Archive for March, 2012
Thanks, Tomcats, as usual, for the ability to not really think that hard about my hair and still have it look good.
So I’m in San Francisco this week! I was at Mills College doing a Radical & Responsible Gender workshop last night (hi Colleen! Hi Jack! That was fun!), and this weekend I’ll be at the International Ms Leather contest and conference, and I’m really stoked to be here. I’ve never been before but it’s been on my radar for many years. I’m really looking forward to many of the workshops (and who knows, maybe I’ll discover some new presenters who might want to come do some things for the Lesbian Sex Mafia in New York City?) and to the social time too, hanging out with the incredible folks who are going to be here.
I’ve got some copies of Say Please hot off the presses! And I’m doing a reading at Good Vibes (Polk Street) on Sunday at 5pm if you’d like to come to that—in addition to me, it’ll be readers from Say Please, Best Lesbian Erotica 2012, and Salacious Magazine’s Leather issue. It’ll be debaucherous and fun. I’m now calling the whole Say Please tour the DIRTY QUEER SEX TOUR, and still working on dates (Chicago! Portland! Hi I want to come visit!) and hope I can get out to many more places this summer and fall.
The virtual Say Please DIRTY QUEER SEX book tour kicks off on April 1—more info on that shortly.
If you’re at IMsL and see me, say hi!
I caught Lindsay Fuller playing with Amy Ray a few weeks ago at Housing Works in New York City, and they are both on tour now supporting Amy’s newest solo album Lung of Love and Lindsay’s album You, Anniversary which comes out today.
Ever since seeing her in concert I have been eagerly awaiting this album, especially so I could hear the title track again, which is based on a WS Merwin poem “For the Anniversary of My Death. The idea is that every year, we pass the date of our death, but we won’t know what day that is. Her chorus repeats, “Ohh, when’s it gonna be.”
Speaking of her voice, I really love it. She sings on four tracks on Amy’s new album, but I’ll admit I’ve been listening more to Lindsay’s back catalogue than to Amy’s newest. She’s got this great low southern croon, and she was so sweet and fantastic on stage. She had a few other songs that she gave us the backstory to, based on I already pre-ordered You, Anniversary on Amazon and it’s only $5.99 for the mp3 download, and out today. I also found it streaming on soundcloud if the title track above didn’t already convince you.
Murder, or regret.
That’s how the majority of pop culture refers to abortion. I have noticed this distinct lack of range depiction, not just because I was a women studies major for whom reproductive justice was a constant teaching and learning, but also because I had an abortion in the year 2000.
I was twenty. Unlike what Ani sang, mine wasn’t a “relatively easy tragedy,” it was just relatively easy.
I worked at Microsoft at the time, and my insurance covered it. I made the appointment from the phone in our lobby, which was the most private space, filled with large indoor house plants someone would come around and water twice a week. Plants so generic in an office building that they become wallpaper after the daily/yearly commute.
I remember I had to buzz into the clinic and identify myself. I remember that they wouldn’t allow anyone in the room for the procedure. That the partner (the guy) in the waiting room may be coercive, and as such the women who came in for such procedures were asked the same questions in and out of their escort’s presence. I remember the room was the same as a room for pelvic exams, with the same landscape poster on the ceiling, but for the machine they wheeled in on a cart. I remember it didn’t hurt much, just a click click whirr and then over. I remember I bled for days, but the bleeding was such a relief.
I had been full for weeks. Never so aware of my uterus. I mean, think about it: can you feel your organs? My college girlfriend could feel her kidneys, because she had a kidney infection that put her in the emergency room, and she probably still can. I can still feel my uterus, still remember that rubber ball-sized solid object lodged in my pelvis that showed up without my asking, without my request.
I was trying to leave him at the time, my ex boyfriend. We’d been together five years. I was trying to leave him because I was queer and that was easier than to leave him because he was abusive. Mostly he was abusive because he suspected I was queer, which I’d told him was true since we met on the internet when I was 14 and my interest in ladies was a turn-on, but five years later was a threat.
I wrote a poem about this abortion, a heavy-handed lyrical thing that I won’t share because it’s bad writing, though not because I disagree with anything I wrote. The one line I remember, without looking it up, is “this is how sure I had to be in order to be the me I was meeting in dreams.” Getting pregnant meant I needed to be that much more sure that I was queer. This is how hard it’ll be, the universe told me, to stop being heterosexual. You can have this partner and this baby, if you want it. Are you sure?
Yes. I was that sure.
The cells they removed from me were more an infection than a child, more an unwanted mutation than a new life. It was not murder and I do not regret it. It was a decision that took me on a path here, and musing about the idea that I could have a twelve year old right now is as useful or relevant to my life as musing where I’d be if I’d married my first girlfriend or gotten into a different college or not quit that job.
I make a thousand decisions daily and they have brought me here, where most days I am wildly happy in my queer, kinky, working artist, open, exploratory life.
A big ol’ box of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica edited by ME and published by Cleis Press has arrived on my doorstep! I am so thrilled to hold this book in my hands and pet it and flip through it, after more than a year of working on it behind the scenes, on my computer, alone,
jerking off in bed with the manuscript I mean uh, editing and copy editing and re-editing.
And now … comes the exciting part! The birthing it into the world part! The part where I figure out how to get it into your hands and on your nightstands and between your boxspring and mattress and on your kinky bookshelves. So I’ve got a few things up my sleeve, including
six inches a virtual blog book tour and some extra copies for reviewers.
The official promo blurb:
Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica is a fiction anthology edited by Sinclair Sexsmith, to be published by Cleis Press in April 2012. It is available for pre-order at Amazon and will be available for the Kindle and Nook. Email lesbianbdsmerotica at gmail.com if you have any questions; to request a review copy, email Brenda Knight at bknight at cleispress.com. For more information about Say Pleaes series, visit saypleasebook.wordpress.com.
Item the first! Reviewers needed for Amazon
Apparently, book sales on Amazon set the standard for many other buyers these days, and reviews on Amazon (even clicking “like” on Amazon) make a big difference in possible sales. So I’ve got 20 copies of the book to give to folks who are willing to write a review on Amazon. To do this, you must: have an Amazon.com account you’ve made a purchase from, have a US mailing address, promise to review it by April 31st and actually follow through. Will send one to the first 20 people to request it. Email lesbianbdsmerotica at gmail.com with “Amazon” in the subject line, your mailing address. I’ve got more than enough Amazon volunteers! Thank you!
Item the Second! Blog Tour
In April, surrounding the book’s official April 10th release date, I’ll be conducting a virtual blog tour for the book! That means: If you are a blogger, and you’d like a copy of the book to review on your blog on a particular day of the tour, I’ll send you one in exchange for your participation. To participate, you agree to post on your corresponding day; posts can be your thoughts about the book, an excerpt, or an interview with me or another contributor. Email lesbianbdsmerotica at gmail.com with “Blog tour” in the subject line, and include a link to your blog and any pertinent information about the site you run. Deadline is March 31st, but I will fill it as I go, so please email me asap.
Item the Third! Preorder the Book!
If you do plan to buy it, as with all books, pre-ordering them has a dual impact on the book’s sales, meaning your sale counts not just for one book, but means that the bookseller your purchasing from will stock extra copies. All sales are great, but pre-orders are extra special, a heads up as a way to support your favorite authors.
Item the Fourth! In Person Tour in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, NYC, and More to Come (So To Speak)
I am trying to get all over the place to read from this book … I still hope to visit Durham, Chicago, and Portland, and possibly Philadelphia and DC. If you’re a coordinator or event producer in any of those places, or in a different place!, and you’d like to help me with a reading, I’d love that. Get in touch.
Here are the current planned dates:
April 1 5pm, San Francisco at GV (with Salacious)
April 13 7pm, NYC at Bluestockings
April 22, Boston at a bar (with The Femme Show)
May 2, Seattle at Babeland
November 29, Toronto TBA (Facebook invite to come)
Item the Last! Get the Word Out, Buy a Copy, Let me Know What You Think!
I am beside myself with curiosity about how this book will be received. What do you think of it? What is your favorite story? Which lines stand out? Which authors were particularly impressive, whether you’ve read them before or will seek them out to read again? What themes did you love (or hate)? What did you wish there was more of? I would love feedback about this. After all, it’s the first anthology that is wholly mine, cover to cover, and I would love to do more of these in the future (hope hope).
I hope you’ll find a way to get in touch and tell me your thoughts, I am so very curious.
March was supposed to be a low-key at-home month, where I could focus on a couple of new projects that I’ve been hoping to finish and birth into the world, but the quick travel home and now this readjustment are a bit in the way of that. I’m still trying to have a really low-key month in my routines, grounded and home. But I do have some exciting things coming up toward the end of the month, and then the Say Please Dirty Queer Sex Tour kicks off on April 1st in San Francisco and continues in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Atlanta (so far).
Events with Mr. Sexsmith
|Thursday, March 22, 7pm||Queers Heart Abortion: Fundraiser for Chicago Abortion Fund. Have you ever wished you could do more to help people access safe abortions? How about actually *paying* for their abortions? Well, now is your chance! Readers include: Heather Acs, Drae Campbell, Kelli Dunham, Melissa Gira Grant, Jessica Halem, Aimee Herman, Buster Katz, LeRoi Prince, Sinclair Sexsmith, Jami Smith, & Ariel Speedwagon. RSVP at the Facebook event. Did you know I had an abortion in 1999? I even have a piece about it, from about 10 years ago, but I’ll be reading a new piece about it being ten years ago.
Doors at 6:30 pm, Show begins at 7 pm, Show ends at 9 pm. $5-$10 sliding scale (no one turned away)
|UC Lounge, 87 Ludlow St, NYC 10002|
|Saturday, March 24, 11am-5:30pm||Rainbow Book Fair! The longest running LGBT book fair in the US, which includes exhibitions from publishers, poetry readings, performances, workshops, panels, and more. I’ll be there as part of Cleis Press’s booth—come get a copy of Say Please hot off the presses. rainbowbookfair.org||The LGBT Center, 208 West 13th Street, New York, NY|
|Sunday, March 25||Rutgers Sex, Love, & Dating: Your Guide to Everything Intimate Conference. I’ll be doing three workshops, Fucking With Gender, Combating Bed Death in Long Term Relationships, and Making Queer & Kinky Relationships Work.||Rutgers University Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ|
|Wednesday, March 28, 7pm||Radical & Responsible Gender||Mills College, Oakland, CA|
|Sunday, April 1, 5pm||Dirty Queer Sex Reading: Say Please release party! Featuring August InFlux, Amy Butcher, Andrea Zanin, Ashley Young, T.R. Moss, and rife, from Salacious Magazine: Leather issue; Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica; and Best Lesbian Erotica. Join us for an evening of debaucherous, dirty smut written by and for queers. Take a sexy break from a whirlwind of delicious leather, kink, and sex to additionally stimulate your … brains.
Hosted by KD Diamond, editor of Salacious Magazine and International Ms Bootblack 2011, & Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012
|Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA|
Events in New York City (& Beyond) You Shouldn’t Miss
|Friday, March 16, 8pm||Lesbian Sex Mafia: Giving Good Chair You’ve attended a “Bootblacking 101” class, or two. You’ve sat down with your Daddy and learned the basics of a spit shine. You’ve interrogated your bootblack friends about what Huberd’s really is. Or maybe you haven’t done any of these things. Regardless of what you know about the process of bootblacking itself–the technicalities, if you will–this workshop won’t cover any of those things. This workshop will cover the nature of “giving good chair” in three parts: 1. The Basics, 2. Upping the Ante, 3. Fucking Without Sex. Start off by learning how to be attentive and a great conversationalist; move on to engage in sensual physical contact; and leave them wanting more with boot worship.||LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), Manhattan, NY|
|Saturday, March 24th, 10pm||Submit Party, submitparty.com, a BDSM play party for women and trans folks only. $15 before midnight, $20 after||Brooklyn, NY. For exact location call 718.789.4053 or email Red@submitparty.com|
|Thursday, March 29, 7-10pm||Girl Talk: A Trans & Cis Dialogue. curated by Gina de Vries, Elena Rose, and Julia Serano. Queer cisgender women and queer transgender women are allies, friends, support systems, lovers, and partners to each other. Trans and cis women are allies to each other every day — from activism that includes everything from Take Back the Night to Camp Trans; to supporting each other in having “othered” bodies in a world that is obsessed with idealized body types; to loving, having sex, and building family with each other in a world that wants us to disappear.
Girl Talk is an annual spoken word show fostering and promoting dialogue about these relationships. Trans and cis women will read about their relationships of all kinds – sexual and romantic, chosen and blood family, friendships, support networks, activist alliances. Join us for a night of stories about sex, bodies, feminism, activism, challenging exclusion in masculine-centric dyke spaces, dating and breaking up, finding each other, and finding love and family.
|San Francisco LGBT Community Center – Rainbow Room
1800 Market Street between Octavia & Laguna, San Francisco, CA
Tickets: $12-$20 (no one turned away) WEB / TIX (We strongly recommend that you get tix in advance – we sold out very fast last year.):
|Thursday, March 29 to Sunday, April 1||International Ms. Leather! That’s right, I’ll be in attendance this year, and I’m really thrilled. I don’t know all the details, but I’ll be around in general and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Say hi, if you see me.||San Francisco, CA|
|Thursday, April 5, 8pm||Red Umbrella Diaries, www.redumbrelladiaries.com||Happy Ending, 302 Broome Street between Forsyth and Eldridge, Manhattan, NY|
I’m still booking a few more gigs for the spring, though my travel schedule is really full! I’d still like to get to Chicago, Portland, and Durham, so if any of you are in those cities and would like to help me get a gig, I would be oh so grateful.
- My schedule is kept up on mrsexsmith.com/appearances
- 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.)
- Download my 2011 workshop offerings in a PDF or 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.
Any events I missed? Add ‘em in the comments.
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IMsBB 2011 & Sugarbutch Present:
Dirty Queer Sex Reading
at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street, San Francisco
5pm on April 1, 2012
Featuring August InFlux, Amy Butcher, Andrea Zanin, Ashley Young, T.R. Moss, and rife, from Salacious Magazine: Leather issue; Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica; and Best Lesbian Erotica. Join us for an evening of debaucherous, dirty smut written by and for queers. Take a sexy break from a whirlwind of delicious leather, kink, and sex to additionally stimulate your … brains.
Hosted by KD Diamond, editor of Salacious Magazine and International Ms Bootblack 2011, & Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012
The fabulous readers:
Amy Butcher is exactly that and when she isn’t wrestling with the responsibilities of that twist of nomenclatural destiny she writes, facilitates workshops and does massage in San Francisco. Her murder mystery Paws for Consideration was published in 2011. Find her at amybutcher.com
Andrea Zanin, a.k.a. Sex Geek, wears glasses when she fucks. For over a decade, she has been teaching about queer sexuality, polyamory and BDSM/leather for universities, colleges, sex shops, community groups and conferences in Canada, the States and internationally, and she takes an anti-oppression approach to all her work. Andrea is pursuing a PhD in women’s studies at York University with a focus on Canadian leatherdyke history. She writes about alternative sexuality for numerous newspapers and magazines, blogs at http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/, and pens erotic fiction (recently appearing in Tristan Taormino’s “Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica”). Andrea co-organizes the annual Canadian leatherdyke weekend An Unholy Harvest, runs a pervy book club called The Leather Bindings Society and judges the occasional leather contest (including IMsL 2009). She lives in Toronto and enjoys doing yoga, cultivating M/s relationships with exceptionally high-quality individuals, eating fine dark chocolate and wearing really nice shoes.
August InFlux (augustinflux.wordpress.com) is brand-new to the wonderful world of writing. By day, she wanders around San Jose State University (California) campus as Big Queer Activist. By night she hides in her Bat Cave and homeworks it up until the wee hours of the morning. On weekends, she dons the guise of a housewife and bakes up a storm in her apron and high heels. She loves being femme, as a boy or a girl, and thinks monogamy as it relates to her is silly.
Ashley Young aka Indigo is a sex blogger, educator and smut writer. She is the creator of Indigo’s Theory, a blog about her experiences as a poly queer black women navigating the BSDM/Kink Community in New York City and beyond. Indigo also writes a column called “Indigo’s Poly Beginnings” for Fearless Press, an online magazine about the intersection of life and sex. Her column focuses on the development of her polyamorous relationship with a partner Sara Vibes – International Ms Leather 2011, as well as her experience in the leather women’s community. Alongside her partner, she has taught workshops on sexuality and BDSM practices at Dark Odyssey: Fusion, International Mr. Leather 2011 and the LGBT Center in New York City and is a faculty member for Kink Academy, an online education resource for the BDSM community. Indigo’s erotic writing has been featured in Salacious Magazine Issue #2 and she is a contributor to “The Perverts of Color Anthology” to be published in 2012.
T.R. Moss’s erotica has appeared in various publications including Best Lesbian Erotica anthologies and most recently, Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica.
[rife] is a genderqueer leatherboy from Texas. They work as the lead artist for the GENDER book project, which is a visual primer on all things gender. When he isn’t doing that, he can be found doodling, pulling prints, welding, walking in the woods, or getting flogged by some butch hottie. Mel has a BA in studio arts from Rice University and even though he’s a recent transplant to Oakland, he will always be a cowboi at heart. Follow his work at www.thegenderbook.com or see more of rife’s art at www.rowdyferret.com.
And your hosts:
kd, International Ms Bootblack 2011, is equal parts bootblack to artist. The very nature of leathercare, leather worship, and leather community are all similar and connected to the core of being an artist. kd uses her art as a platform for conversation and education, and similarly uses her bootblacking as a means to support her community, open up dialogues about leather, and get her hands good and dirty. kd is also the creator of SALACIOUS, a queer feminist anti-racist sex magazine, looks to meld high art, stunning visuals, and written erotica. www.salaciousmagazine.com.
Sinclair Sexsmith runs the award-winning personal online writing project Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at sugarbutch.net. With work published in various anthologies and websites, including Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, she is the guest editor of Best Lesbian Erotica 2012, and her first full-length erotica anthology, Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, will be published by Cleis Press in April 2012. Mr. Sexsmith writes, teaches, and performs focusing on the subjects of sex, gender, and relationships. More information on her at mrsexsmith.com.