that erotic energy work. It’s also about getting more connected with your breath, body, senses, and connection with yourself and others. I’m thrilled to do it with one of my favorite people, Amy Butcher.

Queer, genderqueer, trans, and outlaw folks often find it hard to be present in our bodies, to feel the powerful connection between genitals, heart, and mind. Explore a variety of playful experiential exercises to increase embodiment while respecting stone sexualities and everyone’s boundaries. Learn some simple tools to feel erotic energy, build connection to your desires, and feel more alive and at home in your body. Experience the taboo power of sharing this exploration within community. Amy Butcher and Sinclair Sexsmith met at a tantra retreat three years ago and have worked together for deeper embodiment and gender liberation ever since. They both study erotic energy and write smut.

Speaking of Body Electric: The schedule for 2012 has been announced. We are offering more workshops for women and queers than we ever have in a single year since I started doing Body Electric in 2000. Mark down the dates, and I’ll tell you all sorts of more information soon.

BODY ELECTRIC IN 2012:

Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women – 3-5 February, New York City
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women – 27-29 April, Seattle
Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic – 18-20 May, New York City
Pulse: Advanced Women’s Retreat – 1-5 August, Albuquerque, NM
Power, Surrender, & Intimacy for All Genders – 14-16 September, San Francisco
Tantra for All Genders – 2-4 November, Albany, NY
Celebrating the Body Erotic 2 for Women – 16-18 November, Albany, NY
Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic – 30 November – 2 December, Toronto, ON

I know the “for women” part can be a little off-putting—I’ll write more about that soon, too, and the trans/genderqueer policies we’re working on. Bottom line is, though, don’t let that be a deterrent, and I mean that. Glad to chat with you about it in more detail, just email me.

Review: The Big Book of Pussy

November 18, 2011  |  reviews  |  2 Comments

I returned home from the (very long and amazing) two week trip out west to this book waiting on my desk. I love that shit like this shows up at my house. (Today I got a box full of cocks with HITACHI in huge letters printed on the side of it—more on that soon.)

My job is rad.

This book piqued my interest because Buck Angel on his Twitter stream (the exact tweet I can’t find, but it was probably a month ago) mentioned that he’s featured in it, and I was curious. His interview is in the last chapter, the 2000-2011 decade, and he’s featured in a wig and heavy makeup and fishnets, goatee covered in all of the photos except one. Still, the accompanying text makes it clear who he is, and the interview is pretty good.

Here’s the description of the book:

Editor Dian Hanson delves into the historical significance of this humble os, to show how the yoni has been coveted, feared, reviled, and worshipped by civilizations worldwide, from New Guinea to old Ireland. The text is supported by playful photographs of women exposing their vulvas, from 1900 to the present day. Because depiction of this body part has long been wrapped in unwarranted shame, The Big Book of Pussy reframes the subject, featuring models who expose their most private part enthusiastically, happily, with smiles spread wide as… well, you get the picture. And with 400+ photos the point is made emphatically, in images both naturally furry and stylishly groomed.

Included are interviews with the auteur known as Pussyman, the ex-cop who turned masturbation into millions with a toy called the Fleshlight, Vanessa del Rio, squirter Flower Tucci, vaginal performance artist Mouse, and the singular Buck Angel. Contemporary photographers Terry Richardson, Richard Kern, Ralph Gibson, Jan Saudek, Guido Argentini, Ed Fox and others share their favorite pussy photos, so that by page 372 even the shiest reader will be calling, “Here, kitty, kitty!”

Worth flipping through the next time you’re at Good Vibes or Babeland or whichever local bookstore might be carrying such a thing. Or in my living room, if you ever come over, since I can’t imagine a better thing to leave on my coffee table.

The Big Book of Pussy was sent to me by Taschen Books. Pick it up at your favorite local independent bookstore, or if you must on Amazon. Thanks Taschen!

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November 17, 2011  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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Photos from the Last Sideshow

November 16, 2011  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

After Cheryl died, the reading series she and I co-created took a hiatus. July 2011 was the last performance, and Syd London took amazing photographs.

Readers were Ellis Avery, Samantha Barrow, E Charles Crandall, Kestryl Cael Lowrey, Morgan W., Renair Amin, & Ashley Young.

I think it really captures the vibe of the series … diverse and wide-ranging, joyous and emotional, community building and hook-up space (did you see all those super hot people?!).

I miss doing that every month. I’m hoping to revive it in 2012, but I don’t have all the details worked out yet. Will of course let you all know and shout it from the rooftops when I do.