There have been so many things going on with Kristen for the last few months, and I’ve been doing so much traveling, that I haven’t quite had the time or focus to put this up, but I’ve meant to since September.
In September, Rife and I celebrated one year together.
Clockwise from top: Picking raspberries near Summer Camp in September; surviving the Fusion hurricane at Ramblewood in the barn; playing guitar in the hammock at Summer Camp; looking at jacaranda flowers in LA in May; one of the first shots he sent me in January of this year when I told him I took boxing lessons.
We now have a formal contract about our D/s and power dynamics, and I’ve been really enjoying how that has pushed me as a Dominant to keep exploring, to get in touch with what I want, what would feel good for me, what I may need at any given moment, which, as much as it may seem like being the top or dom or daddy forces me to be in touch with that, it’s really easy for me to get caught up in being more of a service top, doing things for the other person, doing things I know they like, focusing on them and their pleasure. Especially because I still identify pretty strongly as stone.
He and I have seen each other almost a dozen times in the last year—our visit for our anniversary at Summer Camp in September was #10, and this visit in Houston is #11. Things keep deepening in beautiful ways, and he and Kristen are friends and metamours, and I feel incredibly lucky and blessed. He’s added so much to my life and sense of self and my style of topping and dominanting, and he’s so much fun to play with, so easy to be around.
As much as it is incredibly difficult to be in an open relationship, I don’t know if I could close it again and be monogamous—at least, not at this point in my life—and I’m so grateful to be exploring with both Kristen and Rife. This summer and fall have been incredibly difficult for me emotionally, and they have both been so important as I’m trying to navigate these surges of emotions and difficult readjustments in my family of origin. I’m trying to keep bringing my love and compassion back to Kristen, too, as she keeps deepening and exploring with other people. I’m so grateful to have survived this past year, to have learned all that I’ve learned, to be moving through it deeper.
And I’m so grateful to have this sexy leatherboy submissive creature who does things like bend a coat hanger into a long U shape or strip the thorns off of a branch and then put them into my hands and say, “please.”
Happy anniversary, my sweet boy. I’m very excited to see what our second year will bring.
I’ve been in Dallas with Kristen’s family for the last few days for the Thanksgiving holiday. We did a Dirty Queer Sex Tour reading on Tuesday that Lillith Grey helped put together, which was fantastic—it is so fascinating to me how each of the Dirty Queer Sex Tour stops have been so different. I think (hope aim for) it reflects the local culture well, which is great, because as much as I’d love to introduce the Say Please book around to all the different folks who might be interested in it in all the different cities, the cultures of BDSM and queerness are actually slightly varied depending on where you are. Having interacted with those cultures primarily on the internet for the last oh, fifteen or eighteen years, I didn’t really know that until I started touring more. And when I go around and visit colleges in various different cities, I get a small taste of local culture, but usually it’s more like the local college culture, which isn’t quite the same.
I wish I could explain how each of the readings were different, but it’s hard to put my finger on it exactly. Sometimes it seems like one is more butch/femme, one is more genderqueer, one is younger, one is old school, one is more trans focused, one is darker in material and content, but I also don’t really want to generalize that specifically about identities, because I don’t really need to draw the conclusions that therefore the city that that reading was in is therefore more trans or genderqueer or butch/femme. But the differences have been big, and are really interesting.
This particular reading was at VerLes, and they have a really great selection of leather goods and whips and percussion toys that I kept fingering and coveting while I was there. We did a giveaway for a beautiful photograph from one of the readers, CR Kirven, and a dirty cross stitch that Lillith made, and a copy of the book, and a few other goodies, and it was a blast.
Lillith and her partner Synn (who is the 2012 International Ms Leather!) took us around to the Dallas Eagle and to the Round-Up, which was a gay boy bar (with very mixed company) that has two stepping and line dancing pretty much every night. Kristen and I don’t really know how to two step (though I did okay following while Synn led, and I led Kristen around the floor in a circle at least once), but we have taken some east coast swing and it was so incredibly fun. She and Lillith and some of their friends also had so much fun line dancing. I did a few songs—but when they get really complicated, it’s so hard to keep up. We vowed to go out to Big Apple Ranch more frequently.
Oh and speaking of IMsL—it’s official, and I can announce it now: I’m going to be a judge for the 2013 International Ms. Leather contest! So I’ll be in San Francisco in April 2013. 2012 was the first year I attended, and it was very memorable and fun, and I definitely felt like the folks there were my people. I’m really looking forward to meeting more of the folks who make the contest run and to seeing behind the scenes a little bit—always my favorite way to see an event.
Kristen and I did a lot of other things in Dallas, aside from hang out with her family and eat delicious food, like go around to Kristen’s old haunts, her favorite restaurants, her high school, her old house. It was great to see where she came from. I love having a sense of a city. We rented this little zippy car, some Volvo sports car that I didn’t even know existed, not that I’m really a car person, and it was so fun to drive. Driving around a city gives me a much better sense of it and I loved that I got to experience it.
I didn’t get any gigs in Dallas, aside from the Dirty Queer Sex reading, but maybe I will get some interest from some of the local colleges and come back another time.
Kristen and I are better. Things have improved since that big explosion and I think that couple’s therapist will be helpful. I’ve been containing my feelings much more, haven’t been lashing out, haven’t been quite so wildly all over the map with my feelings. Or rather, I have still been, but I haven’t been showing it as much. This is not quite the same as bottling them up—it’s more like, I know that bringing things up to Kristen doesn’t result in greater understandings right now. I’m making note of things that are difficult or upsetting, and trying to breathe through it and put it aside at the moment, and work through it later with the couple’s therapist or some other moderator because Kristen and I can’t seem to get out of our patterns well enough to actually discuss things to a healing conclusion lately. It’s not a long term solution, this lack of sharing, but it is a temporary solution, and the most important thing right now is to stop fighting. It does seem to help to just not share my feelings—and to not talk about the other people that she’s dating. There are still some issues here, things I don’t know how to resolve, but our couple’s therapist basically said that right now isn’t the time to resolve them, isn’t the time to go into the deep patterns and try to rewire them, because we’re both feeling so defensive and attacked, both feeling pretty wounded, so we need some time to just be with each other and be kind and take time to do things that feel good before we can get to a place where we have enough energy and patience and flexibility to do more excavating and fixing of the patterns and ruts that we’ve developed.
I still don’t know where that will bring us, ultimately. But I am trying to breathe and focus on the “healing power of pleasure,” which is one of the core Tantra principles. I keep asking myself, and Kristen, whenever we are stressed or overwhelmed with all these emotions: What would feel pleasurable for your body right now? I think that focus has been helping us relax and enjoy each other.
I’m in Houston now, and I’ll be visiting Rice University on Thursday, but aside from that I’m visiting with Rife. We’re outside of the city actually, on his family’s ranch, and at the moment, he and his dog are out doing something with the horses, a little practice training, it looks like. I’m sitting in the very pleasant breeze looking out onto a pasture with beautiful old trees and a wind chime nearby. I have a cup of coffee and my pen and notebook and my computer (and wifi!), and the only things on my agenda today are some hours of work, some reading, some walking around this beautiful land, some play with Rife, some good food, some stargazing later if it’s clear. The more time I spend away from cities, the less I seek to go back to a city. I love the grass under my bare feet, love the sounds of the wind in the trees and the birds and the chimes. I’m soaking up as much of it as I can.
Featuring readers from the SAY PLEASE: LESBIAN BDSM EROTICA, and many special guests! Performers include Cheyenne Cartwright, Lillith Grey, Morgan la Fae, C.D. Kirven, Kasson Marroquin, and Artemis Rose. Hosted by Lillith Grey, burlesque dancer and event producer, 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.
Sinclair Sexsmith has been writing online since 1996 about identity, queer culture, feminism, and self-awareness, and teaches workshops on BDSM, gender, and getting the sex life you want. They produce the award-winning website Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at sugarbutch.net. Contributing to more than fifteen anthologies, including five Best Lesbian Erotica editions, Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, and Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, Mr. Sexsmith is also on the board of the upcoming 2013 BUTCH Voices conference, and serves the Body Electric School as a coordinator. They are the guest editor of Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 and editor of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, both from Cleis Press. More information about their events, workshops, and projects at mrsexsmith.com.
CHECK OUT THE READERS …
Cheyenne Cartwright is a novelist and adult entertainer. Former professor, current featured contributor for Queereka.com, comedienne and educator. Wears many hats, but only metaphorical ones, so as not to muss her hair.
As an educator, activist, musician, and artist, most of Lillith Grey’s time is divided between teaching, studying, and sewing sequins. She produces Dallas’s annual “Fuck Valentine’s Day” party as well as the queer variety show Panty Raid, and is the regular host of Dallas’s premiere drag king show, Mustache Envy. She performs frequently as an emcee, burlesque dancer, and fetish performer, and is one half of the cabaret-style music duo Sister Alice. In addition to her work as an entertainer, she holds two graduate degrees (and working on a third) and teaches at the university level, including courses in women’s studies, psychology, social work, and American Sign Language. You can find her at www.LillithGrey.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Healthy individual, lying beyond the borderlands and bounds of society, Morgan la Fae is alien. Alienation, being requisite of those old in soul and living in truth. As priestess, stripped of social graces and delusion, my essence lay bare. In worship of the snake haired queen, I join symbols feared by the spiritually contained. In truth, I embody sacred feminine sexuality, magic, darkness, and power. Women of the women’s movement, male Queens of Stone Wall, Black oceans fighting for civil rights, seers of truth, and bearers of the snake, we are joined by the beauty of all that is feminine and dark. Eyes of truth, I am devoted to she. In fiery love and unquenchable passion, I am Kali and Dionysus, screaming in mad hysteria as I dance through the chaos left in wake of unending need, desire, and longing. Beauty and vanity, my virtues as center attraction; I am Isolt of undying love and Pele of divine passion. See me!
C.D. Kirven (Chastity Kirven) was born in Waco and raised in Dallas, Texas. At age of sixteen Kirven wrote an article about corporal punishment which went over the AP wire and generated enough interest ultimately led to the restriction of its use in Texas public schools. Kirven graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a B.A. in Communications. As Outreach Coordinator, she assisted with saving a local food pantry program that serviced 3,000 homeless HIV patients. Kirven was a founding board member of DFW Pride Movement (The official Black Gay Pride organization) and was one of the ENDA 4 arrested in Speaker Pelosi’s DC office with Get Equal. A nationally-known artist, her artwork appeared at the Butch Voices Conference & was featured in the December 2009 issue of Curve Magazine. Her artwork was also featured in the ART AS A WEAPON exhibit held by Smoke & Mirrors Gallery in Dallas, Texas. Kirven is also well known drag king performer a*k*a Jamie Fauxx and performs for LGBT youth charities across the country. Kirven created the first GLBT cell phone documentary, about same sex intimate partner abuse, called The Dark Side of the Rainbow, which was featured at several film festivals around the country. Kirven also created the first Black lesbian superhero comic book series called: “The TAO Diaries”. Kirven’s motto: “Love life & it will love you back!”
Normally you would see Kasson Marroquin performing drag as Jake St. James with Mustache Envy and Panty Raid, so he’s excited to be branching out to try something new with such a talented group of people. No stranger to the stage in any capacity, he works as a freelance stage manager, electrician, and general technician for theaters through out Dallas. Whether performing, producing, or working tech on a production, Kasson is happiest when he’s among like-minded creative people.
Artemis Rose is a 3rd year undergraduate student double-majoring in Anthropology and Women’s & Gender Studies at Southern Methodist University where Mx. Rose is interested in feminist and queer theories. With v’s debut in Dallas’ queer vaudeville show, the Panty Raid, v is just beginning her pursuit in drag and spoken word, and hopes to move towards a performance art that confronts matters of sexuality, gender, race, etc. When not under towering stacks of notes, books, and articles, Mx. Rose likes long walks on the beach, Dr. Who, and vegan burgers.
Joey, my barber and the owner of Tomcats Barber Shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, took this shot of me on Friday after he gave me a shape-up (apparently that’s the word for a trim). They do classic and retro cuts primarily, though they have a whole bunch of new barbers there these days that do just about anything you could want. Kristen just got her hair colored and cut there and it’s darker and very pinup.
It always makes me feel better to get a good haircut. Thanks, Joey.
So I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled relationship processing to tell you what I’m doing in November. I’ve got a whole lot of gigs planned, and it means a lot to me when you readers come out and show up and support when I’m on the road. (I could especially use that right now!)
When was the last time I did one of these calendars? Man it’s been a while. It’s been a rough summer, and fall. I’m glad to be doing more gigs. I’m still booking things in the spring and I’d love to come visit your town!
Events with Mr. Sexsmith
Wednesday, 14 November
Radical & Responsible Gender workshop. Academics break down gender- how does one adapt masculinity or femininity “positively”? Come to this interactive workshop to gain a better sense of how to push the limitations of gender restrictions that are hurtful and traumatizing, and how to create and support positive embodiments of gender roles. Dinner will be provided!
LGBT-CRC at 6-8pm, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Thursday, 15 November
Queer Stories: Writing Ourselves into Existence. Traditional publishing through books, magazines, and literary journals have typically excluded gay stories, characters, revelations, and identity development. Navigating the world of literature can be extremely othering as a queer person attempting to write about queer lives, constantly being questioned for our cultural representations in writing. But Judy Shepard continues to say that coming out is the most important thing we can do, that indeed it is a political act, which encourages and advocates for visibility. Telling our stories is one way to make ourselves visible. Come to this interactive writing workshop and learn about the history of queer stories, what the queer story looks like, alternate forms of publishing such as chapbooks and blogs, and begin to form your own queer story. Bring paper and a writing utensil, please!
Time & place TBA. Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Fucking Forever: Sex in Long Term Relationships. New relationship energy can propel a couple into a phenomenal experiential phase of sexual energy—bursts of passion, exploration, and intensity. Long term relationships, however, face the day-to-day life navigation of bills, scheduling, job and career difficulties or changes, disappointments, changes, and grief. How do we build a long term relationship that keeps the passion alive? How do we ensure we have enough time for our partner(s), and for ourselves? How do we both separate from our partner to have our own rich inner life and come back together to build a loving bond? And what kind of kinky play can be used to keep the fire going? We’ll explore all of these concepts and more at this interactive workshop.
$20 non members, $15 members.
8pm, LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St., New York, NY
Tuesday, 20 November
Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Dallas! Readers TBA, but include Sinclair Sexsmith & Lillith Grey. RSVP on Facebook
VerLes, Dallas, TX
Thursday, 29 November
101 Introduction to the the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality class
9:25am, Rice University, Houston, TX
Getting the Sex Life You Want workshop
The Montrose Center, Houston, TX
I’m booking gigs for the spring (February through May)! And I have all sorts of exciting new workshops I’m offering. Want to bring me to your college or university or local bookstore or sex toy shop? I’d love to visit! Things that are important to know!
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.)
Love is generous. Love is incomparable.
Love is not quantifiable, but
we put numbers and words to it anyway,
because that is our nature, to strive
to express the unexpressable. Love
is letting go. Love is holding
gently. Love is allowance, gratitude,
cheerleading. Love is fluidity, not
rigidity. Love is dishing and sharing
excitement. Love is knowing
no one person is your everything. Love
is persistence and patience and
reassurance. Love is sincere apologies
and fucking up and knowing
you have the space to fuck it up again,
and knowing you have even more space
and support and tools and skills
to try harder. Love is lonely, sometimes,
because you have room to be alone. Love
is smothering, sometimes, because
you have desire to be close. Love is
coming together and going apart
a thousand times a day. Love is learning
to recognize the difference. Love is
asking for what you want. Love is
practicing to be bold and courageous,
sometimes, when we can. Love is
curled under the covers when
refuge is needed. Love is gross
and body fluids and waste and
old moldy salsa jars in the fridge.
Love is the light through the east
window just right on a winter afternoon.
Love is wrestling with deep contradictory
truths. Love is feeling the fear
and doing it anyway. Love is reconciling
daily, sometimes hourly. Love is a golden
bubble bath and a white washcloth
that smells like jasmine. Love is
making a special trip to the store
for eggs and cheese and root beer
and coming back to find no one home.
Love is checking in twice. Love is not
having to explain every feeling or
misunderstanding. Love is planting
and not knowing what will come up,
what will blossom,
what will bloom. Love
is trying anyway. Love is risk.
Love is undefend,
Love is asking yourself if this
is an act of war or an act of
god. Love is self-soothing
and taking on the world, sometimes
for more than just yourself.
Love is crying alone. Love
is determination. Love is possible—
it has to be,
I chose to believe that it is.