Five Blow Jobs on the Me & My Boi blog tour

Sacchi Green’s new erotica anthology Me & My Boi is finally out! It’s been multiple years in the making, and it includes one of my favorite stories (about rife), Five Blow Jobs.

The first part goes like this:

I.

After the workshop. I haven’t had enough of you (will I ever get enough of you) and strip you bare, glove my hand, slide two fingers inside you, sideways on our huge bed. The lamplight is different than the bright white of this room during the day, more warm, orange-yellow-gold and more full of shadows, and the shadows and the gold fall onto your skin like paint. In the car on the way back I couldn’t resist (can rarely resist, it’s so hard to resist when part of our dynamic is built around taking what I want) and slide your small fingers into my mouth. You miss the exit. Your fingers are blunt and I trace your jagged nails with my tongue, suck the salt from the pads, taste the day on your skin. I pull your wrist down to your pelvis and take two fingers in my mouth again when my two fingers are inside you, gently pressing, not a lot of motion, and I start to suck you off. Up and down your fingers like a cock. I hold your g-spot and feel it quiver in my fingers. I let your fingers out of my mouth so you can touch your clit, and keep my tongue on the back of your hand. You shudder and convulse against my mouth, your cunt grips my fingers. You slide your fingers back in my mouth, eager, and I taste you, just a little, at the tips, and I do it all over again.

The book is particularly special to me because there’s so little butch-centered erotica out there, and this is one of the rare ones. I believe it’s not exclusively butch/butch erotica, but includes masculine-of-center identities of all kinds, whether they use the word ‘butch’ or ‘boi’ or don’t use labels at all.

As Sacchi writes, in the introduction:

This book is a celebration of all things boi, butch, masculine-of-center, in those who include lesbian as a part of their identities. These are stories of people we love, and people we are, who put their own personal spins on the gender spectrum. Bois who like girls, bois who like bois, bois who like both; those who don’t label themselves boi or butch at all but can’t stand to wear a skirt; screw-the-binary free spirits of many flavors. Cool bois, hot bois, swaggering bois, shy bois, leather bois, flannel bois, butch daddies, and the femmes and mommas and tops and bottoms and even girls next door who wouldn’t have them any other way.

The anthology includes a lot of my favorite queer erotica writers with new works … I can’t wait to read the entire thing!

Blog Tour

June 12—Sacchi Green—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 13—Annabeth Leong—http://annabethleong.blogspot.com
June 14—Anna Watson— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 15—Sinclair Sexsmith—www.sugarbutch.net
June 16—Jove Belle— https://jovebelle.com/
June 17—Tamsin Flowers— www.tamsinflowers.com
June 18—Victoria Villasenor— https://breywillows.com
June 19—J, Caladine—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 20—Victoria Janssen— http://victoriajanssen.com
June 21—Dena Hankins—  http://denahankins.net/my-summer-of-boi/
June 22—D. Orchid— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 23—Pavini Moray— https://emancipatingsexuality.com/
June 24—Melissa Mayhew— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 25—Jen Cross— http://writingourselveswhole.org
June 26—Kyle Jones— www.butchtastic.net
June 27—Gigi Frost— www.facebook.com/gigifrost
June 28—Aimee Hermann— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 29—Sommer Marsden—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 30—Axa Lee—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
July 1— Kathleen Bradean— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com

Oh and also, there’s a BOOK GIVEAWAY

Anyone who comments on any of the posts will be entered in a drawing for one free copy of the anthology. You can comment on more than one post and be entered more than once. The winner will be announced and notified by July 5, if not sooner.

Pick up Me & My Boi from your local feminist queer radical bookstore, directly from Cleis Press, or, if you must, from Amazon.

Finally, an Ejaculating Dildo: The Semenette (Review)

There are very few options for strap-on dildos that ejaculate. There are quite a few “novelty toys” out there, but they usually have one of two things wrong: either 1) they are made with porous or toxic materials, or 2) they are manufactured such that the tube that squirts the liquid out is lodged firmly in the center of the base of the dildo, which makes it pretty much impossible to strap on.

(I’ve even gone so far as to order one of the intense non-human Bad Dragon squirt dildos, to try it out. I bet some folks would be into it, but it didn’t work for me.)

So when the Semenette became available in 2014, I was thrilled. Finally, finally! A strap-on cock I can actually use to squirt with.

brown

It came into being for personal reasons: the founder actually wanted something to use to get her partner pregnant (or so the urban legend goes). “Turkey basters? Ew!” are part of their marketing materials. Personally I don’t really have many feelings about turkey basters, one way or the other … not so sexy, sure, but I’m not sure actual insemination is exactly sexy, either. But that’s not to say that I don’t have a come or a body fluid fetish—I totally do. And I’ve wanted to be able to make a big mess of fluids in some of my strap-on play for quite a while. (Or to get a blow job and actually squeeze some liquid down my boy’s throat? I’d really like that.)

The plusses:

The Semenette is high quality silicone, and available in three colors (fairly standard for “realistic” tones of strap-ons, these days, and yes, very limited, and not at all accurate for everyone’s skin tones). It is 6.25″ long and about 1.5″ in diameter, which is on the small side for a strap-on dildo (most of my personal favorites are more like 7×2), but it’s a perfectly fine size for most things. The base of it is specifically designed so the tube tucks into a little divot and then comes out the side, so it’s possible to use it in a harness. It comes with a tube and little bulb that you can fill with water, lube, or a home-made come-like substance (there are a variety of recipes for this online).

But, there are a few minuses:

The silicone is hard, not one of the “soft skin” or “real skin” kinds of silicone that a lot of strap-on dildos are these days. And I know, I know—you do have to overlook the name. I think there must be some folks who are into it, but for me, I really dislike it. I think taking a word and adding “ette” on it in order to make it more accessible or interesting to women to be … belittling, somehow. And while some folks might get off on the idea of ‘semen’ as part of their sex toy, a lot of folks will not. (The name is changing in their 2.0 version—more on that in a minute.) And, perhaps the hardest thing for me to overlook, the bulb that comes with it—which is the reservoir in which you can store the liquid you want to squirt—is really tiny. I suppose if you’re building a toy to be used for actual insemination, the quantity of liquid that you would use is actually quite small. But if you’re going for the whole, uh, effect of it, I would like to use more. It probably wouldn’t be that hard to find an adequate new bulb that is bigger and able to hold more liquid, but, well, add that to the small projects list, and maybe I’ll get around to it in 2019.

semenette
Despite some of these setbacks, there is absolutely no better strap-on dildo on the market for ejaculating. Literally every other option I have found is either made of dangerous materials or not made for strapping on, so this is the only good one I know of.

(If you know of some I don’t know about, please, let me know!)

I’m also thrilled to discover that Semenette is releasing a new version of this same concept, now called POP! Dildo. It’s a little bigger than the Semenette, and has an optional slightly larger bulb as well. I haven’t gotten my hands (heh heh) on it yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know how they compare.

The Semenette was sent to me for a review. Order the Semenette online here.

Lying Down, Guest Post by Kathleen Delaney-Adams (excerpt from Dirty Dates)

Excerpt from Dirty Dates edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, published by Cleis Press. Reprinted with permission

She presents her back to me, unadorned and shivering in the early morning air. I know she loathes to being naked, the humility and vulnerability of it, so the fact that she’s offered it to me has moved me greatly, made me rock hard. She is spectacular, standing in the middle of the living room, her eyes blinking sleepily, her body already melting in anticipation.

I have surprised her with this, barely allowing her to finish her first cup of coffee before ordering her to take off her clothes and give me her flesh. Although this is our ritual, a Sunday morning play-date we rarely, if ever, miss, I am usually gentle with her. I allow her to wake slowly and warm up to the day, serve her coffee in bed, warm up to the day. The ways in which we arouse each other during these weekly assignations are myriad indeed, sometimes kinky, always juicy. This morning I want kink, demanded it of her. Although this is unexpected, she has scurried to please me, collecting my whips, the lube, the condoms, arranging them within easy reach on the coffee table before she stands before me and offered herself up. She is eager for my instructions, always. I run my hand down the skin of her creamy back and murmur, “That’s a good girl.”

She quivers in response and raises her eyes to mine.

“I didn’t say you could look at me, girl,” I hiss, and we are on.

She knows the drill, eyes now downcast as she slips into her submission. There is a smirk of pleasure and excitement playing about her lips. I should punish her for her sass, but her morning face is so pretty that I decide to allow it. For now.

The first licks of my galley whip are a tease, a flirt of leather on her skin. Kisses promise more to come and render her shaking with desire and a bit of fear.

I like the fear. I let it build slowly, increasing the intensity of the lashes she is receiving until she moves her body in expectation of them, a slight shifting toward the whip. I laugh and hit her pussy, not gently. She moans and spreads her legs open for me, for more.

“Ooh, you liked that, didn’t you, you whore?”

“Yes. Yes, Daddy.” Her voice is breathy.

I hit her pussy again, harder, first with the tails then the handle of the whip. She is moaning louder now, gasping. She blinks back the first sign of real tears—tears of pain or need, I’m not sure—but I give her more nonetheless.

When I stop abruptly her body jerks in response, stiffening, then softening and leaning back toward me. She sniffles, and I flick the whip gently through her hair, letting it caress her long red curls as if it were my fingers touching her.

She has told me it makes her feel cherished, when I beat and whip her flesh, when I fuck her hard and without lube, when I make demands of her. But I want to remind her she is also cherished now, in between the pain—that my whip can be both a brutal weapon and a tender one.

I reach around with my hands and squeeze her tits, rubbing my thumbs over her nipples, tugging them. I slide slowly down her belly, my fingers finding her slick wet pussy. She cries out and stumbles, losing her balance, when I shove three fingers inside her.

“Mmm, nice and wet for me, just the way I like you.”

Just as quickly I pull my hand away. My cock grows even stiffer when she cries out again and there is no mistaking her hunger.

I begin to whip her in earnest now, letting it build, slicing the whip into her skin with enough force to leave marks. That tender spot just under her ass is my favorite, the blood rising to the surface almost immediately in a sweet red welt.

She is fighting to stand still, moaning and sobbing, her entire body quaking. I land a series of intense blows on her back, and she sobs harder, in pain.

“Turn around,” I growl, and she obeys immediately.

Her teary eyes meet mine, her mouth swollen and quivering, and I want to tear into it, bite it, draw blood. I can see juice on her thighs, her pussy glistening. Her eyes are pleading. I know she wants more. She doesn’t have to beg—I’m not done yet—but I decide to make her anyway.

“Have you had enough, girl?” I ask. She starts to shake her head, than catches herself; she knows I prefer she answer me when I ask a question.

“N-no. No.”

“Do you want more then? Tell me you want more.”

“Yes. Yes, please. Please.” Her begging is not part of our play. I know she means it, and I am so stiff for her I might explode.

“Lift your arms for me.”

I demand full access to that delicate flesh. I want to devour her. Instead, I settle for my whip’s access, the ferocity of my own need barely restrained as I slice the tender skin of her breasts, her stomach, her thighs. Her nipples are hard, her breath rasping, her lips trembling. She bites her lower lip to keep from crying but she can’t stop the flow of tears, the sobs. When I lash out at her pussy, she again opens her legs for me, rocking her hips forward so I can better reach her clit, moving back and forth in time with the leather. This is a dance we have perfected over time, a dance not just of desire but of devotion.

I can’t wait a moment longer to enter that tight pussy, and I lay down the whip and grab her, pressing her against me. She collapses in my arms, simply melting, and I feel her wet cheeks buried in my neck.

Read the rest of the story in the anthology Dirty Dates edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, published by Cleis Press. Get more information about the Dirty Dates anthology here. Thanks for letting me reprint part of it!

Getting Grown, Guest Post by BD Swain

BD Swain is a butch dyke who enjoys writing queer smut – not just because it’s fun, but because sex and pushing my sexual expression is what makes me feel most alive. I am turned on by trust and by pushing the boundaries of it. Follow me @redswain on twitter; @bdswain on instagram, bdswain.com.

“You expect me to suck this tiny cock? Your little girlfriends might like the size of this thing. Maybe. But look at me. Do you see me?” She grabbed my face, “You think this is good enough for me? I’m grown.”

I was shaking. I was lying on her couch, posed as if I’d just been thrown. My body splayed out like a belly up crab. My back tensed, I craned my neck to lift my head as high as I could. My hand floated in the air above my belt, half unbuckled. I was scrambling with my feet, pushing myself up on the cushions, kicking with my legs in a panic.

Let me go back. Start over. I need to tell this right.

I was a baby. I’d lived all my life in Tulsa, a rich kid with a Daddy in oil like everyone else I knew and I hated it more than anyone. I took my dad’s hair trimmer to the bathroom one day and walked out with a buzz cut that was never discussed at the family table. You don’t fuck up the family situation where I come from and if you do, you suffer in silence. Some families might have beat the shit out of me, mine just never spoke to me again. Fine by me. San Francisco. I knew where to go.

I want to tell you this story right, but I don’t need to go through every detail. Listen, I had fucked girls. I was good looking. I was cocky. Girls let me finger them after school behind the bleachers. I played the bad boy with the good heart I’d seen in all the movies. I was sweet with my soft cheeks and worn out jeans. We fucked in the back of our trucks and out on the rocks when we went camping. We took blankets and cases of beer out to the swimming holes. I played the boy for any girl who wanted. I was the boy who never asked for anything but to make you come. The boy who gave and gave and gave. The boy for a night when there wasn’t another boy, a real boy with a hard dick and demands. But that was the boy I wanted to be, who I thought I was.

I got to San Francisco and learned how to be butch. I was demanding and cocky, pushing a girls face down between my legs. Watching her lips curl around the tip of my cock. Wrapping my fingers in her curls to shove her deeper onto my hard-on. No one had a real name here and one girl took to calling me Tulsa. It felt good. I was where I wanted to be. A butch with femmes all around me in short skirts and low cut tops with their heels or their sexy boots. I liked the lipstick stains on my undershirts.

I thought all femmes were like this. Waiting for me to grab them. Watching my ass as I played a round of pool. I liked the back and forth of it. Sitting on the barstool with my back to the bar and a beer resting just inside my thigh, my thumb and finger loosely gripping the bottle’s neck, watching a girl walk slow in front me to the bathroom and back out again with her eye on me and her lipstick touched up. This was our dance. She would slide up to the bar next to me and I’d turn to listen as she ordered a cocktail. I could put my money on the bar and pick up her tab. She would smile and thank me. A lady and a gentleman; it was routine but not boring. Predictable in a way I had always hoped. We’d go back to her place. She’d suck me. I’d bend her over and fuck her. She’d come. I’d leave.

This woman I met, I thought she was that same girl. I’d been living here a few years. I had my own bedroom. I made a little money bussing tables and a little more selling drugs. I dated girls for a couple months before they caught me cheating on them and screamed and cried and told me what I dick I was. And I was. I wasn’t sure what else to be. I thought that was the whole point really. Isn’t that what everyone expects? This was the set up when I met her. This is what I knew. Nothing.

The first thing that threw me off was how we met. I was bussing tables. I hated the work. Everyone yelled at me at that job. I was always in someone’s way or worried that I was going to drop something. I felt like I was covered in other people’s food the whole time. I couldn’t wait to run home and shower after work but even then I couldn’t get the stink of deep fryer grease out of my skin. So I didn’t feel sexy when I caught her looking at me. I felt uncomfortable. Caught scavenging in the headlights. She looked so hot, too. I hated being seen like this but I knew that look she gave me and it still made me flush hot. I weakly strutted around after I caught her look, too tired to really make much of myself but feeling cocky as hell anyway. I didn’t look back again, but I felt her staring at me as I made my way through tables.

She caught my eye on her way out the door and I smiled to myself, sure she’d left her number for me on the table. I saw a small, folded piece of paper and slipped it into my pocket smiling. I didn’t look at it until I unlocked my bicycle to head home. I stared down at the paper like an idiot. “You should have asked,” was all it said. “Fuck,” I spat out, punching myself in the thigh. I felt so stupid. This woman didn’t look anything like the girls I’d picked up in bars. It sounds dumb, but the description that ran through my head was that she looked tall and clean. Those were the words that came to mind when I saw her. I wanted her. I wasn’t good enough for her. I squeezed my eyes shut and imagined bringing her into my dingy little room with the dirty, dank bathroom down the hall. I shook my head. I knew that wouldn’t do. I shouldn’t even try. But hell, I caught myself looking for her everywhere after that. After several days with no luck, I realized this was a woman who wouldn’t be seen in my usual haunts. Not regularly, at least. I decided to expand my territory without a clue as to where I should start. I tried the new wine bar and the coffee place with the line down the block. I felt crazy for even trying. I was out of my league.

It was three weeks later that I was locking my bike in the Castro when I looked up and saw her. She was alone, walking towards me but looking across the street at something. She looked stunning. She shone bright in the sun, standing out from all the jeans and leather in a cream-colored pencil skirt and jacket with a sheer beige top and matching heels. I sucked in my breath and stepped into her path, “Hey,” I said. The woman looked at me up and down, appraising me, clearly considering the goods in front of her. “I’m Tulsa,” I said with a smile and held my hand out to her. She stared for a minute and shaded her eyes from the sun before answering, “No. No you’re not. You have a real name, I’m sure.” I hesitated, not knowing where to go from here. “It doesn’t matter,” she sighed. I jumped at a second chance, “Let me buy you a drink.” She looked down at my boots. “No,” she said, “not a bar. I don’t think so. But why don’t I make you a drink at my place.” She walked past me briskly, clearly intending for me to follow, and I obliged. We walked a few blocks in silence until she glanced over her shoulder at me and walked up a few steps to her door, turning her key in the lock without giving me another look.

My mind was racing. I’m always prepared for a date, for fucking, a cock in my pants. I’d been caught off guard here, but maybe that’s not what this was. Or maybe she had a cock I could use. I pictured her falling to her knees with her fingers on my belt. I pictured her bent over a creamy white sofa or a nice coffee table. Maybe in the dining room or leaning over the kitchen counters. I pictured her legs sliding apart as she begged me to fuck her. I felt more and more cocky with each image, each step into her place.

“What do you drink?” she asked me, walking towards a small bar in the living room. “I’ll take a beer,” I yelled out, a little too loudly. “I don’t have beer,” she said, amused, “I’ll pour you a whiskey. Do you take ice?” I nodded before realizing she wasn’t looking at me. “Uh huh,” I grunted, “Yeah, ice.” I tried to shake the nerves creeping up on me. Whatever, I thought. She wants me to fuck her. I swirled the whiskey around in the glass and took a deep sip before opening my mouth to say something, but she cut me off. “I don’t think there’s much to say, do you?” she said with a slight laugh. I smiled at her. I belted the rest of my drink and set the glass down as I swaggered over to her, grabbing the back of her head to kiss her. In my mind, everything was playing out a few steps ahead. I eyed the couch and started to lead her over to it.

Her kiss was cold, sterile. I didn’t understand where I was going wrong. I grabbed her hand and pulled it down between my legs. That’s when everything shifted out from under me. She shoved me backwards onto the couch and got down on her knees. I leaned back, pulling my hands behind my head, ready for something familiar but the look on her face stopped my smile. “Do you want something, little boy? Were you going to ask nicely or just shove my face in your crotch like you grabbed my hand? Didn’t anyone ever teach you good manners?” she seemed to grow larger in front of me. She shoved my boots, spreading my legs wide and grabbed my dick through my jeans. Or what would have been my dick. I felt her fingers grabbing and feeling around through my jeans.

She looked at me, mocking with a false puzzled look on her face. I could feel my cheeks turn red and hot. I stared back at her as long as I could but had to turn away. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I thought you had something for me here?” My insides burned. “Didn’t you just grab my hand and put it on your dick?” she went on, “I got the feeling you wanted to shove my face down there. Is that right? You want to show me?” She slowly brought her gaze to my belt and nodded her head at me. My hands moved, without thinking, to my belt. She grabbed me hard between my legs, “You’re so small, I can’t even feel you.” She punched my clit through my jeans several times.

Now we’re back where we started. The beginning of my story. The moment when everything shifted. “You expect me to suck this tiny cock?” she started to berate me. I felt sick. I wanted to disappear, run out the door and never look back, but I also wanted to play this out. What the fuck was going on? I’d lost my script and it turned me on.

“Let’s see what you’ve got here,” she said, unbuckling my belt and tugging my jeans down my thighs. She pushed my chest, sending me back against the couch again and grabbed me through the front of my briefs at the same time. I yelled out, more surprised than in pain. She kneaded me, starting to coo, her face held near mine, “Where did it go, big boy?” I froze like a frightened animal. She snarled in my ear, “Where’s that big cock you wanted to show me? Did you lose it somewhere?” I shuddered, my whole body convulsed, I could smell my own sweat as my instincts jumped from point to point. Did I want this or was I just stuck? I was scrambling to figure it all out. Then she pet the side of my head and cradled me in her arms for a moment, “It’s okay. We’re going to find a way to have fun anyway, aren’t we?” she whispered in my ear and I stopped shivering. I knew. My body told me what I wanted. Every muscle relaxed for a split second before tensing again. She punched my clit again and again, “I just don’t think we’re going to find it, baby,” she said, “but don’t worry, I don’t think that’s what you’re really here for anyway.”

She ran her fingers through my hair. I closed my eyes and let her pet me. I’d never been pet. I’d never allowed it. I had always acted so tough, unfeeling, never could let my guard down but somehow it was gone. “Please,” I said and I felt hot tears well up in my eyes. I squeezed my eyes and gulped down all this emotion about to pour out of me. “I know how to take care of you, baby boy,” she said, her voice teasing between soothing and sadistic.

She ran her hand under the collar of my shirt and over my small, hard tits. “Are you hiding something from me, boy?” she said. Her posture changed. She stood up tall over me and took off her jacket. She spoke to me as she unbuttoned her blouse, “Let’s cut the shit.” She slapped me hard. The impact made my clit jump. I looked up at her with a suckling mouth, wanting more. She looked at me hard and laughed, tracing her finger around my lips. I wanted her finger in my mouth, but she tugged my shirt out of my jeans instead. Her nails circled around my nipples, tracing little lines until she squeezed me hard, making me gasp.

I heard myself speak. “Thank you,” I said, my voice hollow and lost. I was so far away, so outside of myself. It was perfect. She was perfect. “Thank you,” I said again and she punched my chest, knocking the wind out of me. “Thank you,” I repeated. It was all I could say for a long time as she punched and slapped me, poked and prodded. I didn’t stop saying it until she returned to my mouth and stuck her fingers inside me. I sucked my cheeks in, my tongue curling around her knuckles, sliding along the ridge between her fingers. “At least you know how to suck, don’t you?” she said, petting my head. I nodded with her fingers held soft, but firm in my mouth.

“You didn’t need to pretend you had a big dick for me” she said, “I think you know better now, don’t you?” She slid her fingers out of my mouth, dragging them down my belly, into my briefs, feeling my swollen clit in her fingers. “You’re so tiny,” she said, “but it doesn’t matter. I know what you really want.” She looked at her hand in my pants, “Here. Hold this for me,” she said and shoved my own hand between my legs. I circled my throbbing clit while she stepped out of the room for a minute, coming back in only her bra with a large cock strapped on.

I winced. I don’t get fucked. I didn’t get fucked. I didn’t know who the hell I was anymore but it didn’t matter. I turned over and shoved my ass in the air towards her. She laughed. A beautiful, rich, caramel laugh that made my spine melt. “Oh, you’re too easy,” she said. I felt her dick press against my ass, “I get to choose what hole I fuck you in,” she said. I wanted to ask her to fuck my ass, but I only nodded. I was ashamed of my own pussy but nothing mattered anymore. She knew who I was, not me. I needed her to show me.

Her fingers slid, one by one, under the elastic band of my briefs. She tugged them down slowly, letting me feel her dick press harder and harder against me. I heard the lube, her hand, the ritual. Something that had been mine, but not like this. Everything was turned around and new. “Thank you,” I whispered, inaudible. She held my hips and slid her cock against my ass, between my legs. She held it in her hands and teased my holes. I didn’t care what happened, I just wanted her to use me.

“You’re a sweet little boy,” she whispered, “Have you ever been used?” I shook my head, “No, ma’am,” I answered, Tulsa coming out strong in my accent. “Don’t call me ma’am,” she said. “No,” I repeated, “There was no one before you.” She moaned, “That’s so good, baby. That’s just right.” She shoved her prick into my cunt and it hurt. It hurt but I wanted her deeper inside me. My hands reached behind me, grasping. “Yes,” she comforted, “I’m right here.” She was pumping me hard and my face kept hitting the back of the couch. My skin felt raw. My lip started to bleed. I instinctively pulled my shirt into my mouth to keep from dripping blood on her furniture. “Thank you,” I cried. Over and over again, I said it, “Thank you.”

“Grab your little dick,” she demanded, “Jerk yourself off while I fuck your hole.”

I obeyed.

I came, doubled over, with my legs shaking so hard she had to hold me and ease me back onto the couch. I was her pet. She told me so. And it was true.

Luscious & Wild (Asher & Jesse #4)

“Sexually, I have a fetish about truth telling. I find it profoundly arousing to watch somebody struggle to articulate their desires. One of the things my girlfriend and I say together is that you can have anything you want if you have the courage to ask for it. But having that courage to ask for it, wow! So we set up situations where you can have anything, honey—you just have to be able to ask for it.” —Dorothy Allison, from Writing Below the Belt

Jesse plunges three fingers into Asher’s cunt, splitting her open, pushing hard past any resistance. Asher is on the tips of her toes, back arched, ass out, legs long, hands and arms and cheek and even the tops of her breasts thrust against the glass of the floor-to-ceiling hotel window. She cries out. She drools and it slides down the glass, leaving a wet trail. Downtown Seattle’s skyline and Puget Sound are glittering beyond the glass, the night as clear as a realism painting, and just as romantically blurred around the edges with the damp ocean air salting the city’s lines.

“Oh fuck, oh my god …” Asher can’t much speak. She babbles words and mostly sounds, guttural and low, come from her throat. She is being taken apart from the inside out.

Jesse is sweating and so sweet on Asher she can barely stand it. Even Asher’s skin is sweet: she leans in for another nibble at Asher’s shoulders, and Asher gasps and leans back into her in response. Jesse reaches around her to twist and pull on her dark brown nipples, so hard and stiff after being pressed up against the cool glass.

The hotel is sleek, modern. Mostly grey, some black and white highlights dot the room. One whole wall is windows. It was a gift, this hotel weekend where they have been holed up, giggling on the pillows and fucking leisurely, with nowhere to be and nothing to do, for Asher’s Master’s graduation and her final completion of her practicum hours. Now that the summer is over, she’s even got an entry-level position at a clinic on Capital Hill. Jesse starts her senior year of college in a few days.

But for now, there is only each other, luscious and wild, so eager for the other and so hungry for more.

Now that Jesse has opened up this dominant thing, it is blooming in her like the Arboretum after the first stripe of sun growth in March: colorful and vibrant, and made to be there.

When they first settled into the hotel, Jesse tied Asher to the bed and blindfolded her, then left her, spread eagle, while Jesse put away their clothes and unpacked the bag of groceries they’d brought. She planned on spoiling Asher every minute of these three celebratory days and two nights. Asher kept talking, guessing, asking Jesse questions, but Jesse only answered simply: “Mhm,” or “Yes, I think so,” or “If you ask for it, honey, you can have whatever you want.”

When Jesse finally felt situated, she strapped on and slid inside Asher slow, fucking her gently and sweet, bodies rocking together, as Asher sucked Jesse’s fingers into her mouth and Jesse touched her clit, in that soft-fast way she’d learned Asher liked, until she came.

Jesse had big plans for the scenes in this room for the weekend. And what would they do with those amazing windows? A vision started coming to Jesse as she worked out her third orgasm since the elevator.

When it was time, Jesse waited until Asher asked for it. It didn’t matter how—she just had to form the words. It was what Asher most wanted, most of the time: To be confronted with her own desire and made to look at it directly, befriend it, to stop pretending like it was someone else’s want that was driving the scene. It wasn’t that Jesse was overpowered by lust and just had to take her, right there right now, though that was fun too—it was Asher’s craving for being torn up, filled up, degraded, humiliated, and used that was the impetus for most of their play. Jesse loved seeing her so filled to overspilling with her own lust that she would draw courage from some unknown well and finally start bubbling with request after request. Maybe it’s why Jesse used so much bondage—to keep Asher still and seeping in it when she finally spilled open. Being tied up is restrictive, sure, but it can also be profoundly meditative, and take someone into a safe holding where more things are possible.

Jesse loved unlocking Asher’s tongue.

She had also discovered that one of Asher’s most favorite things is for Jesse to get off. Maybe it’s that fetish for being used, but Jesse to lower her own cunt down over Asher’s mouth, to fuck her, to jerk off over her chest or face or even right next to her cunt, and to have some spectacular orgasm, yelling and moaning, and then to leave Asher there, panting and waiting—that, that was what got Asher writhing and squirming, begging to be used again.

So it was with great mutual pleasure that Jesse wracked up orgasms like points in a pinball game during their hotel weekend. She kept track, telling Asher aloud how many times it had been.

In Asher’s ear at the hotel window, Jesse whispers, “Seven, Asher. I’m all the way up at seven, and how many times have you come?”

Asher whimpers. Her clit is hard and swollen, her lips puffy and thick. Her mouth is red from sucking.

“How many?”

“Once,” Asher whispers.

“That’s right, once. And you weren’t really supposed to be coming, were you? You just couldn’t help it?”

“I couldn’t help it! You made me do it, I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I like following your rules, I just, it was too much. I couldn’t help it!” She thrums the words in that husky low tone she gets when she is so turned on.

“Shh, it’s okay baby. I know. It was my fault, I don’t expect to fuck you that much and not have you come … at least sometimes,” Jesse laughs a little to herself, thrilled and giddy. She strokes Asher’s cunt, every contour, every swollen slick place. She gets juicy enough as it is, but Jesse still adds more lube, more wetness. She traces lines with the pads of her fingers and uses her fingers to pinch and apply pressure, catching the head of Asher’s clit between her fingers, palming her whole vulva, pinching her lips together, which makes Asher squirm and shiver.

Jesse slides her fingers in again, in and out, stopping in all the spots that she knows Asher likes. “How many times are you going to come for me now, if I let you?”

“How many … times? Two. Three. Five. How many do you want me to come?” Asher’s words aren’t quite making sense, but she thrusts her hips back toward Jesse and presses her chest and cheek into the glass, offering herself up, willing Jesse not to stop.

“Five, huh? That’s a lot. Could you come on demand, if I just tell you to come right now, could you do it?”

“Could I come … right now? I don’t … really know,” Asher puzzles a little, gets distracted by Jesse’s fingers, then starts thinking again, trying to figure out how much her mind has control over her body. “Maybe? I think so. Yeah, actually. Tell me to do it! Jesse, tell me, and I’ll do it, I’ll do it for you, whenever you say.”

“Really? You think you could?” Still, in and out, slowly, with Jesse’s thumb circling Asher’s clit.

“Yes! Oh yes I’ll show you, I can do it for you.”

“Okay, baby, ready? Come … right now.”

“Ohhhhhh,” Asher cries out, pulses her cunt hard, pushing and contracting and pushing until she gushes onto Jesse’s hand.

“That’s one. Can you do it again for me? Can I keep going?”

“Yes, yes keep going, don’t stop don’t stop …”

“You’re so fucking hot, Ash. I love watching you like this. Come again girl, do it, let’s have it all. Now!”

“Fuck, fuckfuckfuck!” Asher yells, arms sliding down the glass as if she can’t hold them up any longer. Her knees and thighs shake. Jesse pushes her hand farther inside and Asher gasps, pushing her hips open.

“Two,” Jesse growls in her ear. “Keep going. Ready to do it again for me, slut? Didn’t get all you needed yet, huh? Can you do it again?”

“Yes, yes yes yesssss,” Asher moans, wet dripping down Jesse’s hand and wrist.

“Three,” Jesse is practically giggling now, high and strong and she could do this for hours: keep Asher poised on her fingers, begging and coming.

“Four! Please four, Jesse please, four—” Asher begs. She squirms and tries to close her legs, trying to back off from the orgasms that still want to claim her cunt.

“Now. Do it,” comes Jesse’s reply, low and growly at Asher’s neck. Jesse bites at her earlobe and Asher throws her head back to rest on Jesse’s shoulder, sighing, breathing, still moaning those sounds from her throat.

“One more,” Jesse reminds her. “One more, and then we’re all done. Can you do it again?”

“Nooo, no Jesse, I don’t think I can, I don’t know … it’s too much, I can’t.”

“You can do it. Remember how you told me five? Actually, you said, ‘How many do you want me to come,” but I want five. So five it is. That’s one more,” Jesse makes the gentlest circles over Asher’s swollen cunt, soft and fast on her clit, that way that she likes.

“I can’t, I can’t Jesse … oh god, oh my god, oh my fuck fuuuuck …” Asher trails off and comes again, legs shaking, body humming, throat humming, practically sliding all the way down the window to the floor if it wasn’t for Jesse’s leg in between hers. Jesse holds her up for a moment, then lets them both collapse down, catching Asher in her arms and wrapping around her naked body as she shivers and settles.

“I can’t believe you made me! You. You! Are incredible. I love you,” Asher nuzzles into Jesse’s shoulder and Jesse braces herself against the bed to hold them both upright. They laugh and talk and stroke each other, doing that post-fucking haze-y loopy thing where everything is hilarious and important.

Eventually, Jesse says, “My foot’s asleep. And also, want some food?”

Asher lights up. “I’m starved. I feel like I have never eaten before ever. I want all the things!”

Jesse starts untangling, and moves to stand. “Oh that’s good, because we bought all the things at the grocery store before we came. I’m hungry too. C’mon, let’s get up. You okay to stand?”

“Yeah. Okay.” Asher reaches up for Jesse’s arms and accepts help to get steady on her feet.


Featured image from Crash Pad Series Episode 89: Hilt & Rusty Nails.

On Gender Perception, or: Break Your Eyes Open to Genderqueers

This essay, as with pretty much everything I write, is purely my own experience and my best understanding. I’m not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn’t care about, just sharing what my process has been around gender perception and genderqueerness.

For a little more than three years, I’ve been using they/them/theirs/themself pronouns. Notice that I’m avoiding saying that I “prefer” they/them pronouns, because, as many gender activists have been discussing lately, it’s not exactly a “preference.” I prefer green grapes to red grapes, I prefer almond milk to soy milk. But the accurate pronoun for my gender identity is they/them/theirs/themself.

Using a pronoun outside of the standard gender binary is a lot of work on a daily basis. Sure, I do spend most of my time inside of genderqueer and trans communities, and many of those folks are super smart about gender and either ask about pronouns or already know mine, and like to call people what they like to be called. I’m surprised how good it makes me feel when people get my pronouns right, actually. And because often I don’t hear people talking about me—which is the only time they really refer to me in the third person—I don’t hear it very often. The recent Sweet & Rough blog tour is a thrilling example: it pretty much brought tears to my eyes every time the folks on the tour referred to me using they and them. My inner kid—you know, the one who thinks I’ll never be understood or seen or valued—gets all hopeful and touched, and feels vulnerable and seen. I think things like, “Really? You see me like that?” and “You get it! Omg you get it!” and “Are you just humoring me? Or do you really get it?” and “Ergh, I hope it isn’t too much trouble for you to understand that!” and … I feel such relief. My shoulders relax and my body lets go of just a little bit of the tension I always carry.

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Am I mad at the system? Fuck yes. Am I working on changing it? Absolutely.
Every day I encounter a world that doesn’t see the in-between, and that either addresses me as “sir” or groups me in as part of the table full of “ladies,” aka queers of sometimes five different gender identities. I suppose worse still is “miss,” but that just gets me on a feminist rant about women having multiple honorifics dependent on their marital status and all men are addressed as “mister.” And then I remember that the second wave popularized “Ms”—oh right, we already fought this fight, except that clearly it hasn’t permeated society enough because this guy in front of me is still calling me “miss.”

Am I mad at the system? Fuck yes. Am I working on changing it? Absolutely. Are these moments microagressions? Fuck yes. Do the little needles that are microagressions add up, becoming a seeping wound by the end of any given day? Yeah. Could I just take my toys and go home and become a hermit to avoid dealing with this? Yeah. And sometimes I do, and sometimes I really want to.

But after three years of really claiming the identity of genderqueer … honestly? Being misgendered doesn’t bother me as much anymore.

I rarely correct the pronouns people use for me. I tell them if they ask, absolutely. I have lots of conversations about why they/them is the best choice for me, why I use it rather than ze/hir or other gender neutral pronouns, or why it’s grammatically correct despite the rules saying it is plural.

(Short version: I believe language is fluid, and our uses of it change over the years. I find it to be the least awkward in speech and written flow because we’re already used to it as a pronoun in other contexts. If people want to prioritize holding tight to grammar rules instead of smashing the gender binary and evolving our language to reflect the changes and include thousands of folks who are in-betweeners, well then, I guess I have to reevaluate just how close I want to be with that person. As much as I get a boner for really strict grammarians, to see the rules as so rigid that they cannot be malleable to include folks who are marginalized out of our language is not the kind of poet activist I want to be.)

When all those folks out there in the world out there misgender me, calling me sir or ma’am or ladies or she or bro or miss or whatever they might be using, I let it go. It might prick me for a moment, so I store that away as fuel for my activism, and then I try to remember: I don’t need their validation.

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It might prick me for a moment, so I store that away as fuel for my activism, and then I try to remember: I don’t need their validation.
I have so much validation from my genderqueer and trans communities, from my family of origin, from friends far and wide, and from folks I never would’ve expected to step up and be an ally. I feel so seen and honored, so often. I recognize that my position is possibly a unique one, where I really haven’t had any fallout from coming out genderqueer to my family or at my job (which, ahem, is what I’m doing right now). I know many folks don’t have that kind of acceptance from their families of origin, or their closest friends, or coworkers, or the communities in the cities where they live, or even sometimes their partners. But many of us do get lots of support, too.

Because I have so much validation from my close, inner circle communities, and even validation from broader queer worlds, and hell, from more and more people even outside of my inner circle, I don’t need the validation of the bus driver or the guy at the deli counter or the barista at the coffee shop. I just don’t. They don’t see me as genderqueer? Okay, whatever. Or hey, maybe they DO see me as genderqueer, but they don’t really have language and words for it, and even though they’re feeling that hey-you’re-not-quite-the-usual-kind-of-person-with-breasts thing, it doesn’t occur to them that that means not to use the term “lady” to address me. I am interested in doing more activism to educate folks in service professions to use words that aren’t so starkly gendered to address people who are in-between. (I even have a super secret project in the works about this.)

But I don’t need them to understand my gender in order for my gender to be real, seen, valid, and honored in the world.

It’s the difference I suppose between “gender identity” and “gender perception.” It’s only in the last 100 years that the concept of one’s “sex” has been divided into “sex and gender.” As gender theory has evolved, there are many words within the concept of “gender” and what it is. Gender identity is generally (I mistyped it as “genderally”) the identity that I see myself as. For example, I see myself as genderqueer, trans, and butch. Gender expression is usually how you’re expressing your gender verbally and with energy, and gender presentation is usually how you have decorated your body and the visual presentation of it. For me, that’s usually butch and masculine.

Gender perception is how others see your gender.

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“Gender Perception” page from The Gender Book

I do understand that gender perception is a serious source of distress for many folks, feeling that if the world doesn’t see and reflect that I am a certain gender, then I am not that gender. It can be devastating to not be recognized, I do understand that. But for whatever reason, it’s not that important to me.

Or wait—let me rephrase that. It’s very, very important to me to be seen and recognized and understood by my communities and my lovers and my family, and sometimes it takes a lot of work to educate and inform and correct and encourage folks to do so. But it’s not that important to me that the world at large understand and get my gender identity and pronouns right this minute. I just understand that the majority of people haven’t deconstructed the gender binary in a way where they can even see beyond it.

Remember that part in the HBO series Six Feet Under, where Claire, in art school, is trying to “break her eye open,” to see new perspectives and outside of her habits? Most people haven’t broken their eyes open to see more genders, yet.

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Most people haven’t broken their eyes open to see more genders, yet.
When it comes to my communities and inner circles, seeing me and reflecting that they see me is important to me. And that’s partly because of validation, yeah, but it’s also because of intimacy. The more they really see me, the more I feel like we are close and that they really get who I am and how I work in the world. That makes me feel vulnerable, touched, and honored. So really, my genderqueer identity and in-between marginalized place and pronoun use mostly matter for intimate relationships and moments.

I want to encourage that process of breaking your eye open to see more genders for everyone, not just within my communities of radical sex and gender minorities. But the frustration I feel when the larger society doesn’t get my gender stems from my unrealistic expectation. In a way, it’s just arguing with reality.

I’d love to figure out a way to address those misgenderings more easily in the moment, but usually it takes more than just, “hey, don’t call me lady,” for someone’s eyes to break open.

Right now, I can’t change this thing—this problem that the larger culture hasn’t broken their eyes open to more genders yet. I’m doing what I can, and being part of movements that are trying to get that culture broken open, and it is happening right now, the effects are huge and frequent. I can’t change this thing, but I can change my relationship to this thing. I can choose to funnel the pinpricks of not-belonging into more activism and work. I can keep encouraging people to break their eyes open to myriad genders, and I can look to my communities as a source of my validation and intimacy around my gender identity.

Illustration of “Gender Perception” by The Gender Book, reprinted with permission

I need you to take a little more for me.

Content warning: This story contains bondage and Daddy/boy language, with some language around force and ownership. Read it at your own risk/pleasure.

“Be good, and I might let you come.”

My mouth is right next to their ear as my hands work to snap the hooks in place. Their wrists are bound above their head to the eyebolt they installed in our bedroom. They are stripped bare, except for their strap-on—the one that is precisely the smaller version of mine, which makes me feel like we are related, connected through our cocks. They are already shivering a little in the air, but they’ll forget that soon. I have to bend a little to reach their neck, but it makes their holes perfectly hip height when they bend.

“Please, Daddy …” they are already whimpering. My boy, my little faggot cocksucker, my dirty slut, my boy, my boy. I could say it all the ways all the time. Mine. I love owning them, love the thrill of saying the words every time, love their willingness and eagerness to turn over all of themself to me.

“Please what, boy.”

“Please, you’re going to … make me …”

I grin, sucking on the tender flesh at his neck, above his chain collar, beneath his ear. “You just relax. You’ll be fine. Daddy will take care of you.” I move my mouth down their body. They like it, and they shiver, and their skin has goosebumps from the exposure and the rush of sensation. Their nipples are hard.

Their cock is hard too. I tease it gently with my fingertips while I use my mouth and tongue on their skin. Every inch, neck and collarbone, biting at their shoulder; they are so “shouldery,” so muscular in the upper body. Their skin tastes salty, a little metallic where their collar has been rubbing. I like to leave the big red bruises, bites so hard my dental records are impressed into their skin. After months of this, they kind of know better, and squirm out of my grasp now when I start to go for it. But it’s harder to squirm away when they only have a few feet of movement, and I have them trapped between my body and the wall.

I start the bite slow, sinking my teeth in, sucking, trying to distract from the sharpness with my tongue and mouth, with my hand on their dick. My mouth right in the upper arm where the bicep starts thickening. They squirm, whimper. Whisper, “Daddy, Daddy …” But I know they like it. They ask me all the time for marks, bruises, lasting trophies of which to be proud. I can feel their pelvis tipping back, cock tickling my palm.

If I had my mouth on their cunt right now, they would be gushing. The thought of it makes my knees weak, makes something harden inside me, makes me grip harder on their body and press my teeth deeper. They cry out. Take it, take it, I urge silently. They struggle for another couple breaths, gasping a little, toes curling, pressing against me, pulling their arm away as they lean into my body, until they let go, just for a moment, and their muscles relax. Oh so much easier to get a good, deep bite in when they aren’t resisting. I pull back to reposition; they squirm and gasp in air at the blood rushing back in to the muscle.

“Just a little more, boy,” I soothe as I find the bite, the right contour that fits just where I want it to fit in my mouth, and sink in again. Harder this time. No time to wait. Getting more urgent. They cry out, head back, throat open, and I suck them down into my throat, swallowing once. They are sweating a little more, I can smell it from their armpits exposed, a sweet-salty clean smell of boys and work. It’s urgent now, this build in me, this craving for more, for control, for taking all that is mine from their sweet boy body. I know this is a service, I know they need to give it over just as much as I need to take it. We have carefully negotiated this, built this over the last three years. I trust. They trust me. It is not arbitrary or new. This is the long game, and hard won.

I tease the crown of their cock with my hand as their hips keep shuddering. They’re probably close. I could keep them here for a long time, but I want that come. I want it sliding down my throat, I want what’s mine back in me.

As soon as I realize that, it’s immediate. I grip their hips as I dip to my knees to take from them what I want: this boy cock, this come, this orgasm. I cup my hand between their legs, my thumb on their wet, hot opening as my fingers push their split open and find their tight rosebud hole. They are so ready for me, open and puckered, pink and bright and eager to be shoved in.

I warm them up with my tongue. Suckling with my lips. Teasing at the underside of the head, that sensitive cleft.

“I’m trying, Sir … I’m trying … not to …” they can’t quite get the words out.

“Good boy,” I mumble into their cock, the vibrations of words causing a shiver. This isn’t for you, I think. This is what I need. This is mine. I follow my want with their cock, sweet and perfectly shaped, it fits so well against my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Sometimes I so relate so deeply to all of you cock-centric cocksuckers: the lock and key of cock and mouth, the stabilizing completion of this empty hole, the need for nourishment going deep into my belly.

Their head is bent back again, hips shaking, little thrusts of involuntary shudders, heels coming off the ground and shuddering, holding on to the bonds that hold their arms up. I move my hand from their slick split up to their cock, pressing it against their flesh underneath, alternating the pressure. Thumb still against their front hole. Tongue working against their shaft. I’m lost in it, sucking, swallowing. I’m filling myself on what I need, taking it from deep inside down into me. They shudder. Cry out. I hear their words but I’m not sure what they’re saying, something like, “Daddy, I have to Daddy, I have to let it out, Daddy you’re going to make me …” and I am hard and near to bursting myself as they come, releasing liquid into my palm as their hips shudder against my mouth. I catch their cock in my teeth and hold them there, milk it out of them as I hold between their legs. Dripping down my wrist and forearm onto my elbow.

My movement slows, theirs does too.

I bring my palms together at their cunt, as much in worship as in gratitude, bowing my head, feeling the fire quenched and burning in my belly, in the bowl of me down low. I breathe. Hold on to that for a moment, remembering what it’s like to have the privilege of this connection, this service boy, this worship, this care, this body—both theirs and mine, functioning, whole—and this love. This miracle. Every brush of skin and contact and understanding feels precious after years of relationships full of misunderstanding and expected attack. We are making new pathways, new trails to follow. We are making more things make more sense, more of ourselves make sense.

As they are catching their breath and moaning in afterglow, I trail my fingers along their sensitive skin and rise from my knees. I whip open my belt, unbuckle my jeans. Ready for more.

“Sir, was it okay? That I came?”

“Yes, boy, it was okay. Just what I wanted. And, now … I need you to take a little more for me, baby boy,” I say, pulling out my cock, the big one, the one that is just like theirs but bigger. Twisting their body around, my hand at their shoulders to push them against the wall, pulling their hips toward me, spreading their legs, readying their holes. “Daddy needs a little more.”


—-
Thumbnail image created by rife, first published in Salacious Magazine.

Is genderqueer (or butch) a stepping stone to transitioning?

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Question: if you had been assigned male at birth, all else remaining constant, do you still think you would have identified as genderqueer? i.e. how much of it do you think is an innate identity inherent to who you are, and how much of it political? In a hypothetical society where we actually had full gender equality and the boxes of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ were much wider than they currently are, do you think you would still consider yourself genderqueer, or would you then be comfortable being one or the other?

I’m a trans guy who used to identify as genderqueer, but for me it was more of a stepping stone because I was afraid to come out all the way (like gays who falsely identify as bi at first). A lot of what you’re saying resonances with my own gender history, so I’m curious where the difference lies, given that I’m someone who continues to be uncomfortable with misogyny and male privilege but still wants very much to be seen and treated as male. Or is *that* the difference?

—ASQ, on Coming Out Genderqueer

It is definitely true that I don’t have investment in being seen and treated as male, but I DO have investment in not being seen or treated exclusively female. There’s a subtle difference there. And sure, maybe that is the difference between me and a trans guy. Definitely a few of my close trans guy friends have a very similar gender history to mine, too, and then at the final step 128 or whatever, mine says, “and that’s why I’m butch!” and theirs says, “and that’s why I’m a guy!” Being seen or treated as male doesn’t feel important to me or my sense of self, at least not currently. I reserve the right to change my mind on that at any point, if and when it shifts, but that’s been true for almost fifteen years now, so I am starting to relax into thinking it will remain true for a while. Butch feels good. Genderqueer feels good. Trans feels good, but mostly as an umbrella descriptor, as a community membership. More trans-asterisk (trans*) than capital-T Trans, but either are okay. (Kind of like how lesbian and dyke are okay, too, almost good, but mostly just adequate, though not quite accurate.)

I have a LOT of thoughts about all of this—especially how I identify, and my own gender journeys—that are way more complicated than the “Coming Out Genderqueer” article above. That article is purposefully distilled, attempting to talk to people who aren’t in any gender worlds. It’s a rough sketch beginning of all of that, at best, and sometimes broken down more simply than I mean to for the sake of accessibility.

Honestly, there’s no way I could answer “if I had been born male would I still be genderqueer” etc etc. I have no idea. For as much as I study gender constantly, I’m not really sure what being born male would have changed. Everything? Nothing? I just don’t know. I have speculations, but it seems unnecessary to entertain to me. And “if we had full gender equality and the boxes of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ were much wider than they currently are, do you think you would still consider yourself genderqueer, or would you then be comfortable being one or the other?” I have no idea. A society which had wider expression of gender than ‘man’ or ‘woman’ wouldn’t be where I live, so how many other things would have to change too? I’m a buddhist, I believe in interdependence—I don’t think we could change one big thing without a whole lot more changing, too.

I’d say that my most important identification is in being in-between, or outside of, a binary system. Would that still be true if I was male? I don’t know—probably. Assuming that I would have roughly the same personality, would still be a writer, would still really love satsuma oranges, would still crave the ocean, would still get stunned looking at the stars, would still find so much joy in swing dancing—assuming all those personality things were still true, then yes, I assume I would still crave being on the outskirts of things, the margins, where the weirdoes live, on the borderlands (to borrow from Anzaldua). I like the view from here. I get a better view, though it disenfranchises me a bit, too. The edges of things, more than anything else, seem to be where I am drawn. Not to one particular thing—masculinity, or genderqueerness, or transness. It isn’t about those things so much as it’s about being on the edge, for me.

And, a part of me is softly hurt by your comment, of yet another person asking me yet again, basically, if or when I am going to transition. Or rather, if butch is a stop over on the train to maleness. Or, if I was male, would I “have to” be genderqueer. I can’t tell you how many dozens (hundreds?) of people—butches trans men femmes, genderqueer agender androgynous queers, all sorts of genders, over the years, friends and lovers and people who talked about me rudely behind my back, so many of them at one point or another said something, either directly or indirectly, about my—and often, EVERY butches’—inevitable transition. I think butches get this all the time.

I think it’s quite a common story for many trans guys to spend some time presenting as butch, or as masculine identified women in some way, or as genderqueer, or as rejecting gender in some way. Like you wrote—(like gays who falsely identify as bi at first). Yes, that is sometimes part of the story. But it doesn’t apply to everybody all the time, and just because it happens sometimes doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who find a butch identity and stay there, people who never transition to male, who never secretly wish for maleness, or to be seen and treated as male.

Folks in the bisexual identity—to continue to borrow your example—get this all the time too, with people around them assuming, at least for quite a while in the beginning, that bi will be a stopover to gay town. Sometimes it is. But sometimes, it isn’t.

So, is genderqueer a political identity for me? Fuck yes it is. Is it an innate identity? Uh I mean how can we know what’s “innate” and what’s learned, especially when it comes to gender? But say, for a minute, that I do know—I would answer, Absolutely yes. Which one is more powerful? Fuck, I have no idea. That’s like asking me to rank my oppressions, or tell you whether I identify as an Alaskan or a writer first. I can’t hierarchize those. It is a radical, political act to reject the two-party binary gender system, and I like radical acts. I get off on ’em. It also feels like home in my body in a way my body never felt like home when I was dressed up more femininely, and never felt/feels like home when people refer to me by he/him pronouns. They/them and genderqueerness and in-between feels like all kinds of parts of me can be acknowledged—not “the man and the woman,” because for the most part I feel like those don’t even apply. None of the above. But the writer and the Alaskan, the swing dancer and the cockcentric top, the pretty good cook and the freelancer, the stargazer and the reader, the masculinity and the love of ice cream. The traits that I have that are traditionally masculine, the traits that I have that are traditionally feminine, and whatever in between.

I want to be able to pick + choose whichever ones suit me from whatever possible category. And I want others to have that ability, too, should they want it. I think it’s possible.

Also, I’m sorry—I don’t mean to be snappish about this, and I explicitly DID say, go ahead and ask questions. So, thank you for asking. I’m trying to answer honestly as best as I can, and honestly? Part of me is frustrated with that question, and the commonness in the queer worlds. I am heavily invested in butch as an identity all its own, regardless of the other genders or identities that that person carries too. I am invested in butch identity not only politically, not only for other people, but for my own sake. I am invested in my butch identity. Am I going to always be butch? I don’t know. Do I have secret longings to be male that are unrealized? Not currently, from the best that I know about myself, no.

Do I reserve the right to decide otherwise in the future? Fuck yes.

But … I hope, if I do decide I want to transition, to identify as male, to be perceived as male and treated as male, that I will honor the 35+ years (or, I suppose, arguably, the 15+ years, since I was mostly some other figuring-out-puzzling-frustrated version of me until I was about 20) I spent as a female genderqueer trans masculine butch. One of my most touching moments at BUTCH Voices in New York City in 2010 was when someone, during our ritual/keynote, held up a stone and offered: “My commitment to my trans voice is to honor the butch woman I was for 40-some years.” I know that many trans men were never butch, that if they were a masculine-presenting-woman for some length of time it might’ve been part of their transition, part of their path to male, part of survival, the only option they had, or who knows what kind of other things, and perhaps they never fully occupying the claimed identity of butch. And, similarly, some butches are never secretly wishing to be men.

I only speak for myself, but I, for now, am eagerly comfortable and loving the in-between of genderqueer.

Exploring Gender Through Photos: The new headshots by Meg Allen

I had some new headshots taken, with the aim to actually capture some joy and pleasure and fun, instead of someone who has “been through the ringer” and “in the wars”. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about my business and what I’m doing and how I’m representing myself, in no small part thanks to the Catalyst Conference I attended in DC in March and Barbara Carrellas’s Urban Tantra training for sexuality professionals.

BD Swain (who is a butch kinky erotica writer—if you aren’t following her blog, you should be) hooked me up with Meg Allen, whose portraits immediately resonated with me. Meg is also working on a portrait project she’s calling BUTCH which features—wait for it—masculine of center folks.

Working with Meg and talking about photographing butch identity, what makes it different than photographing other gender presentations, how to encourage butches to feel more at home in our bodies through photography, and a dozen other things, made me think about all the other butch portrait projects that have been popping up lately, like BUTCH: Not like the other girls by SD Holman and the Butch/Femme Photo Project by Wendi Kali. I’m starting to put together a panel for the BUTCH Voices conference that is full of photographers of butches and I want to address exactly those questions.

BUTCH Voices call for proposals is open, by the way! Submit art, workshops, lectures, panels, or performance ideas before June 1.

I know for me, having my photograph taken changed significantly after I came to a butch identity. I actually started liking how I looked in photos. I actually kind of recognized myself. I spent some years obsessively taking self-portraits, from 1997 to about 2002, and maintaining personal photo blogs online, and one of the major reasons for that was experimenting with visual representations and markers of gender. After I came to a butch identity that I was pretty solid and comfortable with, somewhere in 2001 or so, I took fewer and fewer self-portraits and felt much more at ease having my photo taken by others. Having professional photos of me taken, starting in about 2006, has continued me on that journey of finding myself through visual representation and continuing to feel comfortable with the way that I look, my gender, and my body.

Which is yet another reason why I started craving new headshots for the summer. I want it to reflect where I am, and how I feel about myself and my work. They needed to be updated.

Here’s about 30 of my favorites from the shoot. I’m still experimenting with which will be my new avatar for Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and for the sidebar and my about pages, so I might pick one and then change it up in a week or so, test some of them out.

If you can’t see the photos, here’s a link to the full set on Flickr.

Here’s the other thing about these photos: they look like me. They don’t really look like “Sinclair,” they don’t look like some persona I’m putting on, they look like me, how I look on a pretty much daily basis, how I look when I’m hanging out with friends or teaching a workshop. Maybe if I would’ve dressed up more that would be different? Maybe it’s the sweater over the polo, too casual for this shoot somehow.

Not that that’s a bad thing, exactly. I am aiming for more integration. The difference between me and my “Sinclair” persona/character gets thinner and thinner. It’s just kind of … odd. Unexpected. Interesting.

What do you think? Which ones are your favorites? Any advice for headshots or representing my work?

Nothing Makes Me Feel Better Like A Sharp Butch Haircut

Joey, my barber and the owner of Tomcats Barber Shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, took this shot of me on Friday after he gave me a shape-up (apparently that’s the word for a trim). They do classic and retro cuts primarily, though they have a whole bunch of new barbers there these days that do just about anything you could want. Kristen just got her hair colored and cut there and it’s darker and very pinup.

It always makes me feel better to get a good haircut. Thanks, Joey.

Living Gender

Ellie Lumpesse has been curating a Gender Celebration Blog Carnival, and today’s my day to participate. The topic is “living gender.”

You can check out a few of the other participants, if you like: Curvaceous Dee wrote about what makes her a woman; Sexpert Jane Blow wrote about her perceived gender; Eusimto wrote about gender anarchy; Dangerous Lilly wrote about labels and being politically correct. Still to come are neamhspleachas and Ellie.

I hope this Gender Celebration Carnival will keep going! I think it could drum up some great conversation.

I don’t know when it happened exactly.

One day I just woke up and felt good in my skin. I went to my closet and felt good about the choices of clothing I had to offer. I dressed and looked in the mirror and I felt good about my reflection. I saw a photograph of myself and I smiled, and saw me.

It wasn’t always that way.

I didn’t used to recognize myself in photographs. I didn’t used to feel good about the pieces of clothing I would pull on to pull together an outfit. But somewhere along the way, things started shifting, and improved.

I probably can’t even put my finger on it. Not an exact date or time.

I remember when I threw out most of my clothes that were purchased in the girl’s department, going through my closet and my drawers with each piece: where did this one come from? This one? This one? and sifting them all into neat piles. I remember bringing home bags full of button-downs and polo shirts from the thrift store to try to rebuild some new version of me, some version that had swagger and dated girls and knew how to fuck. I remember buying three-packs of undershirts and three-packs of briefs and trying to figure out from the packaging what size I would be.

I remember trying on various versions of these in photo sets, self-portraits I would take of myself on my bed, against a wall, with an upturned lamp pointed at my face. Sometimes with a timer, sometimes from arm’s length. I have found folders and folders of these photos recently, with titles like “playing butch dressup” and “self butch” and “new clothes” and “wife beater a-shirt.” There were others: “lipstick” and “cat costume” and “corset” and “cleavage,” all carefully labeled in folders, back in the digital day before Picasa and iPhoto would keep everything organized for you.

But it wasn’t all about clothes and presentation.

They say there are many components to gender: chromosomes, genitals, hormones, external presentation, internal sense of self, and yes, of course, socialization and performance. Gender is not all of any of these things, it is not all performance, it is not all socialized. Some of it is innate. Some of it is about genitals. I believe there are many factors.

Gender is also about energy.

I remember studying some classmates in college: the way they sat, the way they held their pens, the way they slung their bookbags over their shoulders and defiantly walked out of the classroom door, shoulders back head high chin up. A little daring, a little rebellious. They sat with their legs open, taking up lots of space. I mimicked them. I practiced sliding low in a chair and splaying my knees.

I noticed that these people got lower grades than I did for doing the same work, because they were perceived to be not paying attention.

And then, when I started mimicking them daily, when my mimery became mine and became a slightly altered version of a copy of a copy of a copy, I started getting ignored by those same professors, started getting glossed over when my hand was up, started wondering why I wasn’t perceived as the straight-A front row apple-for-the-teacher student that I was.

Oh. Right. My gender.

But it wasn’t always like that. It was easier to recognize a straight-A student as a girl, apparently. My board shorts and polo shirts were not proper enough to be seen as part of academia, but my brain hadn’t changed. Curiouser and curiouser.

(That was workable, however. All it took was a few office hours visits with those professors and my participation in class looked much different.)

The other thing that changed was the girls. Suddenly I was visible, a catch, someone dateable. I had three dates in a week, once, in college, and my mind was a little bit boggled. (I didn’t sleep with any of them, or rather, none of them slept with me, but hey, at least I was getting out there! At least I was being noticed!)

I got a Facebook message from the mom of one of my childhood friends recently that said, “You look exactly the same.” I’m not sure what she meant by that, because to me I look so completely different. But I think she was trying to express some gender validation, some gender celebration, telling me that though my external appearance may seem radically different, that there was a similarity, a thread running through all of my life experiences that was me, at the core.

What I want to tell you is that now, I recognize myself in the mirror. Now, I don’t get up and obsess about gender before I even put on my clothes. Now, I get my hair cut every three weeks and keep it shorn tight in the back and on the sides. Now, I don’t debate if it’s a cliche to keep my hair short, I don’t wonder if perhaps I should grow it back out because lesbians should have options, I keep it short because I know I want to. I keep briefs in my underwear drawer because I know all the options, and those are what I like. I collect ties and cufflinks. I shop unapologetically in the men’s department and I don’t even know my sizes translated into women’s anymore: I’m 8 1/2, 34/30, M, 16. I feel handsome and beautiful and attractive and at peace with my body—at least, most of the time. It has taken time, I’m 32, but I don’t think about my own gender, and wonder what it would be like, living daily, if it felt comfortable, anymore.

Mini Interview: Just Jess

Just Jess (From the Beaver Bunch)
mentor, vlogger, activist
www.youtube.com/user/beaverbunch, www.youtube.com/user/cautiousplay, @JessfromBB

1. What is your relationship with the word or identity “butch?”

I’m not sure that I identify with the word “butch”. I mean, people may see me as butch, but I wouldn’t say that I am. I absolutely love my butch sisters but I just don’t feel like it describes me the way that I see myself. I think that stems from the misconceptions that come with being labeled as butch. I don’t wear the pants always, nor do I want to. Although I do have a butch attitude… does that count?

2. What kind of words and labels, if any, do you use to identify yourself?

I typically use “queer” to identify; sometimes I’ll go so far as to say genderqueer, but even that puts me in a box that I’m not completely sure of. Although I am sort of a guy and sort of a girl, so it does make sense. I’ve lived in and visited big cities and the queer/genderqueer communities are vastly different. I’ve felt more comfortable visiting Portland, OR than I’ve ever felt living in San Diego as a queer person and I’ve been here for almost five years.

When it comes down to it, I’m just a sensitive kid with a gang of bike tools and a love for romantic comedies. I’m just Jess. Mostly masculine on the outside and feminine at my core.

3. What do you wish you could tell your younger self about sex, sexuality, or gender?

I would tell my younger self to be more open to gender and sexuality. I came out very early and immediately called myself a lesbian before I really knew what that would entail. I love women and enjoy being a woman, of course, but it took me several years to come into my own as queer and to not feel the need to identify as a lesbian. I just wish that I had given myself more of an opportunity to learn about who I was at an earlier age – it gets harder once you establish yourself within a community.

I would also tell myself to slow down a bit and be more present. I was sort of a crazy kid when I first came out, always running around looking for a cute girl to kiss. I guess some things never change :)

Lastly: I love butches and the history that comes with them. The struggles and triumphs hold a beautiful place in my heart. And thank you, Les Feinberg, your words are inspiration.

“You’re Into That?” and Another Photo of Me

Somehow in May I had two beautiful photographs of me, both taken by professional photographers, published. And in case you aren’t following me in the regular social media places, or by my RSS feed on mrsexsmith.com, I figured I’d share ’em here.

Photo by Bil Wadman, ontakingphotos.com

The first is by Bill Wadman who first took my photo for 365Portraits.com in 2007. (I wasn’t ‘out’ as Sinclair then so I kept it under my other name.) A few weeks ago, he tweeted that he was bored and wanted to take portraits, and I replied, how about me? And it was on. He came over and we chatted about what I was planning to do that weekend, which was to attend a BDSM erotic energy retreat. He paused a second: “You’re into that?” Me: “Yep. In fact, I have some good equipment if you’d like to see it …” and out came my flogger. After he saw my new (since his last shot of me, anyway) tattoo, the shot soon made itself.

Speaking of the tattoo: many people have asked me what it is. It’s a ruler, it measures 6″, and if you measure from the flat palm of my hand, it measures 8″. There are numerous meanings to it (as with all the best tattoos, don’t you think?): I’m a graphic designer, for one. I’ll always have 6″ with me (ha ha) and I can measure high heels a lot easier this way. I can now measure how far into you I can reach. I’ve been thinking about this tattoo for a while, since I saw a photo of someone who had one on Flickr years ago, but the thing that made me go and do it was taking the Buddhist Refuge Vow in spring 2010. During the meditations, it came to me that this path, the Buddhist path, is actually incredibly linear, and has been walked hundreds of thousands of times for thousands of years. Considering that so, so much of my life is about forging my own path, making my own direction, this felt so incredibly comforting and I knew it was time to get the tattoo.

Photo by Yi Ching Lin, www.yichinglin.com

This next shot was for the DapperQ He Said/We Said May edition, the shoot for which happened in April, with photos by Yi Ching Lin. I was there with four other models, all of whom were reinterpreting a current high-fashion men’s runway look in our own way. The photos turned out beautifully. Susan Herr, DapperQ hirself, has called this photo “the best butch photo of all time,” and I am very pleased with how it turned out.

There are others over at DapperQ.com from this shoot, and there’s a video of all 5 of us models talking about our fashion inspiration as well.

“It’s All Butch” 2011 Calendar

Photographer Debbie Boud has put together a 2011 calendar featuring butch pin-up photos, It’s All Butch.

Says Debbie:

“The It’s all Butch calendar came about from a blog on myspace a friend of mine did about Butch women from the L word and how sexy they were. I thought to myself that most of the women on the L word were not lesbians so I decided to create a venue that showed that Butch Lesbian women could be just as sexy as the femme women. The idea was to create a diverse array of Butch women. In 2010 Maria is 68 yrs old and was a professional roller derby gal in the 70s. In 2011 Torie is 17 yrs old. There are thin Butches, big Daddy Butches, and FTM [folks].”

She sent on some shots to show off here.

More information is available at cabelgalshideout.com, including bios and personal profiles of the models.

Shelley Stefan: B is for Butch

Artist Shelley Stefan sent on this video from her art show in Harlem in New York City in 2010. I missed this entirely, unfortunately, but I really like the work.

Here’s a description from Shelley, from an interview with CherryGRRL:

“The series “B is for Butch” is an offshoot from the work and research I developed in two prior visual arts projects entitled: “Lesbian Family Heraldry: An Achievement of Arms” (2005-2006) and “The Lesbian Effigies” (2006). These bodies of work, comprising of paintings, drawings, bronzes, and belt buckles, appropriate the art and science of medieval heraldry in order to engage queer subcultural commentary on topics of power, alliance, and family signification, prioritizing what Theorist J. Halberstam cites as the construction of “queer (female) genealogies.”[i] In 2004, I directed my visual arts practice and research into the world of heraldry and armour as an emotive response to real-life experiences of familial trauma, where I felt what it was like to be a person, a family “under siege.” My wife and I lost custody of our happy and healthy daughter due to several breaches of justice and a bigoted and homophobic US legal system. The experience and the loss left me and my lesbian partner feeling broken and beaten. I did what many artists do amidst strife: I turned to my visual arts practice as a method of emancipation, activism, and poetic justice in a world where, unfortunately and sometimes, bad things can happen to good people. Heraldry and this world of armour seemed like a perfect conceptual and aesthetic palette for me to think about notions of power and security from the “underdog” or subculturally liminal perspective, and how traditional visual symbologies (such as heraldry) have a way of legitimizing through the mere history of their visual currency. In these bodies of work, I problematized heraldry’s armigerous exclusivity and its heterosexist male monopoly on the meaning of family, as well as appropriated the heraldic medieval aesthetic to take part in what Third World Feminist Theorist Chela Sandoval calls a “Technology of Crossing” – a method to “identify and describe emotional, psychic, and social technologies that embody and circumscribe identities necessary for recognizing power, and changing its conditions on behalf of equalizing power between socially and psychically differing subjects.”[ii] I began using the power of heraldry and medieval armour as a method to transpose power on behalf of queer liminal subjectivity.

“Through this research process, I encountered many, many images of armour. Some armour just seemed inherently queer-looking to me – very dykey, very butchy, and quite gender-bendy, all of which to me are very good attributes. Some armour also really seemed conceptually loaded for me on topics of security/insecurity and subcultural interiority. I began to think about the dual signification of the term “armour” – like, how armour signifies at once a sense of security and a sense of insecurity – a toughness and a vulnerability. To wear armour is to acknowledge in some way that you are vulnerable, but also and simultaneously that you aim to and claim to feel non-vulnerable, or protected. I started really thinking about subcultural interiority, what’s underneath the rock that’s underneath the rock. Near 2008, I began to imagine how different liminal subjectivities and minorities might relate to this notion of armour and how I might be able to manipulate these visualizations to open up conceptual doors. Butch subjectivity came to the forefront, partially because I live as a butch lesbian and my art is strongly tied to self-portraiture, but also because I like to do research in queer subcultural theory and this was a topic I was interested in investigating. So, I was inspired to create this collection of works entitled “B is for Butch.””

Here’s one example of a pieces from “B is for Butch:”

Shelley Stefan, Primary Cock, Oil, 2010

Shelley Stefan – B is for Butch from Roger Kisby on Vimeo.

The “Butch Buddy” Movie

Did you ever see the film By Hook Or By Crook? When I saw it at a little indy theater in Seattle, with my then-girlfriend, I heard it called the “butch buddy” movie. (It’s too bad it didn’t click for me then that because the film reminded me of our relationship, that the relationship probably wasn’t going to last. But that’s another story.)

Apparently Lesbian News called it “The top butch buddy movie of all time!” … Are there other butch buddy movies that I don’t know about? Is there a whole butch buddy genre? Where are they hiding?!

Anyway here’s the trailer.

And the description of the film:

This innovative Sundance hit spins a tremendously entertaining adventure story about two butch/trans buddies on the streets of San Francisco in search of love and money. Starring LA performer/artist Harriet “Harry” Dodge (Cecil B. Demented, The Joy of Life) and former Tribe 8 dyke punk rocker Silas Howard, By Hook or By Crook remains one of the most popular queer cult movies of all time.

Shy (Howard) is a small-town loner who dumps a diner job and thumbs to San Francisco to pursue a life of petty crime. Along the way, Shy stumbles into the off-kilter Valentine (Dodge). An unexpected and magical friendship sparks, as they steal and grift their way towards understanding themselves and the crazy world around them. Co-starring performance artiste’ Stanya Kahn and super sexy San Francisco dyke poet Carina Gia.

Why am I telling you this? Well, two reasons. One, it’s on Netflix Instant Watch, and if, like me, that service has pretty much replaced your television, you might want to curl up one of these wintery nights and watch it.

Second, Silas Howard is reading at Sideshow in December! Come join us for the last Sideshow of the year and hear some great stories. Along with Silas, comic Heather Gold, one of my favorite buddies Whitney Porter, and hot queer all-star couple Elizabeth Whitney & Lea Robinson will be sharing their work also.

This month’s theme is FAMILY/TRADITIONS, starring:
Heather Gold (Tummelvision.tv)
Silas Howard (By Hook or By Crook)
Whitney Porter (Ping Pong Literary Journal)
Lea Robinson (Butch Mamas) and Elizabeth Whitney (The Secretaries)

Update on the New Butch Project

Okay, so. It’s the 16th, and it’s probably obvious, but the new butch project, the relaunch of the Top Hot Butches from last year, hasn’t launched yet.

I’m behind. I’ve been working on it a lot in the past two months, but I’ve also had workshops and columns to write and deadlines and other websites I’ve been building and it isn’t ready. On top of all of my other demands (the ones that, you know, actually pay me some money), I have received dozens of emails and comments with nominations for butches to add, many of whom I have little knowledge, some of whom I already have on my radar.

I’m still looking for interns to help me with this project. If you have some time to help compile the database of butches (meaning, research website URLs and save and sometimes edit photographs from a name that I have), I’d love some help. It’ll get this project up and running much faster.

The “nominations” I’ve been seeking are rolling; they have no deadline, they are ongoing. I am not limiting this database to 100, there will be any and as many as I can find to include. Look at this post for details about who I’m looking to include, and what I hope you’ll send on if you’d like to include someone. You can absolutely nominate yourself, that’s fine.

I’m bracing myself a little bit for some backlash from this project; I guess I can’t help it, it became a whirlwind so fast last year. And doing anything based on identity, especially gender identity, gets tricky and problematic before the idea even forms in one’s head, so I’m not surprised that already I’ve had some questions and skepticism about this new project. Here’s a few things I want to state, clearly.

This project is not comparing anyone on the basis of hotness, it is not a hot 100 list anymore, it’s not even really a list so much as a database. It is not so much about the eye candy anymore (though there will still be eye candy, I promise) as it is about the community, social, and individual construction of butch identity.

I am including cis and trans men in this project, because butch identity can and has been constructed on any sexed body, but I will not be comparing butch women’s hotness to cis men’s hotness so there will be no danger of any butch “losing” and being less hot than a man.

I am not intending to externally impose any gender identity upon anyone else, despite my compiling of androgynous, genderqueer, and gender-non-conforming famous (and semi-famous) women who may or may not actually identify as “butch.” I know there are problems with this. One of my basic gender tenets is that no one can label you, that you label yourself. And by including someone on a list I don’t intend to state that they are butch and that I know oh so much better than they do about their identity, but rather that they have been visibly not feminine in the world, and for a woman to go about their life in such a gender expression is both difficult and inspiring to those of us who relate to it. It’s more of a “butch inspiration” list than anything else, so I am thinking I might rename it such—inspiration, instead of Top Hot Butches. I’m a little wedded to that phrase, since the original list from last year was called that, but what good is using a digital medium if it can’t be completely changeable?

Um what else.

Because I’m behind the launch date, I’m still accepting submissions for the Symposium #1. I have about half a dozen right now and I’d gladly add more. See this post for details, but basically it is this: you write a post on your blog writing about the prompt (this time, it is “What is butch? How do you define butch? What do you love about it? What does it mean to you?”) and send me the link. Then I’ll do the round-up of all the posts, and you can reprint the roundup (that would be kind) and promote the links of others, and comment on the other posts, keeping the discussion open and going.

I think that’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I know what my real launch date will be, I promise! I have a couple more events in New York this week, and a few more deadlines, but then I’ll be back to working on this full time. By which I mean, obsessively, until it’s birthed launched. Really looking forward to sharing this with you all, and thanks for being a part of it, in whatever way you are.

What happened at the BUTCH Voices NYC Conference

So BUTCH Voices NYC is over …

And it was fantastic.

I want to tell you all about it, and I barely know where to start. It was thrilling to work on a committee which was so invested in working, and whose skill-sets were all so complimentary. Primarily, I worked with promotion, copy, images, and event planning & promotion, as well as hosting some of the events over the conference weekend too. Which tend to be the things I’m good at, and the things I most like to do, in terms of putting on an event. There were a lot of logistical details that I was less concerned with, personally, but the rest of the Core Committee was so on top of it, I didn’t have to worry about it—I could just do the parts I was particularly good at.

It’s the first time I’ve been such a key organizer for a regional conference, and I had a wonderful time. I learned a lot about organizing and producing big events. I think I might go into a little bit of withdraw after working so closely with the other organizers—Kelli, Kawana, Lea, Paris, Emma, Emilie—I’m hoping we can organize a post-event gathering to debrief and talk about what’s next. (There’s already some discussion about another New York regional conference in 2012.)

But: what happened at the actual conference?

The Friday Night Social Event

Friday night kicked off the conference with Speed Friending at Anti-Diva. I was surprised and impressed at how many masculine-of-center folks came out for that. It was great to have a kick-off event where everyone came with the assumption that they would meet other people, everyone was more open and talkative than usual. We planned on having Melissa Li perform an acoustic set, but there were some technical difficulties and Melissa never did go on. But oh the rest of us did … on and on, talking to each other and about the conference the next day and about the other events that were planned for the weekend. Many folks were in from out of town, and not everyone who came planned on attending the entire conference, but was interested in meeting butches (for various reasons).

Just about as I was ready to retire, a text came in from Kelli, conference “chair,” if we had one of those, to both myself and to Emilie, along with a photograph of the conference space: we had a wall! A genius contractor had saved our asses at the very last minute by coming in to help us divide up the very large QEJ Performance & Conference space into three separate spaces where we could hold two workshops, registration, and the hospitality suite. Not only did it look amazing, it ended up being constructed out of cardboard, twine, and tarps. It was more than I would have expected—when I arrived on Saturday morning—and it was perfect. Em and I were so thrilled, we actually high-fived—a move I do not usually participate in, but it was apt.

And then the conference started …

After getting things up from the car and helping to open up registration, the first thing I did was to attend a workshop with Corey Alexander called Doing Relationships with Emotional Armor: For Stones and Our Partners. I’ve flirted with stone identity, and definitely have some emotional armor, so it was interesting and intense to bring those things to light and discuss them openly. It was a difficult subject to begin the conference, but set the tone for the depth and personal level of discussion throughout the day.

I took a brief break to prepare for the Cock Confidence workshop I was leading in the third workshop block, and then joined the impromptu discussion. Conference organizers intentionally left some physical space empty such that active discussions could happen, either folks could bring up new topics they felt weren’t being addressed or could continue discussions started in the workshops if they felt inspired to do so. So a few people decided to lead an open discussion on responsible masculinity, which was very fruitful and touched on many topics and conundrums of masculinity that I frequently contemplate. It was great to hear other perspectives on these things that often really get to me, that I spend days thinking about, or talking about, or writing about. The question of “What is responsible masculinity?” was posed, and much discussion of misogyny and feminism commenced. One of the major points made was the ways that expectations can be oppressive, and that though our identities may appear to be something someone knows and can identify, and therefore draws all sorts of conclusions about (e.g., masculine of center -> butch -> top -> dominant -> dates femmes), that one has to actually ask and observe that particular individual to see if any of those things are true for them—and they may not be!

We also discussed butch competition and policing, and how to build more butch community. Someone said, “The only way to eliminate butch competition and enhance butch camaraderie is to acknowledge each other.” Which, I think, was beautifully put and I wholeheartedly agree. We spend a lot of time circling each other silently, and it is a thin line, if at all, between that and competing.

Cock Confidence

Next, I ran downstairs to Cock Confidence & Strapping It On, which is a workshop I’m doing many times this fall (already at Purple Passion and Conversio Virium in New York and Good Vibrations in Boston). I was greated by a packed room, and people just kept streaming in—it didn’t hurt that I had two Aslan Leather harnesses, three Vixen Creations cocks, and one Tantus cock to give away, I’m sure!

I started in on my workshop contents about confidence and communication when there were a few questions and comments, rapidly, from attendees. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically what was said was, “What about butches who bottom, and the ways that can be seen as emasculating?” and then, “What about women who are survivors of sexual assault, and for whom penetration is difficult or traumatizing?”

Whoa. Big, huge topics.

Which I will gladly write about here, I have plenty to say about them (watch for future/soon essays), but on which I was not prepared to speak, or lead a discussion. I had a lot of (prepared) material to get through, so I explained that, and said, those are both way important questions and I would love to have a discussion about them, that I was not prepared to hold the space for that discussion now. But, I proposed, I will do some talking about toys, do the raffle, then adjourn early and folks can go off and explore another workshop, or stay here for Q&A and we can discuss those things. I also said: Thank you, for bringing that up. I am used to doing this workshop at sex toy stores (mostly with an audience of hetero couples) so those questions are definitely Cock Confidence 301 instead of 101, and I love that the Butch Voices NYC crowd really raised the caliber of the discussion.

Thank you for that, all of you who were there.

I think the room understood my point, so I kept moving on. I talked about toys, my favorite and the most popular harnesses and cocks, answered some questions, and pulled names out of the bucket to see who would take home some new toys. I’m going to work on a Cock Confidence Product Guide and let everyone know the things that I recommended and where I recommend getting them.

The conversation, when it continued, was a much smaller group and we ended up more CR-style, discussing our personal challenges and experiences.

It was definitely the best Cock Confidence workshop I’ve ever facilitated, and it was so much fun. Wish I could give away toys every time I do that workshop! To be clear—I give away these toys, and I work with these companies as a sponsor (of sorts) of Sugarbutch because I adore their toys so much, not the other way around (I don’t adore their toys because they’re a sponsor). I’m pretty picky about the toys I give away, and while I have tried out all sorts of products, even if I suspected they would be awful, I won’t give away things I think are awful.

Butch Representation in Media

Off I rushed to the Media Panel, where I moderated a discussion about butch visibility, mainstream media, working in the media, and how we use the media to further authentic images of ourselves. It was a great discussion with Madison, Grace, Mamone, and Dasha, and the attendees had many questions and comments about race, participation, othering, and success. I didn’t feel like we had a point that we really hammered home in this workshop, but then again, we didn’t really have a point that we set up to make when we formed this panel, so that was okay.

At the end of the panel, we went around the room and everyone there introduced themselves and did their thirty-second elevator pitch about what they do. It was fascinating to see the caliber of talent we had in that room, all together.

The Community-Building Keynote

The keynote at Butch Voices NYC was non-traditional in that we didn’t want to have one singular person speak for all aspects of masculine of center communities, and since it was a one-day conference we didn’t have time—or money—for multiple keynote addresses. So Kelli and I planned a community building keynote ceremony that was a commitment to our butch voices, and it turned out beautifully. It was incredibly moving, from start to finish.

It all started with a pebble, a river stone—everyone received one at registration. I took them from my own rock collection (remember my this I believe poem? “rocks in my pockets”?) I counted out 180, which didn’t even make a dent in my collection, to make sure we had enough for everyone, then added a few handfuls more for good measure. I have collected rocks over the years from just about any place I have visited, from Bournemouth in England to Ocean Shores in Oregon to Washington state to Southeast Alaska, where most of the rocks are from. The pebble beaches are the best up there. It’s become a bit of a collection, that therefore I subsequently have no idea what to do with. It doesn’t make sense to display them, not really, not beyond a few rock stack formations here and there, so they’ve been in a box for years. Seriously. A box of rocks. Useless and taking up valuable New York City apartment space. I’d be glad to donate them to a garden or beach, but most green spaces around New York are so manicured it doesn’t make sense to leave them there.

But a ritual—it was a perfect use for (some of) them. I was so pleased to pass them on in that way.

Before we started the ritual, we spent a moment with the Memory Wall we had constructed to add names to, people who are no longer with us but who came before us and whom we want to remember. And right away, the room got heavier, we focused, I felt immediately moved.

We all got a rock when we checked in at registration. The seven of us organizers stood up to explain about the ritual, what we were going to do and why, each taking turns. We explained that the rock had absorbed our personal experiences of the day, our individual voice and perspective, and that we were going to add that rock to the collective pile of our community’s experiences, similar and related, yet different and varied. We invited anyone who felt moved to participate—allies too, but whom were also invited to witness if they felt so inclined, as we need witness to our statements, commitments, and very existence—to come up to our make-shift alter, one at a time, and speak aloud the sentence, “My commitment to my butch voice is,” or “my commitment to butch voices is.” Folks were invited to substitute whatever words they wanted to for “butch,” if that wasn’t their identity word of choice, such as queer or genderqueer or stud or aggressive.

I wasn’t prepared for how moving it would be. I wrote the majority of the script that we read (which only dawned on me about halfway through the ritual, I wrote the keynote), and the whole time I was just crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t be cheesy, but would be honored and respected and come across the way I wanted it to. It did—and it went beyond my expectations, like much of the conference did, above and beyond. It was moving, enlivening, big. Many of us teared up. Many of us said hard things that would not have been easier to say in other places, but which felt safe to reveal. Many of us murmured or clapped or responded as each person who felt moved came up to place their rocks in the wooden bowl on the make-shift alter.

Paris closed the ritual by having everyone repeat a line that Kelli and I came up with, based on the Core Initiatives of the Butch Voices conference: “Our commitment is to stand together, to take care of each other, and to make the world a more just place.”

And with that, everyone could take a rock home with them, if they felt so inclined, and we adjourned.

What a day.

I’m still reeling from it all.

And yet … right after the keynote, Kristen and I rushed downtown to get to Bluestockings Bookstore for the Butch Voices Speak Queer Memoir/Sideshow mash-up reading/performance. I posted photos and a wrap-up of it over on the Sideshow blog today, but expect more photos from Syd London (official Butch Voices NYC photographer!) as those get processed.

And more articles, more thoughts, more things from me, too, as that all gets processed.

I feel so much gratitude toward the folks who came and were involved. I’m thrilled to have been a part of it.

Femme Conference Begins Today! & Countdown to the Butch Voices Conferences

It’s happening right now! Well not quite right now, since it’s earlier in New York City than it is over in Oakland, on the other coast where the sun sets over the water just like it’s supposed to.

The 2010 Femme Conference: No Restrictions begins today and an extravagance of femmes have gathered, including Kristen.

The hashtag for the conference is #femme2010 if you’d like to follow along on Twitter.

How do you like that collective noun, by the way? An extravagance of femmes? Not bad really. There’s a fascinating collective noun site connected to Twitter so that when you tweet your suggestion for the collective noun with the hashtag #collectivenoun it gets automatically updated and counted on the site. Plus, you can “like” other people’s suggestions (which also goes to Twitter). So what say you—what’s the best collective noun for femmes? Tweet it, or leave it in the comments. And check them out as they come in.

Okay, enough of that. You’re dying to know what the femme book is for today, right? Since we’ve got the Butch Voices regional conferences to count down to now, in NYC (September 25), Portland OR (October 1-3), and LA (October 8-10), I figured I’d do a butch/femme joint anthology.

There are other good femme books out there, though, don’t let me mislead you into thinking that Visible: A Femmethology, Femmes of Power, and The Femme Mystique are the only ones. There’s also:

And there’s Glamour Girls: Femme/femme Erotica by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Harrington Park Press; 2006) and With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn by Amber Dawn and Trish Kelly if you’re into erotica. Which, you know, you might be.

So now that I’ve recited pretty much every femme book that I know of and think are worth knowing, let’s get back to today’s feature. The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader edited by Joan Nestle, published by Alyson Books in 1992. It looks like it’s out of print, but you can probably still get it used in various places, like Powell’s online or, of course, Amazon (but only if you have to. Don’t you want independent bookstores to stay in business?).

The description of The Persistent Desire from Library Journal is as follows:

This anthology of stories, poems, and nonfiction accounts pays homage to a host of femme and butch lesbian relationships that have flourished over four decades. The narrators recount their experiences, describing how they met, how they took care of one another, and how they tried–or defiantly tried not–to fit in. The selections themselves bubble with passion and pain. Some dive beneath the surface to explore the varied meanings of gender roles, but most describe highly ritualistic manners of dress, hairstyle, and gesture that at times left the protagonist open to ridicule. In collecting these pieces into one volume, Nestle has made sure that the integrity and diversity of femme-butch relationships will not be lost. She has included narratives from women of many backgrounds and ethnic groups and from outside the United States.

This book was for me, as it was for many people, eye-opening, validating, breathtaking. I found it while I was still trying to articulate my own butch identity, and come into my orientation of dating femmes, and it blew past most of my doubts as if doing 80 on a motorcycle. I wanted to be part of that, I felt so connected to it. It changed the way I thought about myself and the way I thought about femmes.

It’s dated now. It was published almost two decades ago, and it reflects a different era of thought about gender identity and alignment assumptions. And while the trans movements were alive by then, much has happened on that front in the past 18 years since it was published and much transgender theory has affected gender theory deeply in wonderfully deliciously complicated ways.

We’re really due for an update.

And how about that, one is just on the horizon! Partners and butch/femme couple Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman have been working on an anthology titled Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme (see the connection to the first anthology’s title? Smart!) that is due out from Arsenal Pulp Press soon. Not sure what the exact date of publication is yet, but you can be certain I’ll be mentioning it here again. It looks like Ivan just picked up the postcards for the book from her publisher the other day, so it must be coming fairly soon! I will report back as I know.

There are more books, especially more butch/femme books, and more books just on butch identity by itself (look for more of those featured on the upcoming Fridays as we countdown to the Butch Voices NYC conference). I’ve made a new section in my Amazon Store exclusively for butch and femme books, so if you’re curious what else is out there, that’s a good place to start. And if you’ve got suggestions for what I missed, I’m glad to hear ’em!

UPDATE! Persistence: All Ways Butch And Femme has a webpage on Arsenal Pulp Press, a description, and is due out in the spring of 2011. Isn’t that cover great? It’s done by Elisha Lim, who also has a book of her own newly out from Alyson, 100 Butches, Volume 1.

If you see Zena at the Femme Conference, she supposedly has postcards for Persistence, so that’ll give you an excuse to say hi. She’s aka “The Silver Fox” because (guess) of her hair, so that should narrow it down for ya.

(Don’t you just love the Internet? I do. Thanks, Arsenal, for answering those questions.)

Review: Lesbian Cowboys (Book)

“‘Cowboy’ is a calling, a vocation, not a gender,” starts the book Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures by Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia, published by Cleis Press. And the first review of it I saw online (which now of course I can’t find) said, “This book has nothing to do with gender.”

But of course, I have to disagree. It has everything to do with gender.

I know what they both mean, though—they mean men and women, they mean cowboy does not necessarily mean a cisgender man. But this collection of erotica is full of genderqueer cowboys, dykes, crossdressers, even possibly a trans guy, though the characters in these stories never identify themselves as such, partly because some of the stories are period and set in a time when this language didn’t exist. Possibly also because the authors, or even the characters themselves, do not have this kind of language.

None of the stories came across as particularly smart about gender theory or politics or identity, but all of them have specific life experience of what it’s like to be different, masculine and a “woman” in a man’s world and a man’s profession, or feminine and a woman in a man’s profession. There are femmes and butches, women who pass and those who don’t want to, women who feel the need to prove themselves capable despite their gender, trans male characters who go by he and him as his chosen pronoun, even a leather “phallus” strap-on in a scene in a brothel.

I am quite fond of “The Hired Hand” by Delilah Devlin, which is sexy and tense, about a woman who comes looking for work at a ranch and proves she is just as capable as any man would be. In many of the stories, I like the tough American accents, vaguely southern but also just western, I like the descriptions of the landscapes and rodeo circuits, the mountains and connection to the land.

It’s a lovely collection, and if you like gender play (and butches or masculine women) in general, there aren’t a lot of lesbian erotica collections exploring those dynamics, and this is definitely one of them.

And, as an exciting side note, this collection won the 2010 Lambda Literary Award in the Lesbian Erotica category!

Pick up Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures by Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia directly through Cleis Press, the publisher, or through your local independent bookstore.

From Not Stone to Stone-ish

I’m finally getting around to the Ask Me Anything questions from Sugarbutch’s 4th anniversary. I hope to get through them all, though it might take a little bit of time!

My question: How do you relate or not relate to stone identity? To what extent do you ID/not ID as stone and how do you feel about that? Maybe you’ve written about this here before and I missed it … I’ve had a big process going from not stone to stone-ish to stone, and I’m curious about how other butches feel. —Bond

I haven’t written much about this, I don’t think. I don’t identify as stone, but I do identify as stone-ish. I’ve never been all the way stone, but I do remember on my first date with Kristen I said, “I’m basically stone,” as I was trying to describe the ways that I was a top and wanted to be in charge perhaps ninety percent of the time. I’d told this to other lovers on other first dates, but it didn’t always make sense to the other person, and I was trying to put it out there stronger and more specifically this time, lay everything out clearly as early as possible in hopes that she’d get it.

(She did, she does.)

But that is really new in my history—I’ve dated girls even in the past four years that I’ve been running Sugarbutch that were tops, or toppy, and to whom I bottomed. My first long-term relationship with my ex-boyfriend of five years was kinky, in a kind of entry-level kink way (light bondage, light percussion) and we experimented with some switching, but mostly I was bottoming to him. As our relationship drew on, we started taking some classes on kinky sex (at places like Babeland) and I started learning more and more about topping. It wasn’t until I got out of that relationship entirely and had a series of revelations that I started realizing I was more of a top than bottom, and that perhaps I’d never really been submissive as much as bottoming.

I’m mentioning all this because stone is tied to topping, for me, because I’m not stone so much as I’m a top. I’m not opposed to being touched or penetrated, and I don’t have strong emotional reactions to those things, as I know some other stone folks that I’ve talked to do. (I don’t think that’s the only way to be stone, but in my experience stone often goes along with a gender dysphoria and a disagreement of gender between body and mind.) As I’ve been dating (and chronicling my dating here), I started getting more and more specific about who it was I wanted to date, especially in terms of identity keywords like bottom and submissive, and I did start describing myself as stone or stone-ish to girls I was flirting with or on first dates. I wanted to see what their reaction was, what their relationship to stone was, and whether or not they knew what to do with that. More than one girl seemed to understand and then behaved differently in bed, which was not what I wanted.

There is a relief that comes along with not being touched (very much), though. It means I don’t have to try so hard, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m going to get off ‘that way’, whatever way she’s touching me, it means I don’t have to be in that particular position of surrender when I often (at least nine times out of ten) do not want to be. I much prefer getting off while strapped on and fucking … and yes, I suppose that does have something to do with gender, that I prefer my orgasms to be related to my cock and not necessarily while being penetrated.

I don’t always prefer to get off that way—I was just writing about masturbation and My Ultimate Masturbation Toys, one of which is that genius Pure Wand, which is just the right size and shape for me. And sometimes, especially it seems right before I start my period, I crave getting fucked, sometimes hard. That tends to be when I ask to be fisted. I don’t do that often, maybe three times in the last year and a half relationship with Kristen, but when I have, I think they have all been around that time of my cycle.

But generally, when I’m with someone else, when I’m with Kristen, I want to get off through fucking, through my cock. I want to be dominant, in some way, using some sort of physical strength that tightens my muscles and makes the getting off all the more intense. I want to be using my gender fetish, which I don’t ever fuck without, anymore. I want there to be a gender component and a power component, with me in particular places on those spectrums, and usually, that involves me strapped on, on top.

That doesn’t quite make me stone, at least not the way I understand it. But there’s something useful in the language of stone that helps get across that top identity, that dominant identity, and that butch identity, so I have relied on stone in the past to help me make all those identities come together.

What about you? Do you identify as stone? Stone-ish? Not stone? Why or why not? What’s your relationship to the identity of stone? What do you define it as, what do you think it means?

Review: Even More Bang for Your Buck 2

Buck Angel is known widely as “the man with a pussy” and is a hugely popular trans porn star. I remember hearing Buck on episode 124 of the Savage Love Podcast a while back, and I was really impressed by how eloquently he spoke about trans issues, gender, and sexuality. He’s also recently launched a more explicit educational component to his work, including Buck Angel Entertainment and his videos answering questions about sexuality and gender, Bucking the System (also displayed over at Buck’s pages on sexgenderbody.com).

He’s also listed as #62 of the Top Hot Butches, with his own consent. In fact, he told a mutual friend that he associates the term ‘butch’ more with gay men’s culture than lesbian, and is happy to be identified as such. (I’m paraphrasing through a game of telephone, forgive me if I’m misquoting, but I think the meaning was clear.)

Though I’ve been aware of him and his work for quite a while, I never actually saw any of his porn flicks.

Until recently.

I watched Even More Bang for Your Buck 2 over on VOD.sugarbutch.net, the Hot Movies 4 Her video-on-demand site specifically containing porn flicks I choose and think you might like to see. Damn, it was raunchy. It’s content is very gay, and to be honest porn depicting gay men is not my personal favorite, so I was watching it more for, um, the articles, than to get off to, but I admit, Buck really is hot. Muscley and sexy. And I love how guys in porn are just so unapologetic about lust, ya know?

More details: Even More Bang for Your Buck 2 is produced, directed, and starring Buck Angel. Music for this film is by Katastrophe, a very talented musician and FTM rapper (and, I believe, Michelle Tea’s partner).

Here’s the description from Hot Movies 4 Her:

2009 AVN Award Nominee for Best Transsexual Release
2009 GAYVN Award Nominee for Best Alternative Release.

Buck Angel fans are in for another treat from everyone’s favorite man with a pussy. Buck directs, produces, and stars in the latest release from Buck Angel Entertainment.

The first scene is with Brad S, a hot Latino with a big hard cock who wants to play hard with me. He does not have a hard time keeping that piece of meat ready for action. This is set in a construction site. Great pussy eating and fucking action.

The second scene is with a very shy but horny Mexican guy that I found on the net. He starts out a bit shy but as his cock gets hard from me sucking on it he starts to become really aggresive and the sex just gets hotter and hotter. I let him take control at one point and just ram my throat with his bulging cock. So much that I gag. This scene is one of my all time favorites. Wait till you see how I swallow that big cock!

The third scene is with FTM Boi fallen, a very cure FTM boy. I love dominating him in this scene. This is really my first scene with just me another transman. I love this scene because it has real hardcore action and we have great sexual energy together. If you have ever wanted to see me fuck another FTM this is your chance.

The fourth scene is filmed in London with a HOT skinhead. I meet him on the street and take him back to my place where we get right down to business. He loves to be my fuck toy and lets me do whatever I want. I love these kind of guys. The sex gets pretty nasty as he realizes I have a pussy and that makes him even more excited. he is into some heavey breath play as well. All these scenes end with great cum shots!

The film has music by FTM Rapper Katastrophe which adds to the the raunchy hardcoreness of this film.

I guess that’s about all I’ve got to say about that! Give it a try. Heck, it’s a new year – perhaps it’s time to expand your porn horizons. Maybe you’ll find that it’s totally your ‘thing’! You never know until you try.

Watch Even More Bang for Your Buck 2 or more videos by Buck Angel Entertainment over at Sugarbutch’s VOD on Hot Movies 4 Her.

A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity (on Carnal Nation)

I’ve got a new column on Carnal Nation called Radical Masculinity, and the first one went up two weeks ago. Here’s an excerpt:

Remember back in the Spring of 2009 when two young boys committed suicide within a week of each other, both eleven years old? Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Massachusetts and Jaheem Herrera of Georgia were both being subjected to unbearable anti-gay bullying at school. Whether or not these boys were actually gay, using homophobia to police masculinity is practically the oldest trick in the book. In the aftermath of these suicides, and in the discussions that ensued on the Web and in print, there was extensive lip service given to gender and the inevitable complaint that boys have it so hard, that feminism has stripped men of their manliness, that men don’t know how to be men anymore, that we’ve got a Crisis In Masculinity.

That might seem like anti-feminist rhetoric, but I agree with it—at least in part. I agree that masculinity is changing, for some in dramatic, drastic ways. I have witnessed and observed cultural changes around the masculine and male gender roles which are shifting, yes, as a direct result of the recent feminist and other gendered social change movements.

Read the whole thing over on CarnalNation.com.

The premise of this first article is to introduce some of the concepts of this so-called “crisis in masculinity” and my perspectives on them. I think there’s some stuff brewing behind changes and evolutions in masculinity, and I want to tease them out. I also had a pretty tough time coming to my own masculinity, but I feel like I have come into my own, and I want to attempt to explain how that worked for me and how I adopted a masculinity that was both intentional and actively works to not be painful or hurtful, to me or others.

It’s a really complicated topic and I’m looking forward to exploring it. The second column is in progress – they’ll be monthly. If you have any particular requests for topics I should explore, I’d love to know.

SweLL featuring Anna Camilleri, Ivan E Coyote, & Lyndell Montgomery

Two of my favorite butches on the planet – and the fabulous addition of femme Anna Camilleri – have collaborated in a queer performance collective. This clip from earlier this year is fucking rad.

SweLL featuring Anna Camilleri, Ivan E Coyote, & Lyndell Montgomery

SWELL—the new incarnation of Taste This, notorious Vancouver-based queer performance collective. In 1994, four young East Vancouver artists—Ivan E. Coyote, Anna Camilleri, Lyndell Montgomery, and Zoë T. Eakle—came together to conduct an experiment. All four had been performing solo on small stages, and they wanted more than a ten-minute spot sandwiched between the fire breather and the sound poet. They founded queer performance troupe Taste This, and premiered their first full-length project at the Edison Electric Gallery. 100+ people were turned away at the door. Artistically emboldened by the response, they took the show on the road to Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, and then continued to create and tour a total of four stage works in Canada and the US, until disbanding in 2000. Notably, Taste This released Boys Like Her: Transfictions (Press Gang Publishers, 1998) to critical and public acclaim, including a 1999 Book of the Year Award from Forward Magazine, an American Library of Congress Award nomination, a Community Service Award for Achievement in the Arts by Xtra West, and in 2008, Boys Like Her was included in the Queer Canadian Literature Collection at the University of Toronto. With over a decade of artistic experience to their individual credit, Camilleri, Coyote, and Montgomery recently started talking about resurrecting the kind of magical collaboration that Taste This was. A lot has changed, but the issues that the early collective inhabited are still relevant in the contemporary artistic and political landscape. Questions of gender, class, sexuality, rural versus city life, and family dynamics continue to attract the attentions of the three artists. For the premiere of “So The Story Goes”—an original, full-length inter-discipline performance work—they’ll be joined by acclaimed artist Leslie Peters.

– Swiped from myspace.com/swetlltastethis

“Is it a trans characteristic to wear a cock?”: Cock-centricity and Gender Identity

Back in April, for Sugarbutch’s third anniversary, I offered up an “ask me anything” thread where readers could ask any burning questions that they’d like for me to answer.

is it a transgender characteristic to wear a cock (with anatomically accurate balls) and feel more complete or like yourself when you are a biological female? you self ID with a lot of labels, but trans isn’t one of them. have you explored this idea? – reader

There’s two parts of this question I’d like to explore: first, my personal identity, and my relationship to “trans”; second, gender’s relationship to cocks, and my personal thoughts on that, too.

I do identify with the term “trans,” to some degree. That’s complicated, because I am not transitioning, and I do not identify as male. I feel strongly that it’s important for me to be female, a woman, lesbian-identified, and to behave and look the way I do (i.e., masculine). But insofar as people with my biological sex most often have a feminine gender presentation (setting aside the societal compulsory prescription of the feminine gender presentation), and I do not, I feel as though I am transgressing gender boundaries by my claim to masculinity and by presenting in a way that is seemingly in conflict with the (societally prescribed) sex/gender assumption. I – me personally, my identity, my work, my discussions – defy rigid, polarizing gender norms, and queer gender. I believe in taking this and that from any sorts of presentations around us and re-creating onesself in ways that make us feel good, empowered, strong, sexy, expressive, and authentic. I think we can all transcend our prescribed roles – no matter what they are, gender or familial or societal – and become ourselves in larger ways.

I don’t usually include “trans” in my list of identity descriptors. When I refer to myself as trans, it’s usually very couched in other things, like “my particular kind of genderqueer masculine-identified trans-ness.” I guess I feel like my use of trans and my inclusion in the trans communities is a bit controversial, as there are plenty of people who will jump (and have jumped) in to correct my use of this term, saying that my use of it invalidates the experiences of “real” trans people who are FTM or MTF and who are transsexual, transitioning fully from one gender to another.

So I tend to claim butch, whole-heartedly and fairly simply, really, and leave it at that. Because that’s what I am (right now, anyway, not that I anticipate that changing, but who knows, it could), and though I do think that the identity of butch includes a sort of trans-ness or a genderqueer-ness of occupying more than one gendered space at once, ‘butch’ accurately describes me much better than the term trans.

Now: about cocks.

Specifically, about cocks with anatomically accurate balls, about realistic cocks, about flesh-colored cocks and really feeling it and claiming it as MY cock, about having a cock as someone whose body doesn’t quite have one, not in the same way that other bodies have one.

I want to disrupt this idea that cocks specifically and penetration in general is a male, masculine, or man’s trait. I mean I get it: when considering human genitalia, the man is the one with the penis, the woman is the one with the vulva. But men have holes that feel good when penetrated, too, and women have fingers and tongues and sometimes clits big enough to penetrate, and a long history of dildoes, and then of course there’s the strap on cock, for when we really want to feel what it’s like to swing from the hips.

I was at a sex blogger tea party here in New York City maybe two years ago, discussing cock-centricty, when I believe Chris of Carnal Nation said (something like): “I know I’m a guy and all, but I’m not as cock-centric as you are. When I fuck, it’s with my hands, or my mouth. I don’t identify with it the same way you do, and it’s not my central sex act.”

This seems like a rather rare perspective for cis men, especially given that our entire (American, white, dominant) sexual culture is pretty much built around penises and penetration and the male erection, etc, but I think it’s more common than we’d expect.

Likewise, I have known some femmes who have been some of the most cock-centric people I’ve ever met. They drive a mean strap-on, as they say. And I’ve known some butches and trans men who are not cock-centric at all, despite that it would seemingly align with their masculine gender to be so.

Maybe this perspective of mine is also partly as a result of coming out as queer into a lesbian community which questioned cocks constantly. I have absolutely heard girls say, “If I wanted to get fucked with a cock, I’d date a man!” (Who I, duh, didn’t sleep with. More than once.) So coming to my own desire for using a cock and my own cock-centricty, while at the same time coming to a butch identity though not transitioning to male, I claimed cocks as a certain sex act that I separated from any particular identity.

Because anything two lesbians do in bed is lesbian by nature of the definition, no matter what act it is.

Unless, you know, it’s not – I certainly don’t want to devalue the experience of being in lesbian relationships and doing a whole lot of cock-centric activities, and for one of them to later come to a male identity. Perhaps for folks who go through that, the act was not exclusively lesbian, but was also male in a way. My point is, I want to squelch the fear that lesbians can’t use cocks in their sex play because it’s “not lesbian.”

That is not to say that strapping on or identifying with a cock is genderless. It interrelates to gender identity, presentation, and celebration – but which ways it interrelates depends on the individual. For me, it absolutely plays on my gender fetish and the way I see myself as embodying a masculine gender, and I LOVE to play with that during sex (as, uh, the entire Internet knows). And femmes who strap on cocks and play with them have told me that they see cocks as part of their gender, too – that part of the turn-on awesomeness of the whole experience is that it supposedly misaligns with their gender, that their sparkly pink harness and dick is all the more sexy to them because it’s femme.

I suppose there are a few kinds of cock-centricty, right – because I’d say Kristin is fairly cock-centric, but she isn’t into wearing one and fucking with one the way I am. For the most part I’m referring to folks who want to be the wearers here, who identify with it as a part of them.

If you’re cock-centric, you’re cock-centric; I don’t think that necessarily should dictate your gender identity. Cock-centricity is not necessarily a masculine or male trait. Gender identity may be totally related, somewhat related, or not related at all – I think that just depends. For me, the interplay of gender and my cock is important, and I love the way it feels to use it, the way I feel when I’m packing, the way it feels to get off while fucking with a cock, the turn-on of dirty talking about my hard dick, the ways it drives me wild to get a blow job. It is part of my masculine sexuality, but I have many other parts of masculinity that are not necessarily sexual, and I’ve explored the line between butch and trans enough that, for now, I know I’m pretty firm where I’m at. I still struggle with some descriptors like “girl,” “woman,” and “daughter,” but the other options of “son,” “man,” and “boy,” don’t fit either. So, for now, I’m sticking with butch.

I’d love to hear what some cock-centric (or non-cock-centric) gay boys have to say about this, I’m not sure how it translates (though I have some guesses). I will have to ask around.

Free Copy of Ivan Coyote’s book Loose End

looseendIvan E. Coyote, Top Hot Butches Number Six and amazing storyteller, writer, and performer, has a new book out this year from Arsenal Pulp Press called The Slow Fix. I just picked it up when Kristen and I were in Philadelphia about a month ago at Giovanni’s Room, which, by the way, was one of the most amazing queer bookstores I’ve ever been in. Such a wonderful collection of books there, I could’ve bought twenty – I settled on three.

And, I just heard from Arsenal Pulp Press that they’ve got a promotion going on through September 30th – “FREE Ivan E. Coyote Book, Loose End, and with this download, you are also entitled to a SPECIAL 25% DISCOUNT off the purchase of any or all of Ivan’s books, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR.

I think I have all of them, but I might be missing one. I’ll have to double check. Hmm, maybe this is a good holiday gift – who’s on my list that would like Ivan’s books? I’m sure I can come up with a few.

Top Hot Butches #21, #17, and #6

l-r: Lyndell Montgomery (#21), Bren Ryder (#17), and Ivan E. Coyote (#6) at Ivan’s recent 40th Birthday bash in Vancouver. Note the SIX shirt Ivan’s showing off – a reference to Ivan’s Top Hot Butches number, and a gift from Lyndell.

Thanks to Ivan’s partner Zena for snapping this shot and sending it to me (and telling me I could post it).

Take a minute to read Hats Off To Beautiful Femmes, a bit of a follow up to Ivan’s recent Butch Roadmap column. And happy birthday, Ivan!

A Butch Roadmap

Ivan Coyote (#6 in the Top Hot Butches list), has just released a piece on his column for xtra.ca called A Butch Roadmap, and it really is a must-read. Here’s a snippet (reprinted with permission):

The word for you is butch. Remember this word. It will be used against you.

The word for you is butch. Your history is one of strength, and survival, and largely silent. Do not hide this word under your shirt. Do not whisper it, or sweep it under the basement stairs. Let it fill up your chest and widen your shoulders. Wear it like a sleeve tattoo, like a medal of valour.

Learn to recognize other butches for what they really are: your people. Your brothers or sisters. Both are just words that mean family.

Other butches are not your competition, they are your comrades.

Be there when they need you. Go fishing together. Help each other move. Polish your rims or your chrome or your boots together. See these acts for what they really are: solidarity.

Do not give your butch friend a hard time about having a ponytail, a pomeranian, nail polish, or a smart car. Get over yourself. You are a rare species, not a stereotype.

Trim your nails short enough that you could safely insert your fingers into your own vagina, should you ever want to.

It makes me want to write my own butch roadmap, my own tips and tricks and suggestions and ideas for being butch and pursuing this identity. I’ll have to think on this idea for a while, let it percolate.

What about you – what kind of things would be on your butch roadmap? Or femme roadmap?

Top Hot Butches of 2009: Help!

The 2009 AfterEllen Hot 100 list was announced on May 11th – it’s “the sexiest women according to women” (as opposed to other hot lists, which are picked by men). I kinda enjoy this list, I’ve followed AE’s lists in the past few years, but this year especially I looked through it thinking, where are all the butches?

Seriously, in this, 2009, The Year Of Dr. Rachel Maddow’s Serious Badassness, there are only … what, 6? (at best) genderqueer, andro, or masculine women included in the list of 100 hot women.

This year, unlike other years, AE also put out some supplemental lists of Out Women, Women of Color, and Women Over 40. Aw, isn’t that nice – they’re at least recognizing that this Hot 100 Chosen By Women List is completely lacking in women who are publically out, not white, and not young. And yet … still no acknowledgment that, according to this list, sexy women are feminine.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from running Sugarbutch for three years, it’s that there are a whole lot of y’all out there who think butches and genderqueerness and masculinity on women is hot.

So, let me introduce to you: the 2009 Sugarbutch Top Hot Butches list.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

  1. Leave a comment nominating a genderqueer, andro, masculine, or butch woman who did something awesome in 2009 (or late 2008). Like the other top hot lists, this list will lean more toward celebrities and folks who are somehow in the public sphere. Linking to a hot photo of her or to an article about her would be a bonus. NOTE: these women do not have to identify as butch, but should be at least somewhat masculine, androgynous, or genderqueer in appearance. It would be best if she was out, but that won’t ban her from the list.
  2. A panel of judges will determine the order of hotness. (I know, other hot lists are chosen by voting, but I am not able to compile and coordinate and count votes, so this is the best way to do it.) The panel will include a couple self-identified butches, some femmes who love butches, and a few genderqueer folks who love butches too. I’ll announce the judges soon.  The list will be judged by sexiness primarily, but other factors include: impact on society, major accomplishments, queer community work, etc. If you’ve got other suggestions for how we should determine a) who should be on this list or b) how we should determine the order, leave that in the comments too.
  3. The list will be posted on Sugarbutch in June for all your swooning butch-love attention.

So, tell me – who are the hottest butches in 2009?

What do you call your butch?

Specifically, when she’s a top, what do you call her in bed? Sir? Daddy? Master? Boi? If she’s a bottom, what do you call her?

What do you call your butch in more casual flirtation? Slick? Handsome? Cowboy?

If you are butch: what do you like to be called? What greeting makes your knees weak, or makes you feel like king of the world?

I’m sure there are others, but these spring to mind. There are so many cute pet names for a romantic partner, but when playing intentionally with gender in a relationship, sometimes “baby” or “honey” or “sweetie” or “darling” are too feminine.

So: how do you address someone masculine in a pet-name kind of way? And why?

On Butch Eyebrows: waxed or natural?

That’s the question I posed to the hive mind an hour ago. And like all terribly important dilemma questions, I got a slew of responses:

eyebrows2

I especially like what Janie said – that eyebrows “should be sculpted minimally to best feature one’s eyes.” Uh, so, how does one do that?

And you’re going to have to educate me I’m afraid: wtf is this “threading” business? I thought it was similar to waxing. Why recommend it in particular for butches? What’s the difference? I’m confused.

PS: I promise I won’t turn this blog into a mirror of what I’m doing on twitter. There are much smut and omphaloskepsis and media reviews and gender explorational writings in progress.

L Word Serenade

By comedian Rebecca Drysdale, aka Beck D. Posted in honor of the L Word’s last season, premiering today.

I am one of the many dykes who has a love/hate relationship with the L Word … sometimes the sex sure is hot (Sherry Jaffey, Carmen) but oh my god the drama (Jenny) and the ridiculous characters (Jenny) and the horrible character arcs (Jenny, Max, Shane, Tina, and uh … everyone else) make me want to throw things at my TV. Yet, like many of us, still I watch, mostly for the cultural references and the community knowledge. It’s all we’ve got, I guess.

But then there’s spinoff art like this rap video, above, and I am so glad I get at least most of the inside jokes.

Queer Eye Candy is back!

It’s official – the Eye Candy has moved off of Sugarbutch Chronicles and is now on QueerEyeCandy.com, being maintained by myself and Amber and Denise.

BIG thank you to both of them for helping me out! Round of applause, please!

The focus remains on butch/femme portraits and photos and images. Please continue to submit pictures of you, your sister, your girlfriend, your wife, your gang, your crew, your best friends, your ex, your teachers, your mentors, your lovers.

Portrature – especially self-portrature – was actually a big piece of my own personal identity development, and I think it’s really important to see ourselves reflected, to be able to study photos of myself and say, is that what I look like? really? as I was discovering and uncovering and creating and re-creating my own aesthetic.

I was just looking at some old photos this weekend and found some after I’d cut my hair all off (in 2000) but before I was claiming butch, when I was dying my hair red and still wearing lipstick. I found a photo of me with a daisy chain crown, and no I am not kidding. It was a trip to look through the photos, watch my hair change as my haircuts started getting more and more butch, after I stopped dying it red and stopped wearing low-cut shirts, when I started figuring out what I really wanted my gender to be, what my soft animal body really loved and how I felt most comfortable, most like myself.

As butches and femmes, we don’t see ourselves in popular media, except usually as a stereotype or a (usually unflattering) archetype. I mean we don’t even see lesbians reflected in popular media all that often, let alone queers or genderqueers or butches and femmes – which is partially why we consume and watch and love just about any film that has lesbian characters, just about any book with lesbian characters, just about any crappy TV show with lesbian characters (*cough*L Word*cough*), because we are so starved to see images of ourselves reflected back to us, some semblance of recognition or some flash of similarities between our lives and the lives of the stories we watch and consume.

Aside from the validation of seeing queer eye candy, there’s also the personal revelations of just figuring out what your body looks like, how others might see us externally – shifting the gaze from seeing out through our eyes to seeing what our eyes look like from outside. It’s powerful, and brings, I think, a greater self-awareness and, hopefully, self-confidence.

Speaking of self-confidence: what I said before about requiring comments on Queer Eye Candy still holds true. I don’t write for comments, I don’t expect people to comment on my own things (though I of course appreciate it), but the photos that are sent in are often from people who are not used to having a web presence, are not used to revealing themselves for a queer audience to consume and judge.

Putting images of yourself out there like this is vulnerable. Scary: What if I’m not butch enough? What if I’m not femme enough? What if I’m not really hot? Come on, all of us think that when we see images of ourselves posted.

This is not a “hot or not” project – this is more of a project a la Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink – what does your brain do when you first glance at the queer eye candy photo? Do you think “hubba hubba, omg hot!!”? WRITE THAT. Do you think “holy crap I have that same shirt! I wonder if it looks that good on me?” WRITE THAT. Do you think “Oh good lord, I would marry her on looks alone”? (That’s Bevin’s line I shamelessly stole.) GO FOR IT.

This is about building self-confidence through appearance. About celebrating the myriad of ways that butch and femme get represented through visual styles and identity.

So: Submit photos. Comment on photos. And you will make this top very, very happy.

From the Queer Eye Candy mission statement:

You might be afraid of us, but you don’t know who we are.

We’re hot, we’re fierce, we’re vulnerable, we’re beautiful, we’re in love, we’re horribly ugly, we’re scared, we’re tender-hearted, we’re dog mommies and daddies, we’re parents, we’re children, we’re neices and nephews, we’re married, we’re bachelors, we’re rednecks, we’re blue-collar, we’re construction workers, we’re political pundits, we’re musicians, we’re drag performers, we’re community organizers, we’re angry, we’re activists, we’re just us.

Let’s show off who we are. Let’s show those who don’t know what we look like, let’s show off who we love and who we spend our time with, let’s show off our joyous communities and our heartaches and our hardships and our work and our play and our joy.

Let’s celebrate ourselves, just as we are.

and the winner is …

The envelope please:

Thanks to the random number generator, the winner of the DVD of Good Dyke Porn is … samantha!

Bevin Branlandingham, fabulous host of the FemmeCast: Queer Fat Femme’s Podcast Guide to Life, came up with the idea of asking y’all what your 2009 sex goals were, and as all the responses (54 of them!) came in, she and I kept talking about how increasingly moved we were. “I was overwhelmed at their commitment to visualizing and actualizing their sexual goals,” Bevin just chatted to me. “The first step to good sex is to know what you want, or at least know what you want to try. Then to communicate that.”

And she wanted to throw in a little extra sumthin-sumthin: a fabulous comedy CD Almost Pretty by butch comic Kelli Dumham! Kelli is the Butch Dyke Comedian in Residence for the FemmeCast and performs all over the country.

Hope you enjoy them both, Samantha!

Samantha’s shared with us her Goals for 2009:

1.) Do NOT fuck any clingy/needy people. This is an absolute, and must be followed. More of a rule, actually.

2.) Fuck a girl that actually knows how to top. You might think this would be simple, but D.C. is severely lacking in the dykey, top department.

3.) Get restrained. I’ve done the whole multiple-uses-of-a-handcuff thing. Now im extremely interested in being tied up with rope, and being a complete submissive. Pushing the pain/pleasure bounds.

4.) Lastly, watching more porn….preferably with a partner. I normally don’t watch porn, nor do I own any….this is where this whole video thing would come in handy Mr. Sexsmith ;)

Damn good goals, if you ask me.

Samantha, I hope you very much enjoy the Good Dyke Porn and the fun dyke comedy. If you feel like writing up a paragraph of your review of it, I’m sure other Sugarbutch visitors would love to know how you find it!

December is now unofficially the give-away month, and I’ve got a few more things for y’all in the next few weeks. Hey, it’s a dark time of year, we need a little extra lovin’! Keep an eye out for locking sex toy cases from For Your Nymphomation, two subscriptions to the Crash Pad Series website, minutes for video-on-demand downloads at Hot Movies for Her, and Come Together Gift Baskets!

Butch women celebrating their Inner Princesses

Inner Princess, three butch women celebrating their inner princesses, is playing a show on December 11 at Sugarland in Brooklyn with Bitch and some other folks. myspace.com/innerprincess or innerprincessmusic.com for clips, photos, and more information.

Inner Princess
Thursday, December 11
8:00 at Sugarland
221 N. 9th St., Brooklyn, New York 11211
Cost: sliding scale

Photos borrowed from innerprincessmusic.com. Thanks to M for sending on the concert information!

Eye Candy: Rachel Maddow, again

If I do too many more posts about the bromance I’m having with Rachel Maddow, I’m going to have to put it under aspiring stud … or I’m going to have to rename this blog “Maddow Fans.”

But I can’t resist. There are some new photos from the New York Times Magazine interview, A Pundit in the Country, and I’ve done a bit more of my homework.

First! Two things you should know:

  1. Rachel has “doubled the audience for a cable news channel’s 9 p.m. hour in a matter of days.” This is totally amazing.
  2. If you happen to not be a TV person (I’m not), or can’t seem to get home by 9pm to watch the Maddow Show (I can’t), or primarily watch all your TV via Netflix (I do), or never get to a friend’s house to watch their recorded episodes (I’m too busy drinking prosecco with the Muse to watch TV) – NEVER FEAR! As of today, the MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show is now reproducing the ENTIRE RMS via podcast at Rachel.MSNBC.com.

And now: the butchest interview in the history of butch interviews. An excerpt from the recent New York Times Magazine article:

Always on her: A handkerchief. One of my liabilities as a broadcaster is that I am little teary. Having a handkerchief is handy. My partner, Susan Mikula, buys me cute ones.

Always in fridge: Champagne. I always keep a bottle, because you might need to celebrate at any moment, and a bunch of mustard, because I am a mustard person.

Obsolete item she won’t part with: I have a little stockpile of lawn mowers, some of which it has been years since they worked. But it seems wrong to get rid of lawn mowers, so I keep them.

Clothing item a talk-show host needs: For me, it is sneakers, which I can wear 80 percent of the time, secretly behind the desk. That reminds me who I am, even though I am dressed up like an assistant principal in order to meet the minimum dress code for being on television.

She drives: I have a seven-year-old Ford pickup. Remember, I have to go to the dump.

Hobby: I am a hobbyist bartender. I have a liquor cabinet. I research classic drinks from the golden age of American cocktails and I make them for me and Susan.

Favorite obscure liquor: Rhum agricole. It is rum made from sugar-cane juice rather than molasses. It is freaking awesome.

Hat tip to the femme top, who pointed me toward the following story which describes how Maddow met her partner, Susan Mikula.

And I quote:

Maddow walked into her life after Mikula told mutual friends she needed a “yard boy” to help her manage the demands of a creaky old structure that had stood empty for almost a year as well as the 2 acres of vegetation that were threatening to take over.

“Zing went the heartstrings,” according to both of them, when Maddow, 31, a Rhodes Scholar and gay activist, arrived for the job. Maddow had moved to the area to write her doctoral dissertation comparing AIDS policies in the California and British prison systems, but also needed to earn some money. A year-and-a-half later, on Halloween, she moved in.

-from Weekday Bantering is Balanced by Quiet New England Weekends – February 24, 2005 by Eric Goldscheider

“Yard boy,” huh Rachel? Oh you kinky dawg!

eye candy: standing around

I ran into this shot of Jenni from butch.org recently, and she kindly gave permission for me to reprint it here.

The caption read: “What Do I Do at Frameline32? I stand around outside the theater just waiting to see who I will run into (pictured here at the Victoria this past Sunday night before the Transtastic program). Sometimes I even go inside and watch the movies.”

And here’s a bit about Jenni: Jenni Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT cinema history. Author of The Queer Movie Poster Book (2005, Chronicle Books), Jenni founded PopcornQ at PlanetOut.com back in 1995 and continues to write about and actually make queer film. Her feature debut, The Joy of Life is now available on DVD.

Define: Transmasculine

I’ve been adopting the word “transmasculine” to use to describe, generally, folks who were assigned female at birth who are male-identified, masculine, and/or masculinely presenting, in some way. I tend to stumble over this in these writings here – “butches and other masculine-identified females” or “butches and trans guys and bois and other girls who are boyish,” et cetera – and ugh, it gets messy to describe it that way.

So let’s start using the term “transmasculine,” okay?

I’ve been hearing it knocked around in the gender/queer communities more and more lately, but it’s from the TransMasculine Community Network that I am adopting this definition:

Transmasculine refers to any person who was assigned female at birth but feels this is an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender.

That’s quite broad – considering the “masculine” element in the word, I would probably say it’s more used as in, “an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender and they have some leanings toward the masculinity areas of the gender galaxy,” but in some ways I do like how inclusive their definition is. Regardless, I tend to use it to mean those of us butches, bois, trans guys, faggy femmes, and all sorts of other genderqueers. I’ve found myself using it in a few different articles I’m working on, so I wanted to be sure to introduce a definition.

I imagine the idea of butch as a trans identity is not so hard to grasp, and I’ve written about femme as a trans identity. The inclusion of the word “trans” as part of it feels touchy to me, because while I do agree that “trans” could – and probably should – be used as a great umbrella term for many gender descriptions, it also calls to mind for many an adherence to a strict gender binary – that if you are masculine, and female bodied, that you must be “actually” trans, not butch or masculinely female, as those spaces sometimes feel discounted. But that’s not how I intend to use it here.

Actually, I think I used to use “butch” in this way – as a catch-all phrase for anyone born female who leans toward masculine performance. But as my gender studies have gone on, I’ve come to accept and use a concept like transmasculine (for which I hadn’t had a term until now) as much more accurate, as I see “butch” as actually a very specific sub-set of being transmasculine. For me, butch is very much tied together with chivalry, a classic style of masculinity, feminism, and a sort of romance.

I of course think people should define these terms for themselves, but the more I do get involved in the genderqueer/transmasculine discussions, the more I see commonalities in those of us who identify as butch, and I see why some bois or other transmasculine folks don’t necessarily see that as their identity. I think in the past I’ve been much more inclined to say things like, “there is room for you in ‘butch’!” And it’s not that I take that back – certainly, if your lips tingle a little at the idea of calling yourself butch and claiming a butch identity, there is room for you in that identity and I think you should go for it, try it on, see if you like it, if it fits – but I’m seeing the ways that butch is actually more specific than I used to think it was.

Fascinating, how these things evolve. There’s so much to still create and discover and uncover and remake and expose about how gender works, what it means, our relationship to it. Man, I love this work.

eye candy: Dani


(click for the full size)

“Dani loves forensics, hip hop and rock, her animals, coffee, fishing, being choked and boobs. She gets called ‘sir’ at the coffeeshop when she holds the door, looks at me, and throws horns.”

Clockwise from top right:
“1. Reading “Butch Is a Noun” and learning that there are others. 2. Butch dyke with a cigar hanging out of her mouth? Yesplz. But it’s more the eyes. 3. Her son’s name on her hand, holding onto the knife, the boxers, the rainbow. The picture took itself. 4. One of my favourite photos of her.”

– photos by Alisha, she who photographs

Telling Her What to Wear

I have in the past thought it kind of funny that girls would ask me to tell them what to wear. My feminist/analytical brain would pipe in with interpretations of beauty, insecurity, self-worth – but I really don’t see it that way anymore.

I see it as part of the larger conversation of gender as a fetish, as a performance, as a subversive display of sexualized gender presentation. And I see it as a very specific toppy/bottomy play, more specifically butchtop/femmebottom play.

It has also at times made me uncomfortable when girls wear things – or buy things – specifically for my tastes. I do have a couple particular enjoyments when it comes to femme clothes & shoes, and it is quite a gift when girls work to dress up for me.

I’m not sure why it’s hard to accept. Possibly because it’s hard for me to accept gifts in general, that giving is easier for me than receiving (I am resisting the connection here to my top identity, though I’m sure you already went there). Possibly also it is hard for my desires, and for me, to really be seen, heard, witnessed, acknowledged, because if I never let you know what I really want, you can never withhold it from me.

But my heart is more open than that old wound and lesson, generally. I like to practice revealing myself. I like to practice being vulnerable, I do find great strength and connection there.

And lately, I’ve had much better language, palette, for my particular desires. This website has helped that tremendously, as has playing with multiple girls over the past two years. I’ve been actually trying to notice and articulate when I find myself aroused into a state of desire; to be mindful of when my internal butch cock stirs and to ask why, to take note of the answer.

So when a girl asks me what kind of femininity display I like, I try to tell her. I explain – without pressure or expectation – what really does it for me, what gets me going, turns my crank. Underlying this conversation is also both of our acknowledgment that femininity – and indeed masculinity – is performed for the purpose of attracting and turning on your partner/lover/date.

And taking it a step farther by telling her what to wear is a step saying, this is how to turn me on. This is how to drive me wild all night. This is how our clothes are tools for flirting, this is how gender is subtle cues and clues and a language for sexuality.

It is a top/bottom game, if looked at this way, and I see it as very empowering to a bottom (you know, assuming being told what to wear is a game she likes playing, and doesn’t feel like it is controlling or patronizing or condescending behavior).

So, where is a bottom’s power? At least in these two places: 1) in enticing desire, and 2) to (actively) giving her power over to her top. In enticing desire, she turns on her top to the point of excruciation, to the point of bottomless desire and power. And when she gives over of her power, she places her power on a silver platter and presents it to her lover on her knees.

(This is why power play is deliberate: the bottom gives her power to the top, the top does not take it without permission. Unless, you know, that’s part of the scene, in which case there is still some sort of underlying permission, some level of giving freely.)

So: I (as a butch top) tell you (as a femme bottom) what to wear on our date (a short skirt, bare legs, strappy sandals, something white). You give power to me by giving up your own choice in what you wear, by obeying a request of mine (something that always turns me on), and by wearing something enticing that follows an aesthetic I particularly enjoy.

This is perhaps where power and surrender for the top and/or bottom gets blurred. Who has the power here? She does – the bottom – because all night I am uncomfortable and turned on because I got what I wanted, writhing at the sight of her in those lovely clothes, turned on by our gender and power foreplay. And then comes a turning point in the night where I stop feeling so reactive and (have to) surrender to the power she’s giving me, to the power and sexual energy I feel building. I give over to it, let it flow through me, let this be a way to tap into my particular well of it.

I love these kinds of power exchanges. I love the push-pull, giving in, giving back, empowering each other to feel sexy, desired, wanted, powerful, beautiful.

[ What I’m really trying to say here is: I have a blind date with a girl who sent me a wonderful photo of her in strappy sandals, and this was my complicated reaction. ]

On Butch Style: Briefs

I still remember the day I had an awakening about my underwear, much like my butch breasts / bras moment a few weeks back, where I found some girly undies in my drawer and wondered why I even owned any like this anymore.

This was years ago, now, and any time I bought new undies, they were always briefs – not “boy briefs” from the girl’s section, but men’s briefs. And pretty soon I had a whole drawer full of ’em, save a few that were my favorites. But then I discovered those few favorite pairs, back in the back, lacy or silky or whatever they were, and I realized I hadn’t worn them in years, and that I couldn’t forsee myself wearing them in the future.

So I got rid of them. I haven’t missed them once.

These days, I’m a briefs kind of guy. Yes, sometimes it’s awkward to be the only girl (“girl”) shopping in the men’s section, and I do get looks or stares or scoffs from both other male shoppers and the sales people. That used to bother me, but I’ve come to the realization that I have just as much right as they do to be there, to be shopping there, to buy clothes that I like on my body, and as I’ve developed more and more comfort in this gender-bending space, I see their responses as their issue, not mine.

I do like boxers, but generally I wear them as pajamas or kick around the house kind of wear, not so much underneath slacks or jeans, I find them too bulky. And perhaps because I’m not particularly thin, the hybrid boxer-briefs aren’t really comfortable either, they tend to ride up and I notice them, I tug at them, they itch, they annoy me. And I don’t know about you, but really, my main goal for most of my clothing is that, once I put it on, I don’t really notice it again. I’m not so into fashion, though, that I want people to notice my clothing – I would rather someone look at me and think, “Hey, Sinclair, you look great today,” rather than, “oh wow, Sinclair I love your shirt.” KnowutImean?

So, these are some of my favorite briefs that I’ve found in recent years. Comfortable, cute styles, affordable – briefs I wouldn’t mind wearing on a date. I’ve had a few questions about where I shop for my underthings lately, so here’s the rundown.

Gap basic briefs
$16 for a 3-pack
White, grey, or black

I don’t remember them being this cheap, but that’s what the website says – the ones I have are slightly different, grey and white, and I remember them being more in the $12 each range. I like these three-packs, I may have to go pick some up.

Their fabric is very, very soft, that’s the best thing about the Gap over other brands.

(Real men wear pink.)
American Apparel Baby Rib Men’s Brief
$12 each, 30 colors, XS-XL

Forgive the (cis) boy shot, you know I don’t generally do that. But the awesome colors and white lines of the American Apparel briefs make them still some of my very favorites.

Plus, you can get matching tee shirts for pretty much any of the colors that the briefs come in. Once upon a time, I read an article that claimed that these matching briefs-and-tee-shirt combos from AA are pretty much the lingerie of boy wear, meaning that girls kinda go nuts for it.

And I have to say, in my experience? This has pretty much been true.

H&M’s men’s briefs
Various colors & styles
(photo from andreasmarx on flickr)

H&M is the third store that has my favorite briefs. Unfortunately, they don’t have an online store, and they are pretty limited in their stores around the country (I don’t think they’re on the West Coast at all).

They’ve got some really excellent patterns, great solids, really cute stuff. The fabric is a bit thinner and feels more synthetic than the other two, but they are still smooth and fit well. They carry a lot of boxer-briefs too, actually many more boxer-briefs than regular briefs, so those of you who dig that style might be particularly fond of this place.

Men’s underwear guy has a review of H&M briefs with some decent photos.

So that concludes my brief post (hah) on butch style.

Alright, butches (and other masculine gals) out there: How about you? Boxers or briefs? Where do you buy your undies? Favorite brands or styles?

Femmes (and other folks who date masculine gals), what are your favorite undies to see your boi in? What do you love, what do you hate? What do you always buy your butch for holidays that she never wears? What do you wish she wore? What do you love that she wears?