Sugarbutch Star: WINNER!

I’m back from Salt Lake City & my short Southwest roadtrip! Lots of catching up to do.  

By a landslide: the winner of the 2007 Sugarbutch Star Contest is Essin’ Em, who submitted the scenario for the story The Diner on the Corner.

Congratulations! And thank you, for the fabulous … submission.

Your prize, darling, consists of the following:

  1. Smut books! A particularly fabulous sex toy store has donated On Our Backs Volume 2 and Best Lesbian Erotica 2007 (in which I have a story).
  2. “I was a Sugarbutch Star” tee shirt!
  3. Chapbook containing all of the Sugarbutch Star stories
  4. Last but not least … a night on the town with me, should you chose to accept it, when you visit this ol’ city next … rest assured, there will be dinner and debauchery.

Shannon’s story The Photo Shoot was the second favorite, and I’ve got a few little things for her, too …

  1. Copy of Switch Hitters, a book of smut stories where gay men write lesbian erotica and lesbians write gay male erotica – one of my personal favorite collections
  2. Chapbook containing the Sugarbutch Star stories

Thank you, so much, to all the folks who sent in story outlines, to all the stories I chose to write up: Lady Brett Ashley, birdAvah, Grey, the Femme TopJennifer, Bad bad girl, Madeline, Jefferson. This was a really fun contest, and though it took me way too long to finish up, I think I may just do it again!

ride this big old thing

I don’t like memes, but I like books. Here’s the meme instructions:

1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.

from Ridin’ Bitch by Toni Amato, published in Best Lesbian Erotica 1998 edited by Tristan Taormino, selected & introduced by Jennifer Levin:

With one hand on the bike’s gleaming gold gas tank, Nick asked, “How’d you get to work, Chi-Chi?”

“I caught a cab. The car belonged to my ex. I got the apartment, she got the jalopy.” She threw one long leg over the seat of the bike and leaned forward, her elbows on the handlebars. Her open coat showed her cleavage above her unbuttoned shirt, her nipples at attention in the night air.

“You’re gonna take me for a ride on this big old thing, aren’t you?”

(More than 3 sentences, I know.) BLE ’98 is one of my very favorite of the BLE anthologies, although mostly it is for two specific stories – this one, Ridin’ Bitch, and Clash of the Titans by Karlyn Lotney. They are two of the first butch/femme strap-on smut stories I ever read, and they definitely formed my internal sexualized gender psychic landscape.

Aside from that, Clash of the Titans is one of the best written smut stories I’ve ever read. The characters, the pacing, the multiple scenes of sex and power play. I can probably quote most of it by heart, I’ve read it so many times.

Consider yourself tagged, if you’d like to try this out.

Body Electric School 2008 Spring Programs, NYC

I’ve been to many of these Body Electric workshops for women over the past 8 years or so, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’re terrifying, and life-changing, and amazing. I recommended last year’s CBE here and wrote about some of my revelations and experiences after the workshop as well.Two workshops for were just announced for the 2008 schedule. Highly, highly recommended, I can’t say that enough.

Safe, playful and profound workshops for women of all ages and sexual orientations
Taught by two very gifted teachers

Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
March 29-30, NYC, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
with Isa Magdalena
(back teaching at Body Electric after many years)

• Feel comfortable in your body
• Improve your body image and self-esteem
• Expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath,
movement, touch, and communication
• Release fear, shame and old patterns that hold you back
• Communicate your desires and boundaries more clearly
• Learn to give and receive without losing yourself
• Explore the power of sexual energy / ibido / life force / kundalini
• Learn from your own and others’ experience
• Enjoy sex more
• Have more fun

Isa Magdalena was the first woman teacher at Body Electric (1993-98). She teaches sexological bodywork at the Institute of Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, is author of Libido: Where Sex, Science Spirit Meet (2006). Isa is featured in several sex education videos from the New School of Erotic Touch, is a practitioner and leads classes in Taos, New Mexico. For fuller information, visit www.xtasia.info

*

first time in many years!

Power, Surrender and Intimacy for Women
June 20-22, NYC, Friday 7-10pm, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
with Alex Jade

* Learn BDSM techniques and develop skills
* Discover and clarify issues of empowerment and liberation
* Recognize how you engage in power dynamics in your everyday life and exercise more conscious choice
* Heighten awareness of your body’s capacity for sensation
* Explore power and sensation games for fun and healing
* Experience the joy of surrender and trust

Presequisite for this workshop is Celebrating the Body Erotic

Alex Jade has been a leading teacher at Body Electric for a decade and has developed several courses for the School. She is a gender-fluid sex activist, community organizer, shadow explorer and body-based therapist living in Seattle. She uses her training as a massage therapist, movement therapist and masters degree in social work to teach experiential sexual education classes and has a private healing practice.

Both Isa and Alex are profiled in Reclaiming Eros, Suzanne Blackburn and Margaret Wade, editors (2007).

Tuition: $395 per workshop. Recent CBE grads receive $50 discount on repeat workshops. Register with minimum $100 deposit. Full tuition is due three weeks before start of workshops. Contact Debi Soler, NYC coordinator, 212-726-0679, [email protected]

http://www.thebodyelectricschool.com

Things that happened Thursday:

  1. I got a replacement copy of The Leather Daddy and the Femme and read the first few chapters on the subway. The writing is smooth, eager, tumbling. So hot. I have more to say about this
  2. I stopped at Babeland and picked up primarily supplies – gloves, condoms, lube. Both by bucket of boy butter and my bottle of lube broke recently, the containers actually shattered. I also bought a softie sock and a leather cockring that fits around my wrist, which I like wearing as a bracelet. I played with the cocks (ohh, Vixskin) and whips and leather floggers and harnesses, looked curiously at the new bendy beads and that cone thing that is getting notice.
  3. I attended the reading for Best Lesbian Erotica 2008 and listened to sexy erotica read aloud. Words formed in mouths in a roomful of people.

What on earth was I thinking?

This was all entirely too much sex. Overstimulated, oversexed, I could think about nothing but getting off, which she had asked me – ordered me – not to do.

I went home and paced. Bit my lips. Walked briskly from room to room but with no recollection of my intention. Preoccupied with a glimpse in my mind of her, boots, heels, standing tall, looking up at her, she’s looking down at me, the way her voice breaks with a timber of callousness.

My body hummed, vibrated.

Everything was sex. The higher functions of my brain have been overridden by the animalistic urges, the desire to be fucked, give over, get off.

I tried to watch tv. Tried to do some freelance design work, to write some overdue articles. I continued to find myself staring into space, glassy-eyed.

I dropped to the floor. Began with push-ups, then sit-ups. Ten and ten. Ten more, then ten more. Crunches, then all the way up, until I was groaning and the muscles in my stomach were screaming and taught, breathing heavy, body tense begging for release.

Begging.

I beat my face to the floor until my arms couldn’t hold me up anymore, until I was panting.

When I collapsed, and my dick twitched against the hardwood. My hips wanted to buck against anything, everything. Thrusting and I put my hand there, just for some friction, some traction, and pressed my forehead to the floor, grinding against my palm through my jeans.

Too much, too much.

I could feel my clit through my jeans. Hard and slick already, eager against my hands and I let my hips wander, find rhythm, thighs clasping hard.

I couldn’t stop myself. I feared I wouldn’t be able to stop myself.

I stopped, throbbing, thrusting, frustrated. Beat the floor with my fist.

Twenty-four hours until the layover. I can make it.

a few recommendations

Well, it’s Saturday morning, and I am partaking in my recent Saturday morning ritual, which includes listening to Dan Savage’s Podcast of his sex advice column “Savage Love” while doing some cleaning.I just gotta plug it for a minute here. Dan is fucken rad. Gay guy, he & his boyfriend of thirteen years have a kid together, he’s out of Seattle and has been doing this Savage Love advice column for a long time – ten years? More? Not sure exactly. He is also occasionally offensive, misogynistic, trans- and bi- and lesbian-insulting – so don’t go into it expecting some PC kindness. Today, he said, for example, to a lesbian: “when you have your arm up her pussy, or when you’re pressing her face into your pussy, or whatever it is you lesbians do in bed, I’ve never been able to figure it out … ” (come on, Dan, really? You can’t figure out what lesbians do in bed? Go watch The Crash Pad or the Crash Pad Series or Sugar High Glitter City or Coming Home or ANYTHING from the lesbian category over on Blowfish and figure it out) and then he went on to discuss Patrick Califia, though made comments about the trendiness of lesbians becoming FtMs (“but I’m not going to go there, because I don’t want my house burned down” … um, you already said it) and proceeded to refer to Patrick with female pronouns – while recommending his books, which I also recommend: Doing it for Daddy and Macho Sluts.

And on the podcast, a lesbian called in asking for some advice about dirty talk in bed, and said that her girlfriend liked to be called humiliating names – and the example she gave? Are you ready for this?

“Cunt-hungry cum dumpster.”

I shit you not. That is amazing. I mean I really don’t think that would turn me on, but hey, YKIOK (your kink is okay … another Dan Savage acronym, like GGG, that I picked up years ago), and I have to admire the boldness and the turn of language that it involves! Wow.

In other news, if you didn’t catch the political (sex) role play video that was going around, check that out too. I’d embedd the youtube version, but it cuts off the last line, and that line is really worth it.

put your money where your mouth is

This is a call for donations for Scarleteen.

If your values align with Scarleteen’s, and if you are willing and able to keep this necessary resource afloat, please consider helping any way you can.

Here’s the link: Donate to Scarleteen and win tickets to “My First Time” … read on if you’d like more information about what Scarleteen does.

Scarleteen is a labor of love: a site dedicated to providing teens with accurate, supportive information about all aspects of sex and sexuality. As all of you know, I bet, because you have al searched for sex ed info online (what is the first thing for which new technology is used, for example? porn), it is actually quite difficult to find accurate and supportive information on sex, especially for teens. Scarleteen is a major resource, and so important.

And they are struggling immensely.

Heather Corrina, the founder, editor, & designer, works immeasurable hours on this labor of love, and it shows. Her heart & soul are in this project. Hell, I might go so far as to say she was born to do this. She is not exactly a close friend of mine – in fact, I’ve never met her – but I have followed her work online for many years: her writing, her photography, her activism. I have such admiration for her work and dedication, and for this project.

If this doesn’t appeal to the do-gooder in you, perhaps I can use sex appeal?

Or perhaps the promotion Scarleteen is currently running – “The first 18 donors who give the largest donations to Scarleteen from September 1st through September 16th, will not only help us provide sex education and information for teens and young adults worldwide — which is reward enough! — but will also receive a voucher for two tickets to My First Time to be used between now and the end of October. Valued at just under $120.” – will entice you?

Any way you can, Scarleteen needs support. Please help keep this invaluable educational hub thriving, and help support healthy, consciencious sex & sexuality information for teens & young adults.

There is also a Scarleteen book s.e.x.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College. Buy it for the kids in your life. better yet, buy signed copies of the book direct from Scarleteen, by either “making a donation of over $75 to help sustain Scarleteen, or purchasing a signed copy for $22.”

blurb:

Get your hands on S.E.X.: the in-depth and inclusive young adult sexuality guide by Heather Corinna! Covering everything from STIs to sexual orientation, body image to birth control, masturbation to misogyny, the anatomy of the clitoris to considering cohabitation, and written for you whether you’re male, female or genderqueer; straight, gay or somewhere in between, this is THE everything-you-need, comprehensive, progressive sexuality handbook to get you through high school and college.

This ends your public service announcement; we now return you to your regularly scheduled Sugarbutch Chronicles.

active surrender

I spent much of yesterday going over the Sugarbutch Star entires (again & again, some of them) and I am still just overwhelmed, in awe, in amazement at how revealing, detailed, and fucken hot they are. I’m humbled and surprised at how much perfect strangers would share and reveal and ask for and exchange.Years ago, around 1998, I met a girl through the anonymous journal I was keeping, and she used to photocopy parts of her journal and mail them to me when she found our writings matched up – she felt like what I was revealing was so intimate that she wanted to reciprocate.

And I think this contest opened up that exchange for many of the folks who read this place. I put a lot of personal, emotional, complex details about my life up here, not just the sex but the emotions, my psyche, my very makeup, which is partly why readers do feel safe and comfortable revealing things to me. You all know more about me than most of my friends, you have an understanding of how my mind and inner world works in ways that nearly no one in my “real world” life does.

But. Even still. I am a little shocked and definitely humbled. Thank you, for all you’ve revealed. Thank you for trusting me with your stories. Thank you for writing them.

Many of the stories I received are from very submissive girls, wanting to be taken in various ways, and I am continually surprised at how much some people (women especially) want to play with the line between submission and degredation. I can play with it, I have and probably will again – but it makes me nervous, and cautious. I worry about the emotional and psychological effects, especially on impressionable young women. Maybe this is my feminist-hippie background coming through, believing that every person is valuable, good, whole, worthy.

It got me thinking, though, about submission. I think there is a big difference between submission/surrender and degredation. I think there are ways – hundreds of ways – to be submissive, to surrender in a scene, without fundamentally losing your own value.

I was taught, by the D/s BDSM community that raised my kinkster self, that the bottom is always the one in real control. That the top may be inflicting the pain or sensation, may be the one holding the knife or the flogger or the end of the rope, but the bottom is who is dictating the next move, the depth of the cut, the strength of the paddle, the moment of release.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t want to top someone I didn’t think was on equal grounds, I wouldn’t want to top someone who couldn’t hold their own up against me in just about every way. I need active bottoming, active submission, active surrender.

If you want to know more about this stuff, I suggest reading The Topping Book and The Bottoming Book. Go to the Body Electric workshop Power, Surrender & Intimacy.

I guess I’m trying to encourage lots of examination here. I want to know the whys behind the degredation, the whys behind the unworthiness. When I witness it, on other sex blogs or in erotica or writings or submissions or comments or lovers or friends or porn or anywhere, I feel skeptical, and sad. Sex and BDSM and D/s and power and surrender can be tools to discover and rebuild and enhance and create a better self, a stronger self, a more open and loving and conscious self. But they can also follow unhealthy, dangerous old pre-determined pathways.

Don’t get me wrong, please – there were lots of submissive/bottom submissions to the Sugarbutch Star contest and most of them seemed fucken solid. Just a few in particular felt dangerously degrading, perhaps only because I didn’t have the backstory, didn’t have the context. But it made me wonder all the same. Made me want to cradle and protect, to hold and comfort, before I would bust out my cock and paddle and fist and fuck into the night.

continuing to purge

I have a small confession: I read self-help personal development books. I may have mentioned this before; it’s one of my few somewhat-embarassing, guilty indulgences. Some of them are a fantastic combination of philosophy, sociology, psychology, and spirituality, and I find all of those topics fascinating. (Some of them, of course, are horrible condescending things written by wackos. I don’t tend to read those.)

In a book with a fairly horrible title (I do recommend the author’s other works, as well), Laurence Boldt introduces the Integrated Life Matrix. I scanned it to share with you.


I find this organization of life’s pursuits and categories incredibly soothing. Everything fits. It’s all about the balance.

restless

I couldn’t sleep last night, which probably had something to do with the incredibly strong cup of columbian coffee my sister poured me at nine pm, mostly with the intention of sobering me up – we’d been drinking white wine sangria since the early afternoon and I began to fade.I thought I was revealing something to her when I was drunk enough to talk about my sexblog. I was going to begin discussing how it was I could make some money offa this bad boy.

Instead, she already knew about the blog, and I revealed nothing.

This place is getting less and less anonymous. I’ve discovered that my “anonymous” gmail address actually displays my non-anonymous gmail address right next to it. Oh, I was warned about this. I should’ve paid attention. I guess I figured nobody would really notice.

Well, they noticed.

This is not the first time this has happened to me. I’ve had a dozen or so “anonymous” journal sites online since 1996, and each time, after about a year, the site begins to get more and more traffic, more and more readers and commenters, and then my identity becomes more and more blurred, until I finally either completely reveal my name and such or I shut the thing down completely.

I don’t want that to happen here. I’m having too much fun.

But, on the other hand, I don’t want my name tied to this site. The things I discuss here are too personal.

So, I couldn’t sleep last night. Was up until three am, then awake again at five, at five thirty, at six am when it started raining, at six thirty when my cats decided it was chase time, at seven, at seven thirty when I finally got up.

Today, I am restless.

While putting myself to sleep, however, I spent some quality time with Alison Tyler’s new anthology Love at First Sting, which is fabulous. And I began and ended a new erotica piece. Watch for it.

gather ’round, kids, it’s story time

Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration by Audacia Ray
Seal Press, 2007

You know how they say that the first test – and drive – of new technology is porn? Well, we folks who have been around on the ‘net for a while know a lot about all the various aspects of sex on the internet, and there is a lot to tell.

Dacia’s relatively new to the online sex world, by her own admission; in her introduction she gives a brief history of her own path to blogging and the ‘net, which began in late 2003 and took off in 2004. This is not to overlook, however, that she has become a major player in the sex blogger circles, especially here in New York City. And having been on the periphary of those circles for a few years now, myself, I know the kind of pull and influence and impact she has had.

It makes sense, then, that as a social scientist interested in sex and technology and the internet, Dacia would come to writing and researching a book like Naked on the Internet. In it, she chronicles all sorts of online sexual explorations and avenues, gives a history of where the internet has come from (BBSes, telnet boards – remember those?), and even some hints at where it’s going (cyberdildonics come to mind).

For me, the most interesting content were the chapters on online dating and also the sex blogging, partly because that is where I am the most connected, and also because (it seems) that is where Dacia has the most knowledge and presence as well. Other parts of the book were much more of an observed subculture then organized and reproduced for the sake of recording the various aspects of sex online.

This book is unique and singular – since online sexuality is, though extremely common, still quite taboo, there have not been a lot of studies or records kept of what is happening, how people are using this new medium, yet. I have no doubt that it will continue to be explored and we will keep gaining new insight and cultural significance from the online sex world, and that it will have – and already has had – a significant impact on a whole era’s sexual growth and, ahem, sexploration.

Don’t forget to visit Waking Vixen, or check out Dacia’s other recent accomplishment, the film The Bi Apple.

ps … I was interviewed for this book a few months back, and a couple of my quotes are in there, oh, somewhere.

letting go

I set a few goals for myself this past Memorial Day weekend, including: spend time with myself, finish the “unputdownable” (and I use that in a tongue-in-cheek way – have you noticed the upswing of use of this term in publishing lately? I think it’s rediculous, personally) book I started, clean up the apartment, go to the park and throw the frisbee around.And, perhaps most importantly: to go through the boxes underneath my bed.

My bed is up on risers, partly, I admit, because I like higher beds (better angles that way) but also partly because in my former three-hundred-square-foot-apartment-with-no-closets, I needed storage space. So when I moved in, much of those boxes that I didn’t have time or space or appropriate fixtures to unpack ended up shoved under the bed. Some of them, like boxes of old journals and boxes of photographs, will probably stay down there, or stay in ‘storage’ in general, but others I knew I needed to go through.

This is what I found:

  • Two boxes of clothes, including three sarongs, sarong pants, two Ani Difranco tee shirts, four spaghetti-strap tank tops with things like “cunt” and “fruit” on them, two Alix Olsen tee shirts, my letter sweater from high school, a sweatshirt from my pre-school (that was a gift after I left home, not from when I was actually in pre-school), and the blue “diesel dyke” jacket I used to wear nearly every day

  • A small shoebox of stuffed animals, small ones, that I’ve collected or been given over the years

  • Two boxes of CDs. This is a problem, actually, because I don’t have any CD storage unit anymore, and I’m not really sure what to do with the hundreds of CDs I have. I should probably go through them and rip them into digital music and get rid of them, at least half of them or so, the ones that I don’t really care to have, but my desktop computer is on its last legs, and needs a serious upgrade, so that has to happen first.

  • Hats – five baseball caps, one cowboy hat, one top hat from halloween years ago. I don’t really wear hats.

  • Two boxes of electronic chords and gadgets, including two (dead, I think) CD players, a landline phone (will I ever need one of those again?), CAT cabling, various power chords for who-knows-what devices …

  • Three shoe-boxes, what I tend to refer to as “memory boxes,” containing things like ticket stubs for concerts, movies, and plays; birthday cards and letters; notes from friends and lovers; notes-to-myself scraps of paper when I didn’t have my journal with me, likely scribbled at concerts, at museums, or bars; photographs; nametags or laminated passes for when I was a volunteer for theatre or film festivals … you get the idea. All sorts of scrapbook-type bits of paper, things I wanted to remember that I did.

Why do I save these things?, I asked myself. Partly, it’s for exactly this experience of going through them, remembering those fun events and moments of my life that were significant. I consolidated those three shoeboxes of memories into one larger hat-box sized box, and it overflowed a little, so I went through some of it, throwing enough of it away that it would fit. I’m kind of sad to throw them away, actually, because that act of going through the box is exactly the reason to keep it. But will that stuff ever be of value to anyone but me? Does that matter? I’m not much of a scrapbooker, but I suppose I could be, or perhaps I should be, if I want to keep all of this … stuff. Is that necessary, though? Do I need to keep my ticketstub for Ocean’s 11 and Border/Clash and Ami Lagendre’s dance performance from 2002? If I can’t remember that I went, were they really all that significant?I also ran into all kinds of notes from past loves, really sweet cards and thoughts and moments from those relationships. Why do I hold on to those things? Do I really want to go back to them, relive them later? I only feel sad, they make me ache a little. Do they really have a purpose, is there a need for them in my life? I’m not sure. I can’t really think of why I might need them. But somehow, I can’t quite let go of them either.

My impulse is to organize all this data, take the fragments and put them chronologically into a book, a scrapbook, and construct a life from them. I guess that’s what I always thought I’d do with them. But do I really want to spend time doing that? Obsessing over and organizing my past? What would that really do? I’d end up with a book, a creative scrapbook of some of the things in my life that mattered. Who would look at it, besides me? Would I even look at it?

I took some of the boxes down from the shelf in my closet, too. There is still more work to do with the boxes under my bed, but I compiled a few boxes, sorted through half the clothes, have two boxes now to give away or donate (if I can ever figure out how to do that here in Brooklyn).

naked on the internet interviews

Public Service Announcement:Hey you! Are you female? Do you look at porn or sex writing or sex blogs online? Audacia Ray wants to interview you for her upcoming book Naked on the Internet.

She needs: Women who use webcams for fun and/or profit, especially as part of one-on-one chat with friends and lovers, as a member of a cam network, or as a supplement to a website. Women who have researched health topics on the internet or participated in online communities about health, especially with regards to the topics of abortion, transgender/transsexuality issues, and disability. Women who have used internet-enabled sex toys (call em cyberdildonics or teledildonics if you like) – stuff you can operate from a distance over the internet.

I know a couple of you regular readers who would qualify here … (Kimi, and Maddie, that means you).

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Sugarbutch Chronicles.

who am I to talk of love?

One of my best friends in the world is getting married over Labor Day weekend and I’m heading back to the West Coast to be his best (wo)man next week. We are both performance poets, met in a performance poetry class in fact, and he has asked me to write something for the wedding ceremony.Right now, I feel like I am the worst person to give any sort of relationship/ committment/ marriage advice or poetic waxing to anyone in earshot, let alone at a wedding of someone I deeply care about. What do I know about making love stay, about sustaining a relationship, about falling in love? I feel like an amateur. I barely have any of this figured out.

I’m jealous of their relationship and committment sometimes. And I know them both well enough to know that I am going to learn so much – about relationships, life, love – from the way that they stay committed to each other.

So I don’t have to give relationship advice – or deep insights about love and marriage and commitment. Okay. But then, I guess my question is, what the hell do I say?

I’ve been a bit obsessed with theories of love in the past five-ish years. I have read and do own A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman and All About Love by bell hooks and If the Buddha Dated & If the Buddha Married by Charlotte Kasl and Against Love: A Polemic and any other books on love that I could get my hands on, really, including the occasionally cheesy self-help variety (which I actually read frequently).

I’m thinking I’ll start there. Perhaps I can pull some quotes or ideas into one coherent (short) piece and that’ll be enough. General observations about loving, nothing too specific.

I don’t know. I’m working on it.