Review: 4-in-1 Natural—Pack, Pee, Play, & Pleasure from FreeToM Prosthetics

I don’t usually review or play with very many “prosthetics” because, well, I’ll be honest: they are usually incredibly expensive. But recently I’ve noticed a growing market of (what I’d call) strap-on cocks, pissers, packers, and other penis-like tools that are marketed to transgender men as prosthetics, and as someone very curious about strap-ons and strap-on technology, I eventually had to try at least one of ’em.

So, I did a bunch of research (on Tumblr, mostly) and found the one that intrigued me the most: The FreeToM 4-in-1 Natural.

This prosthetic is made of medical grade silicone, and designed to have four functions: packing, peeing, playing, and pleasure. It is very soft, more like a packing dick than the usual silicone strap-ons that are made for fucking, and it folds easily in the center to pack more easily. It comes with a small, hollow rod that bends, which is insertable into the back of the dick through the hole in the center of the shaft, which makes it harder and able to fuck (play) with. It has a cup-like structure that fits against the body with a hole through the center of the shaft, so it’s able to be used as a stand-to-pee (STP) device. And the side that sits against the body also has a “pleasure slide,” textured silicone on the underneath that is meant to stimulate the wearer.

freetomIt comes in all kinds of colors. In fact, that would be my number one suggestion for folks interested in making the investment and getting one of their own: definitely order the color samples pack so you can get the precise match for your body and skin tone. I made an educated guess based on holding my forearm up to the computer screen plus what I read online (particularly that most white folks are more pink than they think), and I’m pretty happy with the color I ended up with, but I think a different color might be even more accurate, especially because genitals are often darker than skin on other parts of the body.

(When I order another one, I’ll definitely order the color pack first. Note I said when, not if.)

FreeToM offers a Paint Plus Upgrade Service, and the photos of their prosthetics that have been painted are incredibly impressive. I wasn’t sure it would be worth it to spring for the extra $80 to get it painted, but considering the high quality and how this dick has been a pretty serious game changer for me, I think it might be. The veins look amazing, and the head of the dick is much more realistic.

I spent quite a while browsing through the FreeToM website before I decided on this particular model, the 4-in-1 Natural. They also have a pack-and-play model that doesn’t have a ‘pleasure slide,’ and a 4-in-1 that is circumcised, as well as some smaller packing versions. But this one had a little bit of everything, which is what I wanted.

So this is what I ordered:

All NaturAL: 6.5″ Pack, Pee, Play & Pleasure – Warm Rosy Skin

Want to see some photos?

ftm1

From the website’s description:

The All NaturAL 4 in 1 prosthetic is 6 1/2″ in length and tapers off to 5 1/2″ in girth. The testicles and foreskin on this prosthetic are everything! It’s functions are: pack, pee, play and pleasure. It was deliberately designed to fold in the middle, to make packing much easier and has a sturdy enough cup for urination. All of our prosthetics are molded off of volunteer cis males for an ultra realistic look an the All NaturAL is definitely the most realistic prosthetic we sell! The hollow rod that comes inside the prosthetic is acid, fungal and bacteria building resistant. All hollow rods inside are removable for proper cleaning and sturdy enough for play. The hollow rod inside also allows you to bend the prosthetic in whichever position you’d like and can also be bent downward for comfortable packing. The FtM Pleasure Slide is also molded into the prosthetic itself and was designed to slide up and down the FtM genitalia. The All NaturAL is the most efficient prosthetic we sell and because of that, it’s a tad more expensive.

Let’s talk about how it works & what it’s like

Pros

Holy crap, this dick. I’m not kidding when I said it is a game-changer … other strap-on models just aren’t as interesting anymore. I love the softness of this one, I love how it feels when I wear it, I love how much I can feel a blow job through the suction and the hole through the shaft of the dick.

I keep using the word “juicy” about this dick, and it’s not (only) because it makes me wet, it’s also because of the way some of the model is hollow, so it has this … squish to it that is just awesome.

The colors are amazing, the quality is high, the texture is fantastic. It is so good for blow jobs. If you are into blow jobs, I highly recommend this dick.

rife told me it’s his second favorite dick to suck, his first favorite being Shilo by the New York Toy Collective. He also said he particularly likes it because I can be as rough as I want with it, and because it’s so soft (but still silicone!) he can take it and it doesn’t poke him the way some harder silicone does.

Cons

Let’s not beat around the bush: It’s huge. I ordered the 6.5″ because it was the only one that came uncut, though there are a few other models of the 4-in-1 that are smaller, and I would highly recommend going for something smaller than 6.5″ if it is primarily going to be a packing dick for you.

It is hard to pack with. Not impossible, but it feels very different and very noticeable. The balls and the cup are very, very large, bigger than the palm of my hand, and very bulky. It sits well in my (baggy) pants, and it does fit between my legs, but wearing it in that place has been taking some getting used to (I’m much more used to wearing a packing dick in front of my body, rather than under my body).

It’s also kind of hard to strap-on and fuck with. Maybe I just haven’t used the right harness yet (I think the SpareParts Joque would be particularly good for it), but it’s been hard for me to keep it in place. Because it’s so squishy, it moves around a lot and edges its way out of the places I want it to be. Also, I like pretty rough sex, and because it’s so soft, it is not the best at that.

I need more practice using it as a STP device, and I think generally it does quite well with that, but because the space inside of it is quite large, it feels a little bit messy. My favorite STPs are still simple and sleek, and this one feels like it’d need rinsed every time, which is a challenge in public restrooms or when using elaborate harnesses.

The other major con for this dick is the price. It’s a serious investment. They do have some pre-made and pre-painted models, which are not custom made when you order them, which have the benefit of shipping faster and also of being a bit more affordable. They also have a clearance section, so if you have your heart set on something from FreeToM and you just can’t afford to get one, definitely stalk their clearance and pick something up there.

Rating it on a 1-5 star scale, 5 being the best and 1 being meh:

★★☆☆☆ 2/5 Packing
★★★★☆ 4/5 Pleasure
★★★☆☆ 3/5 Pissing
★★★★★ 5/5 Blow jobs
★★☆☆☆ 2/5 Rough sex/hard fucking

Regardless of it’s limitations, it is a pretty incredible tool and toy. If you’re even half as into blow jobs and packing and strap-ons as I am, I bet you’d love this.

The All Natural 4-in-1 prosthetic from FreeToM was not sent to me to review, it was purchased of my own free will because I wanted it for myself. If you buy one, tell ’em I sent you?

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.

The Ten Sugarbutch Cock Commandments

I’ve been teaching strap-on workshops for about six years now, and I’ve been strapping on for about fifteen. I also coach people to have more cock confidence (and to find the perfect cocks & harness for what they need). With all of this experience, I have some pretty strong opinions and philosophies about strap-on cocks and strap-on sex, and I have a lot of knowledge about what works for people and what doesn’t work.

But hey, remember that these are just my best ideas for strap-on play and philosophy at the moment. I reserve the right to change my mind and evolve my opinions about them later. Your best ideas may be different, and you might disagree with some of these—that’s a-okay by me. Just take what applies to you, and let go of the rest. If by chance I missed your personal favorite Cock Commandments, I invite you to leave them in the comments!

So here they are …

The Ten Cock Commandments

1. All bodies have holes

Male, female, men, women, queers, trans grrrls, trans fags, genderqueer folks, butches, femmes, fairy boys, bears, leather daddies, lesbians, bend over boyfriends, pro doms—whoever we are, all of our bodies have holes. All of our bodies have things that can fit into those pretty little holes, too: like tongues, fingers, toes, or even factory-installed dicks (if by chance you have one of those). And, because technology is awesome, we have dozens and dozens of options of sexytimes tools that we can add to our adult play time that might possibly feel good in those holes. Playing with penetration doesn’t make you straight, it doesn’t make you gay, it doesn’t make you masculine, it doesn’t make you anything that you aren’t—it only means you like to play with penetration.

Though we all have holes, not all of us like the sensation of things in our holes, for whatever reasons. Some people like lots of big huge things shoved in all their holes at once; some people like only teeny tiny things in this hole, but big things in that hole; some people like only this one hole touched on the outside. The trick is to find what sizes and sensations are just right, for you and for your lovers, and then respect the shit outta that.

2. Use sexy words to talk about it

Just like our factory-installed genitals, we all have different words that resonate for us and that really, really turn us off. Figure out which words work for YOU, share that with your partner, and then call it what you (and they) like to call it.

Here’s some tips: I would suggest against using words like “fake,” “pretend,” “faux,” “plastic,” and “dildo.” While they might be technically the correct terms for the item, once it becomes an extension of your (or your beloved’s) body, let me assure you: it can feel very real, and using words that support that connection rather than separating it can be empowering and validating. Some people like to give it a name—I just heard a poem where a femme kept referring to her cock as “Miss Big Red,” and then later, just “Red,” which was really hot. Some keep the name that the cock came with (Vixen Creations has some awesome names, like “Outlaw” and “Buck” and “Maverick”). Talk about it with your lovers and use the words that you—and they—find sexy and exciting.

3. It is an extension of your body

This tool is more than a toy: It can become an extension of your body. My advice? When you put it on, take a few deep breaths and feel into it. Put your finger on the very tip and see if you can feel your energy all the way into the shaft and weight and length and girth of it. Wear it around the house when you are doing chores or doing homework to get used to it. Put it on and jerk off with it, play with it, include it in your solo explorations. The more you get used to having it on your body, the more easily it’ll feel like an extension of you.

4. Fake it till you make it

But what if you just don’t feel it, don’t feel connected to it? Well, for now, I suggest you just fake it. Don’t lie about it—but make up in your head what it would feel like if you could feel it, and go from there. Experiment. Channel your favorite porn star and the way they drive their beautiful tool with such grace and ease and respect. (Don’t have a favorite porn star who straps on and plays? Maybe you should do some research, and find one!) Really feel into it and see what kind of sensations you can feel, and focus on those. A lot of strapping on and playing and “feeling” a strapped-on cock is mental, so be curious and open to expanding what you thought was possible.

5. A cock can be a top OR a bottom

Just because you’re the one wearing the cock doesn’t mean that you have to be the one in charge of the fuck, or the top or the dominant. Bottoms wear cocks, too! Being tied down to the bed and watching your lover lower themself down onto your shaft, riding and thrusting away on your cock, which is all exposed and hard and ready for the taking? That can be a very submissive place to play with. And if your dominant wants you to strap on and fuck them, aggressively, hard, with fervor? Well, do your service really well and perform just how they ask. Just because you’re the one doing the penetrating doesn’t mean you’re in charge.

6. Wrap your tool

Safer sex protocol applies to playing with strap-ons, too. Know your status, get tested, and increase your awareness of STIs and how to talk to lovers and play partners about them. If you’re monogamous with your partner, you may not need to wear a condom every time, but it’s still a good idea to do a deep clean every once in a while, and make sure you do a quick soap and water wash before you use it, and preferably after, too, to keep your materials in good shape. If you’re a (self-proclaimed) slutty slut and like pick-up play, or if you play with multiple partners, wear condoms on your dick and clean them between partners. Make sure you get good silicone cocks that can be easily boiled. You might want to get harnesses that clean more easily, like rubber, or machine washable materials like spandex and cotton and nylon.

7. Get your own cock

Couples sometimes shop for sex toys together. It can be a fun, sexy outing to go visit the nearest (hopefully queer-friendly, feminist, independent—if you’re lucky enough to have one of those in your area) sex toy store and look at all the goodies. But that often means that the sex toys expire when the relationship does.

Cocks and harnesses can be a little bit different than that. Often it’s not just a cock, it’s your cock. Perhaps you want it to match your particular style, in color or decor or shape. Or you might want to get one that compliments your body frame, your weight, your size, or your skin tone. Keep in mind that making it match your body frame might actually mean that you get a much, much smaller cock than you might ideally want (which is one of the most exciting things about being able to strap on and store your dicks in a drawer—you can have more than one!). Same with harnesses: It is often best to get one that fits for your body, and what is best for your body might not be best for your partner’s body.

I know finance is sometimes a limitation to getting the exact right product for you when you’re in a partnership; of course it’s totally fine to share toys. These products are expensive! But when you do invest as a couple, be willing to have a conversation about what will happen to the dick and harness if and when your relationship ends. Whose will it be? Will you have a little ritual and recycle it through a sex toy recycling program? Will you split up the harness and the cock? Be clear about it. And if you have the means, invest in your own cock.

8. You have a dick, but don’t BE a dick*

Much of the sexual assault and violence perpetrated in this culture is about violating people’s holes. I don’t say that to be a downer and to ruin the sexytimes mood of all this strap-on fun stuff, but rather to encourage you to be mindful and sensitive about strapping on and playing.

It is a rare and intimate thing, to cross the barrier of someone’s skin and actually go inside of them. There are so few places where we do that, generally our skin is a very effective boundary. Doctors, dentists, health care, and sex play are really the only places that happens.

Keep in mind that you never, never have the right to enter another person’s body. When you are lucky enough to have the permission to do so, you better come from a place of deep respect and reverence. I don’t care if you have a 24 carat gold-plated dick, they are giving you a beautiful, intimate, vulnerable gift by letting you come inside their body, and you better respect that. Be kind, be aware, and be responsible.

* For the record, I think we should abolish using the words for genitals to insult people, because I think it tends to reinforce cultural norms that our genitals are dirty and bad. But please forgive me this one time, since I couldn’t resist the word play of that particular title!

9. Your orgasm is your responsibility

Your dick is not a magical instrument that will give people orgasms just by touching them, or just by putting it in and out of their hole. Most of us don’t have bodies who can come from penetration alone, regardless of the hole that is penetrated. Fuck yes, it can feel good, and can lead to a whopping big explosive orgasm, but most of us need some sort of other stimulation at the same time. Maybe it’s a vibrator on our clit, or a mouth on our factory-installed dick, or some dirty words whispered in our ear, or some physical restraint to struggle against. That’s the fun part: What do your lovers need in order to get them tipped over the edge? Ask them, discuss it with them, and experiment!

If you are the one strapped on, you probably won’t come just from having the base of a strap-on pounding against your pubic mound. Experiment with sensation and see if you can reproduce your favorite ways to get off. Do you need something inside you? Something in your ass? Some vibration? More direct stimulation on your clit? There are ways to make that happen and strap on at the same time. You just gotta be creative, and try some things out.

Either way, you’re the one who best knows how you get off and what feels good for your body. Ask your lover to help get you tipped over the edge, but know that your orgasm is your responsibility, and you are way more likely to get what you want if you’re able to articulate what would feel pleasurable for your body.

10. Use the right tool for the right job

Or, at least, make sure you have the right expectations. The different holes on our bodies have different capacities, and what one hole can take might not translate to what another hole can take. Same for multiple partners—some people can take a lot, some people can not take as much. Can you afford ten different cocks so you can pick and choose a long, slender one when you want to do some ass play with this person, and a different thinner, shorter one when you want to receive blow jobs, and a big giant thick one for that one lover who is a size queen? Then lucky you! But most of us can’t afford that. So get a really good, solid, average-size cock (I usually suggest something in the range of 1.25”x6.5”), and adjust your expectations: You might only get to use the tip of it in one hole, or the first half of it in another, and you might want to supplement with some fingers for the hungry holes (or start with your dick and upgrade to your fist, if they really need more).

There are dozens and dozens of cocks, harnesses, and accessories for strapping on and playing. I’ve got a huge archive of reviews here on Sugarbutch, so browse through those to get a feel of what might be the right tool for YOUR specific jobs.

The Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence: Soft Packing (Part 2)

Mr. Softy packer comes in four sizes: mini: 3-1/2", small: 5-3/4", medium: 6-3/4", large: 7-3/4"
This is box title
Before we get too much into the products, I want to make it clear that this is by no means an exhaustive list of packing products. I wish I could keep up with them all, but there are many! Please leave links or your suggestions or recommendations or your experiences with different types in the comments.

What do I pack with?

Just about anything can be packed into your briefs and worn as a packer, but fear not! Plenty of queer genderfuckers have already done hours of research about what kind of DIY options work really well, and there are plenty great (and pretty affordable!) options out on the market, too.

If you’re looking for a packer, the first thing I recommend is to go check out your local feminist queer-friendly sex-positive sex toy store. There are dozens around the country, and more and more each year, so I hope you have a good one near you. The folks who work there are often sex educators themselves, with tons of knowledge on the particular materials of what they carry. They can recommend one based on your skin sensitivities or what other toys you want it to go with.

The Mr. Right soft packer made by Vixen Creations is silicone and beautiful. Pair it with the Aslan Packing Strap!
The Mr. Right soft packer made by Vixen Creations is silicone and beautiful. Pair it with the Aslan Packing Strap!

Generally, packers are made out of a composite elastomer plastic. These aren’t bad for you—most of the time, they don’t have the dreaded phthalates in them—but what it does mean is that you can’t boil the shit outta them to sanitize them. If you want to share a packer with a partner, if you have STIs, or if you have sensitive skin, I would recommend silicone.

Silicone is, when it comes to sex toys, pretty much always a better choice for ingredient: it’s hypoallergenic and good for those with sensitive skin, as often it’s medical grade silicone. But it’s more expensive and way less squishy, so it feels less like a soft penis and more like … a sculpture of a penis. What kind of material you choose just depends on your personal preference.

This is box title
Silicone Elastomer
ProsEasily disinfected
Sharable
Long lasting
More realistic
Squishsy and fun to touch
ConsNot as realistic
harder texture
Can’t be disinfected
Material will more easily tear
Won’t last as long

What size should I get?

Mr. Softy packer comes in four sizes: mini: 3-1/2", small: 5-3/4", medium: 6-3/4", large: 7-3/4"
Mr. Softy packer comes in four sizes: mini: 3-1/2″, small: 5-3/4″, medium: 6-3/4″, large: 7-3/4″

One of the most common versions of packers found at feminist queer-friendly sex-positive sex toy stores is often called Mr. Softy (also known as the Classic Packy or Mr. Limpy). They tend to come in mini, small, medium, and large sizes.

The Mr. Softy soft pack is the one I recommend most. Because it’s usually a fairly personal toy, the silicone material isn’t that important to me, and I’d rather have the more pliable material. It won’t last as long as silicone, but if you take good care of it, it will stick around a while—I’ve had mine at least ten years now and it’s still in pretty good shape.

Having a large packer is not important when it comes to packing—in fact, it can make your packer a little bit harder to pack, as it can be unwieldy in your undies. If you want the most realistic packer—by which I mean, if you want a packer that looks the most like a cis guy’s flaccid cock—go for the mini size.

If you want to make an impression, by all means, go for the medium or large sizes! I have found personally that I really like the weight and feel of the small sized packers.

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A note about color

Most of the packers come in colors like “vanilla, caramel, chocolate.” This vastly under represents the huge range of skin tone that exists. That sucks. I hope product manufacturers will continue to expand the colors they offer and stop centering whiteness as the norm.

Many of the packers that don’t come in multiple sizes are approximately the small size, 4-5” in length. This is plenty!

GoodVibes makes two different packers: Sailor (which comes in 2 sizes, or with a hard core), shown above
GoodVibes makes two different packers: Sailor (which comes in 2 sizes, or with a hard core) or Private (silicone)
Good Vibes silicone packer Private
…. or Private, the Good Vibes silicone packer, which comes in vanilla, caramel, and chocolate (photo from Early2Bed)

The other good thing about packers, however, is that because they are often elastomer, they are frequently $20-40, so even if you go for one particular size now, you can always save up or allot a bit more to try out the other size.

This is box title

What if it looks like I have an erection?

Or, oh hey, I want a big ol’ bulge!

If you’re trying to be read as a cis man, keep in mind that cis guy’s penises hang at different angles depending on what’s comfortable for the guy. If having it straight down isn’t comfortable for you, try it off to the side or slightly up.

If you want a big ol’ juicy package, and your packer just isn’t having the effect you are seeking, consider: a) tighter pants, b) stuffing your pants with extra bulge, or c) upgrading your packer to something bigger. You can always go for a hard pack, if you really want that very obvious bulge!

But if you’re more of a DIY kind of person, it’s pretty simple to make your own packer

Socks are sometimes so much hotter than anything else. Packing with socks and a having a black unbreakable comb in your pocket. For me, it’s the heightened artifice [of masculinity]. That teenage feeling. Having to roll up that pair of socks just so. Butch. And maybe it’s also an homage to the past. I’m old fashioned.” [email protected]

There are a variety of methods of making your own packers, particularly by filling condoms with hair gel, or through rolled-up socks. But just about anything can be made into a packer—I’ve heard of folks using beans for added weight, or building a custom shape with three ankle socks (for balls).

I made clay packer last year, wrapped it in a small sock and stitched it to a waist band I cut off a pair of boxers. Custom!” [email protected]

Personally, I am not extra experienced at making my own (aside from the occasional rolled-up sock), so I’m not going to go into the DIY methods here. Be creative—I’m sure you’ve already got some extra something lying around that would be perfect to use to try it out.

What about Extra Special Packers?

There are a few packers on the market that do more than just sit in your pants—they could also be STP (stand to pee) devices, for example. Check out a few of the options for specialty packers.

I highly recommend all the toys from New York Toy Collective, but in particular I am very attached to my little Pierre. I never really thought about it much, but an uncircumcised packer fits me really well, and I really like how it feels to the touch. (Photo by Early2Bed)
I highly recommend all the toys from New York Toy Collective, but in particular I am very attached to my little Pierre. I never really thought about it much, but an uncircumcised packer fits me really well, and I really like how it feels to the touch. (Photo by Early2Bed)
Number One Models A & D
Number One makes some of the best STP packers (I tend to call them “pissers”) that I know of. They’re really comfortable, and I get a frequent secret thrill of being able to piss through it, even if I’m still sitting.

I also really love that Number One has their own packing strap built just for the Model A or D.

Speaking of packing straps …

Keeping your packer in place

I would love if my partner did this outside the home, but she is always worried it might fall out.” [email protected]

One of the most common fears about packing and packing-gone-wrong stories that I hear is about packing falling out of one’s underwear. And yes: this can and does happen to the best of us. It just does! The more room we have in our underwear or jeans, and the more active we are, the most likely it is for the packer to snake its way out of the careful place in which you nestled it, and the more likely it is to fall down your pants or shorts or skirt.

But there is a super easy, pretty much failsafe fix for this: A packing strap or packing pouch.

You can very easily make your own with a sock or little pouch and a safety pin, or, if you want to step it up a bit, affix a piece of velcro. But if you’re not the DIY type, there are lots of products out there to keep your packer in place, too.

TranZwear has all sorts of trans gear, but their collection of packers and packing straps and STP devices is fantastic. (You just have to ignore the ugly interface of the site.) Their modified boxers and briefs are excellent—they have basically sewn the Y-front shut so that the packer won’t fall out, and it works great.
TranZwear has all sorts of trans gear, but their collection of packers and packing straps and STP devices is fantastic. (You just have to ignore the ugly interface of the site.) Their modified boxers and briefs are excellent—they have basically sewn the Y-front shut so that the packer won’t fall out, and it works great.
Velcro Top Packy Sac
Velcro Top Packy Sac: A DIY product by a discreet trans guy who saw a need for somewhere to put his packer and made a product happen. I bought my first one at Babeland in 2002 and only recently lost it, and was very glad to see he was still around and making straps, so promptly ordered two more. I don’t love that my packer is affixed to my underwear rather than my body, but I prefer it to having an elastic strap around my waist all day. I use it often.
SpareParts Pete
SpareParts makes some of the best harnesses available right now (everybody raves about the Joque), and they have a line of packing underwear, too. These are particularly made to hold packers in a secret little pouch inside of the fly of the undies. Very cute, good material, good sizes. They are mostly spandex, so they feel a bit more like swim trunks than underwear. Very comfortable, machine washable.
DIY brief harness
You’ve probably seen the brief style harnesses around—you can easily make your own and use them as a packing holder! Very comfy, pretty cheap, quite easy to do. The only negative is that in this particular style, the packer would hang outside of your briefs, so there is extra risk of getting your packer caught in your zipper. Just be careful and you’ll be fine! Get an extra small O-ring if you want to particularly use it as a packer and that will help it stay in better.

The straps are mostly elastic and cotton, so they can easily be machine washed or washed by hand.

This is box title

A note about keeping your packer clean!

Silicone packers should be cared for like other silicone strap-on products: use soap and water to wash it down before and after use, and disinfect it on occasion (I usually do a big batch of cock soup and disinfect silicone toys I’ve used about once a month). You can immerse them in boiling water for 5 minutes, or you can put them on the top rack of the dishwasher (no soap!), or wash them in a 10% bleach/90% water solution—all of those will disinfect silicone.

You can’t disinfect elastomer, soft skin, and other composite plastic packers, however, so please don’t boil your packy … you’ll melt it. They need a simple washing of soap and water before and after use, and regular corn starch dustings. After they are dry completely, put them in a plastic bag or your storage bag with a tablespoon or so of corn starch and make sure the corn starch covers the whole thing. Corn starch will help it stay feeling velvety, and not be sticky to the touch.

From soft to hard packing

If you want to go out packing soft and then switch to something hard in order to get your play on, well, I salute you! Is there an easy way to do that, aside from taking off your pants, taking off your packer and strap, pulling on your harness and strap-on, and putting your pants back on?

Not exactly. While there are some really excellent pack and play strap-on cocks out there, none of them are universally loved, and none are as comfortable as soft packers like these.

Honestly, hard packing is a whooooole other subject, and one that I willingly and eagerly tackle. (You know. For science. For you.) Stay tuned for the next installation of Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence all about hard packing.

P.S.– This post is brought to you by readers like you, and sponsored by tranzwear.com, who have generously offered to give away cocks to three lucky commenters. You get your pick of size and color for the Mr. Limpy, Masho, or PackIT soft packers. Just comment with your favorite packing advice or product or story to enter. Winners will be drawn at random one week from today (Aug 14th).Good luck! The contest is over! Thanks to Tranzwear for providing the excellent packers.

pornparty-logo P.P.S. – If service and/or gangbangs are your thing, make sure you don’t miss the #pornparty AUGUST 13th at 6pm PST. It’s a free way to enjoy some sexy, feminist porn with your favorite internet friends. Learn more here, and I’ll see you on Twitter!

The Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence: Soft Packing (Part 1)

I don’t pack, but I love when my girlfriend wears her packer. It makes her stand a little taller and it really turns me on when there’s a little something extra to squeeze. Mmm.” [email protected]
“Packing” is short hand for stuffing something in one’s pants or underwear to make it feel or look as though the wearer has a factory-installed dick. As the trans movement and awareness has grown in recent years, there are significantly more commercially available products one can buy for that experience of packing, but there are plenty of easy and affordable ways to do it yourself.

But why do you want to do it?

There are plenty of different reasons to explore packing. It can be a turn-on! Or it can be something only you know about, that affirms your gender identity and expression. Or perhaps your dominant shoves your packer into your briefs before you’re going out and then you both know that your dick is right there. Or perhaps you can use it as a tool for passing as male, or for gender validation from others.

Trans and/or masculine-identified folks aren’t the only people who are experimenting with packing. You can be feminine or trans or butch or diesel femme or queer or sugar butch or defy labels or girly or all of the above or none of the above and still explore packing. I know plenty of femmes who pack, sometimes or all the time—one particular leather girl told me recently that she likes to use a Hello Kitty knee sock in a jock strap. Hot! I don’t know about you, but that gives me a very unique impression of her gender and sexual expression.

For folks who were assigned female at birth, we don’t have the experience of that weight pulling down between our legs unless we add something extra there. Particularly for trans and masculine-identified folks, having some sort of weight or bulge between our legs can be incredibly validating, both internally within ourselves and externally through how we are perceived. But it can be validating and useful for anyone of any gender, and can be a really interesting tool for self-awareness and expression for any body.

As someone who often fucks those who pack, it turns me on knowing what’s coming.. I love the swagger, the forcefulness it brings.” [email protected]

I know for me, when I started playing around with packing around 2000, I found it kind of indescribably … Comfortable, and comforting. There was something about it that just fit, like a really cozy sweatshirt. The way it shifted when I did, the way my legs stayed a little more apart, how I led more with my hips than my shoulders … it just felt like me. I’m very internally motivated about most things related to my gender and sexuality, so feeling that internal click for me was more than enough to interest me into exploring it further.

While I am masculine and butch identified, I’m not male identified, so packing for me personally has nothing to do with passing as cis male. However, it’s a frequent reason that trans guys pack, and in circumstances where dicks are supposed to be or accidentally on display—like at a gay boy dance club, or at the beach or swimming pool—having one to actually display can be thrilling and validating. I’ve also heard trans guys say that it helps support them in walking, sitting, or holding themselves in more male ways, particularly since cis guys often walk and sit such that they don’t squash their penis.

Packing can assist with the feeling of dysphoria, of feeling disconnected from one’s body in part due to gender identity (or presentation or perception). But for other people, packing actually increases the feeling of dysphoria. Your milage may vary—and however it feels for you is just fine.

Let’s not forget: Even though it can be externally and internally validating and empowering, it can also often be very vulnerable to pack. It is a way to experience our genitals outside of our bodies … and those of us with most of our genitalia on the inside tend not to feel that very often. There’s a reason kneeing a guy in the groin is effective: those soft tissues are soft, and sweet, and vulnerable.

And if you’re like me, and you have a bit of a vulnerability fetish, you might love it even more because of that.

So wait: Is it about sex or gender?

Yes.

For me hard packing is about sex but soft is about swagger, how I relate to myself.” [email protected]

Both, of course. But which it stimulates in you totally depends on you and how you relate to it. I have heard people talk about how they see their packy as completely platonic, not sexualized really at all, but more of a cross between a masculinizing accessory and a prosthetic. And I know some folks for whom packing is inherently sexual, all the time, and they immediately get turned on by it.

It just depends on you, your circumstances, your body, your relationship to your sexual and gender expressions.

I loved my ex’s. When he wore it he obviously was more confident. It also gave me something even bigger to squeeze and tease.”
[email protected]

It’s kind of like wearing a tie. When I was transitioning to and exploring my own butch identity around 2000, I started wearing ties when I dressed up. At first it was awkward and uncomfortable, but as I got more used to them, I made little rules for myself about where was “appropriate” to wear a tie. I wore them when I went on dates, and I wore them when I was doing a performance (usually reading dirty smut or poems in a dyke bar, so that was a particular association). I got really used to ties (and, later, suits) being an incredibly hyper-sexualized, externally validated, amplified masculine experience.

So when I was working at a finance firm in midtown Manhattan and we had a black tie holiday party, it was a given that I would wear a suit. The first time I went, I felt super uncomfortable because I had only worn a suit and tie in the context of, well, SEX and queers and gender-radicalism. Wearing it in this totally heteronormative environment (with coworkers looking at me just a little more sideways) was not sexual, but my association with the suit and tie was absolutely.

It’s a personal confidence thing for me, I don’t feel comfortable without it.” [email protected]

When your only context for a thing is sex and erotics, then it begins to perpetuate itself, like Pavlov’s dog. If the pack is only for going on dates and then getting it on, your system will start to associate it with getting it on. If it’s worn day-to-day like a special watch or favorite pair of shoes, it will be a slightly precious object for love and care. If it’s an every single day practice, it’ll become weird to not have it, and it’ll fade into the background, like brushing your teeth or putting on socks. I betcha those things happen most days, but can you really remember the details of teeth brushing or sock-putting-on-ing? Probably not—because it’s automatic, an ingrained habit.

Packing could be about your own private gender expression, or about others seeing you as male, or it could be about turning yourself and your lover on.

Let’s not forget: It’s hot!

[When my partner packs,] it’s one of my favorite things. it turns me on all day thinking about it, knowing what it’s doing to them to watch my reaction.” — @rexicon

Maybe your lover knows that you have a soft packer in your pants (because you revealed it as you were getting dressed), so they get to fantasize and squeeze and touch it while you’re going about your day. Or maybe you press up against them hard and take their hand and press their palm to your bulge. Maybe they don’t ever know that you have had a packer on all day, or maybe they find out. Maybe they don’t even have to know—maybe you knowing is enough.

I often pack when I want a little extra swagger or confidence, particularly to social events, parties, kink events, queer community stuff, or anywhere that I want to have a little more oomph to me. I often request my boy to pack if I want to work him up for a little while, if I want to have him squirming by the time I get him home and stripped. I try to always remember throughout the time I’ve asked him to pack for me and to touch it, reference it, and tease him about it—mostly because he likes that, but also because if I make a request, I don’t want to forget that I’ve made it.

Soft packing is mostly, for me, about turning me on and building up for later.” — @rexicon

So now that you know all about why you might want to pack … What kinds of products are out there? Can you make your own? How do you keep it in place? What if you’re a femme and you want to pack?

Such good questions! I’ll explore those all in next week’s post, part 2 of the Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence for soft packing.

Read it! The Sugarbutch Guide to Cock Confidence: Soft Packing Part Two


Check it out: New “Cock Confidence Guide”

thinkin' about cock

Do you want to play with strap-on sex? Do you want to feel more confident strapping on and playing?

Then head on over to the Cock Confidence Guide and see what kind of services I offer, from being your personal strap-on shopping guide to hands-on cock-on support and help. I also teach workshops, Cock Confidence and Advanced Cock Confidence!

www.sugarbutch.net/cock-confidence has all the info you need.

PS: I’m pretty excited that the Cock Confidence Guide debuted today on Erika Moen’s site Oh Joy Sex Toy, in her pegging/blog job review of the strap-on silicone dick Velvet!

Dirty Queer Sex Workshops in Seattle November 14-17

I’m coming to Seattle November 14-17, and I’m teaching FOUR classes in a row at Wild at Heart and also at the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture.

I would absolutely love to see all of you in the audience, and I’d so appreciate all the wisdom you would bring to whatever topics you were interested in discussing. my classes are much less about me telling you all the smarty things I know and more about facilitating a guided discussion with the intention to elevate the conversation to whatever the next level may be for you. I love learning new things in the conversations about these topics—and many of these are my very favorite things to teach and talk about!

Rife will be coming with me. He’ll be demo bottoming for the Leaving Marks class, and for Advanced Cock Confidence. (That means we will probably be demonstrating a rough blow job. And you’ll get to see him receive some bruises, and show off his cuttings and burn marks.)

PS: I’ll be bringing porn DVDs from Pink & White to give away!

PPS: I’ll be doing individual sessions, too, if you are interested in 1-on-1 time with me.

Schedule!

November 14: 7pm, Cock Confidence at Wild At Heart
https://www.facebook.com/events/526260387452761/
$20/Individual, $30/Pair, $40/Triad – pre-registration
$25 per-person – at the door
Registration through Brown Paper Tickets: http://cockconfidence.brownpapertickets.com/

November 15: 6:30pm, Advanced Cock Confidence: Graduate Level Strapping It On at the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture
http://www.strangertickets.com/events/9766535/workshop-graduate-level-strapping-on-with-sinclair-sexsmith
https://www.facebook.com/events/242492232565198/
Cost: $25, $20 in advance.
https://fetlife.com/events/203795

SinclairSexsmith_120906-307November 16: 6pm, Leaving Bruises: Biting, Punching, & More at the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture
http://www.strangertickets.com/events/9766549/workshop-leaving-bruises-by-sinclair-sexsmith
https://www.facebook.com/events/579409645429597/
https://fetlife.com/events/203798
Cost: $25, $20 in advance.

November 17: 7pm, Queering Power Dynamics
https://www.facebook.com/events/228303217325079/
$20/Individual, $30/Pair, $40/Triad – pre-registration
$25 per-person – at the door
Registration through Brown Paper Tickets: http://queeringpower.brownpapertickets.com/

Northern Exposure Kink Conference in Anchorage, AK! And: Judging the International Ms. Leather Contest

NE2013I’m catching a plane tomorrow for Anchorage, where the third annual Northern Exposure kink conference will be taking place.

NE is run by Sarha, who was just sashed International Ms. Leather 2013 at the IMsL weekend and contest in April in San Francisco. I was on the judging panel for this year’s IMsL contest, and while I promise I didn’t play favorites (Alaska rules!), I’m thrilled that my home state is representing the leather community this year, and I’m really excited to participate in the conference she produces.

The lineup looks pretty incredible. Though NE is remote, Sarha has attracted an incredible group of presenters who are teaching on a wide array of advanced topics. I’m particularly interested in the many M/s workshops that are offered, and I suspect I’ll be sitting in on as many of those as I can, taking copious notes. That’s a recent study subject of mine that I am really enjoying delving deeper into. I’m also really excited that Midori is presenting! I have been in classes of hers before, but it’s been many years, and I’m looking forward to learning from her. Lee Harrington is also going to be teaching!

Northern Exposure happens to coincide with Pride fest, so Sarha hooked me up with the folks over there, and I’m going to be teaching Writing Dirty, my skills for writing about sex class, on Thursday night (tomorrow!). I’m up against Drag Queen Bingo, so I suspect it might be a small class, but I hope we’ll have some good discussions and write some interesting sentences. I LOVE teaching writing classes, and often the ideal class number is something like 7-12, so I will be very happy with a small class.

The boy is coming with me. We’ve met at leather conferences before, but aside from IMsL in April, we haven’t actually come and gone from one together. And at IMsL, we didn’t get to play much (you know, just once or twice a day for short scenes, no big epic gang bang like at Winter Fire, no long, elaborate scene like at last year’s IMsL. I’m glad he’ll be there with me. I’m only teaching one class, Cock Confidence, aside from the writing class for Alaska Pride, so I should have some really nice time to play.

(Hopefully I’ll come back with some good stories to tell y’all.)

And, speaking of IMsL.

Winnersdsc_0603

International Ms. Leather 2013 Sarha and International Ms. Bootblack 2013 bella join the IMsL and IMsBB alumni on stage at this year’s contest and leather weekend

I’d never judged a leather contest before. I attended IMsL the year before, but I’m not particularly familiar with leather contests. I’ve been more and more involved with the leather scene in the past few years, attending more leather conferences, events, and happy hours, and participating in more conversations online about leather and reading up on leather history and culture, but I’ve only recently really come to understand the difference between BDSM, kink, and leather, which, though related, are slightly different.

I’ve been kinky since as long as I can remember, adding sensation play and power dynamics to my friendships, playtimes, and interactions since my first adolescent sexual experimentations, and probably even a bit before that. I’ve considered myself part of the BDSM communities since … well, at least formally since about 1999 when I got my official membership to the SPCC, the Sex Positive Community Center (now the Center for Sex Positive Culture) in Seattle. But I’d only ever really gone to classes or events to gain a particular skill to take back to my bedroom—I never really stuck around in the leather community.

Until recently. Really it was Dark Odyssey that started me on that path in a significant way. I thought I was familiar with leather culture and the kink/BDSM worlds, but when I started teaching more at leather events, I experienced how different it really was, and realized how I’d longed for leather community even without knowing it. I was on the board of the Lesbian Sex Mafia in New York City around that time, too—clearly seeking some more kinky community, not just to support my own kinky efforts but also to immerse myself in and learn new, different things.

I found a lot of what I was seeking at Dark Odyssey, and I found a lot of people who really felt like my people in a new way. (I’m kind of sad to be missing Fusion, which is next week! But it was either Fusion or Northern Exposure, and I’m so glad to be in Alaska right now. I don’t know if I’ll make it to Summer Camp in Maryland in September, but I would really like to. I’ve been two years in a row and I’ll miss it if I’m not there.)

So when I ran into Glenda Ryder, who runs IMsL, at Summer Camp last summer, I was thrilled to consider the possibility of being a judge for IMsL 2013. I knew very little about the history of leather contests, what it pertains, what a judge would do (aside from the obvious, duh), but I’d attended once (and watched almost exactly 20 minutes of the contest) and was interested in being more involved with leather culture, so I said yes.

IMG_1735 IMG_1971
The judges judging | The judges brief moment in the spotlight, onstage, when they introduced us

I spent more time with the judges panel than anyone else that weekend, and they were lovely people I’m thrilled to know. (One of my favorite activities was passing dirty fairy tale stories back and forth with Tillie during the contest.) It was great to spend some time with KD Diamond, and Sarah Vibes, both of whom I know from New York, and to meet Woody, the current International Mr. Leather, and hear more about the traditions of leather, fundraising, queerness, and history.

#fullofwomen
#fullofwomen
I spent so much time at the contest part of the conference itself that weekend in April that I barely had time to do much else—I didn’t attend any of the workshops, though I wish I had. I did send my boy to attend a power exchange relationships class called “Exploring and Deepening M/s, D/s and PowerExchange Relationships” taught by Liza and Jody, which was excellent, from what he relayed, and he took many interesting notes and gathered some concepts we still discuss. I also participated in a author’s meet and greet with Mollena, Laura Antoniou, and Tillie King (one of my fellow judges), hosted by Mr. and Ms. SF Leather, where we read some snippets of our work (and got to see many of the literarily-inclined folks at the conference congregate in one place, which totally got me hard).

Oh! And, here’s a quick sidenote: Laura Antoniou read from her most recent book, The Killer Wore Leather, which is a murder mystery set at a leather contest conference weekend. I picked up the audiobook on Audible.com for the long 5-day drive through Canada to Alaska, and Rife and I have been listening to it and really enjoying it. The reader is excellent, and the story is really fun. It’s kind of amazing to see our community through an outsider’s lens, and it’s also a very tight insider’s satire. If you want to know more about leather community, this book is definitely a fun place to start. Full review to come when we finally finish the book.

three judges [me, Tillie, Sarah Lashes] and Glenda
three judges [me, Tillie, Sarah Lashes] and Glenda with our serious judge faces on
I also taught a Flirting & Foreplay class, for which Rife designed a little IMsL flirting bingo card, which was a fantastic hit. I want to do that again, and I think all leather conferences should have a flirting bingo card in their conference bags.

I don’t have tons to say about the actual contest itself, aside from that it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed being behind the scenes but still in an important role as a judge, as someone described it to me that weekend. I don’t always want to have attention on me, but I do like to be important, somehow, so that felt good. I thought the contestants were incredibly well spoken, all had very impressive resumes (and formal leather), and had both new young spunkiness and wise experience from many years of serving and guiding and participating in these communities. I learned a lot.

I’d prefer to go to more classes, and I’m looking forward to being more of a participant at Northern Exposure this coming weekend than I will be working. I hope to have some fun, learn some things, and have lots of conversations about what it’s like to be kinky in Alaska.

I’ve got lots more things to say about Sarha and how she won (she won!) on an excellent platform about outreach to leather in little towns and not just big cities, how she excited (and kinda scared) everyone with her black bear fur lined chaps (where do you think leather comes from, folks?) and how it felt to have my Alaskan identity coming together with my queer and kink identities, too. I could talk about the MC and how unimpressed I was with her racist jokes (just because you “make fun of everybody” does not exclude you from racism). I could talk about the beautiful redhead who had a pet girl on a leash with her all weekend, and a new friendship and relationship that has bloomed from a distance. But this post is already 1600 words long, and it’s time to go to bed, even though it’s 10:44pm and the sky is still light.

It’s going to be even lighter in Anchorage. I’m really looking forward to soaking up all the midnight sun I possibly can.

(Official conference photos by Rich Trove, thanks Rich!, except for the instagram ones taken by me.)

Unholy Harvest, Say Please Reading (Readers Needed!), & Bad Boys in Toronto

I’m going to Toronto!

I’m still working out the exact dates, but it looks like Kristen and I will be there October 5-10. I’ll be doing a few exciting things, including attending and presenting at Unholy Harvest, and hopefully getting a little tour of Aslan Leather, and seeing some friends.

Come see me! Here’s the details.

First of all, I still need readers for the Dirty Queer Sex night at Glad Day books! So, hey Toronto! I edited a dirty smutty queer book called Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, and I’m doing a book launch in Toronto on October 9th at Glad Day Books. I’m looking for queers of any stripes to read kinky queer stories—preferably stories they have penned. The dirtier the better! Readings should be 7-10 minutes. Email [email protected] with a sample of your writing ASAP. More details about the book: http://saypleasebook.wordpress.com

Where I’ll Be

Unholy Harvest
Saturday, October 6th, 10-11:30am

Cock Confidence
Many of us have experience with strapping on, packing, and playing, but there are lots of new products out there on the market that might be exciting and that you haven’t encountered yet. Writer and sex educator Sinclair Sexsmith talk about what cocks are good for packing, what options are out there for pack-and-play, which harnesses are the most loved, and which to avoid. Plus, she’ll delve into some cock confidence, getting into the psychology of penetration, and discussing what it’s like to shoot from the hip. Come get the nuts and bolts of strapping it on and fucking. You’ll learn about positions and lube, how different products work, what “cock confidence” means, and the psychology behind strapping on and playing with a cock with a partner, or with oneself.

Glad Day Bookshop
Tuesday, October 9th, 8pm
RSVP on Facebook

A night of DIRTY QUEER SEX!

Featuring readers from the SAY PLEASE: LESBIAN BDSM EROTICA, and many special guests! Performers include Andrea Zanin and other sexy queers TBA. Hosted by Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.

In Say Please, Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of queer kink—tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place—and held there firmly. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want! Come hear authors from the book read their stories and celebrate the release of this kinky queer collection.

Bad Boys: Masculinity & Dominance workshop
at Come As You Are
Wednesday, October 10th, 8pm
RSVP on Facebook

Everyone loves a bad boy: they know what they want, and they take it … and probably ride away on a motorcycle afterwards. But how can you be a bad boy without being an asshole? How do you practice that potent combination of masculinity and dominance without misogyny or internalized homophobia and with respect for women? How can you enhance your dominance in consensual, loving ways? On the flip side, how can you bring that dominant side out of someone who may be nervous to let it emerge? How do you become – or find – the bad boy of your dreams? Learn from a pro: Sinclair Sexsmith, kinky queer butch top who’s been writing about dominance since 2006, will teach you how to get what you want.

I’m starting to work out my fall schedule … more details about that soon, I hope. You can always follow the newest news about my travel schedule at mrsexsmith.com/appearances.

Chicago! Fucking Forever, Dirty Queer Sex Reading, and Cock Confidence This Week

I kind of suck at blogging lately. I have been doing all these offline things—events, trainings, readings, workshops, traveling. Tons of marketing and promotion, very little writing. But I want to—and plan to—get back to more of that, soon. Maybe this week, even.

I leave for Chicago tomorrow and I’ll be doing three events Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night before returning to New York on Thursday. Hope y’all will come out and see me while I’m there! I’m trying to get the word out about this book every possible way I can, and that has included doing all sorts of workshops and performances in every place where the book has contributors—I’ve been in Atlanta and Portland already this month, and now Chicago! I am still kinda in love with this book, so I hope it’s helping to get it into your hands.

I’m not sure if you know, but it’s kind of a misnomer that people make money from writing books. I mean sure, the bigwigs make money, when they’re at major presses and have print runs in seven digits, but Cleis Press, while very widely distributed and respected, is still pretty small. I actually owe them money right now because I bought some copies of the book (which I have to pay for—at a discount, but still, out of my pocket) to use as promotion in the Amazon reviews and blog tour. I have been paying that off slowly while still trying to buy plane tickets to places like Chicago and Portland and Atlanta—which also come out of my pocket, Cleis doesn’t pay for those things. Most of these trips I have broken even, but none of them have I made any significant money.

So it really does make a big difference if you come out to these events. Your presence helps. I love a packed room, at workshops or at a Dirty Queer Sex Tour performance. Buying copies of the book helps—from me directly, at a reading, or online, it all helps. It’s where all my energy has been going to, so much so that I haven’t been keeping up with my writings here.

Hope to see you in Chicago!

MONDAY: Sparking Forever: Sex in Long Term Relationships

New relationship energy can propel a couple into a phenomenal experiential phase of sexual energy—bursts of passion, exploration, and intensity. Long term relationships, however, face the day-to-day life navigation of bills, scheduling, job and career difficulties or changes, disappointments, changes, and grief. How do we build a long term relationship that keeps the passion alive? How do we ensure we have enough time for our partner(s), and for ourselves? How do we both separate from our partner to have our own rich inner life and come back together to build a loving bond? And what kind of kinky play can be used to keep the fire going? We’ll explore all of these concepts and more at this interactive workshop.

RSVP on the Fetlife event or Facebook event
$20 per person ($15 low income/students). All adults welcome.
This workshop is being held at Early to Bed, at 5232 N Sheridan Road
7:30pm
Preregister and save your spot by visiting http://bit.ly/spark4ever or calling us at 773-271-1219

TUESDAY: Steamy: How to Write About Sex + Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Chicago

8-9pm: How to Write About Sex

To write about sex well, you need both the boldness to describe the dirty and delicious acts we humans explore, and the basic technical skills of plot, setting, and character. In this pen-to-paper writing workshop, we’ll look at some examples of successful and unsuccessful erotica, discuss how to write steamy love letters for your sweetheart, and discover how to take your blogging to the next level. We’ll also explore where to submit your erotica for publication, and some quick basics for editing your work.

9-10pm: Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Chicago

For the release of SAY PLEASE: LESBIAN BDSM EROTICA, come join us in Chicago for dirty queer readings from contributors to the book and special guests!

ABOUT THE READERS

Christina is a Queer, Capital-S Submissive LeatherFemme with masochistic tendencies. She holds a Master’s Degree in English and Comparative Literature, and her writings often focus upon the complexity of the feminist Leatherwoman’s journey. Her free time is spent serving as the new International Ms Leather (IMsL) historian and archivist.

Vie La Guerre is a femme wordsmith who lives in Chicago with her kittens, Foxy Brown and Zora.

Lyzanne Trevino promotes sex-positive community health education and exploration of kinks and fetishes in her project SexPositiveBlog.com. She is also an LGBT youth advice columnist at AskGayWrites. She works with the Hot Queer Porn Fest committee in Chicago to ensure a place for trans* and queer porn, and although this queer femme is a newcomer to the world of writing queer erotica, she is a long-time reader and enthusiast.

RSVP on Fetlife or on Facebook for How to Write About Sex and the Dirty Queer Sex Tour
Preregister at The Pleasure Chest
at The Pleasure Chest
3436 North Lincoln Avenue

WEDNESDAY: Cock Confidence

Come learn the nuts and bolts of strapping it on and fucking. Writer and sex educator Sinclair Sexsmith will reveal the best cocks for packing, which options exist for pack-and-play and the ins and out of selecting a harness. You’ll learn about positions, how different products work, what “cock confidence” means, and the psychology behind strapping on and playing with a cock with a partner, or with oneself.

RSVP on Fetlife or Facebook
8-10pm
at The Pleasure Chest
3436 North Lincoln Avenue

Sex, Gender, & Relationship Workshops at Your College

Hey! Students at colleges, universities, and beyond! I’m still working on booking workshops, readings, and gigs this fall and spring.

I’m available for the Trans Day of Remembrance in November, for example. Want to book me?

HERE’S WHERE I’LL BE

I am already planning some visits to certain places! If you can help me book something there while I’m visiting, I would be very grateful. Are you in any of these cities? Do you know who I should talk to? Would you help me get people out to an event? Thanks!

These are the dates I *am available* to book something in these cities:

November 7-8, 2011: Seattle, WA
November 9-10, 2011: San Francisco, CA
November 28-30, 2011: Atlanta, GA
February 16 or 21, 2012: Seattle, WA
February 23-27, 2012: San Francisco, CA
April 14-19, 2012: San Francisco, CA
April 10-15, 2012: Durham, NC
April 10-15, 2012: Boston, MA
April 15-30 or May 15-30, 2012: Chicago and/or Milwaukee
May 2-3 or 7-8, 2012: Portland, OR
May 3 or 7, 2012: Seattle, WA
July 9-10 or 16-17, 2012: Seattle, WA
July 17 or 23, 2012: Albuquerque, NM
Fall 2012 (TBD): Toronto, ON
September 20 or 24, 2012: Seattle, WA

The rest of the time, I’m based in New York City and I can travel all over the Northeast seaboard, from Boston, Providence, and Burlington, down to Philadelphia, DC, and Durham. And if you want to bring me somewhere that isn’t on this list, I’m game for that too! I’m just hoping this will help me get in touch with you folks who are already in these cities.

HERE’S WHAT I DO

My workshop list is online at mrsexsmith.com/workshops, and I’ve got an online press kit at mrsexsmith.com/about/press-kit with photos, one-pagers, etc. My booking company usually charges a certain amount for a workshop plus travel + lodging, but I can be flexible about that and work with the budget you’ve got. I do have a minimum that I need to cover, but I am willing to negotiate.

Right now my most popular workshops are Radical & Responsible Gender, which is more academic and made for folks who are used to breaking down gender to start think about how to build it up in ways that are empowering and liberating, and Cock Confidence, which is a strap-on 101 type of workshop that focuses more on the psychology of strapping on and insecurity than on the how-to, though there is also a part for strap-on technology, meaning the toys that are available and what to buy. That one I rarely do at colleges, though I bet it’d be a blast.

I have also been working on doing a two-event set, being an afternoon workshop on exploring sex, gender, and relationships through writing as a way to develop self-reflection, introspection, and identity, and then having a showcase in the evening with the folks from the writing workshop reading and me doing a :30-:45 spoken word set.

If you’ve got any ideas, requests, or contacts, I’d love to chat with you. Please do get in touch with me via email, mrsexsmith (at) gmail dot com, and see what we can do.

SINCLAIR SEXSMITH: NOW BOOKING 2011-2012

For booking contact: [email protected]
Phone: (917) 475-6316
or:
PhinLi Bookings, LLC at [email protected]
Phone: (347) 829-7446

Press kit and materials available upon request

Please forward to colleges, universities, students, and organizations.

Represented by PhinLi Bookings, LLC, in New York City, SINCLAIR SEXSMITH is a writer, performer, student, and teacher of sex, gender, and relationships. Visit Sinclair online at sugarbutch.net, mrsexsmith.com, or on Twitter @mrsexsmith.

“Sinclair Sexsmith writes with such rare clarity and passion that she is one of the best reminders we have that sex and gender are not abstractions of theory, but essential to our everyday humanity.”
—Chris Hall, editor of CarnalNation.com

Review: RodeoH Harness

As of 7/28/15 This product is no longer available at Babeland

It seems like such a good idea, right? A cute pair of briefs with a hole in the middle to double as a harness? So of course I had to try out the new RodeoH.

I suspected they would not be tight enough to fuck with, that I wouldn’t have enough control—but I’m glad to report that’s not true, I didn’t have any trouble. Perhaps after a bunch of times in the washing machine the fabric will stretch a bit (probably worth it to avoid the dryer, to keep the elastic tight, note to self), but for now, it’s great. I am annoyed, however, that they aren’t really brief-cut, they are more like girl-cut undies that look like boy briefs, which, considering I haven’t worn women’s underwear in nearly ten years, feels really weird on my ass. I think I ended up with size L, so possibly if I had an XL pair they would cover a bit more, but that would probably sacrifice the tension and the tightness. Babeland recommends going down a size if you’re between sizes, since having them extra tight is part of what makes ’em work well.

Babeland’s write-up also says “just imagine how close you’ll feel to your partner with only a thin layer of fabric between you,” and I gotta say, I didn’t love that feeling—I much prefer a harness. It felt like I was still wearing underwear, which just doesn’t quite feel like sex. But maybe that’ll just take some getting used to.

Unlike leather or rubber or vinyl, the briefs really absorb liquid! They are easier to wash than other harnesses, so that’s not a big deal, but I really noticed how much lube and spit and come was absorbed.

They seemed to work just fine for the giving part and, according to Kristen, for receiving, but I missed the stimulation on my clit that my one-strap harness provides. It’s hard (if not impossible) for me to get off without some stimulation on my clit, and this harness provides absolutely none—though I suppose it provides easier access to my clit from underneath it than some other harnesses, if that’s what you want. Me, I would prefer the harness do the stimulating so I can actually fuck and get off simultaneously.

It might be a great harness to use something like the we-vibe underneath. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have a shiny new we-vibe (thanks, Babeland) waiting for me to try it out, so that might be a great combination. More on that later, when I have a full report.

Because of it’s design, there’s no way to change the placement of the cock, either, so I can’t bring it lower in order for the base to hit my clit, which I also like, and which helps with stimulation. The O-ring on the harness is not very stretchy, and is built in, so it won’t work with cocks that are particularly big, like my favorite, the Maverick. It’ll still work with others, like my favorite packing cock Silky, but I often want something bigger than that, so it won’t replace my other harnesses anytime soon.

Not sure it’s a harness I’d go to on a regular basis (we’ll see), but I can see wearing it out so I would be ready to slip a cock into it without disrobing once I got home. And I’m glad there’s some new ideas and technology happening in the strap-on world. Worth trying, for sure.

RodeoH has a current contest to win a pair of these new briefs, as well as other prizes. Check it out.



The RodeoH was sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

What’s Happening in February

Events! Here’s what’s going on in February, exciting New York City events that aren’t mine but that I highly recommend and my own events in both New York and elsewhere. Come on out and support queers and sex activists doing exciting, entertaining stuff.

Events with Mr. Sexsmith

Tuesday, February 8th, 8pmSideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival: Achilles Heel featuring Melissa Gira Grant, Rohin Guha, Aimee Herman, and Christa Orthat The Phoenix, 447 East 13th Street at Avenue A in New York City

Tuesday, February 22nd, 8pmCock Confidence: Strap-On 101 Workshop: Many of us have experience with strapping on, packing, and playing, but there are lots of new products out there on the market that might be exciting and that you haven’t encountered yet. Plus, she’ll delve into some cock confidence, getting into the psychology of penetration, and discussing what it’s like to shoot from the hip.Good Vibrations, 308A Harvard Street in Brookline, MA

Wednesday, February 23nd
8-10pm
Afternoon Delight: A workshop on sex toys and getting what you want in bed with Girlspot, the queer women’s group at Harvard. We’ll explore how to turn up the heat on our sex lives, what gender expression and performance has to do with sexuality, and all the fun tools we can use in the bedroom—from vibrators to strap ons to butt toys to light bondage and sensation. Includes a sex toy giveaway! Open to the public.Harvard, Boston, MA
Ticknor Lounge in Boylston Hall (right by Mass Ave) for 8-10PM

Saturday, February 26th
1-4pm
Radical & Responsible Gender Masculinity, Misogyny, and Feminisms: Academics break down and deconstruct gender. How do we build it back up radically and responsibly? How does one adapt masculinity or femininity “positively?” How do we become responsible about gender? How do we continue to break down the gender role restrictions that are hurtful and traumatizing? How can queer communities and spaces be improved by gender reflection? Open to the public; RSVP to Lauren Hannahs at [email protected]Syracuse University
Hall of Languages 102 Syracuse, NY

I’m still booking spring events! Would you like to bring me to your college or local queer center or somewhere else? Check out what kind of workshops I offer, and get in touch with me or my booking company, PhinLi.

This post will be updated with any new events added and further details, as I get ’em, and it’ll stay at the top of the blog until the March event schedule is posted. RSS readers probably won’t notice the difference, but if you’re reading here on the site, scroll down for the updates.

The Rest of Syd London’s Butch Voices NYC Photos

The rest of the Butch Voices photos taken by our official photographer Syd London are up! Take a look at the Speed Friending event that kicked off the conference, or visit Syd’s flickr to see them all together.

Here’s the shots from the conference, including my workshop “Cock Confidence,” and the community-building ritual keynote:

And here’s the Sideshow/Queer Memoir Mashup reading at Bluestockings:

Check out Syd’s recent work on Time Out NY, the PFAG Awards Gala, Mad Men Season Finale at the Bell House, the Grand Central Die-In, NY Burlesque Festival, and the Marriage Equality March. There’s also the Remembering Youth Vigil up on Go Magazine’s website.

Thanks, Syd! Prints or digital copies are available to purchase, contact Syd directly for more information about that. “Like” her on Facebook to follow her work!

Review: Tantus VIP Super Soft

I haven’t been reviewing many products lately, on purpose. I’m getting a little bored reviewing products. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have the chance to play with these toys, and I still have some things to tell you about, but I’m being pretty picky about what I consume and what I say I will write up here and what I won’t.

This one, though, is worth a mention.

This is the new VIP Super Soft from Tantus. It’s not quite available yet, but they are taking preorders. Tantus sent one to me (and one to Diana Cage) to make it’s debut at the Butch Voices NYC Regional Conference. They sent two other cocks to be given away during my Cock Confidence workshop, which was really fun to do, and I kept this one for myself.

Especially when I was single and dating, having a packing cock was extra important to me (remember my motto: It’s better to have a cock and not need it than to need a cock and not have it), and I did quite a bit of research about what could pack and play, and what was just for packing or just for playing. It turns out, there is very little out there that can pack and play comfortably.

In my opinion, I found the Silky to be the only cock that you can comfortably pack and play with.

Until now! The VIP Super Soft is exactly made for that. So I put it to the test. Does it work?

From the former comparison on pack and play cocks, I’ll talk about this one with four components: materials, packing, playing, and realisticness.

1. Material

Tantus cocks are all made from medical grade silicone, and this one is no exception. It is also Tantus’s “super soft” material, which is somewhat like Vixen’s Vixskin, but a little bit softer, and feels less porous. It doesn’t have the hard inner core that Vixskin does, however, which is what makes it easier to pack.

2. Packing

Yeah, it packs. It’s easy to pack. Metis Black, president of Tantus, wrote on Twitter yesterday: “Just read a review of someone who thought the Super Soft VIP was “too large to be worn discreetly” as a packer.” But in my experience, that’s not true. Packing is half in the cock and half in the pants, though—if your pants are too tight, any packer is going to be really obvious. And if that’s not what you’re going for, I’m sorry, but you’ll probably have to get some baggier pants if you want it to be a bit more discreet. I tend to go a little baggy (a style I have adopted in recent years in part because of the packing, I’ll admit), so I had no trouble with discretion whatsoever.

3. Playing

Because it’s soft enough to pack with, it’s kind of hard to fuck with. It is hard enough, sure, but only for some light play, nothing too heavy bang-bang-banging, because it’s going to be a bit too floppy and probably won’t stay in place. But for lighter stuff? Sure! And for blow jobs? Yeah, it’s really quite nice for that. Good length, good size (6.5″ long by 1.7″ in diameter), not so hard.

4. Realisticness

It is semi-realistic … the shaft is smooth, not veined or textured really, but it does have a head and balls, and it comes in three skin-tone colors of vanilla, caramel, chocolate (or whatever flavors Tantus calls them). I’m still waiting for a company to come out with more subtle shades of skin tones, but meanwhile we’ve just got these three basics.

It’s got a great curve to it so it stays a bit more erect than some other cocks which are just straight, and it hits some good spots while playing.

Any other suggestions?

It needs a slightly smaller O-ring than I usually keep on my harnesses, so it has popped out more than once at the top while I was wearing it. Pretty easy to fix, either by just shoving it back in there or by changing up the O-ring to something smaller.

This is the video by Tantus for the regular silicone VIP, that is not the super soft material. You can see the size a little better, and the curve, so it’ll give you a better feel for how it looks.

I’m glad to add this one to my collection, and I’ll definitely keep packing with it. I don’t think it’ll break quite as easily as the Silky, which will be a good change.

The Tantus VIP Super Soft was sent to me from Tantus to review. Pick it up at your local neighborhood sex positive queer feminist sex toy store, or online from Tantus directly.

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.

The Butch Voices NYC Conference Starts Today!

The Butch Voices NYC Regional Conference is almost here!

The conference itself is tomorrow, Saturday the 25th, with registration opening up at 9am and workshops beginning at 10am. I’m doing a Cock Confidence workshop at 1:30pm tomorrow, and I have two Aslan Leather harnesses, three Vixen Creations cocks, and another Tantus cock to give away. I’ll also be showing off the brand new hot-off-the-presses VIP Super Soft pack-and-play cock that is barely even released.

I’m also modering a panel called “In the Public Eye: Visibility in Media” with some fabulous folks: Denise Madison from GirlzParty, Grace Moon from Velvet Park Media, Gina Mamone from Riot Grrrl Ink, and Dasha Snyder of The D Word fame who writes at Digital Goddess.

But aside from my own involvement in the panel, there are many more things going on! Tonight is a social event to meet & greet conference attendees at Speed Friending/Dating at Dixon Place, tomorrow is a special Queer Memoir/Sideshow Reading Series Mash-Up at Bluestockings Bookstore, and there’s a special Butch Voices Submit play party in Brooklyn late tomorrow night.

I don’t know if I’ll make it out to play, but I’m really looking forward to meeting people, hanging out, and talking about butch things all weekend. Kristen is baking her “face off,” as she is prone to saying, making her famous rosemary sea salt chocolate chip cookies, savory corn and cheddar muffins, and a special treat for someone’s birthday tomorrow.

If you miss these events, there’s another Butch Brunch on Saturday, October 16th which will be a nice follow up to the conference for those who miss the company of other butches.

To tie up this nice countdown, I’m featuring a recent novel from 2004 called Crybaby Butch by Judith Frank, published by Firebrand Books. It won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction in 2005. My (lesbian) book group read it about a year and a half ago, and we all liked it quite a bit—which is hard, usually novels especially are hotly contested. I remember there being some disapproval of how the femme partners were depicted (as controlling, fairly stereotypical “women”, perhaps with not enough depth) but we liked the butches.

Here’s the premise, from the publisher’s website:

Drawing on her experience as an adult literacy tutor, Judith Frank’s first novel traces the difficult and sometimes hilarious connection between two butches of different generations – a middle-class, thirty-something adult literacy teacher and her older, working-class student. With a disparate group of adult learners as the backdrop, Frank examines, with warmth and wit, the relationship between education and gender, class, and racial identity. Judith Frank is a winner of the Astraea Foundation’s Emerging Lesbian Writer’s Fund prize in fiction. A professor of English at Amherst College, she lives and writes in western Massachusetts.

There are not very many books out there with “butch” in the title, and even fewer of them published in the last ten years. It’s a good read that is complex and interesting, engaging and emotionally enthralling. A few folks mentioned Crybaby Butch in the comments when I featured Stone Butch Blues two weeks ago, all of them with praise for the book.

Buy it directly from Firebrand Books, from your local independent bookstore, or, if you must, from Amazon.

So now that I’ve gone through some of the major butch books, tell me, which ones did I leave out? Are there others I should have featured?

Review: Leather Pleasure Harness by Aslan Leather

So when Carrie at Aslan Leather sent me the Rubber G, I also got the Leather Pleasure Harness, one of Aslan’s signature harnesses, and to me the most versatile. It has various configurations: two-strap, one-strap, driver pad or not, variable sizes of O-ring. The straps are thin and high quality leather, the craftsmanship, as I’d expect from Aslan, is lovely and detailed.

It has become my current go-to harness. It’s what I pull out when I want to play, it’s what I use.

1. Materials

This harness is leather. Beautiful leather. Buttery soft, well-treated leather. There’s nothing wrong with this leather whatsoever. Oh wait—yes there is: it’s porous, and absorbs liquid. For that reason, as with many other leather harnesses I have known and loved, I do not expect this harness to last.

2. Metal (Buckles & O-Rings)

I continually stress the quality of construction in Aslan products, and of course this is no exception. It’s lovely: there are buckles on both hips around the waist and sliding O-rings on the other two (or one) straps.

3. Style, Shape, Padding

This harness comes with a “driver pad,” the bit of padding that would sit behind the base of the dildo against the wearer, but I’ve removed it so there isn’t as much separating me from my cock and my girl. The straps are a little thin, which personally I like, but you may not—I do find they can dig in a little bit. I love the convertible strap style, and if you for example aren’t sure whether you prefer one style or the other yet, this is a great one to buy because it’s easy to change for one to the other as desired. It’s very adjustable and fits hips from 26″-44″ (and the larger version fits up 56″) comfortably.

I’m still in search of a harness this simple that is not leather, or perhaps just a harness with a replaceable or removable center strap that is not leather (probably rubber). But this is getting closer!

I’ve got a slightly customized Rubber G that I still need to report about … the center strap is a bit thinner, and I do like that better, and oh the rubber is growing on me. I love how easily it cleans up.

PS … Did I mention that Aslan Leather sent me a harness to give away at my Cock Confidence & Strapping It On workshop at Butch Voices NYC this weekend? Hope you got a ticket, because registration is sold out. I hear if you come early with a lot of patience you might (might) be able to get in. Thanks Aslan—can’t wait to draw a name and send someone home with a new toy.

Aslan Leather sent me the Leather Pleasure Harness for review. Pick it up over on Aslan’s site, or at your local independent feminist queer sex toy store.

Cock Confidence and the KinkForAll Conference

I had a wonderful time at the KinkForAll conference at the LGBT Community Center yesterday. Major thank-yous to Maymay and Eileen (remember her story? mhm I do too) and all the unorganizers and folks who brought food (oh my lord what were those sticky chocolate wafer things?!) and attended and presented – I left with a lot of things on my mind and a lot of ideas to take home.

Some of my favorites? Calico‘s presentation on “Dirty Sexy Money” – I thought we’d talk about sex work, but in fact we were talking about money play and the ways that money can enhance power differentials in role play scenarios. That definitely got my mind going. And also, in Jason’s “What Can’t You Do with Vet Tape?” presentation, I learned that you can’t really use vet tape to beat someone up, but oh boy can you ever use it to tie someone down. I liked the blindfold/gag demo and I am very inspired to pick up some of that. A #kfanyc investigation on twitter reveals that jeffersequine.com is the place to pick it up online. And Barbara Carrellas lead a quick sex magic/tantra presentation that had the whole room breathing, visualizing what we wanted. I will definitely be looking up her workshops and trying to catch one full-length, I’ve heard wonderful things about her and her work for years but have yet to attend.


I did my own presentation as well, and at the last minute called it COCK CONFIDENCE in a butch/femme context. I had some notes, but was also not feeling very well, and twenty minutes goes by so fast!, so I had a lot more to say about the subject that I didn’t get to. Here goes.

1. What is cock confidence?

Particularly, what is it in a genderqueer context, with a strap-on as opposed to a cis-cock?

Most of us who strap on have had those moments of awkwardness when we go from the hot-and-heavy making out to “oh my god, this is really gonna happen,” then the sudden realization: “oh shit, when (and how) do I whip it out?”

Cock confidence is knowing when and how, and doing it smoothly so it doesn’t ruin the mood. This does not necessarily mean taking yourself (or your cock) incredibly seriously, sometimes a little bit of camp and sillyness can be totally appropriate and keep you laughing and connected to the hot lil piece of ass that you’re about to fuck.

(I happen to be a particularly serious lover, so it didn’t even occur to me that taking it seriously was separate from having confidence, though I think those are two different things.)

2. How do I get (more) cock confidence?

Two particular things come to mind here: you can develop confidence solo, with yourself, and you can develop it with a lover.

Lots of us have lovers, but they don’t necessarily validate our cock confidence, or perhaps our cock confidence is so low that we want to gain some of our own before we bring it into play with a partner. Do this on your own! Get to know your cock, get it out, wear it, put it on, clean the house, watch your weekly tv show while you’re wearing it. Get off with it on and see how that feels. Incorporate it into your own self-luuuuv rituals.

The more comfortable you are putting it on and taking it off, the more practice you have at it, the easier it will be to do with a lover present too. You’ll struggle less with the buckles and snaps if you have done it a dozen or fifty or a hundred times already. You’ll get the feel of how long it takes when it goes smoothly, so it won’t feel as long and endless of a process when you’re doing it in front of someone else.

Secondly: practice cock confidence by getting with someone who respects the way you want to wear and wield your cock. This, in my experience, is best done by talking to the person you’re fucking, either the one who you are already sleeping with (an ongoing partner, perhaps) or the one you are trying to get in bed, preferably before you’re in bed together.

And this is where gender discussions as foreplay come in.

I’ve written about gender as foreplay before, but let’s see if I can’t go into a bit more depth here. I find it rather easy to bring up gender during a date, it’s often one of my early talking points when I meet someone new (“What do you do?” “I’m a writer, mostly of smut and gender theory.”), but I’m not sure exactly how it comes up or what I use in order to discuss it.

If I’m on a date, I start a conversation about chivalry and the ways that I use it as courtship and interest, as a way to enhance the gender differences between us, and as respect. Chivalry is so connected to gendered interactions, it leads automatically into a discussion of gender. I like to ask about someone’s gender, about how they came to the gender they’ve got, to tell their gender story.

The gender story is a big one – how I came to be the way I am – it tells so much about where a person is at, their past loves, past heartbreaks, what they’ve learned from relationships and what they know now to be true about themselves.

Someone asked me how to make this gendered conversation sexy, or sexual – foreplay rather than analytical conversation. The short answer is, I’m not sure I know, since the analytical conversations about gender really do turn me on.

The longer answer is … what about gender turns you on? Talk about that stuff. Does it turn you on to talk about cocks and cufflinks and gender as a form of power play and femme markers like stockings, earrings, makeup? Talk about that. Is it suits and dresses? High heels and combat boots? Or is it some other version of femme and butch, of not conforming to gender, of wearing boxer briefs under a mini-skirt, of genderqueer or head-shaving and how liberating it is to not have any hair, plus it feels good, run your hands over it. It’s more than just physical markers, too, of course. So talk about that – what does your “inner gender” mean, say, feel like? What makes you feel the most like you, the most sexy, the most wanted, the most desire?

All these discussions of sex and gender are absolutely to determine what kind of chemistry and compatibility you might have with this person once you get in bed, to determine whether or not it’d be a good match. You might be very physically attracted to them, but that doesn’t necessarily make you a good match in bed – I’m sure this is not news to most folks, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate.

I mean, I don’t really fuck without a cock. I joked about this at KinkForAll – “I mean, what would I DO?!” Of course, I don’t really mean that (and I hate to perpetuate the idea that lesbians don’t have anything to do together in bed, since there’s no cock involved). I have plenty of ideas about what to do with my hands, mouth, fists, without involving a cock.

But that’s not the kind of sex I prefer.

(Obviously, you already know that, if you read this site.) I prefer strapping on. I prefer a submissive femme girl on her knees gulping my cock down her throat, I prefer throwing her onto the bed before shoving my hand between her legs. And conversations about gender, and how I use gender as part of the sex play, are key to knowing whether or not a girl would be into that before we really start to get it on.

I watch what happens when I mention my cock. I watch her reaction, I watch her eyelids flutter as she checks to see if maybe, just maybe I’m wearing one right now (I am). I watch her skin flush on her neck as heat comes to her body.

And that’s how I get my cock confidence.

Any questions? Class adjourned.

PS: Lolita got a shot of me during the Cock Confidence workshop, thanks Lo!