The Great Reader Mini-Interview, part 1: National Fisting Day, embracing gender complexities, and more

October 16, 2013  |  miscellany

Oh hey there! I’m writing this from my sister’s house in Brooklyn, where I’m staying while I’m doing a couple of workshops for colleges this week. It’s been an incredible whirlwind lately, with college touring season starting and the Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic workshop that happened in Oakland this past weekend. (It was incredible. You should’ve been there. Really.)

I love fall. I love fall everywhere, but fall in New York City is especially special. It’s stunning. The colors the trees the air crackling the people, the scarves! The coats! The boots! People are so well-dressed here. Honestly I miss the east coast “look” over in the Bay Area. (Granted, I’m mostly in Oakland, but the California / Pacific Northwest Casual look isn’t my favorite style.)

It’s the end of day 2 in New York, my first return since I left in April, and I’m starting to feel that deep New York exhaustion. I bought inserts for my boots. I keep taking off my leather jacket because it’s not really real leather (shhh) and the mostly-plastic of it is awful for the humidity that doesn’t allow my body to breathe. My skin sweats in the leather and smells musty when I take it off.

But, I took my sister’s big oaf dog to the park today, collected some fallen red leaves with bright veins, took some photographs, plotted out my Best! Sex! Ever! workshop for some cool queers at NYU and then hung out with them while we talked about what that might mean and look like, what really good sex is, what the barriers are to getting really good sex. And then we had a giveaway for some Pink & White queer porn DVDs.

I really like my job.

But! That’s not why I’m writing you. I’m writing to post the beginnings of the Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013.

I got 74 mini-interviews in response to that call. SEVENTY FOUR. Thank you, each of you, each of you seventy four people, for taking the time, for spending a few minutes and filling that out. I read each one as they came into my inbox. I laughed. I teared up. I was moved and touched and said, “really? Really??” at some of the praise about my work. I wrote notes about resources. I’m excited to share them with you.

And, as that many came into my handy-dandy google doc spreadsheet, I wasn’t sure how I was going to post them. 74 individual posts? Two a day for thirty seven days? That seems overwhelming and like I’d be flooding my site unnecessarily. Post ten and save the rest? Post them all as an e-book? (Who would read that, except me?)

I finally figured it out: I’m going to post snippets. Maybe that seems obvious, but it took me a while. I’m taking my favorite line or phrase or paragraph or answer from each interview. It might be hard because your WHOLE ENTIRE INTERVIEW is probably incredibly awesome, but I just don’t have the space to reproduce them all. So they must get cut.

I’m going to take 7-8 at a time and edit them down to one central quote for each person, and then post those all together in one post. So there’ll be about 10 of those. After that’s all done, I might (might!) put them together in a free ebook kind of thing, but we’ll see about that.

Ready? Ready! Without further adieu, here are the first seven interviews.

The Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013: Part 1

What is your relationship to Sinclair & sugarbutch.net?

I can’t quite remember but I think I was looking at dildos online and saw an ad for the Sugarbutch Chronicles. Everything about the site made me say “Woooooooooow where have you been all my life?”

My favorite part of the blog are the links to other queer sites/organizations. The most memorable email I’ve received was for National Fisting Day 2012. I’m lucky that I had opened the email on my phone because I was greeted with a giant picture from FTM Fucker. I had never seen trans men in porn before and it was amazing. Since I was following Sugarbutch for a while before that email I had already been exploring and realizing how queerness can be sexy and empowering. Basically I love how this blog has taken me on a journey to discover a community that I feel like I belong to.

I’ve been empowered to express my gender and sexuality is ways that I’ve never even anticipated. At his moment I genuinely feel like I am attractive and loved. That is something that I haven’t felt before and I know many queers around me are struggling with themselves. Being a kinky butch bottom is a badge I wear with honor.

—Sarah Garnett, https://twitter.com/lohidoesnttweet

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

Hey 19 year old self. It’s Feb 15, 1997, and you are going to meet the woman who will become your wife. You will live, laugh, and love together. You will fight together and against each other. You will have 2 sons, a house, and numerous animals together. She will be your first, and (so far) only love.

She will get breast cancer and it will change you. Walking alongside your wife will be the hardest, most sacred journey you will ever take. You will want to run away. You will want to quit. But, you won’t. Because, YOU are strong. You are fearless. You are fucking awesome!

After 8.5 years of fighting, she will die, in your arms. At first, you will think that you are going to be lost and drift. But, you will be found, and you will be fucking AMAZING! Trust that you DO have the strength. When the community you weren’t looking for, finds you, embrace them, for they will get you through.

There will be a second act. I am just starting it now, but trust me – it’s gonna be rad!

—Dree, http://motherbutch.tumblr.com & http://dreesdaydream.tumblr.com

Go with it, go for it.

You already embrace your gender … “issues” isn’t the right word … complexity, now embrace others, as they have needs and their own complexities too. It’s too easy to get lost in yourself, as others lose themselves within themselves too, so go out and play!

“A person not improving him/herself, endlessly becomes him/herself.” Self discovery is good, gaining insights from others sharing as they go through it is also good; not sharing is bad, not growing/developing/improving is worse.

—randy, https://fetlife.com/users/309032

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

The Usual Suspects because it’s a wonderful example of how you can’t just look at someone and know everything. Getting to know someone may or may not tell you the full story or even tell you the truth. Sometimes you don’t see the real truth of a thing until it’s too late.

— Cookie

I suppose my general college experience opened up my world quite a bit. I was exposed to very smart people, very dumb people, and a lot of opinions that I had never known. Sexually, I got to go to the Fetish Flea Fair every year, and met some really amazing sex educators. I’m back in school now, getting another degree, and my goal is to share my experiences with as many people as I can.

— Elise, www.ehmworks.com

Therapy. I lucked out with a therapist who’s a shorthair who can keep up with me when I get to talking fast, believes the woo when I suspect I might just be crazy, and is slowly encouraging me to trust myself. I avoided going for years, but agreed to give it a try when things got really dark in my life and I was considering far more final options. The trick is to find someone whom you respect, who seems to have some good ideas about life, and who is similar enough that you can manage good communication.

Plus, for me, someone who laughs about life with me and lets me argue it out out loud.

—Roxy, http://uncommoncuriosity.wordpress.com

Anything else to add?

These past posts, when you did all the hand-wringing about comments and reading, I felt a bit guilty. I’ve been reading for years, I never stopped reading and yet I’d never written a comment (although I did send you an e-mail once, showing you a Greek singer I like, to which you were kind enough to reply).

I thought therefore that it is time that I speak to you directly and let you know that I am still here, and not going anywhere, and that I am sure that there are a lot more like me, faithful and interested readers who are just too shy to comment, or believed they have nothing of substance to add.

We read you, we like you, and we’ll be here.

PS If you ever make it to London, England, I’d love to buy you a pint and meet you in person.

— GL, https://twitter.com/GenovevaLondon

What kind of comments you could leave

In keeping with the Comment Zen idea, here’s some things you could reply to this post with:

  • The places the mini-interviews resonated for you
  • Whether you’d like to see all of the mini-interviews in entirety or if the best quotes are enough
  • Your favorite thing about New York City
  • What you’ll be doing on National Fisting Day October 22nd

Thank you!

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4 Comments


  1. I wrote up my replies in the Google Doc while on my phone and then it would not post. I was really disappointed because I had really taken some time with my replies and also I was finally taking an opportunity to tell you thank you for the work that you do here and letting you know how much it has affected me, and even helped form me in some ways. Anyway, I went back to my phone later hoping to transcribe what I had written onto the forms on my computer but my answers were gone.

    Would you ever consider republishing the form/questions? I’d like to at least try to recreate what I had written before.

  2. I love the excerpted format!

  3. I think the excerpts are an absolutely great way for everyone’s voice to be heard – good compromise, Sinclair. :) And the Usual Suspects is SO PERFECT, I never thought of it that way before but what a wonderful comparison! Thanks, Cookie!

  4. And I like the ebook idea. Why not? It truly is a form of community research, and you never know when it might be useful. I am speaking from a research nerd place, though, to be fair.

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