A piece by Kristen about our open relationship, dating other people, sex, a leather family vision, and BDSM. Follow her on Twitter @kitchentop.
You know where some of my fear came from when we dipped our toes into polyamory last fall? That Sugarbutch readers would make all kinds of judgments about me, think I’m some kind of doormat, judge our vision and our path for our relationship. But we came to poly from a place of deep strength, not out of weakness. That isn’t to say it hasn’t been difficult; it’s been very difficult, but that’s because we’re intense people with high standards for our lives and big dreams. And what makes it the hardest is not jealousy, it’s that there’s little support for dating other people while you have a long-term partner in this culture. We have to build on the narratives that people before us have created—and create our own.
And in fact, as soon as I looked around, I saw examples of sparkly poly couples—many of whom we already knew—who quietly date multiple people. And I probed deeper, and I realized there’s an entire network of kinky queers who fuck each other and each other’s friends, if you just look below the surface. Sinclair sent me a link about cabins to rent in New York, and I got a vision of five or six or seven of us, cooking and fucking and lazing around near a lake, and I thought, “Maybe that’s what people mean by ‘leather family.’ That’s the kind of adulthood I want.” Because for many of us, that white picket fence—even a gay white picket fence—just isn’t in the cards.
And y’all, I like sex too much to limit myself. I love fucking. I LOVE it. It keeps me grounded and helps me fly all at once, and I can’t really imagine fucking one person the rest of my life, as amazing as the person I spend most of my time fucking is. You’ve met a few guest stars (there have been about eleven in the last three and a half years, not counting erotic energy retreats) – and I would like to continue doing that. I was surprised, yes, when Sinclair’s interest in rife expanded beyond a one-time fuck, and I was even more surprised when that connection went beyond a sexual one. But it’s been just over six months since we had that first conversation, and I’m sold. The details are complicated, and the growing pains have been difficult, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t choose poly. What it actually means is that we are so steeped in monogamy in this culture, and the cultural walls around monogamy are so rigid, that it took me months (and fucking someone else, if we’re gonna be really honest here) to feel really solid.
We need MORE support around this, not less. Think about when you came out: I, for one, had many years of culture telling me queer was wrong, and I needed backup from homos around me reminding me it was okay to be a big dyke. After a few years, it was no big deal, but I teared up at my first pride parade. Maybe I should go to poly pride. Or maybe I should just have a lot of poly sex and I won’t need a parade. Or maybe after I have poly sex I should wave my hands around spirit fingers style and give myself a parade.
So what’s it like? It still feels sort of dangerous, honestly, because I still have a little bit of this “traditional relationship” lens that tells me fucking someone else is cheating. But it’s not—it’s consensual—and it’s incredibly exciting. What’s fun? I flirted before, but flirting with the possibility of actually playing with someone else is different. It challenges me to see myself more independently than I did before, and that’s both fun and nerve-wracking. (It’s much easier to fuck someone else when your Daddy arranges it for you than when you’re in a bar with your friends and you have to make the first move—or when you’ve played with someone once and you want it to happen again.)
Here’s the other thing: before I met Sinclair, dating was a lot more desperate, because I have a really high sex drive and I wasn’t getting fucked especially well. Now that I’m dedicated to my boyfriend but looking for people to play with, I can be very selective about who I choose, and I’m much narrower in what I’m looking for. I’m not going to go home with someone randomly because they’re the best option and I want to get laid, I’m going to hone in on exactly what I’m looking for and see what I can do to find that. I have much, much better boundaries, and I’m able to fuck friends or become friends with someone I’ve fucked (Hi Gabrielle … and the rest of y’all). Part of that is just maturity, but it’s also about a redefined vision of relationships. We don’t have to love everyone we fuck, or maybe we do, but it’s a different kind of love. Love is bigger than “date them fuck them live together get married pop out babies.” Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck between two options, Sinclair tells me, “There are always more than two choices.” This is a lovely example of that concept. There are always more ways to live than you might think. And it is so fucking beautiful that we get to redefine how we love. Our relationship gets to evolve, and we get to go through the hard stuff together, and we get to play with space and restrictions and sex and pain in a conscious, consensual way—which is far beyond what I’d ever imagined.
P.S. The BDSM in our relationship is a slightly different topic (and an old conversation), but rest assured, our relationship is consensual. For what it’s worth, I love getting punched, and that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or us. It comes from a place of very deep trust.
I have been so busy telling you all about Say Please that I have barely even mentioned some of the other recent notable books I’ve picked up. All are fantastic reads and have plenty to offer for the novice or the very experienced kinkster.
Ecstasy is Necessary by Barbara Carrellas I’ve already mentioned on Sugarbutch, but it’s worth mentioning again if you haven’t read it yet. If you’re interested in exploring your own sexuality, getting closer to your own desires, having a lovely introduction to some tantric explorations, or taking a good, long reflective look at your sex life and relationship/s, this is an incredible place to start.
Queer & Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein is a beautiful, stunning memoir about Kate’s time as a scientologist (!), then being excommunicated and losing her family, then transitioning and coming out as a kinkster on the West coast, and finally moving to New York. It’s an incredible story and I loved every page.
The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino really is the Ultimate Guide to Kink. There are essays in here from all sorts of mentors and experienced authoritative kinksters, and the book covers all kinds of fascinating topics. I’m especially excited about Barbara Carrellas’s chapter on kinky tantra, the age play chapter, and the “inside the mind of a sadist” chapter. I haven’t finished it yet (I’ve barely started it, actually) but I’m already thrilled. Cleis Press is contributing amazing things to the kink and sexualities worlds and I’ll read anything they put out.
Mind-Blowing Sex: A Woman’s Guide by Diana Cage might look like some basic women’s sexuality book, but it isn’t. It’s a complex commentary on our sexual culture and includes tons of ideas, exercises, and prompts to get you digging into your own sexual self. Kristen read it cover to cover and pronounced, “I’m going to send a copy to my sister.” It’s the kind of book that all our younger sisters should have (after we finish reading it).
There have been so many great books released this spring! I’m also really looking forward to Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel and Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson. I haven’t been all the way through the Lambda Literary finalists, though I like to pick through that list because they are often the best of the best. And of course I’ll be at the Lammys this year! Very excited to continue attending and being involved.
What have you been reading lately? Anything good?
As of 7/28/15 This product is no longer available at Babeland
I kind of hate the word “dildo.” But I didn’t let that stop me from checking this one out, after I heard that it’s extra-flexible—flexible enough for packing and playing, maybe?
Available exclusively at Babeland, the Double Agent is ready to go anywhere, anytime. Made of premium-grade silicone and harness ready, this flexible dildo is designed with a firm base and silicone core that runs up a third of the shaft. The realistic phallus delivers a feeling of fullness during penetration and is flexible enough to bend into truly twisted and unexpected positions. The Double Agent is designed for both packing and strap-on sex. Available in one color, more colors coming soon.
See that part about how it’s “designed for both packing and strap-on sex”? Intriguing, I thought! But in practice, it has the same problems as both the Goodfella by Vixen and the VIP Supersoft by Tantus, which is that when it is bent to one side or the other, which is required in order for it to be pack-able, the base of it really digs into my pubic bone because of the pressure.
It’s a good size, though, and great materials, decent shape I think. The Double Agent would be great for putting on before a play party when I know I’m not going to be wearing it (in my zipped-up pants) all night, but I wouldn’t put it on to go to dinner and dancing and be ready by the time I got home after the date. For that, I go back to the Silky, which still is my go-to cock for packing.
Though it seems like all I’m doing right now is touring and releasing a book, I’m actually doing a lot of other things, including coordination for the Body Electric School, an erotic energy retreat organization with which I’ve been working for about twelve years. So much of what I know about sex, consent, embodiment, being in my body, being in touch with my gender, asking for what I want, sadism, masochism, my shadow side, breathing, and millions of other things comes from my experiences with these teachers and within the container of exploration that is these workshops.
I cannot recommend them highly enough, and I’m so thrilled that the organization is starting to open up and move beyond the ‘men’ and ‘women’ workshops into some genderqueer and trans focused territory. The new director of the school, Tom, even recognized the team of teachers and staff I’ve been involved with in creating and supporting this new Boxes workshop at the staff retreat in December.
We’re breaking some serious new ground here, and if you have any interest in being more in touch with your body, exploring your own desires, getting what you want, and doing it in a queer environment, this is an amazing opportunity.
I am so in love with this work, and I’m thrilled to be bringing it deeper into my community.
Want to come? It’s time to register. I’m glad to chat with you more (gchat, email, on the phone, skype) and tell you more about my experiences with these workshops, what it’s like, what to expect, and answer any questions you might have.
OUTSIDE THE BOXES: CELEBRATING THE QUEER BODY EROTIC
May 18-20, 2012, in New York City
Your gender. Your body. Your energy. Your beautiful self. How often has the world tried to force you into the gender binary, asked you to assure it that your pronouns matched what it saw rather than what you felt, required that your genitals conform to expectations, demanded that you deny the complexity of all that is you?
What if you could come into a community in which all expressions were possible? Where gender, sexuality and expression were aligned according to your truth? Where no one assumed what parts would go where? Welcome to Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic!
Come explore your erotic potential through the mind, the body and the heart using conscious breath, movement, process work and massage. Awaken the erotic energy that lies within all of us. Through a queer tantra lens, explore archetypal masculine and feminine energies and the myriad ways they can be expressed. Break down silos of gender and sexuality.
This workshop focuses on the entire body and is conducted in a container that is playful, safe and reverential. Using carefully designed experiential embodiment practices participants will:
- explore the innate wisdom of your body
- expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each person’s choices and rhythms are honored
- learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit
- to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
- learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
- learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities
Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic is a 2 1/2 day workshop (Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday), often clothing-optional, for those who are ready to vigorously explore new levels of feeling and aliveness, both within themselves and within a community of queers.
NOTE: Couples are welcome to attend Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic and have the option of working together or with the other participants.
Full tuition is due two weeks before start of workshop.
You’ll have to get that directly from me, I think, considering I haven’t exactly signed a backstock of them for Barnes & Noble (yet).
So here’s the info. The books are $15 and flat rate US shipping is $4, so $19 will get you a signed book anywhere in the US. If you’d like two books to the same address, save the shipping and I’ll send ’em for $30. Outside the US, shipping is a bit more, so that total is $23.
When you pull down the option you want it’ll give you an option to “add a message to the seller”—that’s where you put the inscription you’d like, if you want me to make it out to someone in particular, or say something special (like “thanks for last night” … ).
If you’ve already purchased a copy of the book, I can send you a Say Please postcard that I’ve signed if you’d like to use it as a bookmark, or a bookplate that you can paste into your copy. Email me, mrsexsmith (at) gmail.com.
Of course, you can always attend one of the in person release party events and get your copy signed there!
There’s a release party for Say Please this Friday … this week is super busy, I know, but I’m really thrilled to be showing off this collection and I’m excited to read with all these fabulous folks. Vie La Guerre is coming all the way from Chicago and I haven’t ever met Elizabeth! I don’t think Miss Kitchentop will have any time to bake anything delicious, but I will probably pick up something awesome for us to nosh on while we are squirming in our seats.
Thank you Cleis, thank you Bluestockings, thank you contributors for helping to make this happen. Now all we need is the audience!
Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of queer kink—tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place—and held there firmly. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want! Come hear authors from the book read their stories and celebrate the release of this kinky queer collection.
Featuring Dusty Horn, DL King, Vie La Guerre, Sassafras Lowrey, Miriam Zoila Pérez, Elizabeth Thorne, and Xan West, hosted by Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.
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.
ABOUT THE READERS:
Dusty Horn’s erotica has been published by Cleis in Orgasmic and Best Bondage 2011, her sex culture reportage on CarnalNation.com, and her critical theory of sex work in AORTA magazine. A BDSM professional, queer pornographer, kink educator, social worker, and rocknroll exhibitionist slut, Dusty is (in)famous for her spanking booths.
Editor of Carnal Machines, Spank, The Sweetest Kiss, and Where the Girls Are, D.L. King has contributed short stories to Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica, Girl Crazy, and Broadly Bound, among others. She’s published two novels and edits the erotica review site Erotica Revealed. Find her at www.dlkingerotica.com.
Vie La Guerre is a femme wordsmith who lives in Chicago with her kittens, Foxy Brown and Zora.
Sassafras Lowrey (www.PoMoFreakshow.com) is an international award–winning storyteller, author, artist, and educator. Sassafras is the editor of the Kicked Out anthology, which brought together the voices of current and former homeless LGBTQ youth. Her prose has been included in numerous anthologies and she regularly teaches LGBTQ storytelling workshops at colleges and conferences across the country. Sassafras lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.
Miriam Zoila Pérez (www.miriamzperez.com) is a Cuban-American writer, blogger, and reproductive justice activist. She is the founder of RadicalDoula.com and an editor at Feministing.com. Her essays have been included in various anthologies, including Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme. Pérez lives in Brooklyn.
Elizabeth Thorne began writing erotic stories when she was working in a place known as The Sex Lab. It was an act of desperation since, ironically enough, studying sex kept her too busy to meet anyone larger than a mouse… and unlike Cinderella she doesn’t actually swing that way. These days, Elizabeth spends her time sitting around in her PJs writing popular science during the day and erotic romance at night. She has contributed to more than a dozen anthologies of erotica and erotic romance and is proud to be the author of “The Gingerbread Dungeon,” a collection of pansexual BDSM fairy tales. You can find her online at withbatedbeth.com.
Xan West is the pseudonym of an NYC BDSM/sex educator. Xan’s “First Time Since” won honorable mention for the 2008 NLA John Preston Short Fiction Award. Xan has appeared in many anthologies, including Best SM Erotica 2 & 3, Best Women’s Erotica 2008 & 2009, and Best Lesbian Erotica 2011.
Today is the official release date for Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica! Between a few Amazon reviews and various folks on the virtual tour, there are a lot of comments about the book coming my way, and it’s been so fun to hear what y’all think about it.
Say the magic word and fulfill your deepest desires for discipline and surrender, domination and submission, and the heightened sensations of BDSM play. One request opens up a fantasy world of classic dungeon scenes, bondage and restraint, floggers and spankings, sadism and masochism, very hot sex and so much more. True to form, Sexsmith queers classic gender dynamics, with a femme daddy in Alysia Angel’s “Feathers Have Weight,” and genderqueer bois who earn their right to flag black in Sassafras Lowrey’s “Black Hanky.” In “The Cruelest Kind,” Kiki DeLovely’s naughty narrator gets her just desserts from her butch in a back alley. D.L. King’s top makes her submissive strip before an unseen audience in “A Public Spectacle.” Face slapping can be a hard limit or the most delicious craving, as Rachel Kramer Bussel’s protagonist finds out in “A Slap in the Face.” Whether you dream of surrendering to a lover or of weilding your power, Say Please to the erotic inspiration within.
Some current praise from the book tour:
“Each story has a different kink and a different bit of style. Every time the page turned, I got more wet.” —AlphaHarlot
“”Unworthy as I am” [the last story in the book] is a gentle wrap up of the book. Well, not gentle in the play, as you follow caning, piercing, and various delicious forms of torture. But the end of the story, with the collaring scene, can almost bring tears to your eyes, as you feel that this collar is for each submissive in the book, a honor of completion.” —Nina
“The stories were detailed enough to get you into it (soo into it!) but also left somethings up to your own imagination. The stories are hot, and makes you want to try more and more kinky things.” —skysbirdsnplanes
“I was delighted by the wide swathe of kink that this literary erotica cut through my imagination. I’m always interested in the myriad ways that gender expresses itself and Say Please is full of variety. The BDSM quotient zoomed through all of my favorites (except CBT, for obvious reasons) and right into areas that pushed my comfort levels. In other words, it was so hot to read that I had to get myself off.” —Evoë
“Despite the impressive amount of silicone being used to tease, tantalize, and teach lessons in this collection, it remains exceptionally diverse. Though the authors had to conform to the theme of “lesbian BDSM”, both of those labels were interpreted in a variety of ways, loosely and enthusiastically. In “Say Please,” there are no baselines, no stereotypes, and certainly no “scissoring.” As the coquettish narrator of August InFlux’s “Counting Love” assures us when telling us to leave the candy hearts at home, the best acts of love are not universal. To me, “Say Please” is a beautifully structured vessel carrying creative, courageous, highly individualized demonstrations of respect and admiration.” —Roma Mafia
“Let me tell you, I said please more than once to this lovely little book…. These contributing writers had me on edge – on the edge of mental orgasms too which are just lovely!- so many times that I felt myself slowly submitting to the conditions and quality that came along with this well endowed book.” —DeDe Delynn
Have you picked up your copy yet? What do you think? I’m dying to know. What’s your favorite story? Which line just really got to you? Which author do you adore and are you going to look up all their other stuff?
So I have really a lot to say about my experience at the International Ms. Leather contest in San Francisco last weekend—about how it was pretty phenomenal to be in a hotel space filled with leather women (and those who love them), about the BDSM & anal workshop that Tristan Taormino led, about the 10 rules for happy non-monogamy workshop that Andrea Zanin led, and the single tail workshop that had me inspired, and the “parade of colors” and the leather sashes that made me, from the audience, go, “oh my gosh this is such a thing,” the royalty that leather title holders have, the awesomeness that are our new titleholders: the butch from Texas is our new IMsL and the femme bootblack is the new IMsBB! I’m thrilled that they’re representing this community and I wish them so many amazing adventures and fun travels.
And I kind of don’t know where to start, with what to tell you. I am extremely crunched for time these days (turns out, the week that your book comes out is kind of busy, who knew) and I don’t want to just give you a play-by-play (though you might be interested in that, I know, ya pervs).
So instead, I just want to send lots of love to IMsL and IMsBB 2012, KD Diamond and Sara Vibes, with this shot of them I snapped while Sara was feeding KD peeps off of her knife.
And yeah, this is just the kind of thing that happened, right in front of me, when I didn’t even expect it, all weekend long. If you’re kinky and queer and into women, this is one of those gatherings you don’t want to miss. You bet your ass I’ll be there next year.
Yesterday marked the first event in the DIRTY QUEER SEX BOOK TOUR for Say Please at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, and I had a great time. My buddy Butcher and I both took quite a few photos, and as soon as I get those off the camera I’ll post ’em.
I’ve returned from IMsL (whew! What a whirlwind! More about that soon) and the next Say Please event is in New York City on April 13th. But meanwhile, the Virtual Tour for the book kicked off yesterday too, and you can follow along as writers from all over are sharing their thoughts on my new book.
I am so excited to introduce to you the 27 writers and blogs that will be hosting the Say Please Dirty Queer Sex virtual book tour this April. I hope you have a chance to check out their posts about Say Please as well as their other work. The first post is up already (thanks Viviane!) and there are many more to come. Thanks to all who have agreed to host and participate in this tour with me!
April 1 Say Please release party in SF
April 1 Viviane http://www.thesexcarnival.com
April 3 Rachel Kramer Bussel http://lustylady.blogspot.com
April 4 Giselle Renard http://donutsdesires.blogspot.com
April 5 Evoe Throw http://www.wholesexlife.com
April 6 Liz http://AlphaHarlot.com
April 9 Roma Mafia http://www.romamafia.com
April 9 Daniela http://www.thecsph.org
April 10 Official release date! Sinclair http://www.sugarbutch.net
April 11 Dede / deviantdyke http://deviantdyke.blogspot.com/
April 12 Helena Swann http://www.cuntext.com
April 13 Kim Herbel http://www.butchlesque.com
April 13 Say Please release party in NYC
April 14 Lily Lloyd http://theblackleatherbelt.com
April 15 Kelli Dunham http://www.kellidunham.com
April 16 Lyzanne http://sexpositive.tumblr.com/
April 17 Lula Lisbon http://www.lulalisbon.com
April 18 Ali Oh http://www.madeofwords.com
April 19 Jameson http://www.ftmbutchdude.com
April 20 Rhys http://girlfriendjunction.org
April 21 Charlie Ninja http://charlieninja.tumblr.com/
April 22 Say Please release party in Boston
April 22 Meredith Guy http://meridithguy.tumblr.com
April 23 Wendi Kali http://astrangerinthisplace.blogspot.com
April 24 Lolita Wolf http://leatheryenta.com
April 25 Audrey at Babeland http://babeland.com/blog
April 26 Seth B http://smokebellyscorner.wordpress.com
April 27 Danika http://www.lesbrary.com
April 28 DL King http://dlkingerotica.blogspot.com
April 29 Kiki http://kikidelovely.wordpress.com
April 29 Kyle http://www.butchtastic.com
April 30 Dilo Keith http://dilokeith.wordpress.com/blog-2/
April 30 Xan West http://tgstonebutch.livejournal.com/
May 2 Say Please release party in Seattle