Okay so isn’t rife just so fucking cute? And sexy?
Yeah. I know.
You probably know all about San Francisco-based photographer Sarah Deragon’s queer Identity Project by now—I’m mostly saying that because she’s gotten a mountain of gay-stream press and is all over my Facebook feed all the time, so if that’s the kind of thing you read, you’ve probably seen it.
It’s pretty awesome. Dozens (hundreds yet?) of photographs, beautiful black & white portraits, with just a few key identity words listed underneath.
Y’all know me—I love conversations about identities, about words, about the power in the words that we chose to define ourselves, heck even in self-portraiture and images that make us feel aligned with our deep selves, if only for a moment. I love that shit. It is, in many ways, what Sugarbutch is based around, and what tons of my art focuses on: Identity theory building, formation, and liberation.
So seeing a project that is a kind of visual conversation is pretty stunning, I think. I’ve been really moved, watching The Identity Project’s social media streams, as the images come through. I don’t know if I can articulate quite why it matters, but it makes me feel like I’m part of something.
And, speaking of that, I feel really privileged to have been photographed (alone and with rife) as part of this project.
Sarah took some cutie shots of us together, too—these were the ones we used for the final project (which we got to pick), but there were others we liked too.
So far, the photos are almost entirely of people based in the Bay Area, and Sarah is raising some money to travel around and shoot in other cities, too. The Identity Project Indiegogo campaign ends at midnight on May 30th—tonight—so head on over and donate a few bucks (or a thousand) and support her for some national traveling so she can keep taking incredible portraits, capturing the current state of the queer community.
And who knows, maybe she’ll end up taking YOUR picture too!big heartbreak never leaves, butch daddy poet, daddy and boy, dimples. that's all, fade away, I have so much more to say about identities and photographs (I guess that's why I have a blog), kind of amazing how much I try to avoid my exes and they're still everywhere, my boy rife, photography, portraits, power of words, rife thinks he looks nervous but I can tell he's raising his shoulders because he's pushing his shirt sleeves up, sarah deragon, the identity project
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JT’s Stockroom has been an affiliate with Sugarbutch for many years, and this month, they are the feature! I love how they are carrying more and more body-safe toys (and fewer things with phthalates), but even more than that, I love their selection of kinky things. Slings, extensive amounts of leather, anal hooks, pokey things, hitty things, things to put in holes, latex, medical play—they have it all.
So what was I going to request from them to feature this month? Hmmmm …
I never used to like breast play all that much. On me, well, I’ve got that whole gender-dysphoric issue, and on another person … I just kinda didn’t get it. Okay sure, breasts are pretty, but I was never a “boob guy.” (Always been much more into the legs.)
I’m not sure when it changed exactly, or why. (I have some suspicions about the why. Ask me on a Q&A chat sometime.) But it happened sometime around reading that short story called “Details” that Maria See wrote (which is no longer accessible on her now-defunct tumblr, boo. I’ll see if I can track it down for you to read, if you want to), and connecting nipple sucking to a form of nourishment, and to some extent, age play. There’s been a place for playing with suckling as both a … giver and receiver (hah, if you can use those words here—they seem awkward to me). I have plenty more to say about what it’s like to be in either role, but let me just say, for now, that it’s complicated to describe, complicated for gender reasons, difficult to feel comfortable, very private act, something I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I’m playing with, … and often feels really good.
I’ve done epic nipple clamp review roundups in the past, but with my new ideas about my own stimulation, I thought I’d try something new: nipple suction. And hey look! There’s a wide range of suction-based nipple stimulation toys available out there, so I figured I should start somewhere!
I’ll tell you about three of ‘em now.
The Oxball Nipple Suckers—automatic bust.
First? The Oxball nipple suckers were a bust, so basically we’re down to two. (And two does not a good comparison make! But I’ll come back to that.) When I opened the package, the very clear smell of plastic off-gassing was released, and they were all greasy—so you know what that means: phthalates. I immediately emailed Monica, the Stockroom’s affiliate manager, and she apologized and proceeded to basically stop carrying those particular ones. Oxball is generally a brand that uses good plastics, so they hadn’t caught this yet. So, no picture, no review—they got tossed. (Not sure what else to do with bad plastics? Is there a way to green-ly recycle them?)
Next up, and the big winners: the KinkLab T Cups Nipple Suction Set. These are the reason I got turned on to nipple suction toys to begin with, actually, because Lorax, at their previous job as a dildo slinger (aka working as a sex educator in a toy store), pointed them out to me one time I was visiting. Oh yeah, I was intrigued!
But also, ugh I was put off by the pink flower design. I mean really. Why you gotta go ruin something like that? Look, there’s nothing wrong with pink flowers, but I generally don’t need them on my accessories, my sex toys, and definitely not on my nipples. Even if they went along with someone’s gender identity a bit better than they do with mine, I’m not sure who they look very good! They’re so big and bulky, and long and thing.
Often kink toys are not about how things look, however—they are about how things feel. And these absolutely deliver. They are strong, sturdy, and durable. Once you’ve got a good suction, they stay in place.
T Cups nipple suction set verdict: Recommended for function and sensation, though not highly recommended because of how they look pretty silly.
So technically, Stockroom did not send me the Snake Bite Kit to use as a comparison. I picked one up specifically to use in this roundup, because they tend to be cheap and accessible and because I was curious The Stockroom carries them (because they carry pretty much all things kinky. Pretty much).
Ive never owned a snake bite kit until now. They seem to be one of those common DIY “pervertables,” things from around the house (if, uh, you happen to have a snake bite kit around the house) that get made into stimulation during sexytimes. When I started talking about this nipple toy roundup I was working on, saying I was seeking out a snake bite kit, my buddy Amy actually found one and texted me a photo of it, asking if I’d already got one. Though I happened to be at REI that very minute (they don’t carry them!), I hadn’t, and she picked it up for me—but not before she was reminded at least three times by the different sales people and the clerk that they are NOT TO BE USED ON SNAKE BITES. I didn’t realize they’d been determined to be bad for that, so I’m glad that was clear. Because, you know, you never know when a snake will be in your bedroom? And what if I had used that snake bite kit for what I thought it was meant for!
So no—it is purely for pleasureable use now.
(I was just reminded of this yesterday when Lucy Bell’s comic on Oh Joy Sex Toy alllll about the snake bite kit came out. Which of course is rad, but you probably already knew that.)
Snake bite kit verdict: Not as suction-y as the flowers, above. Not as sturdy, doesn’t keep its suction if you move. Harder to get a good seal. More challenging, but still worth trying out. My kit came with two sizes, so you can actually do two on the nipples and one on the clit or labia (if that’s your thing)! Still not so aesthetically amazing, but it’s better than the flowers.
And one more bonus: Magnetic Nipple Balls
When the Stockroom sent me these toys to compare and try, they sent me one more bonus: the Magnetic Nipple Balls, which are, well, just what they sound like—tiny magnetic balls. I queried, “What about these things?” and the Stockroom awesome toy manager Monica wrote back, “The magnetic balls are super neat but really are SUPER strong, just for a heads up!” And whoa, she is right.
They are really strong.
I would not let them near my nipples. Rife told me how a sex toy store employee once told him to test out all the nipple clamps on the skin between his thumb and first finger, because that is approximately how sensitive one’s nipples are (depends on the person, of course, but on average I buy it—it’s a sensitive spot!). When I put these balls on that spot on my body, everything yells, “GET IT OFF!” and I don’t really have any desire to put them on my nipples. We played a little with using one of the magnetic balls and one random other little magnet from the fridge (we have some that look like pushpins that work pretty well, and aren’t so weird-looking), and that was … better.
Magnetic Nipple Balls conclusion: very sexy looking. VERY strong pinching. Kinda dangerous—doesn’t really stay in place. Does not deliver the suction I was looking for (duh).
But wait, there’s more! …
Here’s two more toys I didn’t review, but am curious about:
I’m interested in cupping in part because I’m curious about this pair of pump cylinders (pump sold separately), and it looks like the cupping kit is the pump and 10 cups instead of no pump and two cups, so may as well grab a few extras. (It was one of the Daily Specials this past month and I really should’ve bought it. And the anal hook. And the cock leash. This is why I have a Stockroom wishlist!)
I’m also interested in cupping because I’ve been having it done lately as part of some health care/wellness, for my damaged shoulder, and it’s been working incredibly well! More on that another time.
Whew, alright—this concludes your Stockroom nipple suction roundup. Hope you found something curious!
…. oh damn, wait, one more thing.
This might be pertinent to your interests: The Stockroom carries they have replacement nipple clamp tips—you know, for those little tweezer-like nipple clamps that always loose their little rubber tip, and then the tweezer part underneath is a mean tooth.
The magnetic nipple balls, t-cups nipple suction set, and oxball nip screw nipple suckers were sent to me from Stockroom to review. (The snakebite kit actually came from an outdoor store via my butt buddy.) Thanks! Post image photo from The Princess Bride.affiliates! hurrah for making twenty cents every two weeks! no seriously affiliates pay so little, all things kinky, chest, gender dysphoria, jt's stockroom, kink supplies, masturbation toys, mega roundup, nipple clamps, nipple play, nipple sucking, nipples, review, suction, the pit of despair ... don't even think about trying to escape, the stockroom, toy review, where to get all your kink needs
An adventure for which I
have been preparing, long before
we met. A practice in honesty
with myself and others. A crow
bar opening my ribcage wider
than I thought it’d go. A pill I swallow
to make all the colors brighter.
A zipline I can’t let go of for fear
of plummeting back to where
I’ve already been. A breakfast
in bed, lazy, perfect on a weekend.
A heartbeat to which I can count out
a 4/4 rhythm and always
carry a bass line. A harmony.
A tune I can almost make out of
a song I know so well but can’t
quite remember. A return to
myself. An exercise in becoming
supernova without exploding.
A crazy idea that just might work.
An adoration. A prayer with my whole
body, starting at my lips. A midnight
candlelight canopy garden of treasure.
A menagerie custom made for me.
A secret I hesitate to share because
I want to cherish it enough for the
whole world. A promise, but I’m not
yet sure for what. An anchor in my
marrow. A pen full of ink and not
enough paper. The slick oil of finger-
prints on glass. A smooth river stone
large enough to balance on one
foot. Lit birthday candles that won’t
blow out. A hike into the shady forest
with a picnic and a fairy tale. Your skin
shined with sweat. A relief. A tribute.
An ache that fills me more than any
ache should. A symphony of leaves.
A choir of hiding places. A quilt from
old tee shirts. Look, that’s from my
first concert. You saw that same tour,
but we didn’t know yet
what that meant, either.
Do you want to play with strap-on sex? Do you want to feel more confident strapping on and playing?
Then head on over to the Cock Confidence Guide and see what kind of services I offer, from being your personal strap-on shopping guide to hands-on cock-on support and help. I also teach workshops, Cock Confidence and Advanced Cock Confidence!
www.sugarbutch.net/cock-confidence has all the info you need.
PS: I’m pretty excited that the Cock Confidence Guide debuted today on Erika Moen’s site Oh Joy Sex Toy, in her pegging/blog job review of the strap-on silicone dick Velvet!announcements! hey look!, butch cock, cock, cock confidence, erika moen!!!, exciting announcements!, I love having cool friends, oh joy sex toy, rife designed the page of course, silicone, strap-on, thank you erika!
Late. Because April was somehow nutso. Traveling to Seattle plus my birthday plus the boy’s birthday plus IMsL plus the Gender Book launch party at the CSC plus I took a temporary social media consulting gig plus it’s SPRING plus we took a swing class plus the new venture (now called Body Trust) had a strategic planning retreat and officially launched www.bodytrustcircle.com and the August Portals of Pleasure retreat and that took so much time and energy and planning. Also I am this close to having a space to do bodywork in San Francisco and I’m really excited to gear up for more one-on-one sessions.
So I didn’t read as much this month. Or at least it feels like that—my GoodReads account reports 8 titles, which is about as much as other months.
I picked up and read the Right Brain Business Plan book by Jennifer Lee a few months ago as part of my personal study through the queer creative business group I’m involved in, and found it useful. I picked it up again because the author was on Creative Live doing the Right Brain Business Plan workshop for three days, and I tuned in to it mostly in the background as I was working, but I’d go back and forth to the exercises as I was getting other things done. It was great to think hard about some of the business plan things and I do like her approach.
I’ve heard a lot about the film adaptation of the graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color, but I hadn’t heard as much about the book. I picked it up from the library as an ebook, which was interesting, to read a graphic novel on my iPad, and it worked pretty well. (Also I love the library!) I had heard a lot about the extensive 10 minute lesbian sex scene (“there’s rimming!”) but I also heard it was a) depressing and b) kinda by or for straight people, and not particularly by and for queer people, so I haven’t rushed to see it. I’d be curious to, now that I’ve read the book. Mostly I was really struck by how immensely fucking tortured the coming out process was/is for this particular young lesbian protagonist living in France. I am so lucky to have a supportive family, and have prioritized queerness in my life and thus lived entrenched in queer communities, so I have never experienced it so torturesome … but I do understand that people still go through that kind of process. It was a good reminder to me of the emotional depths that can happen in an identity formation, but also part of me, while reading, was more like, “Really? This seems awfully over-exaggerated.” I’d be curious what the relationship is of the story to the author—I don’t think it’s memoir.
The Edible Garden came from Cleis’s life imprint, Viva. Now that I actually have a backyard (first time in my adult life!) I am pretty excited to try to grow some stuff. Preferably some food stuff. So I’ve been doing a little bit of garden tending, getting it ready to plant, and this month kicked into for reals spring gear, so rife and I stepped it up a bit. We planted kale, cherry tomatoes, some spring onions, sugar snap peas, and a few other things.
I liked looking through The Edible Garden—and the other one, Grow Great Grub—but it didn’t have all that much useful information in it. For example, some bird keeps eating our sugar snap pea leaves and tops, but neither book said anything about how to keep pests from eating your delicious food. They are both more inspiration than practical advice, and while I still appreciate the pretty pictures and the inspiration to go dig outside, I am starting to get to the point where I need the reality advice part even more. Which is kind of a neat sign! Grow Great Grub came to me as a holiday gift from my aunt (via my Amazon wishlist).
I read the graphic memoir Pregnant Butch by AK Summers this month. I heard about it through a Lambda Literary review and was intrigued. I think it’s worth reading, but to be honest I was less interested in the pregnancy part than I was in the extensive commentary about butch identity, and sometimes the extensive commentary about butch identity was infuriating, heartbreaking, or depressing. The author—who I assume is the same as the protagonist, Teek, though their names are slightly different—is a bit older than me, maybe 10 years even, so they come from a slightly different generation of butches, and the content about younger butches being extinct, butch flight, and the prevalence of butches transitioning to men was hard to read. At one point Teek explicitly referred to herself as—and drew herself as—a dinosaur. It bugs me to see butch being presented as an antique, out-of-fashion, and outdated identity—I really don’t think it is. But then again, I kind of straddle the old school butch generation and the younger trans- and genderqueer-inclusive crowds, and kind of always have. But I don’t see butch disappearing! I do see it changing, revisioning, but I don’t think it’s as gone as is sometimes portrayed. I also think butch flight is a bit of a myth—but I do understand that there is more of a prevalence of previously-identified-as-masculine-of-center-women transitioning to men. (There are at least five people on my Facebook feed going through the early stages of transitioning right now.) I have lots and lots to say about that topic, but that’s all I’ll say for right now. I took some notes and hope to expand my ideas into more essays later. Or maybe a book.
I didn’t finish The Chaos of Stars. It’s kind of that YA fantasy/myth genre that I sometimes devour, but I didn’t get too deep into this one so I put it down after my standard try (of 65 pages, which is 100 minus my age, which is a rule I learned from Seattle librarian extraordinaire Nancy Pearl). The whole thing was full of Egyptian mythologies with a curious modern twist, which I was totally intrigued by but then couldn’t follow very well. If you’re into Egyptian mythologies, perhaps it’d be easier to get into.
I didn’t finish Love in the Time of Global Warming either. I love love love the Weetzie Bat books, and I have read a handful of Francesca Lia Block’s other novels and find them engaging and fun, so I thought she’d be a good one to pick up while I keep flexing my reading chops. I have a hard time with world-building sometimes though, and I didn’t get very deep in to this one. I think the biggest problem was that it became due at the library, but I certainly could’ve renewed it. It just didn’t grip me.
Michelle Tea’s newest novel, Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, however—THAT gripped me. I read it fast, in just a few days, and I got really into it. I love the protagonist, love the girl power, love the pass-out game, love the symbols that thread through it. When I went back out into the world for a run the day after I finished it, I looked at flocks of pigeons very differently. It ends on a cliffhanger, which is a perfect way for the first of a 3-part book series to end, and I can’t wait to read the others.
april was a mess and a blur, arsenal pulp press, blue is the warmest color, books books books, business, butch flight, butch identity, cleis press, michelle tea, my boy rife, pregnant butch, queer creative business group, read a fucking book, the new butch
I’ve already waxed poetic about the amazingness that is Indie Porn Revolution, so I won’t keep going into that here. So I’ll just put this here …
I know, it’s hard for me not to curate images that reflect my personal bias. I suppose I could’ve just taken ten images at random from the “Free Tour” page? But I wanted to look through ‘em all and pick some of my very favorites for you. FOR YOU, you guyz. I looked at dozens and dozens of fucking hot sexy queer porn shots ALL FOR YOU.
Femmes, cocks, cleavage, tattoos, really nice legs, curves, more femmes, lingerie. I’m so predictable.
I really did try to grab a variety!
What I DO have is TWO Indie Porn Revolution trial memberships to give away. So riddle me this, folks, and I’ll be drawing two of you who at random and passing on your info to the inimitable Courtney Trouble so she can set you up an account.
I’m trying out a new experiment and using Rafflecopter to run this giveaway. You can enter one (or all!) of four ways.
Drawing will happen first thing Monday morning, April 28th, so you’ve got the weekend to tweet and share and look at the free preview images over and over again. Thanks Courtney & Indie Porn Revolution!courtney trouble, femmes, giveaways, idk how this giveaway will work with the new service but maybe it will!, indie porn revolution, legs, my job is so hard, photographs, portraits of hotttt queer porn stars, queer porn, rafflecopter
It’s rife’s 27th birthday today!
So far, we have stayed in bed late, toured the chalk art birthday greetings that I drew all over our sidewalks last night, had an epic “hash brown heaven” breakfast, looked over the composite astrological chart I had done (basically the astrological chart for our relationship) done by a queer dominant (so it includes a bunch of fascinating stuff about our power dynamic!), opened a few gifts, and returned home to do some work before we head down to the opening queer happy hour for International Ms. Leather weekend kink event & contest tonight.
Would you you wish him happy birthday over on twitter (he’s @rowdyferret) or here in this post for me? Mostly because I want him to know how deeply loved he is.
And, if you’re starting to get a little crush on this hot piece of ass, here’s a present for you: a little rife collage of some of my favorite photos of him from the past few years. Some are shots I’ve taken, some he took (with a timer).
There are so many different cities on this little collage … I see Oakland, Baltimore, Hudson Valley, NY, DC, LA, Houston, Seattle, Oregon, and Brooklyn at least. It definitely accurately reflects how much adventuring we’ve had even in the short two and a half years we’ve been together.
And, it reflects how damn sexy that boy is. Fuck. I feel really lucky to have him, that he chose me, that we are a good match.
If you’d like to do something else sweet for the birthday boy, go check out The GENDER Book’s store and buy some goodies! The ebook is a sliding scale of $0+, the hardback is $30, the posters are $12+, the GENDER Booklets are DIY free or $4 printed, the Safe(r) Spaces kit with resources and posters and etc are $0+. There must be somethin’ over there of interest! Check it out, & support his project and labor of love.
Oh yeah and also: The GENDER Book Release Parties!
If you’re in the Bay Area, there’s a book release party/shower on Sunday, May 4th, and if you’re near Houston, there’s another big release party on Thursday, May 15th. Perhaps you’d like to go pick up your book in person?
Happy birthday, beautiful special boy. I love you so much.big love relationship, birthday, buy the gender book!, collage, imsl, it's easier to promote when it's someone else's project, it's the first time he's had his chart done, long distance relationship, love, my boy rife, saturn return will be interesting, shameless promotion, the gender book, traveling traveling traveling, wallpaper