Today, April 29th 2010, marks the fourth anniversary of beginning Sugarbutch! I’ve been going at this site nearly daily for four years straight, and it’s the first anniversary where I am not working at another job; Sugarbutch is my full-time job.
This past year, I’ve written 231 posts, received 2,798 comments, added one category for a total of 37, and added 1,267 tags. I’m kind of tag-happy these days. They’re a sort of footnote.
I’ve also started writing many other places, including the Radical Masculinity column at Carnal Nation, my Mr. Sexsmith’s Other Girlfriend column on New York City for Eden Fantasys’s magazine Sex Is, and I even had a piece over on After Ellen this past week. I’ve started a reading series, with Cheryl B., called Sideshow! The Queer Literary Carnival, and I’ve been teaching workshops and classes more frequently. I’m keeping track of all of those things over on MrSexsmith.com, rather than here, so if you’re interested in where I’m performing or where else my work is appearing, subscribe to that RSS feed. I’ve also started keeping media (video, audio, and photographs, mostly) over on my mrsexsmith.Tumblr.com, which has freed up this space a little more for in-depth writing.
I have some more projects in the works for the near future! Stay tuned.
I have always reflected back on this very first post when I do these anniversary posts, and as many of you are new readers these days, here’s an excerpt from my very first post, bed death, standard variety:
What I’m trying to say is this: I’m not getting the sex that I want. No, scratch that: I’m not getting the sex that I need. My basic human needs, basic woman needs, basic self needs, include sex. If asked, I would say at least three times a week, though I can be a little flexible about that. I understand, having had some experience as a couple, that that can’t always happen. But I also know that it can, and does, when both people make the effort.
I’ve been with my girlfriend for three years. We met in college, in a Men & Masculinity class. It took another couple of quarters for us to get together; we had a slow start, easing into each other and into a relationship, which was wonderful. One of the great things about our relationship is how well we have been able to keep our autonomy – we never became one of those couples that you never see without the other person, we aren’t joined at the hip, we don’t constantly speak in first-person-plural. Of course, the greatest strength is often the greatest weakness, and in our case, the intimacy has fallen out of our relationship almost entirely.
We haven’t had sex in … longer than I care to admit. And in the last two years we have probably had sex five times. I stopped counting the days between.
I’m surprised at how clear that is, when I look back at it. It feels like such a murky, confused time, but I lay it out so clearly: I’m not getting the sex I need. I still believe sex is a basic human need, perhaps not for survival on the food-water-shelter level, but on the hierarchy of needs scale, certainly. It is something we need in order to feel psychologically safe, protected, comforted. Well, maybe saying “sex” is too broad. We don’t actually all need sex. I need sex, I need hot dirty queer kinky sex, but perhaps you need pretty music playing candles lit sex. Perhaps you are totally satisfied with the once-a-month quickie. Perhaps you’re asexual, and need companionship, partnership, friendship, intimacy in other ways.
That post is under password protection now, as is most of the things about my exes and personal life. If you want the password, join the (very very rarely occasional) mailing list, and it’ll be sent to you when you confirm your subscription.
The traditional gift for the fourth anniversary is fruit, flowers, and books, or, I’m told, the modern equivalent is electrical appliances. Umwhat? People don’t need fruit, flowers, or books anymore? Those seem way more important than electrical appliances. I mean, I like the next tech gadget as much as anybody (though I think I’ll buy stock instead of the iPad, even though I’m really coveting it currently), but it’s almost summer! I can’t wait for strawberry shortcake.
On Sugarbutch’s second anniversary, I reflected on where this blog started and began the tradition of “ask me anything,” which I did last year also. So, in the spirit of keeping up with traditions, let’s do it again: Got a question for me? Ask me anything. You can ask anything, from personal details about my life that you’ve always wondered, to questions about advice for sex toys or your relationship, to philosophical musings on identity, gender, or sexuality theory.
Read back on some of the former “ask me anything” questions, and add your own in the comments. What do you want to know? I’ll answer as many as I can.
Remember when I used to do monthly roundup posts? I only did the first three months of 2009, which I actually kind of miss. Perhaps it’s something I’ll bring back.
So: what happened in 2009 here on Sugarbutch?
I’ve been dating Kristen, and in fact we were together all of 2009. Some of the dirtiest Kristen stories are here grouped together, though most of those occur in the first half of 2009, before my particularly difficult late summer and started playing with Daddy/girl play. I guess I wrote a little too vividly about Kristen, at times, because I got enough snarky comments and emails that I finally wrote some clarifying statements about what she represents in on getting girls off.
At the end of the year, I started giving Kristen homework, which prompted some questions about our d/s dynamic. I’m still working out the details on
(I did actually sleep with a few other girls aside from Kristen in 2009. Early on in the year, when we were starting out, our relationship was open. And, in the spring, Kristen and I had a threesome, which I did not write about here. I had hoped it would be our first of a few … but perhaps 2010 is the year for that.)
Aside from Kristen …
I won some awards in 2009! I got TWO Lezzy awards, for Best Gender Bender Blog and Best Sex/Short Story/Erotica Blog. I was also named to the Top Sex Bloggers list of 2009 for the second year in a row!
I launched Top Hot Butches in June, and that exploded in both good and painful ways. I initially included about a dozen trans men on this list, and that was a fairly poor choice, so I took them down, and wrote why I did so in on removing trans men from the Top Hot Butches list. I also contacted or was contacted by many of the trans men on the list, and in the end about half of them remained on the list (the other half I have not been in contact with; I did not hear from any trans men who were included on the original list saying that they wanted to be excluded).
After I went on a particularly transformative tantra retreat, I lost my job in July, though it didn’t officially end until September, when I was on administrative leave for the last few months of 2009. That meant that July and August were particularly I’m using the few months of cushion to launch my freelance work, which will be graphic design (like flyers, postcards, business cards) and web design (banners, ads, blog headers, blog templates) and writing.
I wrote a particularly vulnerable piece about what it’s like to come inside your lover as someone strapped on, and a piece asking, “is it a trans characteristic to wear a cock?” about cock-centricity and gender identity.
Apparently I didn’t write all that much on femme identity in 2009, but I did write a rather long, thorough piece On Femme Invisibility that I like quite a bit. I was also published in the Femmethology! Dacia recorded an mp3 version of my Love Letter to Femmes, and I kicked off the Femmethology blog tour.
I kept writing the Sugarbutch Star stories, but only wrote four out of five. In theory, there is one more coming, which I have started by not finished.
- Green-Eyed Girl: The Study Date
- Matt: All Five Senses, Part One & Part Two
- Maze: The Girl in the Red Dress
- Eileen: Her Best Line
I tried to step up my posts on sexuality, bdsm theory, and domination and submission, and wrote some things I quite like, such as Sadism & the Study of Pain, How do you get a dominant to dominate?, and Yes, No, and Consent.
Some more miscellany, from Sugarbutch and me around the web …
- I curated the 15th Carnival of Sexual Freedom & Autonomy, which was my first major curation for a carnival, and I quite enjoyed it. I asked some specific questions about sexual freedom and sexual autonomy, and many different folks responded with beautiful essays on their own blogs. This was a lot of work, but I loved curating and recruiting and pulling various essays all together.
I launched MrSexsmith.com! This will be a place to keep track of my upcoming events and projects, outside of Sugarbutch. A portfolio of sorts.
I started a few different tumblr logs, but am focusing on one now: mrsexsmith.tumblr.com. The working description is something like “the personal media collection – images, video, songs, quotes – of Mr. Sinclair Sexsmith. Often featured are ribbons, pigtails, fishnets, lingerie, butches, and radical masculinity.” Generally, it’s all sorts of media and images that I like. The latest photo is currently featured over there in the sidebar.
I got a booking company! Phin Li Bookings is now representing me, and I am so thrilled to be doing more workshops and speaking engagements through them. What’s that? You’d like to bring me to your college or community center or local queer group? Well gosh, I’d love to! Let’s be in touch. You can find out about some of my workshops over on PhinLi.com and contact Seraphin of PhinLi Bookings, LLC at (646) 418-5152 or bookings (at) phinli (dot) com.
Other big news! Oh yeah, I write a column now!
I started writing for Carnal Nation in October, a column called Radical Masculinity. This is a major accomplishment, and a goal that I’ve wanted for a long time. I LOVE Carnal Nation and I love my editor, Chris, over there, and the pieces we’ve published so far are some of my favorite things I’ve written. I’ll always
- #1 A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity
- #2 How to Make Masculinity Stop Hurting
- #3: When Men Wear Skirts
I wrote a couple other things for Carnal Nation first, including being on their Perv Panel, which is on a hiatus. I wrote various pieces of advice, but I’m coming stronger to not really thinking I will pursue being an advice columnist. I like it, but I really don’t have time to get everything done that I’d like to as it is.
Oh yeah – I wrote product reviews, especially for sex toys. I think that might be a separate post, though – a roundup of all the products I reviewed, or a list of my favorites, might take a little time.
Whew! That’s a lot! Did I miss something? Also, what would you LOVE to see here in 2010?
I’ve reprinted the Sugarbutch Star chapbooks from 2007! I know, I know, the 2008 contest isn’t done yet (SBC fans who are familiar with the archives, or the most popular posts which are in the sidebar, will know exactly what I’m talking about. You newbies might have to go familiarize yourself with the contest, which was, at one point, a slight claim-to-fame in the Sugarbutch Empire.)
I have one more story to go in the 2008 contest – I’m only writing up five this year – and it’s about halfway done, but I’ve been distracted by the transition to not working and my column at Carnal Nation and this Evolving Masculinity series and freelance and keeping my life going.
Speaking of which: if anyone out there has an extra copy of the Adobe Creative Suite with print design software (Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign) for Mac, I would be so incredibly grateful for a trade. I can exchange design work (print, web, blog headers – did you see the one I did for Radical Doula?, blog design, social media consultation, blog organization, flyers, programs, posters, postcards, chapbook layout), or I can write you some smut, or I can come up with a miscellany package of sex toys and books and lube. I’m sure I can come up with something worthwhile, that you’d like, is what I’m saying. Please get in touch!
I’m trying to make a freelance writer’s and designer’s life happen, but I’m also looking for part-time steady work. I think about 20 hours a week would be great for me, then I can concentrate on Sugarbutch the rest of the time. (Just throwing that out to the Universe, thanks.)
That means: if you’d like to support Sugarbutch, this is a great way to do it. Amanda Palmer wrote a great piece recently on her blog called “why I am not afraid to take your money,” which talks about why artists NEED to ask for money and consumers of art (that would be YOU) need to support artists if you want us to continue doing what we do. artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art, remember? And if this work can’t support me to be able to pay rent, bills, eat, and occasionally take a cute girl out for dinner, I can’t work on this site full-time. Isn’t this site more fun when I’m writing every day? Don’t you maybe possibly have $20 you can throw me? Or the cost of a whiskey (Jameson rocks)? Consider buying me a (virtual) drink. Or a coffee, $5. There’s a paypal link over in the sidebar.
There are a few other ways to support this site, too: 1. Click through the advertisements. Those clicks are recorded and advertisers are more likely to re-up their contracts with me! 2. Use the links on this site to buy products through my affiliates, and I get a small kickback from that purchase. 3. Click through and read my artists on Carnal Nation, where I get paid for traffic. 4. Buy the Chapbook! (More about that below.) 5. Donate directly to me, and I’ll gladly send you a love note in return.
Okay. About the chapbook:
So. You remember 2007′s Sugarbutch Star contest? The one where I wrote up a baker’s dozen stories, including the famous winning story The Diner on the Corner, based on scenarios that readers submitted. This chapbook compiles all 13 stories in one place, and is much easier to shove under your mattress than your laptop or printed out pages from this website. Plus, the pages are specially water- and stain-resistant, so you can come all over them and it won’t get damaged (uh, just kidding).
You know how hard it is to bring your laptop or computer to bed with you, and jerk off? This chapbook makes that a whooooole lot easier. Portable! Fits under your mattress or in your nightstand!
Couple different options for the chapbook – $10 will get you a book by itself, $20 and I’ll customize it for you. $50 is the Fancy Chapbook Package, which includes a nice gift of a book or a sex toy, and $100 is the I <3 Sinclair Package, where my package might just love you back. That’s the one where I show up with a boom box over my head and profess my love outside your window. No, not really. That would be creepy and stalkerish. BUT I will include a signed chapbook, a book or a sex toy, and something custom and fabulous yet to be determined.
Followers of my @mrsexsmith Twitter account will know that my 9-to-5 day job is pretty much over. I’ve worked as a graphic designer at a firm in midtown for nearly the last four years, and they spun off two of the three divisions of the company, which were the two I worked for, and now I am technically on leave through December 1st. That means if they call me I have to go in, but I can’t accept another job until December 1st. Meanwhile, I have some t i m e o f f.
The million dollar question is, of course, what are you going to do now? Well, I’m not quite sure. I’ll be doing freelance graphic design and writing for a while, and building up my own artistic career. I will be looking for another job, but I’d like to have some down time before I begin a serious search, and I think I can live on a lot less than I thought was necessary.
I’m also hoping to make some appearances and do some workshops – so far I am scheduled on October 16th, Friday, at Bluestockings Bookstore, speaking on a panel about Feminist Sex, and also on November 16th at Conversio Virium, Columbia University’s BDSM student group, where I’ll be giving a lecture on Gendering Power: How to spice up your role play.
I’d love to do a bit of traveling to colleges nearby, too – Smith, Bard, back to my alma mater the University of Washington. I’m hoping that some of those gigs will work out, my booking company Phin Li has been helping me with my scheduling, and if you’d like to book a date with me, you can contact me at my regular email address or Phin Li at bookings at phinli.com.
(Also, Jesse James is coming to visit, and we are so going to paint the town. Can’t wait. She hasn’t met Kristen yet and it’s going to be a blast.)
I’ve noticed that July and August were two of the quietest months I’ve ever had here on Sugarbutch, for some reasons I’ve already explained, and because work changed their corporate access policies which meant that I couldn’t access this site from there.
I will be going back to the minimum of one-time-a-day five-days-a-week posting on Sugarbutch that I used to do, for a while, while I’m in this transition. I have about twenty topics I need to write on, and half a dozen drafts. If you have topical requests, now’s the time to chime in. And as always, if you have specific questions for me, I’ll be glad to address them as well as I can. I try hard to keep up with my inbox.
The ending of this job is a huge transition. It was absolutely time for this job to end, and it has worked so well for me – really, this job has been the major funding behind Sugarbutch for the last 3.5 years, since I started this site shortly after I got that job and I spent many hours working on Sugarbutch from that position. (Why else do you think my Sugarbutch Star chapbook is by “On Company Time” productions?) I basically got out of debt through this job, and I saved up quite a bit in my 401K, and it has afforded me to get on my feet in New York City in a way that seemed impossible a few years ago. I had been planning to leave this job in the beginning of next year regardless, and the way that this position was eliminated was probably the best possible way to lose a job. Still, it’s a huge change … I’ve commuted to Midtown Manhattan every weekday for nearly four years! I’ve had full access to all sorts of beautiful paper and color printers and supplies! I know my way around that neighborhood so well, in fact, that I don’t know where to get many things in my neighborhood near my house, since I knew I could just pick whatever it was up during my work week.
Meanwhile, though, I’ve had some amazing conversations with Audacia Ray about the future of the Sugarbutch Empire, and where I’m going, and how best to use my time with my artistic career. And I finally, finally, will have a good amount of time to get some of my shit in order and really meditate on where I’m going.
(Photo reprinted without permission from A. Clauset)
I’ll be on vacation for the next five days.
I’m heading to a tantra workshop at a zen center on a hot springs, and just writing down that combination of words makes my shoulders relax and my body loosen. I have never been able to afford or make time for a long retreat like this before, it feels so indulgent (and grown-up), and I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming and I know I can really use some reflection and protection time for me. It’s not going to be purely a vacation, since I have no doubt that this will bring up some deep psychological and spiritual things in me, but I’m hoping I can use it to reground, to solidify so many of the things I’ve been learning about myself in the recent past, and come back with my footing a little more certain, with just a little more of the noise filtered out.
Which would be nothing short of bliss.
I won’t be writing much here for the next week. I might be updating things like my twitter account and my flickr stream, no guarantees. Hopefully I’ll have some interesting things to share when I get back on Monday.
Sugarbutch Chronicles has two different mailing lists, and one way to get the password to the protected posts. Since I’ve had a few more password posts than usual lately, I’ve had some folks asking, so it’s about time to put up a new explanation.
1. The Newsletter
The newsletter is the once-a-month mailing list where I send out announcements about the site, special offers (sometimes I have passwords or offer codes from some Sugarbutch sponsors), and general updates. Email me – aspiringstud[at]gmail.com – to get on this mailing list, or leave a comment with your valid email address in the comments of this post.
2. Sugarbutch Daily to your email inbox
If you aren’t really a “blog person,” if you don’t read half the internet every day (like I do), if you don’t subscribe to RSS feeds and spend a lot of your time on the web, but you still love reading Sugarbutch, you might want to consider subscribing via email.
Entering your email address in below will send you ONE email per day with the text of all the posts that have been published that day. If there are no posts, you won’t get an email.
3. Password protected posts
The password protected posts tend to be more personal, often musings about my own self-awareness, emotional processes, or the details of my relationships, which often feel vulnerable in a way that writing about sex does not (I know, weird, but that’s how it is). (Sometimes they are very smutty, dirty stories, with kinks or explorations that are dark and difficult to reveal – so it’s not all omphaloskepsis, there is some sex stuff too, sometimes.) Leave a comment in this thread with a valid email address and a link to your blog, your myspace, your facebook, or some other way to verify that you are a real person. If you ask for the password, I’ll also add you to The Newsletter mailing list.
It was three years ago today that I started Sugarbutch Chronicles, my latest in personal online writing explorations (aka “blogs”) since 1996. Since then, I’ve written 713 posts and received 6,149 comments in 36 categories (with 1,622 tags, which are mostly for fun and not for organization). I’ve met so many amazing folks who are pursuing sexuality and queer identity through feminist, progressive lenses.
And I’ve had the best sex of my life.
Thank you, everyone, for being a part of this. For reading, for commenting, for sending emails and being supportive.
Last year on the 2nd anniversary, I reflected on some of where I’ve been and how this site started (lesbian bed death! hiss!). Instead of reiterating, I want to skip to the ask me anything portion of the anniversary celebration and say: got a question for me? Ask me anything. You can ask me anything you want, from the personal to the professional to the philosophical and anything else you can think of. I can’t claim to have expert answers on anything, but I’ll do my best, and will profess ignorance when applicable.
I probably won’t answer all the questions just purely based on time (you’d rather I was writing smut, wouldn’t you?) but I’ll answer as many as I can.
Aaaaaand … go!
Sex! Oh boy oh boy oh girl oh god ohhhh …
- On butch eyebrows: waxed or natural?
- My discussion on Cock Confidence as presented at the KinkForAll conference
- Butch/femme in various cities
- On butches: coming inside
- The good kind of unbearable (protected): poetry about this new relationship
- Breath of fire (protected): learning to trust myself.
- Great doubt, great awakening (protected): about relationships
- The Outlaw oh my my, this cock is huge.
- New music from the lesbian staple the Indigo Girls – new album out now!
- Lesbian Life: Real Sex San Francisco dirty kinky queer porn!
- Pumping: three-product review comparison.
Some more miscellany …
- Three new projects :
- the Sugarbutch Amazon store
- Recommended Video On Demand through Hot Movies for Her
- The ToySwap Network to swap away your clean, unused sextoys and get something better in their place. (Leave a comment if you’d like to be invited to join the network.)