Archive for June, 2012
Topside Press announces the release of “My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B” … I don’t know what else to say.
Contact: Katie Liederman
Media Representative, Topside Press
+1 212 457-5660
“MY AWESOME PLACE: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHERYL B” TO BE PUBLISHED BY TOPSIDE SIGNATURE
Official Publication Date October 23, 2012
New York, NY (June 26, 2012) – Topside Press imprint Topside Signature has today announced that October 23, 2012 will be the official release date of My Awesome Place: The Autobiography Of Cheryl B, the highly anticipated book by poet and curator Cheryl Burke based on the manuscript that remained incomplete at the time of the author’s death in 2011. The autobiography offers a rare authentic glimpse into the electrifying arts scene of New York City’s East Village during the vibrant 1990s, through the eyes of the young writer during her rise to prominence as the spoken word artist known as Cheryl B.
In the months following her death, members of Burke’s close-knit writing group, who had met continuously for nine years, worked to compile her drafts, essays and emails into a completed manuscript which was eventually synthesized into its final form by Burke’s close friend, novelist Sarah Schulman. The book’s narrative, from a liminal space between fiction and memoir, tracks her struggle to translate her working class New Jersey roots and define herself as an artist against the backdrop of an unforgiving city, a series of disastrous girlfriends and boyfriends and an intense, intimate relationship with drugs and alcohol. By the time Burke emerged, sober, in 2001, she had witnessed–and made major contributions to– one of the most remarkable artistic transformations that New York City has ever experienced.
“Historians are only just now beginning to deal with the transformations in art and culture that the East Village experienced in the 1990s,” said publisher Tom Léger. “My Awesome Place will quickly earn a place as a seminal text from this turbulent period in American art.”
Cheryl Burke (1972-2011) was a journalist, poet, performer and playwright who came of age in the vibrant 1990s East Village art scene. Her performances at the Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club, the National Arts Club, P.S. 122, St. Marks Poetry Project established Burke as a young luminary and during her career she performed at venues throughout the US and abroad. Her work was published in Ping Pong, BUST, KGB Bar Lit, Go Magazine, Velvet Park, a dozens of other journals and magazines, and anthologized in Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution (Seal Press, 2007), Reactions 5 (Pen & Inc, 2005), The Milk of Almonds: Italian-American Women Writers on Food & Culture (Feminist Press, 2002), The World in Us (St. Martins Press, 2000), Pills, Thrills, Chills and Heartache (Alyson Books, 2004), His Hands, His Tools, His Sex, His Dress (Haworth Press, 2001), among others. Burke was a graduate of both New York University and The New School. She passed away at the age of 38 from complications related to treatment of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My Awesome Place is her first book.
# # #
Topside Signature is an imprint of Topside Press, and is based in New York City, New York. Topside Signature will publish a select number of superb literary works of exceptional cultural significance to queer and feminist communities. The first title issued will be My Awesome Place and publishers expect to release 2-3 titles per year beginning in 2013.
My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B
By Cheryl Burke
$25.95 (hardcover) / $15.95 (paperback)
228 Park Avenue South,
New York, NY 10003
Format: Hardcover, paperback
Size: 5.5″x8.5″, 208 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9832422-4-6 (hc) / 978-0-9832422-5-3 (pb)
Date of Publication: October 23, 2012
Distribution arrangements: Ingram
Book Release Party for “My Awesome Place” in NYC
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 7pm
172 Allen Street, New York, New York 10002
The official release event for “My Awesome Place: The Autobiography Of Cheryl B”, the highly anticipated book by poet and curator Cheryl Burke based on the manuscript that remained incomplete at the time of the author’s death in 2011. The autobiography offers a rare authentic glimpse into the electrifying arts scene of New York City’s East Village during the vibrant 1990s, through the eyes of the young writer during her rise to prominence as the spoken word artist known as Cheryl B.
Please join us to celebrate the publication of Cheryl’s first book.
About MY AWESOME PLACE
In the months following her death, members of Burke’s close-knit writing group, who had met continuously for nine years, worked to compile her drafts, essays and emails into a completed manuscript which was eventually synthesized into its final form by Burke’s close friend, novelist Sarah Schulman.
The book’s narrative, from a liminal space between fiction and memoir, tracks her struggle to translate her working class New Jersey roots and define herself as an artist against the backdrop of an unforgiving city, a series of disastrous girlfriends and boyfriends and an intense, intimate relationship with drugs and alcohol. By the time Burke emerged, sober, in 2001, she had witnessed–and made major contributions to– one of the most remarkable artistic transformations that New York City has ever experienced.
Holy cats, Hotlanta! It’s like 100* today. But at least Kristen and I have had some grits and really good biscuits already (Flying Biscuit cafe, folks, dang that was good). We flew out of New York at 6am this morning and have been slowly melting in the heat ever since we got here … but we’ll be in Atlanta until Monday morning, when we fly to Seattle for a little memorial for my dad with my family.
Meanwhile, though, I’m very excited to be visiting friends and seeing the queer version of Atlanta, I’ve never been here before and I’m looking forward to getting a sense of the city. I hope I will get a sense of the city, given the heat! Any recommendations for local things that we just must do?
Hope to see y’all out at Charis books tonight or tomorrow night, Friday the 29th or Saturday the 30th. Saturday we’ll be doing a Dirty Queer Sex Tour appearance with an all-femme lineup (except for me, of course)! And Kristen is going to read one of the dirtiest stories in the book. Here’s the info about the events.
Join us for a two day Stonewall weekend extravaganza celebrating queer sexuality and embodiment with butch blogger and sex writer Sinclair “Sugarbutch” Sexsmith. On Friday night Sinclair will take us on a wild ride towards body confidence for folks on the self-identified queer masculine side of the gender spectrum (butches, bois, transmen, studs, FTMs, Masculine of Center, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, or anybody in between!) .
Sinclair will return on Saturday night for a raucous reading from Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica. Sinclair will share stories from the anthology, talk about the state of sex blogging today, and offer tips to ignite your inner erotica writer! Learn more about Sinclair at www.sugarbutch.net. This event is sponsored by Charis Books and Atlanta Pride. There is $5 suggested donation each evening but no one will be turned away.
Friday, June 29th, 7:30-9pm: Radical Masculinity workshop
Saturday, June 30th, 7:30-9pm: Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Atlanta Edition
Charis Books and More
1189 Euclid Ave NE , Atlanta, Georgia
Performing on Saturday night will be:
Adriana Chiknas is a multifarious femme who is drawn to intensity. She loves her partner, crazy conventions, costumes, heavy metal, food, fantasy, and fucking. Adriana writes the stories of her life…primarily so that she doesn’t forget them. She believes in the power and importance of stories…and wants to hear yours too.
Big Red is an equal opportunity gender queer, fierce femme, who is a performance and Spoken Word Artist celebrated for her ability to “wear many different shoes”. In one pair of those shoes she is dedicated to facilitating personal and communal connection and healing, and in another equally empowering and self-embracing pair of red stilettos she works on various ways to encourage, support, and evoke opportunities to accept and create verbiage, experiences, and culture that is raw, creative, authentic, sensual, deeply intense, just, and intent on empowering, healing, and transforming self, relationships, and communities. With a proven and long standing commitment to education and training, one of her current passions is creating new connections while presenting at various Community events.
Kathleen Delaney is a Queer High Femme spoken word writer whose provocative & smutty performances ignite, shock, challenge, and eroticize Butch/Femme, Queer, and BDSM dynamics. A National touring veteran, Kathleen is the founder & producer of BODY HEAT: Femme Porn Tour, a collective of Femme porn performance artists. A 1950′s Housewife at heart, Kathleen is celebrating day 49 as a newly-wedded bride.
Kristen is a kinky queer femme bottom who occasionally contributes to Sugarbutch.net. She enjoys bruises, disco, and wearing as little clothing as possible. Follow her on twitter @kitchentop. You should try her cookies.
The Dirty Queer Sex Tour for my book Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, published by Cleis Press this past spring, has taken me to San Francisco, Seattle, LA, New York City, and Boston so far, and there is still more to go. This summer, I’ll be in Atlanta (this weekend, actually) and Chicago in the next month, places that have generously requested I come and do a reading, but I don’t have a full set of contributors to the book to read with me in those two places.
Are you in Atlanta or Chicago and write kinky queer stories? Or are you a fantastic performer or reader who would like to read someone else’s story? Are you available June 30 in Atlanta or July 24th in Chicago?
I’m looking for others to share the stage with in those two cities. Send a brief sample of what you would read (1-2 paragraphs) or a video clip of your reading to mrsexsmith (at) gmail.com and I will get back to you. Each reading has a limited number of slots and will be filled first come, first serve.
PS: My Tour Calendar has been updated! I’ll be in Chicago for a week at the end of July doing many workshops, including Writing About Sex, Fucking Forever: Sex in Long Term Relationships, and Cock Confidence. I’ll be stopping in Milwaukee, too!
“Initially, I entered the field of writing through a desire to heal, but what’s been surprising is that while sowing my own transformation, my work seems to aid others’ healing,” Tara Hardy says in GO Magazine’s 100 Women We Love. “And what a privilege to be part of people healing themselves. Call me a zealot, but I believe this is a central opportunity offered by the act of creating something.”
Meditating on that today, sitting with it, swishing it around in my mouth to get every last flavor burst. I’m losing sight of my goal, my intentions, in doing this work a little bit these days. I struggle to find the right words. My life is so full, always so much going on … but I am so called to this, this writing, this way of working out my world, this way of making sense of what’s around me. The Internet and communities online are so rapidly changing, I can’t keep up, though I am trying. I’m moving toward more coaching and one-on-one work with people, and doing more workshops and teachings, but I want to keep up my writings here. I know—and Kristen is constantly reminding me—that the only way through is through, but still I struggle with being stuck.
So thanks, Tara, for that quote, and reminding me that there is a “central opportunity offered by the act of creating something”: that it aids others, as well as my own, healing.
I’m thrilled to see Amber Dawn, Miss Indigo Blue, Patricia Manuel, Jessica Halem, Sassafras Lowrey, and Shanna Katz—in addition to Tara Hardy—and other folks in my communities on the GO magazine hot 100 list this year. Congratulations.
Welcome to e[lust] - The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #38? Start with the newly updated rules, come back July 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!
Coming to Terms with Being Gay – From the time I was seven I was raised Mormon, which meant I wasn’t allowed to have a girlfriend until I was 16 or to have sex until I was married.
What I Want – I want to be humiliated. Call me a slut. Call me a whore. Slap my face. Expose me.
Dinner Party Entertainment – At that moment, J’s eyes went wide–he finally realized I was leaving him there, tied to the bed.
Featured Post (Picked by Lilly)
My Abstinence Only “Sex Education” – The speakers were a married, Christian couple, and the man told us about how he had pledged to stay a virgin until he was married.
Your Crappy Writing Turns Me Off – Your written words are your clothes, your power, your voice, your facial expressions and that by which we measure intelligence, personality and even attractiveness.
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy! Read More
Following up Episode 1, “I Want to be Taken”, Kristen and I answered another question for y’all, this time about threesomes.
Raven asks, “Any advice for occasionally bringing in a third? While still maintaining full commitment to one another and with no one getting hurt?”
Hope it’s useful!
Queer Memoir: Butch/Stud Through the Years was fucking EPIC on Friday night, and I’m so honored and thrilled to have been there and to be a part of it. There was the story of the kid’s game “hide and go get it” in Kentucky! There was the revelation of belonging somewhere and that “here take a sticker” moment—”because even though you’re in New York City, you might still be isolated.” There were discussions about feminist topping! There was deep appreciation for butch friends and community and support! There was a fucking marriage proposal!
This is the piece I read, slightly updated from the December 2009 version, about reconciling the identities of feminist and butch top, and what it means to be a masculine person who is also dominant. It is relevant as ever and I still struggle with the intersection of these identities. I have a lot more to say about it, and reading this piece again made me think about what I’d add and what more there is to say, so I’m working on it. Meanwhile, here’s the text of what I read.
A few years ago, a girl I dated wanted me to slap her. To hit her face. She asked for it specifically, I still remember the conversation on the subway and the precise way that she looked over at me and said, I want you to hit me. Something big swelled in me and I wanted to, I wanted to feel the sting of impact on my palm and see her recoil, to do it again before she was ready, to push something so sensational onto her experience that she was jolted to the edges of her skin and had to feel, to feel herself, to feel me, to be fully present.
This girl and I had already done some other light percussion play, using my hand, or even a paddle, me hitting her ass and thighs, the fleshy parts that I couldn’t possibly do damage to beyond some light bruising. She liked it, we both did. It made sense to escalate, at the time, to something new; we were deepening both our romantic relationship – our trust in each other – and our power dynamic, and it was time to push a little, to see where we could go.
I was terrified. After she asked, after we talked about it extensively, I even tried, a few times, when we were in bed and she said, hit me, now, please, and I couldn’t, I’d bring my hand up and chicken out.
I was terrified of what it would mean for me, as a masculine person, as a butch, to be more dominating in bed. To like it. To like to cause someone pain. To like to cause a woman pain. To hit someone in the face. To hit a woman in the face, to sexualize that act and that power dynamic specifically.
I was paralyzed by that terror – I wanted to do it, the idea, the very thought of it, the discussions with her, turned me on, the girl I was dating wanted me to do it, but I couldn’t.
Beyond wanting to do it, this was the kind of sex act that was in the sex life I was dreaming of having. This was what haunted my fantasies and what I looked for in porn that I watched and erotica that I read. And I was on a very serious quest to figure out how to have the sex that I wanted. I’d just gotten out of a bed-death relationship. I was committed to studying sex hard, to figuring out: what I wanted, how to get what I wanted, how to build a relationship with that as an element, how to maintain something sane and hot over a long period of time. That’s precisely why I started Sugarbutch.
I now know that I’m a sadist, and a top. That means I like to dominate. And already there are conclusions being drawn by some of you out there who think well of course you like to dominate, you’re masculine, and that’s prescribed for you or in other words you misogynistic asshole, I already knew you were one of “those” butches who needs to make up for your inadequacies by dominating women. Because that’s what we think, isn’t it? Maybe not consciously, but a little bit, somewhere in our brains, we associate these particular identity alignments – butch equals masculine equals top equals dominating equals men’s prescribed gender role. We’re relieved when they line up how we think they will, or maybe we are challenged and uncomfortable – though perhaps in a stimulated way – when they misalign.
There’s something supposedly anti-feminist about wanting to dominate. There’s something in the feminist rhetoric which says we are all equal especially in bed, so that means I-do-you-you-do-me, or that means we have sex neither above nor below each other, and with no reproduced heteronormative misogynistic patriarchal power dynamic.
But I didn’t want that. I’d had that, with other girlfriends, but it didn’t keep things hot enough to sustain a relationship. And secretly, I wanted to top and control and hit and demean and humiliate and restrain and force and take.
Power dynamic theory—stick with me for just a paragraph here—has many similarities to gender theory. Like the gender identities of butch and femme are not reproductions but pastiche copies at best of prescribed societal gender roles, putting on and taking off power roles in power sex play is a pastiche reproduction of power in our lives, of which there are thousands of examples of interaction on a daily basis. And when we can put on and take off these roles intentionally, the act of adopting becomes further proof that the power positioning in our lives is not inherent, or “real,” or immobile, or prescribed, or “normal,” but part of a hierarchical society of social power that can be deconstructed. In that, we can more easily have more power and control in the beneficial ways, and less power and control in destructive ways, as we play with it and engage with it.
As in my experience with coming to a butch gender identity, when I finally came to a power identity that really deeply aligned with something inside me that just clicked and make sense, I felt like I was coming home to myself in a way I hadn’t experienced previously. Through my personality and tendencies and psychology I have my own set of quirks and workings and functions, and for whatever reason, it makes a lot of sense to me to let out some of my power and control issues in the bedroom by being dominating. It is deeply satisfying the way a glorious meal or a delicious book is satisfying, one of my life’s greatest pleasures. I’m not sure I understand why I like what I like, but what I like does not harm others, and is consensual, and I know myself well enough to accept what I like as what I like – and to let that be a simple truth.
How did this change for me? What happened between the time when I was terrified to slap a girl in the face and today, now, where I am fairly comfortable in my identity as a top, and even as a sadist, as someone who enjoys causing extreme sensation (aka hurting) someone else?
Little by little, I had lovers who pushed me, lovers who were more experienced as bottoms than I was as a top, lovers who wanted more from me and who could take more than I was able to give who made enough space for me to walk into a bigger version of myself and occupy it, try it on.
I did come to a reconciliation with my feminist self and my top self. Phrases like men should not hurt women or rather masculine people should not hurt feminine people, or even more broadly that people should not hit each other and violence is bad bad bad … I had accepted those phrases as Ultimate Truths, and I started to understand deeper the ways that sensation was not violence, and hitting was a way to be sparked into the present moment, to release whatever our musculature was holding onto, and to deepen trust between people and in a relationship.
I didn’t realize how little trust I had in others until I started playing deeper with BDSM. Because I would tell myself, it’s okay, she wants to do it, but then I would think, does she really? Maybe she wants to because I want to. Maybe she wants to because society tells her she should want to. Maybe she wants to for fucked-up reasons, like she thinks it’s okay for her to feel humiliated and less than me because of her own internalized misogyny … but that was me not trusting that what she said was true. That she wanted me to hit her face. And that was me, further controlling both myself, her, and our relationship, in unhealthy ways, because I didn’t trust her.
This was an issue of agency, in feminist terms – my not trusting my lover to communicate with me what she wanted, to explain to me how far I could go, and my not trusting that she would let me know if I was going too far or too hard, either with her physical communication or her words or both, was me not trusting in the agency of my lover. I have to trust that she will tell me, she will let me know, if I am going too far. And I have to listen, apologize, understand what I did, and trust that she will accept that it was an accident, a mistake, and that I’ll do whatever she needs to feel safe again.
When I started playing out my control issues in BDSM, in the bedroom, in sex play, the control issues I had in my relationships began to heal.
In learning my way into being a top, I had many, many conversations about consent and intention and communication, I talked to my lovers when things broke down or didn’t seem to work and I learned more about my own tendencies when things went well. I figured out that sometimes, it was really hard for me to be with someone who bottomed so well, and who I trusted so deeply, that I did harder, scarier, bigger things with them that took me even deeper into my topping and dominance and sadism and power, and sometimes that meant I needed to be comforted afterward, to be told I liked that, and that wasn’t too much, and you didn’t hurt me, and that was what I wanted and thank you. Hearing those things is always a relief.
(I give good aftercare too, of course. But top aftercare is less common in the BDSM world – we don’t frequently talk about the toll it takes for the dominant to dominate.)
I practiced, a lot, to be bold and trusting through my topping. I tried scary things and it turned out they weren’t so scary, they were in fact incredibly hot. I got to know myself, and I learned more about the things I wanted to play with, and I talked to smart people whose experiences were similar to what I was going through and who assured me it was possible to come out the other side of it a masculine, queer, butch, sadistic, feminist top.
Warning: This story contains some references to Daddy/girl, because that is what we usually call each other while playing. The story before the cut is an explanation and example of the three minute game, something the Body Electric School explores in their workshops, and does not contain the specific Daddy/girl words; the Daddy/girl play is behind the cut.
I returned home from LA, from four days with Rife, and I was ecstatic to see Kristen. She picked me up early, early at the airport on the red eye, and we fell back asleep at home for a few hours, made some lunch, talked about what we’d been doing.
In the afternoon, we returned to the bedroom.
I know when I travel it’s best to come back to her sweet and slow, and even more so when I’ve been off seeing my lover. I was turned on (she felt so good in my arms, under my hands, her feminine curves, her sweet soft skin) and had some ideas, but we needed a way to reconnect playfully, slowly, first.
“Want to play the three minute game?” I asked.
“Okay,” she said brightly, smiling like I’d offered to make her favorite meal for dinner. “But remind me of the rules?”
“Each of us gets a turn, and each turn is three minutes, carefully timed. There are two turns, so—four rounds. The first is, ‘this is what I would like to do to you for my pleasure.’ Then, ‘this is what I would like you to do to me for my pleasure.’”
“Got it.” We’ve played before, but only a few times, and the last time didn’t go so well—she’d asked me for some touch around my chest and we both got uncomfortable and had to stop, but neither of us handled it well. I hoped we wouldn’t do that again.
“You go first,” I said (being a top is useful sometimes).
“Alright … for my pleasure, I would like to sit on your lap, and for you to kiss my face and neck and suck on my nipples.”
“Mmm, I’d love to,” I said. “Take off your shirt.” Part of the point is to respond well—with eagerness, or with suggestions of something else related if you are uncomfortable with what they request.
I shifted up to the head of the bed so I could support my back against the wall, and Kristen curled up over my lap. I set the timer on my phone for three minutes.
At first, I barely made contact. I let her feel my breath and nose and the heat of my skin; I closed my eyes and remembered the contours of her jaw and cheek with the tiny invisible hairs on my face. Then I let my lips touch her, just brushing, gently, gently, as light of a touch as I could manage, as slow as I could tolerate. Feeling her weight on my thighs and the curves of her waist and back and spine in my hand made me want her, but I resisted.
I traced her jaw, cheek, throat with my mouth, kissing now, using the soft insides of my lips, keeping my mouth supple. She made that soft mewling moan that slays me and a shiver ran down my spine. I kept going, working that spot on her neck by her earlobe that she loves, then where her neck and shoulders meet, and down to her collarbone. I kissed along the curves of the tops of her breasts, making my way between the cleft of them, down to one nipple and then the other, sucking them into my mouth, teasing gently with my teeth and tongue, suckling, nibbling.
Just as I was getting into it, drawing her closer to me with my arms around her back, burying my face in her, just as she was starting to drop her head back and thrust her tits forward, the timer went off, and we both laughed.
I shifted my position a little and she sat more on the bed than on my lap. I kissed her lips. She said, “It’s your turn.”
“For my pleasure …” I swallowed. “I would like you to kiss my feet.” We’ve played with this a little. It is only recently that I have admitted how much I like it—to myself and others—enough to actually experiment with the sensation. It makes me nervous to ask for. But that is partly what this game is for, and it’s only three minutes. I can do just about anything for three minutes.
She nodded, looked at me a little coyly, chin down eyes up lips parted, and said, “And suck your toes?”
My breath caught. “Yes,” I think I managed to say. I think it was audible. So nervous. And it’s something that I wanted to feel, so much.
I set the timer again and she slid down the bed on her belly to take my right foot in her hands and deliver a sprinkling of kisses along the top of it. She ran her tongue along the instep, the most sensitive part, and sucked gently with her lips. She tongued the crease between my big toe and second toe before sliding the larger into her mouth.
I groaned. It is so vulnerable and makes me so nervous to give over, to feel her mouth in that way. The sensation is so close to tickling but is ecstatic, and so close to getting my cock sucked but is very different. She worked her mouth over all the crevices she could reach. She sucked and licked, moving her tongue up and down, holding my heel and ankle in her hands.
Then she switched to my other foot.
(It is so hard to write about this! And words like toes and foot seem so inherently unsexy, somehow—but I know the feeling absolutely turns me on. I don’t think I’ve written about it here before. I don’t know if I want to, except that I like to challenge myself to make myself vulnerable, to Kristen and to myself and in this writing project, and this feels very edgy.)
Those three minutes felt like an hour. I lost myself in the sensation, but I didn’t lose my body: moreso the opposite. I felt my whole self down to each toe, where so much stimulation was concentrated. I felt my cock quiver and my nipples harden and my throat go dry as I tried to swallow. I watched her mouth move and lips darken with blood and sensation and she smiled and giggled a little as she showed me what she could do. My eyes rolled back. My wrists went slack. I almost begged for her to stop, almost begged for more. I was overwhelmed and ecstatic and so turned on.
The timer went off and I breathed out, both a sigh of relief and disappointment that it was over. “For your pleasure, what would you like to do to me?” I asked.
She rose to her hands and knees and crawled forward toward me on the bed. “I would like to suck your cock.”
“Mmmm, gladly,” I said, and swung my legs over the side of the bed. “Give me just a minute to put it on.” I slid my jeans and briefs off, tossed my tee shirt into the laundry basket, pulled on my cock and harness from the small jersey bag I tend to keep it in, and returned back to the bed. She crawled over me. I barely had time to restart the timer before she had my cock in her mouth, tongue eager again, her lips soft and sucking me down. It’s a big cock, the Maverick, my favorite one, the one I use only with her.
She’s still warming up, but I want to push her. Read More
Kristen and I attended the Lammys on Monday night, the Lambda Literary Awards ceremony to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature. I’ve attended the past four years and while neither book that I edited was a finalist this year, I hope Say Please will be next year!
And, in addition to attending and being a judge, which I was last year also, I presented the erotica category with Emmanuel Xavier, and got to rip open the envelope and pronounce the winner of the Gay Erotica category. There were beautiful speeches by Kate Millet and Armistead Maupin, who were awarded the lifetime achievement award, and by Stacey D’Erasmo (one of my favorite writers ever) for the mid-career award. I was thrilled to celebrate Tristan Taormino’s anthology Take Me There, which I have a story in, that took home the Lammy for Transgender Fiction, and I was sad to see Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme not win.
Some notable winners:
- Lesbian Debut Fiction: Zipper Mouth, by Laurie Weeks, The Feminist Press
- Lesbian Fiction: Six Metres of Pavement, by Farzana Doctor, Dundrun Press
- Lesbian Memoir/Biography: When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love & Revolution, Jeanne Córdova, Spinsters Ink
- LGBT Drama: A Menopausal Gentleman: The Solo Performances of Peggy Shaw, by Peggy Shaw, University of Michigan Press
- LGBT Nonfiction: A Queer History of the United States, by Michael Bronski, Beacon Press
- LGBT Studies: Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscapes, by Lisa L. Moore, University of Minnesota Press; Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality, by Margot Weiss, Duke University Press (was a finalist but didn’t win, but I am going to look this one up)
- Transgender Fiction: Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, ed. by Tristan Taormino, Cleis Press
- Transgender Nonfiction: Tango: My Childhood Backwards and in High Heels, by Justin Vivian Bond, The Feminist Press
- Lesbian Erotica: Story of L, by Debra Hyde, Ravenous Romance
- Lesbian Poetry: Love Cake, by Leah Lakshmi Piepza-Samarasinha, TSAR Publications
I tossed ‘em into my Amazon store if you’d like to sort through them over there:
I am really excited to read these. I’m thinking I might make it a Lammy summer and just go for it. I’m definitely going to send this list to my book group and see what interests them.
It felt a little different this year … it was sold out, I think there were more people in attendance, and I think there were more trans folks, genderqueer folks, and people of color than I’ve seen at previous Lammy ceremonies. I hope that’s true. It also seems like the Lammys are getting way more press than they used to. The first year I attended, I went online after to confirm my notes and couldn’t find any article covering it from any publication, and now there are quite a few online publications covering them. They have definitely stepped it up and it seems to be paying off.
As a former bookseller, they have always been on my radar, but I think they are getting a little more widely noticed. Or maybe I’m just more and more involved in the queer literary scene? That could be true too. Regardless, I had a fantastic time, it was great to run into friends and to meet authors I didn’t know of before.
Here’s a full list of the winners, and I’ll keep an eye out in case they post more photos.