Archive for September, 2012
Kristen is cooking some sort of interesting cauliflower pasta dish, and I’m trying to get some work done now that I’ve returned from two (more) weeks of traveling. I am sorting through the Ask Me Anything questions, thinking about what new video answer Kristen and I could do, and I came across this:
“Hi Sinclair! This isn’t so much a question as a suggestion. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years, and really enjoy it. Given your tastes in music, I feel like you might like an Australian singer-songwriter called Mojo Juju, if you haven’t already heard of her. She’s just released a new solo album (self-titled) that I think you’d be really into. Here’s a link to her myspace profile: http://www.myspace.com/mjjjmusic
Anyway, check her out and see what you think!” —Darcy
So of course I go check it out—and, whoa. Mojo Juju, I’m a fan.
“Smooth, shiny & loaded with sin. The kind of music that could make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window. Mojo Juju sings songs that sound just like that night you can’t quite remember, in that bar you swear you weren’t at, with that girl you promise you’ve never met.”
Yes yes yes.
Looks like she (is that their preferred pronoun?) is from Australia and on tour down there currently, but no dates in the States yet. Her self-titled album was released September 14th (I downloaded it immediately). More info on her over on Facebook.com/mojojujumusic. Check out her other videos, too, including covers of Billy Jean and Papa Don’t Preach, which I totally dig.
This is just what I need to distract me from doing a demo at midnight-thirty. (I mean seriously, do I think I’m 23? I can’t stay up that late.) (Performance anxiety? What performance anxiety?)
Have you ever been to the Submit play party? It’s a women and trans only play party monthly in Brooklyn at an undisclosed dungeon which has all sorts of great equipment, from cages to saint andrews crosses to a medical table to saw horses. There’s a social room and a bootblacking station and lots of gender-neutral bathrooms nooks and crannies if you want a little privacy and a swing and condoms and lube in every room.
I don’t go monthly, but I go often, and Kristen and I have had many great scenes there in the past (almost) four years we’ve been together. Red, the butch who runs it, is a good friend of mine and I love how they keep the space warm, welcoming, and monitored.
This week, Red asked if Kristen and I would do the demo. Usually there’s some sort of demo at 12:30am (last time we went there was a cutting demo, which was beautiful), and this time, we’ll be doing Power Blow Jobs. I don’t have a formal description for the demo, which will only be 20-30 minutes long, and more about a demonstration than about a formal class on technique, though we’ll both be piping in to talk about what we’re doing and give some tips. Or at least I will, Kristen will probably have her mouth full. Just kidding—her perspective is really valuable here and I’m looking forward to hearing what she has to say, actually, since often I’m the one talking about my experience.
It’s also been fun to, ahem, practice this week, leading up to it.
Women & trans folks only
September 29th, Saturday, 10 – 3 am (doors close at 2 am)
$15 bucks before midnight, $20 after
RSVP on Fetlife & pre-cruise who’ll be there
for exact location call 718.789.4053 or email Red@submitparty.com
So hey, maybe we’ll see you there?
I’m going to Toronto!
I’m still working out the exact dates, but it looks like Kristen and I will be there October 5-10. I’ll be doing a few exciting things, including attending and presenting at Unholy Harvest, and hopefully getting a little tour of Aslan Leather, and seeing some friends.
Come see me! Here’s the details.
First of all, I still need readers for the Dirty Queer Sex night at Glad Day books! So, hey Toronto! I edited a dirty smutty queer book called Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, and I’m doing a book launch in Toronto on October 9th at Glad Day Books. I’m looking for queers of any stripes to read kinky queer stories—preferably stories they have penned. The dirtier the better! Readings should be 7-10 minutes. Email email@example.com with a sample of your writing ASAP. More details about the book: http://saypleasebook.wordpress.com
Where I’ll Be
Saturday, October 6th, 10-11:30am
Many of us have experience with strapping on, packing, and playing, but there are lots of new products out there on the market that might be exciting and that you haven’t encountered yet. Writer and sex educator Sinclair Sexsmith talk about what cocks are good for packing, what options are out there for pack-and-play, which harnesses are the most loved, and which to avoid. Plus, she’ll delve into some cock confidence, getting into the psychology of penetration, and discussing what it’s like to shoot from the hip. Come get the nuts and bolts of strapping it on and fucking. You’ll learn about positions and lube, how different products work, what “cock confidence” means, and the psychology behind strapping on and playing with a cock with a partner, or with oneself.
A night of DIRTY QUEER SEX!
Featuring readers from the SAY PLEASE: LESBIAN BDSM EROTICA, and many special guests! Performers include Andrea Zanin and other sexy queers TBA. Hosted by Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.
In Say Please, 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.
Everyone loves a bad boy: they know what they want, and they take it … and probably ride away on a motorcycle afterwards. But how can you be a bad boy without being an asshole? How do you practice that potent combination of masculinity and dominance without misogyny or internalized homophobia and with respect for women? How can you enhance your dominance in consensual, loving ways? On the flip side, how can you bring that dominant side out of someone who may be nervous to let it emerge? How do you become – or find – the bad boy of your dreams? Learn from a pro: Sinclair Sexsmith, kinky queer butch top who’s been writing about dominance since 2006, will teach you how to get what you want.
I’m starting to work out my fall schedule … more details about that soon, I hope. You can always follow the newest news about my travel schedule at mrsexsmith.com/appearances.
Thanks for all the great book recommendations and thoughts in the Gaga Feminism interview blog tour thread, folks.
Someone commented, “I’m just kind of surprised with all the thinking you do on gender studies and feminism you are uncritically endorsing gaga feminism.” I’m not sure I’d say I am “uncritically endorsing” gaga feminism—but I did like reading the book, I think there was a lot of interesting content, and a lot of things to think about and chew on. I’m not sure I agree with everything in the book—but hell, I don’t agree with everything I wrote on this website. I don’t think that I have to agree with everything. I still think it was worth reading and interesting, especially the parts about how gender studies and feminist thought are evolving to include a less binaristic view of gender, the indicators of that in popular culture, and how we as queers and genderqueers and other outlaws can continue to encourage that binaristic breakdown.
I’m not a theorist, so I’m not going to go through the whole book and write up the parts I think need broken down further or that I disagree with. It’s kind of an interesting intellectual exercise to do so, but frankly, I don’t have time. I’d rather be having kinky scenes that I can write about later, or writing love letters, or planning for my next classes.
So! Hey, there is a winner of the giveaway …
Congrats Emily! Thanks, Beacon Press, for providing the books.
I—like, I suspect, many of you—was first introduced to Jack Halberstam’s work in college, where I read Female Masculinity in a gender studies class. Jack’s work has been largely influential on the gender binary critiques and to many people that I have studied and read since, and of course influential on my own ideas about gender and performance and masculinities too.
And, he’s got a new book out! The book is called Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal and it’s published by Beacon Press, officially released yesterday, September 18th. It’s an incredibly readable book—like Jack said in my interview with him for Lambda Literary Foundation earlier this year, it’s on an unacademic press and intended for a wider audience. So even if you’re not a theory buff—and I’m not, though I do love theory—it’s a very good read.
A Few Quick Questions for Jack Halberstam
(It’s intimidating to interview one of your mentors! Thanks Jack!)
1. When you discuss the concept of “gaga feminism,” which you say is a feminism “that recognizes multiple genders, that contributes to the collapse of our current sex-gender systems, [and is] a feminism less concerned with the equality of men and women and more interested in the abolition of these terms as such,” (p25), I find myself identifying deeply. I run in many communities which are more invested in that than in the analyzation of the male-female binary, and often feel disillusioned with the mainstream feminism movements which have less concepts of breaking down the system and more that seem to maintain it. How can gaga feminism help queers and genderqueers and other marginalized communities get our message farther into the mainstream, to continue to influence the larger culture? What barriers keep our gaga feminist perceptions of gender from reaching the mainstream, and do you have any suggestions for how to continue the activism of working to break down those barriers?
Great questions Sinclair! As you say, it is frustrating to see so many people acting as if male and female are totally stable categories and as if all the changes in technology, in social formations, in sexual identities and in the visibility of queer bodies have made no difference whatsoever! I hoped and still hope that GAGA FEMINISM would have some appeal as a more mainstream and readable book and that it would be able to circulate complex ideas about sex, gender and fast-changing technologies of gender in an accessible and fun way. That said, there have been a few books out recently like How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, The End of Men by Hanna Rosin and Marry Him by Lori Gottlieb that purport to be feminist analyses of men, women, marriage, work, love and family but actually they mostly shuffle around the same old cliches about hetero reproduction and hope for the best. GAGA FEMINISM begins with the premise of taking a longer tradition of anti-marriage, anti-capitalist feminism seriously and joining it to new queer theory and queer forms of life.
2. I loved your writings about The Kids Are All Right (which start on p54). I enjoyed that film quite a lot and have had many elaborate conversations about its construction, but you articulated some new things I hadn’t heard. I am especially curious about what you said about depictions of relatively sexless long term (lesbian) relationships, as I have been theorizing a lot lately about keeping the spark going in a long term commitment. You’ve been with your partner for many years now—do you have any tips or suggestions about staying sexually connected and satisfied while building something long term?
Well, my point there was that straight culture likes the idea that lesbian long-term relationships are more prone to “fizzle out” that others because women are the kindling rather than the spark when it comes to romance…pardon the metaphor but you get my point. Heterosexual mainstream conversations about desire love to depict women as the ones who create an environment for love and romance and men as the ones who set the whole thing on fire. For this reason, when you have two women, the old narrative goes, you have a lot of love and cuddling but no real…spark! So, The Kids Are All Right feeds into that narrative and assigns all the sexual energy to the sperm donor dad. But that was just one of many reasons I found the film disappointing. As for tips on staying sexually connected etc…sorry dude, I am a terrible advice columnist!!
3. You talk quite a bit about butches and butchness in this book (p86). I do a lot of organizing around butch identity and community, including some work for the BUTCH Voices conferences (and of course your book Female Masculinity has been a huge influence on my understandings of genders). You mention the concept of stone and melting the stone in particular, which is something that I discuss and think about often. I tend to define stone as “having control over how one’s body is touched,” which is not quite the same as impenetrable or not ever receiving sexual pleasure or stimulation. Have you noticed that the caricature of stone butches as “rigid or immobile or frozen” (p86) has changed as we are entering an age of gaga feminism, with more depth of understanding and multiplicity in our definitions of gender roles in general? How can we continue to break down those frozen stereotypes and build something unique and open, with more room for people to be expressing themselves authentically and not feeling stuck in limitations of labels?
Yeah, definitely. I was just using the example of the stone butch in GAGA FEMINISM in order to say that we assign pathological narratives to masculine behavior when it appears in the butch (inflexibility or impenetrability becomes neurotic) but not when it appears in a man. If the man does not want to be penetrated, then he is, well, normal! And in fact, if he does want to be penetrated, then he is suspect. I think GAGA FEMINISM is about recognizing the rapidly generated new forms of desire, embodiment, orientation that proliferate all around us and developing new systems for naming them, owning them and inhabiting them.
J. JACK HALBERSTAM is the author of four books, including Female Masculinity and The Queer Art of Failure. Currently a professor of American studies and of ethnicity and gender studies at the University of Southern California, Halberstam regularly speaks and writes on queer culture and gender issues and blogs at BullyBloggers.
Giveaway! I have one copy for one lucky commenter …
Thanks to Beacon Press, I’ve got an extra copy of Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal to give away. I’ll pick a number at random on Monday, the 24th of September, and the corresponding commenter will get the copy.
In order to enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me one influential book you’ve read about feminism, or one book about gender, or something you love about Jack Halberstam, or something else entirely. Make sure you leave a valid email address; anyone can enter. I prefer to mail the book to someone in the US, because I’ll be paying for postage—so if you are outside the US, I might ask you to kick me a few bucks to cover the cost of mailing you the book.
Tomorrow’s Gaga Feminism Blog Tour post will be at The Qu—check it out.
Gaga Feminism was sent to me from Beacon Press to review. Thanks Beacon! Pick up your own copy at your local feminist queer bookstore, or, if you must, from Amazon.
Photographer Bill Wadman has taken numerous shots of me in the last few years. Most recently and notably, he took the photo of me against the brick wall with the black and red flogger that I’ve been using as my avatar on most sites. He also took the shot of me shaving Kristen’s legs with a pink razor in the claw-foot bathtub with my sleeves rolled up.
He came over yesterday to take some more shots of me, partly for my upcoming fall and spring 2012-2013 travel promotions, and he wanted to take some Avedon-inspired shots up on my roof against a white backdrop. These are the best of the best results, and I think they are amazing. There are a few more of me in front of my gender/queer bookshelves; those will be in the PDFs that go out to colleges next week.
Thank you, Bill!
This story contains Daddy/girl language, rough sex, and lots of body fluids. This has been your trigger warning.
“Will you pause it for a minute? I have to pee.”
Kristen gets up from the couch and I grab for the remote, hitting pause on the second porn flick we turned on tonight. We’d shared a bottle of wine. I knew she was bleeding, since earlier in the first film, unimpressed by one of the girl’s one-finger banging techniques, I shoved three into her to illustrate that cunts can take more.
Well, maybe not all cunts. But hers, obviously.
She was wet, and moaned a little, making a little mewl of protest when I slipped them out. My fingers came away with just a little blood and I wiped them on her leg. Read More
Oh, San Francisco.
Why you gotta be so cool? I am having trouble enough keeping our relationship long-distance. And now, this …
I can’t be there this time, but please, please, go for me and have an amazing time.
Beauty and the BUTCH: A 2012 BUTCH Voices Benefit
You are invited to indulge in an evening of deliciously BUTCH revelry… Bask in the decadent sights, bold sounds and the brilliant energy of everything BEAUTIFULLY BUTCH*! The mystique and myth are nothing compared to the raw beauty of butch truth…
Saturday September 15th, 2012
7:00pm – Midnight
at The City of Refuge UCC
1025 Howard Street – SF CA
$5-15 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds
7:00pm – Doors Open
7:30pm – Butch Briefs Part Deux – a Mini Film Festival
8:00pm – Beauty and the Butch Live Performances and Fashion Show
9:00pm – Butch Ball with DJs JacATac, Black and Ryan
FOR ADVANCED TICKETS
RSVP HERE: http://beautyandthebutch.eventbrite.com/
BUTCH ATTIRE defies simple elegance… we have a swagger all our own that many have tried to duplicate but few have achieved
BUTCH ART breathes a magnificently unique masculine
mixture of the sacred and the profane into what is much more than a label… it is an experience
BUTCH MUSIC gives us all permission to dig deep into our spirits and howl our TRUTH, our TENDERNESS, our unabashed BRAVERY and our brash movement without boundaries! Read More