Seven years ago, I started this project named Sugarbutch

May 1, 2013  |  journal entries, miscellany  |  6 Comments

the very first Sugarbutch avatar

the very first Sugarbutch avatar

Once upon a time, I was struggling to become a butch. My first girlfriend called me “Sugarbutch” and it stuck. Though my college girlfriend and I talked the talk of gender and sexuality, we were stuck in lesbian bed death—not that lesbians own bed death, exactly, any couple of any gender or sexuality can go through spells or years of time where they aren’t having sex, but lesbians have a particular corner on that market. (I have some theories about that, for another time.)

We were together four years, and had sex six times in the last two years. Six times! I counted! I was going crazy, tearing my hair out with desire and want, getting off in secret and feeling guilty, feeling depressed and anxious and unmotivated. I wasn’t writing. I couldn’t write anything without writing I want out of this relationship but I wasn’t ready to face that. I couldn’t get sex off my mind. So I decided that anytime I wanted to have sex, I would either go to the gym, or I would write erotica.

… So of course I wrote a lot of erotica (and didn’t really go to the gym). At first, the writings were all what I wished we’d done, what I was daydreaming about.

avatarYou did this little twist with your hips this morning that made me want to press you to the wall, hard, and take you right then.” … “Mouth open eyes closed, fingers pinching your nipples, working every lingering inch of me inside you. It didn’t really happen this way but it could have.” … “I can’t even hold a conversation with you anymore because every word in my mouth is clouded with why are we not kissing right now?

I started writing things, sentences, syntax that I actually kind of liked. And as I started breaking through, I started discovering what was inside the block: a deep unknowing—on both of our parts.

I was struggling to become butch, but I was also struggling to become myself.

So I did what I knew to do with writing I kind of liked and was afraid to own: I put it online. I wanted to study myself, more than anything else: to study sexualities, genders, and relationships. To make a graduate study of these things, to read all the books and read all the blogs and listen to all the podcasts and ask all the facilitators I could find what their best philosophies are for these tricky topics. It became a sanctuary, a writing prompt every day, a practice, a deepening of what I knew about myself and how to be me in the world.

It has been a personal study. This place has been the place where I’ve become me.

with Rachel Kramer Bussel during the Sex Bloggers Calendar photo shoot, 2008. first time I showed my face online

with Rachel Kramer Bussel during the Sex Bloggers Calendar photo shoot, 2008. first time I showed my face online

Of course, my college girlfriend (here known as “The Ex”) and I broke up. When I started writing and telling the truth to myself again, I couldn’t stay. It was a mess. I didn’t know how to leave. I didn’t know that not having good sex in a monogamous relationship was enough of a reason to leave, but I now do believe it is. I fell in love, hard, and got burned. I started healing, and grieving. I dated and explored and studied, I wrote and wrote, I started teaching. I fell in love again. There’s a lot more to all of those stories, but you can mostly read those for yourselves in the archives.

Somewhere along there, I started asking myself: “Now that I got everyone’s attention, what do I have to say?

I’ve been puzzling through that, trying desperately to make a living to enable me to keep doing my work these past few years, which is part of why you haven’t heard as much from me. I’ve been trying to come into integrity, into integration, bringing who I am offline together with the vision of myself I came to know through words. I’ve been struggling to create myself a life I can settle into, one that is sustainable, that can last, that can feed me and carry me into the work that I know I have to do in the world.

I haven’t figured that out entirely, yet, but I am getting closer. My life has been radically restructured in the past year, and I need some retreat and some quiet and some inner work so I can feel into what the new mission of my work is here beyond my own personal liberation. Telling my own story has been and will continue to be an important part of it, but there is more to it than that. I seek structure and vision in a bigger way, and I don’t quite know what that means yet, but I can feel that I’ve been moving steadily toward it.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for all of your comments and support. Thank you for your emails (even when I don’t have time to write back as thoroughly as I’d like). Thank you for coming to my workshops and buying my books. Thank you.

I love my job.

7thbirthdaySome of the other anniversary posts:

(The anniversary of Sugarbutch starting was Monday, April 29th, but that was my first day after a long 6-day training and the day before I left for a two-day trip to Madison, Wisconsin, so it took me a few days to get to it. Now I’m hitting “publish” from an airplane 30,000 feet up, zooming back to the Bay Area. We live in the future.)

International Ms. Leather 2013 Begins Tonight! Say Please, Pack n Play Cocks, Happy Hour, More

April 18, 2013  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

IMsL, the International Ms. Leather contest and one of the biggest gatherings of leather dykes and queers I’ve ever been to, starts tonight! I’m really looking forward to this weekend, to being a part of the contest behind the scenes (I’ll be judging!), and to catching up with so, so many friends from all over the country who will be in attendance.

winners2012

And! I want to send out a serious congratulations to the 2012 IMsL family, IMsL 2012 Synn Evans, IMsBB 2012 Tarna Scyanne, and 1st runner up Angel Propps. I’ve been following some of the adventures and tours and travels of these folks this past year, and they’ve done fantastic things being representatives of the leather community, doing outreach, gathering support for causes, raising money, and generally raising hell. I’m proud of Synn and her efforts to reflect multi-dimensional, complicated identities and issues within these communities. Thanks, Synn, for your year of service and all you’ve done.

synn

So badass, right? I’m excited for Synn’s roast on Friday night especially. I’m gearing up to say … some stuff.

There’s a queer happy hour from 7-9 at the host hotel (the Holiday Inn on Van Ness), and then there’s a drag show that both Rife and Lillith Grey are performing in (and others, I’m sure, but I’m pretty thrilled to watch the two of them).

You don’t need to have a ticket to the whole IMsL weekend in order to come for the happy hour—so if you’re in San Francisco and want to have a drink with sexy folks tonight, come on by!

I’m teaching a class on Flirting, Foreplay, and Fucking on Saturday at 2:30pm, so if you’re attending IMsL, come by and see me at that class.

And …

Say Pleaseshilogroup

I made a special stop at Cleis Press to pick up some more copies of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica (that I usually call “queer kinky smut”), the anthology that I edited that came out last year. I’m still incredibly proud of this collection and if you don’t have a copy of it yet, pick one up from me at IMsL and I’ll be glad to sign it for you! It’s got a pretty incredible lineup of stories and it’s dirty as hell.

I’ve also got the beautiful and “game changing” pack and play silicone cocks by New York Toy Collective, Shilo. I’ve got a couple different colors. They’re $135 each, which I know is a lot and can be preventative, but they are absolutely worth it. My Shilo has replaced two or three other cocks I used to carry around for different reasons (one for blow jobs; one for fucking someone who might not want to use my other favorite, the Maverick, because that one is sometimes too big; one for packing) and I love that it’s become my go-to cock. Maybe even my desert island cock, meaning the one I would bring to a desert island if I could only bring one. Depends on who I was on the island with, probably!

Here’s some other great things about Shilo:

  • The way the spine can curve means that it conforms to a person’s body better, and that means it doesn’t slip out as easily
  • It’s excellent for prostate or g-spot stimulation, since it can curve to any direction
  • The internal spine is a “proprietary core,” which the NYTC tells me means they “can’t tell you what’s in it,” but it does contain metal (which means it might show up as a blip on an airport security scan). The core is also wrapped in layers of silicone, and they haven’t had any instances of the inner bendable core poking through the silicone. It could hypothetically happen, but the layers are very thick and seems very sturdy
  • Of course, it is really good for packing and then fucking!

I’ll have my Square on me, so you can actually buy one with a credit card if you’d like to, or you can make sure to bring cash. Which color do you want? Let me know and I’ll save one for you!

See you at IMsL!

Feel into your own blooming: Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women in NYC

April 15, 2013  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

I’m the national coordinator for the Body Electric School‘s women and queer programs, and I’ve been working hard on their growth in the recent months. We’ve got some exciting programming in 2013, and I’m excited to invite you to another Celebrating the Body Erotic for women workshop in New York City May 17-19, 2013.

Here’s the Spring 2013 BE Newsletter that just went out:

It’s spring! Can you feel the growth buzzing in the air? My friend Kat told me once that she believes another way to say “god” is to say “the force that makes a seed grow,” and I think of that frequently when I see the new baby-green color popping open on the trees. Amazing, how nature grows and heals and sleeps and blooms again. Sometimes those buds that are just so tight and ready to pop make me feel like I am looking directly at creation itself.

2013 is bringing some new growth in the Body Electric women’s programs. We have new coordinators in Atlanta, Austin, Toronto, and Seattle, we have the fifth anniversary of the annual advanced Pulse retreat in July, and we have decided to make our workshops inclusive of all women.

This is our new blurb about gender:

This workshop is open to all women (be they born women or have come to know themselves as such later in their life) who are interested in exploring erotic energy in their own bodies, in supporting other women on that same exploration, and in doing so within the context of a community of women. By doing this work in community we break down isolation, dissipate shame, mirror for each other, and expand our self-definition of what it is to be a woman.

Thanks to Amy Butcher, the Bay Area coordinator, for the wordsmithing, and the faculty for pioneering new erotic energy territory and changing Body Electric’s gender essentialism.

There is a Celebrating the Body Erotic (CBE) workshop for women coming up May 17-19 in New York City. Perhaps you’ve done a CBE workshop before, but perhaps it is time to do it again. I find that I am so different every couple of years that I seek tapping into that inner wisdom of my body to tell me new things and remind me where I am now, and that a CBE is a wonderful tool to bring me back to myself.

Young Woman Meditating on the Floor

CELEBRATING THE BODY EROTIC FOR WOMEN

Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women on the BE School’s site
CBE for Women on Facebook

May 17-19, New York City, with Lizz Randall
May 31 – June 1, Atlanta, GA with Alex Jade

In a safe, serious and playful space that respects boundaries, embrace pleasure and experience your body as powerful, expressive and sacred. The class expands awareness and sensation through a process of breath, movement and touch. Each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored and celebrated. This workshop is for women of all sexual orientations and ages who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality and sensuality within a community of women.

During the program of carefully designed embodiment practices women will:

  • explore the innate wisdom of the body
  • expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored
  • learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
  • learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
  • learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

Celebrating the Body Erotic starts Friday evening 6:30-10 and runs all day Saturday and Sunday (9am-7pm) in a studio in Chelsea. The nearest subways are the 1 to 28th street, the N/R to 28th street.

PREREQUISITE: None

WORKSHOP FEE: $495
SPECIAL OFFERS:
• $50 off if PAID IN FULL 4 WEEKS prior, by April 19th.
• $50 off if REPEATING THE WORKSHOP within a year (use code REPEAT50)
• $100 off for the YOUTH PROGRAM for those under 30 (use code YOUTH100)

OFFERS CANNOT BE COMBINED

If you are in need of special assistance, please discuss your situation with the workshop coordinator. There are limited stipends available to offset the cost.

GENDER: CBE for Women is open to all women—trans, genderqueer, cis—who are interested in exploring erotic energy in their own bodies, in supporting other women on that same exploration, and in doing so within the context of a community of women.

ACCESS: The New York City space is located in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, close to the subway and bus lines. The space is in an elevator building with no steps. The workshop can be adopted to your particular body needs, be that with chairs, pillows, or other accommodations.


I am in love with this work. Lately I’ve been describing it as “erotic energetic embodied experiential education,” and while that’s a mouthful, I think it’s also the most accurate description I have. I continue doing this work, seeking out attendance of these workshops and putting on these workshops not because it is a good job, but because I want to see this work continue. It’s so important to me that these opportunities are offered. I cannot express the profound healing I’ve experienced within these weekends, and I know it has the potential to offer healing and peace for others, too.

Happy spring, happy new growth, and happy brave baby-green to all of you.

Trans Women Belong at Smith, BUTCH: Not Like the Other Girls, and Lots of Other Things To Tell You About

April 5, 2013  |  journal entries, miscellany  |  3 Comments

I have so much to tell you about. My arrival in California, sunshine, really good kale and well all of the vegetables here really, my feelings and grief, surviving heartbreak, what it’s like to have skipped the very end of winter and the very beginning of spring and moved on to full-on blooming, how the fog rolls down the San Francisco hills, that I’m staying at a place without indoor plumbing and electricity and cell service and wifi, how I really like staying at a place that relies on candles and one small solar outlet to charge my cell phone, how I am grateful to be staying at a place with chickens and mud and daffodils and raccoons that stole my cereal last night but how much I marvel and am grateful for the two warm showers I’ve taken this week, how forget-me-not flowers grow everywhere here, how easy it is to keep falling in love, how I’ve been getting re-focused on work, how I recorded the first audio file that may become a podcast that might be called Butt Buddies with my good friend Amy yesterday, how many events I have coming up in the near future including University of Tennessee Sex Week (can’t believe I haven’t written a press release about that yet) and UW Madison and judging at IMsL and another tantra training and a Lambda Literary Award reading of Cheryl’s book since it’s a finalist and the IMsL Bawdy Storytelling and maybe that’s about it.

But I don’t have time to write a big feelings post about everything, so meanwhile I have a few small things to share.

I was at Smith College in Northampton recently and they—students, faculty, alumni, and community supporters—are fighting for trans inclusion. The group Queers & Allies (Q&A) has started a petition, and I encourage you to read about what’s going on and sign it.

Also, if you are in or near Vancouver, BC, there is an amazing exhibit coming up. SD Holman has been collecting a series of butch portraits—she took my photo at the BUTCH Voices Portland regional conference in 2010—and now, her photos are displayed on Vancouver bus stops everywhere with the caption, BUTCH: Not like the other girls. She’s also got an exhibit of these portraits April 9 to 25. Here’s an article and more information about that.

Wish I could be there, but April is pretty damn busy in my world. I’ll be all over the country and working a lot. I’m really excited to keep refocusing on work and writing, and I have so many ideas and things in store for Sugarbutch.

Smith College, Oh My!, The CSPH, UTK Sex Week, IMsL, and Where Else I’ll Be In the Next Few Months

March 25, 2013  |  miscellany  |  7 Comments

Oh hello there Internet, I know you’re still here, and I love you. I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been working behind the scenes, diligently, trying to get things back in order so I can write more smut. I miss writing smut. Do you miss reading my smut writing?

And hello out there in person too! I’ve been teaching so many things in person these days. I feel stronger about my teaching skills, but I am definitely still learning. After eight workshops in seven days in February, I feel like I’m starting to feel like I’m getting closer to my 10,000 hours of teaching. (Ten thousand hours is actually about ten years, so goes the theory, and I’ve only been teaching sexuality and gender for about five years, but I did train to be a writing teacher ten years ago, so maybe my ten thousand hours are probably close to complete.)

Here’s where I’ll be in the coming weeks, and what’s going on for me this summer.

And then, the big news is that on Monday, April 1st, I’ve got a one-way ticket to San Francisco. I’ll be there for April and May, and then I’ll be heading to Alaska to visit family for June and July. I’ll be back in the Bay Area in August, and then … honestly, I’m not sure what will happen after that. I hope between now and then I’ll find a plan. If you feel inspired to donate to me as I restart and recalibrate and transition into a new incarnation of myself, and figure out what the hell I’m going to do with Sugarbutch and my heart, that would be incredibly helpful.

Here’s the rest of my summer schedule:

… After that, I’m not sure. I’m taking a leap of faith and trusting that I’ll figure it out along the way. I’m kind of looking for a job, at least maybe a part-time something, to get my feet back under me and have more consistency.

I was walking home the other day, and my neighbor, this small bald Puerto Rican guy with a handlebar mustache who I’ve made friends with over the five years I’ve lived here, said to me, “Haven’t seen you lately! Where you been?”

“I’ve been traveling, working,” I said. “I’m moving in April, actually.”

He said, “You’re moving!? Where you going?”

“To California,” I said, not wanting to go into the longer story of I’m-not-sure-Alaska-who-knows-about-the-fall.

“California!” he exclaimed, and proceeded to rant a little about how high the rent is in New York. I agreed.

“Well, I hope you have a happier, easier life out there in the California sunshine,” he offered. I teared up. I really hope I have a happier, easier life out there, too. And thanks, universe, for sending me a little reminder of the pleasure of my new adventure.

“Conversations Build Communities”: BUTCH Voices To Hold 3rd Biennial National Conference in Oakland August 15-18, 2013

March 11, 2013  |  miscellany, on butches  |  No Comments

BUTCH Voices is still looking for volunteers for the Steering Committee, Board, and some sub-committees if you’re interested in helping make the 2013 conference run. It’s great experience and a great way to build and deepen community. Check out the job descriptions and opportunities available.

flyer2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

Contact: Sinclair Sexsmith
Media representative, BUTCH Voices
+1 (917) 475-6316
[email protected]

“Conversations Build Communities”:
BUTCH Voices To Hold 3rd Biennial National Conference in Oakland August 15-18, 2013

February 26, 2013

Oakland, CA – The BUTCH Voices 3rd biennial National Conference will take place in Oakland, CA at the Oakland Marriott City Center August 15-18, 2013. The BUTCH Voices Board and Steering Committee are excited to continue our core initiatives: focusing on community building, social and economic justice, and physical and mental health.

The mission of BUTCH Voices is to enhance and sustain the well-being of all women, female-bodied, and trans-identified individuals who are Masculine of Center.*  We achieve this by providing programs that build community, positive visibility and empower us to advocate for our whole selves inclusive of and beyond our gender identity and sexual orientation. Our community is vast and growing and we have many identifications that resemble what the world knows as our “butchness.” We recognize our diversity as having a foundation rooted in butch heritage. We welcome the on-going development of movements intentionally and critically inclusive of our gender variant community. BUTCH Voices is a social justice organization that is race and gender inclusive, pro-womanist and feminist.

The official conference theme is “Conversations Build Communities,” which is an extension of our off-year regional Community Conversation gatherings. We have had Community Conversations in Boston and San Francisco, and in March in Seattle. There are gatherings in progress for Dallas, New York, Toronto, and others TBA. These community conversations in local cities will continue to encourage the elevation of discussion around these identities leading up to the national conference.

“The conference will be an amazing event for masculine of center folks and our allies to convene nationally and discuss issues relevant to our lives today, share our stories, network, attend workshops, sessions, social events, and performances,” said Board Chair and Founder Joe LeBlanc. “It’s an incredible opportunity to come together and be a part of the larger conversation, and witness the myriad of masculine identities.  It is life changing for so many of us to attend a gathering of this size, and take these conversations, resources, and connections back home to our local communities and beyond.”

A call for workshop presenters, performers, artists, and other contributors for the national conference will be announced soon. The BUTCH Voices Board is still seeking more members for the national conference Steering Committee, which will help produce and oversee the conference. If you’re interested, visit http://www.butchvoices.com/opportunities-available-with-butch-voices/ to view the opportunities available with BUTCH Voices and get in touch.

Subscribe to the BUTCH Voices newsletter online at BUTCHVoices.com to stay informed of the future conference announcements.

Further inquiries can be sent to Sinclair Sexsmith, Media Board Chair, at [email protected]

* Masculine of center (MoC) is a term, coined by B. Cole of the Brown Boi Project, that recognizes the breadth and depth of identity for lesbian/queer/womyn who tilt toward the masculine side of the gender scale and includes a wide range of identities such as butch, stud, aggressive/AG, dom, macha, tomboi, trans-masculine etc.

# # #

Everything You Want To Know About Sex & Kink at New College in Florida

March 8, 2013  |  miscellany  |  5 Comments

photo (4)

I’m at New College in Sarasota, Florida this week. I just spent an hour in a hammock (they are peppered throughout the college campus) reading a book in the sun with a cool breeze … it was hard to get up, but I’m trying to get some work done.

I’m still planning some trips to Madison, WI on March 14, to the Catalyst Conference March 15-17, and then to Oh My in Northampton, MA on March 27 and The CSPH in Pawtucket, RI on March 30th. I’m still hoping to visit a couple other places up there (Hello Hampshire! Smith! Wellesley! UMass! Harvard!) … but after that, I won’t be doing as many events this summer. I’m hoping to kind of take the summer off and try to get my life working again, as I’m financially strapped and pretty unsettled. So, so much change is going on in my world and I need to settle into the new things and let go of the old things.

Meanwhile, I have one more workshop tonight, in Sarasota. It’s a Everything You Want To Know About Sex & Kink workshop, and I’ll be covering all sorts of topics, as dictated by the students here and what they want to know.

They conducted a pretty elaborate survey (50 people responded—which, at a school of 800, is quite a huge percentage of the student body responding!) and gave me the results:

Ranking of Topics (winner D_S)

Rating of Sample Workshops

You naughty kinksters!

Looks like D/s, gender roles, and bondage/toys/kink are the most desirable topics, so we’ll go with that. We’ll also go over the basics of kink, playing safely, some deconstructions of topping and bottoming, and how to flirt. That might be a little ambitious, but we’ll just go with it and get as far as we can!

I’m excited to have this conversation tonight, and ever interested in what people want to talk about and what kind of interesting things we’ll uncover. I so love doing this work and I’m ever surprised that people want to hear what I have to say … thanks for bringing me, New College! I’ve been having a blast so far and I’m excited about tonight.

So I’m still doing that crazy traveling thing …

February 13, 2013  |  miscellany  |  1 Comment

… and I have just arrived for a week in Washington, DC, with a little side trip to Virginia.

I’m especially looking forward to being at Dark Odyssey Winter Fire! While I’m teaching four classes in two days (gulp), it’s also incredibly fun, with lots of folks I’m looking forward to seeing, and lots of fascinating workshops for kinky skills that I don’t yet have.

Here’s where I’ll be stopping:

In March, I’ll be visiting New College in Sarasota, UW Madison in Wisconsin, Oh My! toy shop in Northampton, and the CSPC in Pawtucket, RI. I’m still interested in doing workshops around those venues and dates—if you live somewhere near those places and want to bring me to do something, let me know!

My complete schedule is always updated on mrsexsmith.com/appearances.

Hey Seattle! Beauty and the BUTCH April 27, a BUTCH Voices Benefit

February 11, 2013  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Please forward widely!

Announcing … Beauty and the BUTCH: A 2013 BUTCH Voices Benefit

seattle

BUTCH Voices in conjunction with Lily Divine Productions and the Center for Sex Positive Culture invites you to indulge in an evening of deliciously BUTCH revelry, hot performances and choose-your-own play party adventures.

Saturday, April 27, 2013
7pm – doors open – socializing, raffle ticket sales, negotiations for later adventures
8pm – Lily Divine Productions presents a thrilling show of tantalizing teases from queers of all genders!
9:30/10pm til 2am – BUTCH Voices and the Center for Sex Positive Culture present one amazing queer play party

Get your tickets in advance at http://beautyandthebutchseattle.eventbrite.com/
Price for admission is $25. We will be offering a discount to attendees of LDP/Debauchery at $20.

At the Center for Sex Positive Culture (Main Space)
1602 15th Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98119

Open call for raffle items and date auction candidates – send information to [email protected]

Details about the play party from the CSPC:

Want to have sex? Want to do bondage? Want to hang out and socialize? Want to spank or beat on someone? Want to poke someone with needles? Come on in and have some fun and support a good cause! Dungeon equipment as well as all of the side rooms and the back room will be open for play. Be forewarned, depending on play styles of attendees, it may be loud.

There will be a Men’s-only event in the adjacent Annex & Raw spaces, but the Main Space will be open to queers of all genders and orientations. If it is allowed here at the CSPC, it is allowed at this party!

All proceeds from this Benefit will support the 2013 BUTCH Voices Conference (taking place August 15-18, 2013 in Oakland).

More information about BUTCH Voices: www.BUTCHVoices.com
More information about Lily Divine Productions: www.lilydivine.com

Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic in Philadelphia March 1-3

February 4, 2013  |  miscellany  |  1 Comment

boxesI’ve been working with The Body Electric School since 2000, since I was just barely out and hadn’t even slept with a girl yet, since the year after I left my high school boyfriend of six years right before I had an abortion and decided that was how certain I had to be in order to become the me I was meeting in dreams.

Body Electric changed and formed and forged my adult sense of both sexuality and spirituality. It has interwoven the two of those things, my callings and my desires, my body and my understanding of god, such that I can almost not untangle them anymore—my sexual explorations are a way to deepen my spirituality and sense of energy and self on the planet, my love of and relationship with the planet is a way to fuel my relationships with and energetic exchanges with (read: fuckfests) other people.

Since I got involved almost thirteen years ago, the work has been divided into “men’s workshops,” “women’s workshops,” and “men and women’s workshops.” But the teachers that I’ve been learning from and am coming up under—Alex Jade and Lizz Randall, namely, who are both queer and genderqueer, Alex being on the dandy masculine side of things and Lizz being a femme—along with my friend and butt buddy (long story) Amy Butcher, the coordinator in San Francisco, and I have all decided that we want to bust open the binary gender system within BE, create more room for trans and genderqueer folks to be able to be included in this work, and to start doing more work with those populations.

And voila, the Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic workshop was born.

It is based on the Celebrating the Body Erotic (CBE) workshop model, which is a finely honed workshop that builds on itself from very gentle interaction on Friday night to an intense community experience on Sunday afternoon. It is a clothing-optional workshop where some erotic touch is invited and possible. Everything is done with deep consent, with lots of checking in with one’s self and lots of trust that the others in the workshop are doing that too, and the work is deeply trauma-informed, meaning that we know and expect that we hold a lot of trauma in our bodies, and when we are working specifically on our bodies and our genitals and our relationship with them, we know many things come up. Feelings of shame, fear, being threatened, memories. Lots of things that we may have the ability to actually bring up in a safe enough container that we can let it go. That, to me, is part of the essence of the healing.

But, the integration of new gender policies into the larger Body Electric School has been very hard. The organization is majority run by gay men and serves gay men, probably 80% of the workshops are men’s workshops, and yes, that pretty much means cis men.

We are trying to change this.

The women’s teams have made the decisions to go forward with the women’s workshops as including ALL WOMEN, all trans women regardless of body or surgery or whatever, and all people born female who can bring our female or women-identified parts into the circle. There will be an ALL MEN’s workshop coming soon, hypothetically, that BE is working on. And as we are offering more “mixed gender” workshops, like the Power, Surrender, and Intimacy workshop I’m doing in New York this fall, we are making it “all genders” instead of “mixed,” and inviting anyone with a body to come.

And of course, there’s the Outside the Boxes workshop. It (or another CBE or equivalent) is a prerequisite for any of the more advanced or intermediate workshops. It gives an amazing introduction to how this work is done and what we do with it. It teaches all sorts of basic tools, like consent and breath, and encourages deep embodiment.

I am so in love with this work. I have been working so, so hard to bring this work to my people—you genderqueer trans queer genderfluid gendernonconforming folks whom I adore and whom I am dying to be in erotic circles with. Please come. There are still spaces available in this workshop, though we are going to cap it at 24 to keep it a manageable and good size. Please come. I know it’s expensive, but it is worth every dollar and probably more, and we made it a sliding scale so that we can get as many people there as possible. Please come. Prove to the Body Electric School that this work is worth it, is lucrative, is needed in the world, and is received when we offer it. Please come.

Dear universe, please send a full, abundant, explorative group of people to explore this work in Philadelphia in March. I cannot wait to meet them all. I want more colleagues on this path, and I want more playmates, and I want more support as I pursue this work. I believe so deeply in the power of this to heal us, and I know that my people need this healing as much or more than anybody. It is my calling. I know it’s important in the world. Please send abundance. Love, Sinclair.

Are you buzzing? Are you intrigued? Get in touch with me, even if you aren’t sure if you’ll do it or not. I can tell you more about it. I want to give it to you, want to give you this gift of this work. Are you feeling called? Listen to that place beyond the “oh I can’t make that happen logistics logistics” “ugh it’s too expensive” “I don’t know I’m so scared!” chatter, and see if it’s time.

Here’s the details on the workshop. Please share this widely with friends and folks you might know near Philadelphia!

Facebook event

Qcbe postcard 2013 rev

Your gender. Your body. Your energy. Your beautiful self. How often has the world tried to force you into the gender binary, asked you to assure it that your pronouns matched what it saw rather than what you felt, required that your genitals conform to expectations, demanded that you deny the complexity of all that is you?

What if you could come into a community in which all expressions were possible? Where gender, sexuality and expression were aligned according to your truth? Where no one assumed what parts would go where? Welcome to Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic!

Come explore your erotic potential through the mind, the body and the heart using conscious breath, movement, process work and massage. Awaken the erotic energy that lies within all of us. Through a queer tantra lens, explore archetypal masculine and feminine energies and the myriad ways they can be expressed. Break down silos of gender and sexuality.

This workshop focuses on the entire body and is conducted in a container that is playful, safe and reverential. Using carefully designed experiential embodiment practices participants will:

  • explore the innate wisdom of your body
  • expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each person’s choices and rhythms are honored
  • learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit
  • to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
    learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
  • learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic is a 2 1/2 day workshop (Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday), often clothing-optional, for those who are ready to vigorously explore new levels of feeling and aliveness, both within themselves and within a community of queers. Space is limited, so please register early.

NOTE: Couples are welcome to attend Out of the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic and have the option of working together or with the other participants.

WORKSHOP FEE: $250-495. This workshop offers a sliding scale fee dependent upon personal financial circumstances. We believe the work is important and those who need it be considered. Please contact the Coordinator to discuss.

March 1-3, Philadelphia, PA: contact Sinclair Sexsmith, [email protected]
October 11-13, Oakland, CA: contact Amy Butcher, [email protected]

Register on the Body Electric website.