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.
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY
Contact: Sinclair Sexsmith
Media representative, BUTCH Voices
+1 (917) 475-6316
“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 Sinclair@BUTCHVoices.com
* 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.
# # #
The summer has flown by and I have barely updated this place. I have been traveling tons since March, if you’ve been keeping up with me on Facebook or Twitter you probably know that I’ve been in Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Portland, Albuquerque, Baltimore (twice), and Los Angeles in the last few months.
I have been having a wonderful time promoting Say Please—if you came out to a reading or event, thank you! I met so many people and taught workshops on Cock Confidence and Writing Dirty and all sorts of other fun things.
I kept thinking that I have August and September off from traveling, but in truth I’ve got a bit more to go. I’ll be near Baltimore for Summer Camp and then back in Seattle for my very last Tantra training, then I’ll be back on the road visiting colleges. Want to bring me to speak at your school? I’d love to go! I’ll be posting more details about that soon.
I’m starting to gear up for the fall in a serious way. I’m getting some new workshops together (including So You Want to Be A Daddy, Feminist Kink: You Can Have It All, D/s Protocol, The Sexual Politics of Topping, Butch & Femme for the 21st Century, and others!), and I’m getting together my tour list for the fall. I’m aiming to be in Boston, San Francisco, Hartford CT, Springfield MA, Albany NY, Austin, Chicago, Durham, Dallas, and more.
The other new exciting thing for this fall is that I’m starting to see people individually for sessions. I know “sessions” is incredibly broad, and that’s also accurate—content for these sessions can be widely varied. In general, I’m starting to work with people who want more of a one-on-one approach to learning some of the things that I have been teaching about, things like embodiment, sexuality, sensuality, pleasure, shame, writing about sex, self-actualization, touch, energy, and the many facets of queer tantric lineage I have been learning through. I’m not sure how to talk about this or advertise it yet, really,
Exciting Embodiment Workshops You Should Know About
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women in Seattle, October 26-28
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.
Power, Surrender, and Intimacy for Queers in San Francisco, September 28-30
- This workshop explores techniques of BDSM practice, using the circle of women and men as a grounded, respectful container in which to discover and clarify edges of empowerment, liberation and embodiment.
Learn to recognize aspects of yourself that are continually engaged in power dynamics, and hence become more choiceful about how you can share power with compassion and skill. Learn ways that power and sensation can be wielded for a healing intention, and experience the intense fire generated by a surrender to trust. Expect heightened awareness of your body’s capacity for sensation, a greater sense of personal empowerment, and appreciation for the connection between the divine energy of power and the human energy of surrender.
The program begins on Friday evening 6:30PM-10PM and runs 9AM-6PM Saturday and Sunday.
Prerequisite: Celebrating the Body Erotic or equivalent experience. Contact coordinator to see if this workshop is right for you.
Event on Fetlife
Dirty Things For You To Read
Girls Who Score has my first butch/butch published erotica story included in it, about an encounter in a locker room. Check out my entry from the book’s blog tour for more about my process writing it. Anything For You: Erotica for Kinky Couples features a story about a threesome with Kristen and a (now good) friend of ours. Stripped Down: Lesbian Sex Stories reprinted the very first erotica story that I ever published, which was about packing to yoga class and staying after for some, ah, “adjustments.”
I’m still writing elsewhere online, primarily for Fearless Press and Lambda Literary Foundation these days. Here’s a couple recent articles.
I’ve got a long list of writing ideas, and I really want to actually write soon instead of spending all my time on marketing and promotion. I miss writing. I have so much to tell y’all about my poly experiment data collecting, sex, my dad and family, my ecology of desire, and all sorts of things.
So maybe you’ve heard, but I’ve got an exciting (official) announcement: I’m on the board of BUTCH Voices working up to the 2013 National Conference as Media Chair. This is my second board position and I’m really excited to work with this organization. I don’t know if I’ve ever attended a conference as diverse as BUTCH Voices, both in race and in ability and class and culture and perspective and all sorts of other things, and I’m thrilled to be part of the team.
We’ve got a lot of exciting things in the works between now and the 2013 National Conference (which will be in August in Oakland, exact dates TBA). We won’t have Regional Conferences this year like we did in 2011, but we are working on some Community Conversations, which will be gatherings for folks who want to come together and discuss butch and masculine of center identities, and conclude with some sort of party. The first scheduled is in San Francisco on September 15th and more details on that will come soon (the organizers are still looking for folks interested in performing, entertaining, or donating raffle prizes).
We also have some open positions on the board, steering committee, programming committee, and media team, and I’m looking for bloggers who are interested in posting or cross-posting to the BUTCHVoices.com blog. Want to get involved with that? Email me, email@example.com.
I’ll also be helping to put on the New York City Community Conversation, so if you’re interested in being involved with that—performing, donating raffle prizes, etc—let me know.
Here’s the whole of the newsletter. Subscribe here and be the first to receive the next newsletter.
- BUTCH Voices Summer 2012 Newsletter
Greetings, BUTCH Voices attendees, participants, presenters, lovers, allies, sponsors, and more!
You haven’t heard much from us since the 2011 National Conference in Oakland, but we’re beginning to get our ties out and polish up the wingtips so we can hve some exciting events and productivity between now and our 2013 National Conference.
In this (new!) BUTCH Voices newsletter, you will find:
- BUTCH Voices Organization updates
- Open positions
- Community Conversations in 2012/2013
- Call for Contributors: butchvoices.com
- The 2013 Conference
BUTCH Voices Organization Updates
First, because obviously you’re dying to know, here’s what’s new at BUTCH Voices!
We have a revised board, consisting of:
Joe LeBlanc – Board Chair
Mary Stockton – Finance Chair
Redwolf Painter – Strategic Impact Chair
Sinclair Sexsmith – Media Chair
Adriana Batista – Resource Development Chair
We held our 2012 board retreat in April in Oakland, and in it we solidified our goals for 2012 and 2013, which include adding some organizational structure, getting our media plan going, and working on events for our off-year (more on that later). We are still looking to add a Member At Large to our board, and various other positions to the Steering Committee (more details about our open positions below).
We are also excited to announce that we have a new Advisory Board, which consists of people who have been super supportive and involved in varying capacities with the work here at BUTCH Voices in the past. They are joining us in an official advisory capacity for the organization and our communities at large.
Advisory Board members:
Read their full bios here on the BUTCHVoices.com site.
And of course, we are moving forward with the ultimate goal of organizing the BUTCH Voices National Conference in 2013, which will take place in August in Oakland. We are still solidifying the exact date and location, but you will be the first to know!
The BUTCH Voices Board of Directors are currently looking for volunteers to add to the BUTCH Voices Board, the National Conference Steering Committee and Subcommittees. If you’re looking to volunteer time on a ongoing basis and want a specific role on the team, we have a few that are open. Priority will be given to folks identifying with the butch, stud, masculine of center identities, but allies should also feel free to apply. All positions are unpaid and volunteer based.
Two BUTCH Voices Board positions currently open: Secretary and Member at Large. Multiple BUTCH Voices National Steering Committee positions currently open, including: Performance Chair and Co-Coordinator, Sponsor/Vendor Chair and Co-Coordinator, and Media Coordinator. We are currently also seeking volunteers for a Media Team for communications and online projects, and Programming Committee.
For detailed descriptions of the open positions, and for information about how to send your resume to BUTCH Voices, see http://www.BUTCHVoices.com/opportunities-available-with-butch-voices/
BUTCH Voices is excited to announce that during our off-year, 2012, we will be holding regional “Community Conversations” in various cities around the United States and Canada to promote connection, elevation of conversation, and community building for masculine of center folks and our allies.
We are aiming to hold Community Conversations possibly in, though not limited to, the following cities: Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, Portland OR, San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Oakland, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Vancouver BC, and Toronto. We are currently moving forward with Seattle and New York City in fall 2012, and we will get those dates to you just as soon as we can. We hope other cities will soon follow!
SAN FRANCISCO has already been announced: Save the date! September 15th 2012 will be a Community Conversation and afterparty, Beauty and the BUTCH, featuring entertainment, fashion, and a raffle with many exciting prizes. More details on the BUTCH Voices website.
Topics will be generated by the individual groups who attend, and we expect regional differences to affect which subjects, philosophies, and concerns each group will focus on. We expect 20-50 people attending each Community Conversation gathering, and we hope to encourage conversation, connection, and networking as we gear up for next year’s 2013 BUTCH Voices National Conference. The Community Conversations will also serve as fundraisers for BUTCH Voices, and funds will be split between local organizers to assist their attendance at the National BUTCH Voices conference and with BUTCH Voices National.
If you are interested in being involved in hosting, fundraising, or coordinating a Community Conversation in your city, contact BUTCH Voices outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In August 2013, BUTCH Voices will present our third bi-annual national conference located in Oakland, CA, exact dates TBA.
Call for Contributors – BUTCHVoices.com
BUTCH Voices is seeking writers, bloggers, vloggers, photographers, and multi-media generators to contribute to www.butchvoices.com. Posts are ideally 500-750 words, 5 photographs, or one video with short description. Content should include something about masculine of center identity in any capacity, be it promotion for an art project, musings, or calls for contributions or collaborations. Contributions are unpaid but do you will receive a byline, which includes a one-line bio, link to your project, exposure to our thousands of followers, and our gratitude. Content may be cross-posted and do not have to be new, so long as they are relevant to masculine of center identities, adhere to our mission statement, and follow anti-oppression fundamentals. Contact Sinclair, media chair of the Butch Voices board, email@example.com for more information. If you are interested in contributing, send Sinclair one sample works, your one-line bio, and your any relevant links to your work.
The 2013 BUTCH Voices National Conference
… is in progress! We are securing a venue and exact dates in August, 2013, even as you read this. For now, keep it in mind and plan to be in Oakland to join hundreds of masculine of center folks and our allies to continue discussing, connecting, playing, partying, philosophizing, laughing, and crying together.
Thank you for your ongoing support and contributions to BUTCH Voices!
Joe, Mary, Wolf, Adriana, and Sinclair
The 2013 BUTCH Voices Board
In addition to wanting bloggers for the BUTCH Voices website, I’m also looking for a Media Team that will work under me:
Media Team’s tasks (Reports to the Media Chair)
- Responsible for completing tasks relating to the website, social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc), newsletter
- Design components for print and web using BUTCH Voices branding standard colors, fonts, and logos
- Respond promptly and keep in contact
- Available for last-minute tasks and able to complete assignments within 24-48 hours
- Timely and efficient, hard working, able to take direction and ask for clarification, able to work in a team environment digitally from a home office
- Reliable internet access, computer access; some HTML skills, WordPress, CMS, text editing,
Photoshop, and graphic design skills are a plus.
- Keen eye for detail
Interested? Want to work with me for a year? Want to learn what I know about running a community website, butch identity, outreach, and communications? Want to take part in forming the 2013 BUTCH Voices National Conference? I’m looking for some committed, smart, flexible folks who are interested in contributing—get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am excited about this trajectory for BUTCH Voices, and thrilled to be part of it.
Topside Press announces the release of “My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B” … I don’t know what else to say.
Contact: Katie Liederman
Media Representative, Topside Press
+1 212 457-5660
“MY AWESOME PLACE: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHERYL B” TO BE PUBLISHED BY TOPSIDE SIGNATURE
Official Publication Date October 23, 2012
New York, NY (June 26, 2012) – Topside Press imprint Topside Signature has today announced that October 23, 2012 will be the official release date of My Awesome Place: The Autobiography Of Cheryl B, the highly anticipated book by poet and curator Cheryl Burke based on the manuscript that remained incomplete at the time of the author’s death in 2011. The autobiography offers a rare authentic glimpse into the electrifying arts scene of New York City’s East Village during the vibrant 1990s, through the eyes of the young writer during her rise to prominence as the spoken word artist known as Cheryl B.
In the months following her death, members of Burke’s close-knit writing group, who had met continuously for nine years, worked to compile her drafts, essays and emails into a completed manuscript which was eventually synthesized into its final form by Burke’s close friend, novelist Sarah Schulman. The book’s narrative, from a liminal space between fiction and memoir, tracks her struggle to translate her working class New Jersey roots and define herself as an artist against the backdrop of an unforgiving city, a series of disastrous girlfriends and boyfriends and an intense, intimate relationship with drugs and alcohol. By the time Burke emerged, sober, in 2001, she had witnessed–and made major contributions to– one of the most remarkable artistic transformations that New York City has ever experienced.
“Historians are only just now beginning to deal with the transformations in art and culture that the East Village experienced in the 1990s,” said publisher Tom Léger. “My Awesome Place will quickly earn a place as a seminal text from this turbulent period in American art.”
Cheryl Burke (1972-2011) was a journalist, poet, performer and playwright who came of age in the vibrant 1990s East Village art scene. Her performances at the Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club, the National Arts Club, P.S. 122, St. Marks Poetry Project established Burke as a young luminary and during her career she performed at venues throughout the US and abroad. Her work was published in Ping Pong, BUST, KGB Bar Lit, Go Magazine, Velvet Park, a dozens of other journals and magazines, and anthologized in Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution (Seal Press, 2007), Reactions 5 (Pen & Inc, 2005), The Milk of Almonds: Italian-American Women Writers on Food & Culture (Feminist Press, 2002), The World in Us (St. Martins Press, 2000), Pills, Thrills, Chills and Heartache (Alyson Books, 2004), His Hands, His Tools, His Sex, His Dress (Haworth Press, 2001), among others. Burke was a graduate of both New York University and The New School. She passed away at the age of 38 from complications related to treatment of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My Awesome Place is her first book.
# # #
Topside Signature is an imprint of Topside Press, and is based in New York City, New York. Topside Signature will publish a select number of superb literary works of exceptional cultural significance to queer and feminist communities. The first title issued will be My Awesome Place and publishers expect to release 2-3 titles per year beginning in 2013.
My Awesome Place: The Autobiography of Cheryl B
By Cheryl Burke
$25.95 (hardcover) / $15.95 (paperback)
228 Park Avenue South,
New York, NY 10003
Format: Hardcover, paperback
Size: 5.5″x8.5″, 208 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9832422-4-6 (hc) / 978-0-9832422-5-3 (pb)
Date of Publication: October 23, 2012
Distribution arrangements: Ingram
Book Release Party for “My Awesome Place” in NYC
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 7pm
172 Allen Street, New York, New York 10002
The official release event for “My Awesome Place: The Autobiography Of Cheryl B”, the highly anticipated book by poet and curator Cheryl Burke based on the manuscript that remained incomplete at the time of the author’s death in 2011. The autobiography offers a rare authentic glimpse into the electrifying arts scene of New York City’s East Village during the vibrant 1990s, through the eyes of the young writer during her rise to prominence as the spoken word artist known as Cheryl B.
Please join us to celebrate the publication of Cheryl’s first book.
About MY AWESOME PLACE
In the months following her death, members of Burke’s close-knit writing group, who had met continuously for nine years, worked to compile her drafts, essays and emails into a completed manuscript which was eventually synthesized into its final form by Burke’s close friend, novelist Sarah Schulman.
The book’s narrative, from a liminal space between fiction and memoir, tracks her struggle to translate her working class New Jersey roots and define herself as an artist against the backdrop of an unforgiving city, a series of disastrous girlfriends and boyfriends and an intense, intimate relationship with drugs and alcohol. By the time Burke emerged, sober, in 2001, she had witnessed–and made major contributions to– one of the most remarkable artistic transformations that New York City has ever experienced.
If you’ve been lurking around Sugarbutch for a while, you know who Syd London is.
Syd has taken many of the most significant photos of me and my events in the last few years. She is an incredible photographer, hard-working and frequently nearly invisible at events, sneaking in to get just the right shots without interrupting the performers or the vibe of what’s going on (which is not true of all event photographers, just sayin’).
The first shoot that Syd and I did was a solo shoot of me, in slightly industrial Brooklyn, so early in the morning that I look kind of tired in some of the shots. But you probably recognize at least this one:
… because that’s the shot I used as a headshot for a few years. More from that photo shoot are on Syd’s flickr stream … I especially like this one.
Then Syd shot me and Cheryl the night that we started Sideshow.
You’ve seen many of these shots, too, because I used them as promo images for the series while it ran for a year and a half. There are many, many more shots of us from that night, together and separately, and the colors are amazing, and Cheryl looks so serious and dark and her usual self, and then sometimes one of us made her laugh and we got this rare shot of her smile. I’m so glad we have some photos of us together. Syd took hundreds of shots that night, and made us both look incredible.
She also snapped a few quick shots of me and Kristen, including this one, which is one of my favorite photographs of us together that we yet have:
And just, wow. I love that photograph.
Syd went on to photograph Sideshow for Time Out New York a couple different times throughout the series. How else would I have these amazing shots, capturing what it was like to be there for the first time? I was so nervous. Cheryl was buzzing around but kept a completely cool head, as she did. Kristen was beautiful and welcoming and warm, as she is.
And Syd captured it all.
Syd went on to photograph the Butch Voices NYC Regional Conference, for which I was on the steering committee, and snapped more shots of me, the conference in general, and Kristen and Cheryl as part of the volunteer committee that baked for the butches.
Syd also got shots of the Sideshow/Queer Memoir Butch Voices Mashup and the Speed Friending/Speed Dating opening night social. I’m on the Butch Voices national board now, have I mentioned that yet? I should make a formal announcement about that, I (we, the board) haven’t yet.
… And then Cheryl was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Syd took the photos of Cheryl’s old fashioned lesbian head shaving ritual, and one of the photos made it into the New York Times “Lives They Lived” series and was featured in the NYT Magazine.
Kelli & Cheryl had their own shoot before we did the head shaving, so these are some of the last shots of Cheryl with all of her hair.
I love the love in these photographs. They were so good together, and loved each other so well.
Syd went on to photograph Nerd Love, the Valentine’s show that Kelli and Cheryl did together with some friends, as well as Fuck Your Health and Butch Burlesque and Butch It Up and dozens more community events.
And then Cheryl died. And Syd photographed the last Sideshow, just like she’d photographed the first one, except without Cheryl. And Kristen and I tried not to cry all night, and I put Sideshow on hold.
And a month or so later, Syd photographed Cheryl’s memorial.
… and I don’t even know what to say about that. It was a beautiful, important night, and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
So basically, Syd London’s photography tells many the stories of my life for the past two years, from formal headshot photoshoots to community events to private rituals to memories that I am so blessed to cherish in images. I didn’t really realize that I’d be doing an overview of my successes and lows and family, but well, that’s what I’m doing.
The point is, Syd London needs a camera.
She’s been doing all this work borrowing camera equipment, and needs her own in order to continue capturing the community events that she’s been doing for many years, not just the last few that I’ve been working with her. She’s touched many, many lives of artists and activists in this community.
Here’s the video version of this request:
And here’s what Syd has to say about this campaign:
My name is Syd London; I’m a Brooklyn based, self taught, professional photographer and photojournalist. Until photography I struggled since the age of 9 with my soul question; how can I use my life as a tool? Baring witness, documenting and story telling through my photography while working to get those stories out there have become my answer. However, the professional grade tools which enable me to do this work are extremely expensive. I haven’t had my own digital camera since August 2010, when my camera was broken beyond repair. Since then I’ve been working on borrowed and rented equipment. Skyrocketing rental costs make it extremely difficult to continue and impossible to save for the needed equipment. I don’t want to wear my welcome out from relying on the incredible generosity of friends for camera loans. I never know what I’m going to work with or how/if I’m going to get a camera for the next gig. I’m especially concerned about the continuity of my work dedicated to social justice; licenses to these photos are frequently donated to organizations doing social justice work at a grass roots level such as Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Audre Lorde Project and Queers for Economic Justice. A professional grade camera rig of my own would enable me to continue my ongoing documentary about the LGBT community in NYC “Taking Back the Streets” (started in 2007), to continue to donate to magnificent organizations and artists as well as enable me push my work to the next level, something I’m starved for.
If you’ve got any extra money and you’re capable of giving a donation to her campaign, I urge you to do so. For selfish reasons, I want to keep working with Syd, and I want her photographs to keep being amazing. And for more community reasons, I know Syd’s work makes a huge difference, and I know how important it is to have not only a record of our communities, but a way to show us off in the mainstream that is accessible, beautiful, and moving.
Thank you, Syd, for all the incredible work you’ve done. I hope it’ll continue for a long time.
Megan Andelloux, who runs the Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health in Pawtucket, RI, and is one of my favorite sex educators, just launched a new project called What They Are Asking which features questions from students to sex educators, and some answers, too.
This project is a bit more 101 level than the things I usually focus on—butch and femme identity, radical masculinity, feminism and kink, topping and bottoming—but regardless, I’m looking forward to being part of this great selection of educators, which includes Buck Angel and Charlie Glickman, among others.
The press release:
Megan Andelloux, also known as “Oh Megan”, is proud to participate in a new project and website aimed at increasing awareness of the state of sexuality education in the United States, titled “What They Are Asking”. Born out of the experiences of adult sexuality educators, WTAA serves as a collective, community-driven response to the question, “Why do adults need sex education?” WTAA seeks to respond to important questions concerning the necessity of comprehensive sex education and highlights the ways that the United States’ lack of comprehensive sex education in youth leads to sexually misinformed adults.
First and foremost, the “What They Are Asking” web project involves the daily posting of three question cards, each featuring a question submitted anonymously during various adult sex education lectures and workshops throughout the country. These cards represent the vast multitude of concerns, issues, and questions adults have about sex and sexuality. According to Megan Andelloux, founder and director of The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health and co-founder of WTAA, “Sharing [these questions] with a wider audience will let these authentic voices demonstrate the importance of our work as sexuality educators and the true need for quality, comprehensive sex education.”
The second component of WTAA is a fun, interactive educational component: viewers of WTAA will be able to vote on the question they would most like answered that week. Once the votes are tallied, a sexuality educator with relevant expertise will write or upload a video in response to the question with the most votes. The WTAA project will feature educators from many different components in the field of human sexuality, with specialties as gender, sexual medicine, relationships, self-esteem, and more.
Sexuality educators involved in “What They Are Asking” hope that this project will eventually go on to be used by policy makers to advocate for comprehensive sex education within both primary and secondary school systems.
Check it out: What They Are Asking.com
Kristen & I received notice that Best Lesbian Erotica 2012—for which I am the guest editor!—has shipped! If you pre-ordered a copy, you should get it any moment. If you haven’t yet, well, as the series editor Kathleen Warnock says, this is a perfect holiday gift. Add it to your wish list. Buy it for Grandma.
(More holiday gift suggestions are coming, I’m working on a list.)
I can’t wait to hear what y’all think of this compilation. I think it’s very, very dirty.
I’m thrilled to announce the table of contents and cover for my upcoming (and very first!) anthology, Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, coming in April 2012 from Cleis Press.
The description, via Amazon:
Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of lesbian kink — tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place — and held there firmly. A girly-girl reaps a sweet punishment for refusing to mess up her oh-so-pink lipstick and a well-equipped top takes charge. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want!
In “The Cruelest Kind,” Kiki Delovely’s naughty narrator gets her just desserts from her butch girlfriend with some fierce back alley bondage while D.L. King’s domme makes her submissive strip before un unseen audience, binds her to a bench, and gives her a good strapping in “A Public Spectacle.” Anna Watson’ bored housewife gets more than she bargains for in “The Keys” when she follows a lesbian animal trainer out to a queer bar and anything goes in Xan West’s sexy “Strong” when a transgender butch and genderqueer sub engage in some very tough love.
And here are the contents. I am SO thrilled to have so many pieces by amazing writers. Seriously, these are some of the best of the best, I can’t wait to see the whole thing all together.
Introduction by Sinclair Sexsmith
Baseball Cap by Miriam Perez
First Ride by Wendi Kali
A Slap in the Face by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Housewife by Gigi Frost
Call Me Sir by BB Rydell
All of Me by Amelia Thornton
Taking Direction by Vie La Guerre
Black Hanky by Sassafras Lowrey
Spanking Booth by Dusty Horn
The Cruelest Kind by Kiki Delovely
Going the Distance by Elaine Miller
She Spoiled Me by Shawna Elizabeth
Gentleman Caller by Sossity Chiricuzio
Three Weeks and Two Days by Meridith Guy
Counting Love by August InFlux
Purge by Marie See
A Public Spectacle by DL King
The Keys by Anna Watson
Coming of Age by Dilo Keith
Not Without Permission by Sinclair Sexsmith
Feathers Have Weight by Alysia Angel
Strong by Xan West
Unworthy As I Am by Elizabeth Thorne
I’ve created a Twitter account for Say Please, a Facebook page, and a Twitter list to follow the authors, so you can keep up with all of us if you’d like. There is nothing at all at the book’s wordpress site yet, but there will be.
Keep an eye out for a blog tour, book release party in New York, review copies, and readings around the country, including (but hopefully not limited to) New York City, Seattle, Portland, Durham, and Boston.
I am so excited about this!
I’m starting to write a new column on SexIs Magazine, this time it’s an advice column called Mr. Sexsmith Says. The first one came out today, about stone identity and butches, and they’ll be published every other week.
I have a pretty decent stack of index cards from my workshops, as well as some unanswered questions from emails and from the Ask Me Anything Sugarbutch anniversary thread, so I already do have a lot of fodder for this new column.
However! I still get questions pretty frequently, and now that I have a place to put them, I invite you to ask me about things you’d like to know. No seriously, ask away. I can’t promise to answer all of them—I have no idea if I’ll get two or two hundred, so you know, I’ll have to do some experimenting here—but I will do my best.
So now there’s a sugarbutch.net/ask-me-anything URL, and a place specifically to submit questions. Please feel free to ask away.