Oh hey there! I’m writing this from my sister’s house in Brooklyn, where I’m staying while I’m doing a couple of workshops for colleges this week. It’s been an incredible whirlwind lately, with college touring season starting and the Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic workshop that happened in Oakland this past weekend. (It was incredible. You should’ve been there. Really.)
I love fall. I love fall everywhere, but fall in New York City is especially special. It’s stunning. The colors the trees the air crackling the people, the scarves! The coats! The boots! People are so well-dressed here. Honestly I miss the east coast “look” over in the Bay Area. (Granted, I’m mostly in Oakland, but the California / Pacific Northwest Casual look isn’t my favorite style.)
It’s the end of day 2 in New York, my first return since I left in April, and I’m starting to feel that deep New York exhaustion. I bought inserts for my boots. I keep taking off my leather jacket because it’s not really real leather (shhh) and the mostly-plastic of it is awful for the humidity that doesn’t allow my body to breathe. My skin sweats in the leather and smells musty when I take it off.
But, I took my sister’s big oaf dog to the park today, collected some fallen red leaves with bright veins, took some photographs, plotted out my Best! Sex! Ever! workshop for some cool queers at NYU and then hung out with them while we talked about what that might mean and look like, what really good sex is, what the barriers are to getting really good sex. And then we had a giveaway for some Pink & White queer porn DVDs.
I really like my job.
But! That’s not why I’m writing you. I’m writing to post the beginnings of the Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013.
I got 74 mini-interviews in response to that call. SEVENTY FOUR. Thank you, each of you, each of you seventy four people, for taking the time, for spending a few minutes and filling that out. I read each one as they came into my inbox. I laughed. I teared up. I was moved and touched and said, “really? Really??” at some of the praise about my work. I wrote notes about resources. I’m excited to share them with you.
And, as that many came into my handy-dandy google doc spreadsheet, I wasn’t sure how I was going to post them. 74 individual posts? Two a day for thirty seven days? That seems overwhelming and like I’d be flooding my site unnecessarily. Post ten and save the rest? Post them all as an e-book? (Who would read that, except me?)
I finally figured it out: I’m going to post snippets. Maybe that seems obvious, but it took me a while. I’m taking my favorite line or phrase or paragraph or answer from each interview. It might be hard because your WHOLE ENTIRE INTERVIEW is probably incredibly awesome, but I just don’t have the space to reproduce them all. So they must get cut.
I’m going to take 7-8 at a time and edit them down to one central quote for each person, and then post those all together in one post. So there’ll be about 10 of those. After that’s all done, I might (might!) put them together in a free ebook kind of thing, but we’ll see about that.
Ready? Ready! Without further adieu, here are the first seven interviews.
The Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013: Part 1
What is your relationship to Sinclair & sugarbutch.net?
My favorite part of the blog are the links to other queer sites/organizations. The most memorable email I’ve received was for National Fisting Day 2012. I’m lucky that I had opened the email on my phone because I was greeted with a giant picture from FTM Fucker. I had never seen trans men in porn before and it was amazing. Since I was following Sugarbutch for a while before that email I had already been exploring and realizing how queerness can be sexy and empowering. Basically I love how this blog has taken me on a journey to discover a community that I feel like I belong to.
I’ve been empowered to express my gender and sexuality is ways that I’ve never even anticipated. At his moment I genuinely feel like I am attractive and loved. That is something that I haven’t felt before and I know many queers around me are struggling with themselves. Being a kinky butch bottom is a badge I wear with honor.
—Sarah Garnett, https://twitter.com/lohidoesnttweet
What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?
She will get breast cancer and it will change you. Walking alongside your wife will be the hardest, most sacred journey you will ever take. You will want to run away. You will want to quit. But, you won’t. Because, YOU are strong. You are fearless. You are fucking awesome!
After 8.5 years of fighting, she will die, in your arms. At first, you will think that you are going to be lost and drift. But, you will be found, and you will be fucking AMAZING! Trust that you DO have the strength. When the community you weren’t looking for, finds you, embrace them, for they will get you through.
There will be a second act. I am just starting it now, but trust me – it’s gonna be rad!
You already embrace your gender … “issues” isn’t the right word … complexity, now embrace others, as they have needs and their own complexities too. It’s too easy to get lost in yourself, as others lose themselves within themselves too, so go out and play!
“A person not improving him/herself, endlessly becomes him/herself.” Self discovery is good, gaining insights from others sharing as they go through it is also good; not sharing is bad, not growing/developing/improving is worse.
What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?
— Elise, www.ehmworks.com
Plus, for me, someone who laughs about life with me and lets me argue it out out loud.
Anything else to add?
I thought therefore that it is time that I speak to you directly and let you know that I am still here, and not going anywhere, and that I am sure that there are a lot more like me, faithful and interested readers who are just too shy to comment, or believed they have nothing of substance to add.
We read you, we like you, and we’ll be here.
PS If you ever make it to London, England, I’d love to buy you a pint and meet you in person.
What kind of comments you could leave
In keeping with the Comment Zen idea, here’s some things you could reply to this post with:
- The places the mini-interviews resonated for you
- Whether you’d like to see all of the mini-interviews in entirety or if the best quotes are enough
- Your favorite thing about New York City
- What you’ll be doing on National Fisting Day October 22nd
Partly because I want to encourage this Sugarbutch space to be more conversation and less me prosthelytizing or preaching or complaining, I would love to deepen some of my relationships with my readers. That would be YOU. And the first way I know how to begin to do that is to get to know y’all a little bit better.
So, would you like to do a little mini-interview? Here’s the questions below.
If you read through this and decide you don’t want to do the mini-interview, or if you never get around to it, that’s cool. I’d still love to start following the blogs of many of my readers. So, if you have a blog, and you read Sugarbutch regularly (or often or sometimes), I’d love to know where you write, too. Leave your website URL in the comments and I’ll create an RSS feed of all of them and start keeping up with y’all.
Now, on to the Great Reader Mini-Interviews of 2013!
Answers can be as long or as short as you’d like. Here’s the form! If you prefer to fill it out in a separate window and keep perusing Sugarbutch, or if the embedded iframe below is acting up for whatever reason, here’s the link to the Google form unembedded.
I’ll collect responses until October 10th, and will start publishing them that week for everybody to read.
Have you read Visible: A Femmethology? No? It’s your lucky fucken day, because Volume 2 is available for Kindle download for FREE from today until the 21st.
(Also: Don’t own a Kindle? No problem! This book can be read with the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone.)
It’s true! Homofactus Press sent out the news on their mailing list, and included a little bit about why:
“Please help us push the book to the top of Amazon’s lists. We are a micropublishing company and rely on you to spread the word about our work. Please forward this newsletter to two friends – just two – you know will want to download Visible: A Femmethology, Volume Two for free. And ask those two friends to forward it to two of their friends, and so on.”
I’d say it could be more than two, it doesn’t have to be just two. But either way, download and enjoy!
Visible: A Femmethology Volume Two includes my piece, A Love Letter to Femmes, and many other beautiful essays, praise, and thoughts about femme identity. But that’s not why I’m telling you about it—I’m telling you because it’s a great book and there aren’t that many recent publications out there on femme identity.
It’s that time of year again … I am about to get back on the road and do workshops at colleges.
This year, I’ve narrowed down my workshop offering seven academic workshops:
- Fucking with Gender
- Build Your Own Gender Toolkit*
- Identities in a Label-Free World*
- Becoming A Queer Leader*
- Flirting Fundamentals
- The Dating Toolkit*
- The Sexual Politics of BDSM
* Starred workshops are brand new for 2013-2014, though frequently built upon other workshops I’ve offered in the past.
I also have some kink workshops, but I’m still working on gathering all of those together into a PDF.
I will continue to do talk about custom workshop requests, and I’ve got a Big List of All The Workshops I’ve Offered over on mrsexsmith.com in case there was this one workshop that caught your eye but you can’t remember what it was and it’s not on this new list.
Currently, I have these trips planned—and I have many more in the works that are just not quite finalized! If you are going to school somewhere near these places? I’m looking to add on gigs while I’m already going to be visiting. Get in touch with me or my intern Lori at email@example.com.
10/6-7, Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA. Writing ourselves into existence workshop, queer theory class, spoken word performance!
10/16 NYU, New York City, Best Sex Ever workshop
11/14 Wild at Heart, Seattle, WA – Cock Confidence
11/15 The Foundation for Sex Positive Culture (FSPC), Seattle, WA – Advanced Cock Confidence
11/16 The FSPC, Seattle, WA – Leaving Marks
11/17 Wild at Heart, Seattle, WA – Queering Power Dynamics
My appearances calendar is always updated at mrsexsmith.com/appearances.
Here’s the PDF for this year’s workshops (which you can download here if you prefer):
I’m really excited to get back out there and have more conversations with all of you. Did I mention that Pink & White gave me a box of porn for me to bring to you for giveaways?
Oh hey there! So, the BUTCH Voices 2013 conference starts tomorrow. I’m at the conference hotel as I type this, in fact, sending out last minute press details and doing last minute updates to the website.
Speaking of the website …
Doesn’t it look fantastic? I’ve been managing the Media Team throughout the summer, but the last three weeks we have been in FULL high gear, with details and edits and errors and last minute additions. I’m so very grateful to all the people who have been putting in many hours to put the polish on the media presence. THANK YOU Miriam, rife, Roma Mafia, Amber, Angela, Broch, Kaye, B, and Tootie for all of the hours of work you put in.
I’ve been learning management in a trial-by-fire kind of way … I have only managed in small ways in the past, with some personal service relationships and some intern management experience, so this has been intense. I did hire a couple of interns for the summer, also, but because I’ve been traveling and so insanely crazy with all the things I’ve been doing for BUTCH Voices, I have barely had a chance to delegate tasks yet. I have a lot of ideas, though, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my own tasks, writing more smut, launching my coaching business, and finishing some of the projects that I’m really excited about.
I’m really looking forward to the conference. Now that my job of setting up all the media is almost—almost—done, I can actually enjoy some of the amazing things that are going on. We’ve got a big Kick Off party tonight with an ally performance, a welcome from an Oakland city councilperson, an artist’s reception, and a meet and greet; and then tomorrow the workshops start, and the first keynote happens, and there are community dinners and a film night; Saturday is a BUTCH Nation performance in the evening after the first keynote and a day of workshops; and Sunday there’s a spoken word show (that I am performing in!) and the closing party. Whew!
So after that, what’s next? Well … I keep saying, “I’m (we’re) going to Disneyland!” And while I’m half-joking, I’ve also been having conversations about what my personal “Disneyland” might be, what it means as a metaphor.
Did I mention that I just signed a lease for an apartment in Oakland? Yeah, so I live in the Bay Area now. That’s kind of a big deal, though it’s also kind of overshadowed by this giant national conference. So part of my personal Disneyland in the weeks to come is going to be settling in to my new place, getting unpacked, going to estate sales and thrift stores and finding some key comfortable furniture, and then getting back to my own work. I’m really excited to set up the new apartment, and I really like it, it’s part of a house, really big and has beautiful old wood, was built in 1901, and it has a yard! I can’t wait to start growing things in the ground, that’s perhaps the most exciting part. I definitely have some shock about being in a new place. After traveling near constantly since January (or since last fall, really), I have kind of gotten used to being on the road. But now, it’s starting to hit me what I left behind in New York, how I completely disassembled the household I built for almost ten years there, how many things I just got rid of, cutthroat-style, and how much I am still grieving for that loss. It’s starting to stare me in the face in a different way.
I’m also going to be extremely focused on my own self-care for a while, and keep asking myself, “What would feel pleasurable for my body right now?” I’m really excited to be having some new ventures planted and just beginning to grow, and I can’t wait to reveal them to you, and to write more. I miss writing. I have loved management and event planning and identity politics and wording and branding and all the things that went into this media, but I miss putting stories together.
The third biennial national BUTCH Voices conference happens August 15-18 in Oakland, CA, and we are looking for awesome things that our conference attendees would want to know about.
Who are our conference attendees? Butches, AGs, studs, tombois, and all sorts of masculine of center identities, and a huge range of folks who want to spend some days talking about those kinds of identities. Largely queer, but not entirely.
Do you have:
- Flyers for your newest project?
- A little gifty item that could go in our conference swag bag?
- An exciting win for the BV raffle?
- Some amazing products to vend at the conference?
We want ‘em!
Or maybe you want to take out an ad in the program? Heck yeah!
Deadlines are fast approaching, so let’s get going with this if you want to be involved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and arrange the details.
Press passes and press kits are available if you’d like to cover the conference for your media outlet.
“Have you ever witnessed a green growing thing and wondered why it could grow so effortlessly? is it possible for YOU to grow that effortlessly? How do you channel the force that drives the seedling toward the sun? Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be more at home in your own skin? Have you wondered what embodiment is, or really feels like? Have you desired to have deeper experiences of pleasure, joy, and ecstasy?”
That’s the beginning of the description for my new workshop, Pleasure Lab, co-taught with Amy Butcher. It’s an “embodiment” workshop—meaning, feeling deeper into one’s own body, expanding the senses, getting in touch with desires and pleasure, and encouraging more aliveness. We will spend quite a bit of time creating a safe circle to play within, exploring our own boundaries, and really feeling into our yesses and nos before we build to offering some supportive, healing touch to each other.
That sounds less fun than it’s actually going to be, though. We’re going to offer all sorts of experiments that are juicy and thought-provoking and heart-centered and we’re going to take risks and dive deep into ourselves and learn all sorts of embodiment concepts that we can take home with us, to our partners or friends or lovers or whomever.
It’s a half-day workshop, from 12-5pm, Sunday, July 21st in Albuquerque, New Mexico. $50 donation requested, no one turned away for lack of funds.
PLEASURE LAB: An embodiment workshop with Amy Butcher & Sinclair Sexsmith
Sunday, July 21st, 2013
12-5 pm in Albuquerque, NM
Cost: $50 donation requested (no one turned away for lack of funds; please contact Kat at email@example.com to discuss) space is limited; pre-registration is encouraged.
Pre-registration available at: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6909818453# or contact Kat.
What is the Pleasure Lab?
Have you ever witnessed a green growing thing and wondered why it could grow so effortlessly? is it possible for YOU to grow that effortlessly? How do you channel the force that drives the seedling into the sun? Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be more at home in your own skin? Have you wondered what embodiment is, or really feels like? Have you desired to have deeper experiences of pleasure, joy, and ecstasy?
Come explore with us.
Come to this master workshop and begin to harvest the erotic knowledge in your body. Through experimentation, we’ll learn tools to be deeply present in our bodies, to feel the powerful connection between genitals, heart, and mind.
This program will help you tap into the nutrient rich soil of erotic play which will help fuel your erotic self-discovery, compassion, and self-confidence. Explore a variety of playful experiential exercises to increase embodiment while respecting everyone’s boundaries. Learn some simple games and tools to feel erotic energy, build connection to your desires, and feel more alive and at home in your body, and experience the taboo power of sharing this exploration within community. All exercises will be clothes-on, and any touch is optional and always consensual.
When completing this workshop, participants wishing for more will have a grasp on the skills used in the Celebrating the Body Erotic workshops offered by the Body Electric School (thebodyelectricschool.com).
The Pleasure Lab workshop is open to women, trans, and genderqueer identified people, regardless of ability, ethnicity, class, or experience. The Source is fully accessible. Food will not be provided but we will have breaks; bring a snack if you may need one. Please wear comfortable clothes that are easy for you to move in, and bring a water bottle and a journal.
About the Facilitators:
Amy Butcher (amybutcher.com) and Sinclair Sexsmith (mrsexsmith.com) met at a tantra retreat in 2009 and have worked together for deeper embodiment and gender liberation ever since. They both work with the Body Electric School, study erotic energy, and write smut.
About the coordinator:
Kat Heatherington is poet, artist, polyamorous ecofeminist pagan, with a background in literature, who lives in a sustainable intentional community south of Albuquerque, Sunflower River. She has been studying with the Body Electric School since 2010.
BUTCH Voices 2013 national conference postcards are here! Rife designed them, and I love how they turned out.
Now, we just have to get ‘em out into the world. And that’s where YOU come in. We are forming Street Teams in the Bay Area in California as well as in all the cities where we held Community Conversations in 2012-2013: Dallas, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Toronto.
If you are in one of those cities and want to help out, here’s what you’ll get:
- Big thank you from BUTCH Voices!
- Volunteer hour credit: 4 hours of volunteering = ticket to one day’s worth of the BV 2013 conference.
- The fuzzy-inside feeling you get when you’re helping to build community. Aww.
Contact the Volunteer Coordinators to volunteer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press release follows:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY
Contact: Sinclair Sexsmith
Media representative, BUTCH Voices
+1 (917) 475-6316
Opportunities available with BUTCH Voices: 2013 Street Teams!
June 24, 2013
Oakland, CA: BUTCH Voices, the organization which will host its third national conference August 15-18, 2013, in Oakland, California, has opportunities for volunteers to distribute flyers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in July.
“Volunteers for BUTCH Voices can volunteer in exchange for comped days at the conference,” said Meg McEachin, BV board member, “but Street Team members can rack up volunteer time before the conference even starts. For four hours of volunteer time, we’ll give you a one-day ticket to the conference; for eight hours, two days.”
“It’s a great way to give support and a helping hand to the organization,” Meg added, “and for folks to get financial assistance to attend the conference.”
BUTCH Voices Street Teams are being formed in Dallas, Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Oakland. “We’ll have Street Teams in all cities where 2012-2013 BUTCH Voices Community Conversations took place,” said Meg.
People interested in participating in Street Teams should contact the Volunteer Coordinators at email@example.com. Postcard-sized flyers will be provided to you by mail and you must have them distributed by the beginning of August.
BUTCH Voices expects more than 300 attendees for the conference. More information can be found at www.butchvoices.com. Further inquiries can be sent to Sinclair Sexsmith, Media Board Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally! I’ve been working a lot on my management skills lately, and one of the reasons behind learning that skill is to have an intern help me with some of the maintenance of my job that I either can’t get to or that is time consuming and keeps me from what I really should be doing, which is writing more smut.
So here’s the write-up that I came up with. I made a form to submit as an application (resumes are not required, but you can email them to me if you’d like to supplement your application with one).
Summer internship will be July – September, for three months, and then we will decide if we want to keep working together of if I should reopen the application and work with someone new.
Perks include free sex toys, books, and DVDs for review and for personal pleasure, as well as skills, learning, training, experience, and references.
Who I am: Sinclair Sexsmith, mrsexsmith.com and sugarbutch.net. Writer, educator and coach in the sex, gender, and relationships fields; works with queer, genderqueer, trans, butch/femme, and transformational communities interested in personal growth and social change in the fields of queer literature, sexuality education, blogging, and erotic embodiment.
Time commitment: Approximately 5-10 hours a week, minimum of 5. Weekly check-ins. Schedule is flexible. Internship will run for three months and we’ll decide if we want to continue or not.
Location: Telecommuting interns welcome. Must have access to the internet. Slight preference given to Bay Area residents so we can meet in person occasionally.
Projects include, but are not limited to:
- event production & creation
- booking workshops, gigs, clients
- blog maintenance
- editing, proofreading, copywriting
- prioritizing and replying to email
- graphics creation
- social media and marketing
- networking and contacts
- ebook editing, formatting, production
- maintain contact, keeping in touch regularly
- meet deadlines
- have an eye for detail
- catch grammar and spelling typos
- be able to do internet research
- be capable of basic web design (photoshop skills, HTML, wordpress, newsletter creation)
- have access to Gmail, google documents, gchat, Skype
Compensation: Experience and training in the fields above; products for fun and review; references. Willing to work with your school to get you college credit.
Bonus if you are good with graphics creation, back end domain maintenance, if you are skilled at video or sound editing, or press releases, if you have good visions and suggestions for making systems run more smoothly.
Apply online at http://bit.ly/1av4dRu