Things I, as a white sex educator, do to foster inclusivity in this community

On Facebook recently, Mollena asked: “White ‪#‎SexualityEducators‬: what are you doing to actively foster inclusivity? Diversify your audience? Support your Peers of Color?” [link.] I’ve been writing and writing and thinking about all of the things I’ve been reading and digesting around #blacklivesmatter and race and inclusion, and this question got me thinking hard, and answering with some clarity, and identifying some places I need to keep working.

1. Read, read, read.

And listen. And pay attention. And shut up. And witness. And try to learn, and unlearn.

2. Pay attention to whose voices I amplify.

I have a small reach, a small field of folks who read what I share, and I pay attention to what I put into that sphere and recommend. When I don’t pay attention, I tend to stay within my white privilege bubble and retweet, link to, and recommend other white folks. This is not because people of color are not saying things that are relevant to me (and to you all) or that they are not brilliant—because duh, they are. Rather, I think I do this because of my personal (and often invisible to me) bias of whiteness. It takes conscious work for me to not default to whiteness, but I want to change that. So I pay attention to who I share and follow and who I surround myself with.

3. Decline to participate in (unconsciously) all-white spaces and events and publications and projects.

To be fair, I’ve only declined a few times, and this is something I’m working on improving. I don’t always think to ask who else is in the book or on the panel before I say yes, especially if it’s something I know of and admire. But recently, a sex education book came out with twenty photos of the white faces of contributors on the back, and Aida Mandulay called it out and WOC Sexual Health Network followed up, it is incredible to me that nobody noticed that before publication, or that if they did, nobody worked to change it. However, I am sure I have been in anthologies that were all-white, but since most of my publications are erotica, photos of the authors are included very rarely. And the sexuality education field is incredibly dominated by white folks (because most fields are, because racism). Personally, I have noticed often recently that many of my small group collaborations are all-white, and I need to think about that more (and to keep noticing that most of my communities are white, and work on the underlying issues of why that is).

4. I pay attention to the language I use.

As a genderqueer non-binary person and a feminist queer, I know how much language matters. I pay deep attention when someone talks about racist language—mine or others—and I do my best to pay attention to the words I use, their origins, and their uses.

a) I love reclaimed language, but when there are words that have been used against a minoritized group, I recognize that I don’t have a claim to use them. I can reclaim words that have been used against me. As such, there are certain words I just don’t use, whose histories are too controversial, and whose communities I respect.

b) There are a lot of words that have snuck into our language which have oppressive and racially-based origins, and often I’ve just never thought about it or made the connection. Recently, with the protests in Oakland and Berkeley, my neighbors and I have watched a lot of the live feeds, and have seen the police show up with “paddy wagons,” and then we all had a brief chat about how that is a derogatory slur referring to Irish folks, and tried to figure out what else to call them instead. And when I hear folks use the word “gypped” to refer to being ripped off (which happens more often than I’d expect) I remind them that comes from the oppression of Roma people. Often, people reply with things like, “Oh yeah, right, I never really thought of that …”

c) Know the words I use and where they come from. The queer reading series I co-hosted and -produced with the late Cheryl B from 2010-2011 was called “Sideshow,” and once, a colleague pointed out that the “sideshow” has a pretty terrible history of showing off the “freaks,” and that they wouldn’t be participating. I liked the feel of it at the time, but I wouldn’t use that word again on a project. Especially because I recognize that as an able-bodied and generally mentally well person, it is not my word to reclaim (see 4A), it is my word to respect and stop using (see 4B). See also: Strange Fruit PR Firm [Changes Their Name] After Getting a History Lesson From Twitter.

d) Very deeply engrained in the english language is the dark/light dualistic binary and the use of the concepts of “shadow” and “dark” for bad, unknown, dangerous, and uncharted territory, and of “light” as all things good and holy. I would guess these concepts have more to do with the human psyche than race—however, when used in a racist culture, they reinforce racism subtly and intrinsically. I want to know more about this and do a bit more research on language and archetypes. Meanwhile, though, I am doing my best to avoid the dark/light dualism to stand in for bad/good, particularly when there are thousands of other more thoughtful and interesting metaphors to use.

Language is always changing, and I try to stay flexible in my relationships with words, even if I happen to love them (or have used or over-used them in the past, see 4D). Recently I’ve been discussing the usage of “minoritized” instead of “minority,” for example (still working on that distinction and curious about the reasonings). I’m curious how language changes and moves, how it both reflects and changes culture. This is some of my favorite language-nerdy stuff.

5. I call myself on my privileges.

When I talk about identities as concepts, and my own concepts, I don’t just give my marginalized positions (like queer, kinky, genderqueer, working class, survivor) but I also share the areas where I have privilege and am working to have more awareness (like white, able bodied, american, college educated).

6. When I’m up in front of a group or workshop, I listen when someone challenges my positions, and I call participants out.

I particularly listen when someone challenges me in areas where I am less expertise or have privilege and am less aware of how those oppressive dynamics work. I don’t always know I try to notice it when someone says something that expresses a bias or privilege, and to say something, to call them on it. That’s pretty hard for me and I’m not perfect at it, and I often freeze up or get caught in holding the space of the workshop, and I can’t think of what to say. So I’ve taken to at least saying exactly that: “I heard you just say ___ and I can’t really think of what to say, but I think you have some bias there.” Then I try to move on.

7. I call out (or call in) when I see something.

I do call out when someone I know and feel some closeness with has done something I think has some overlooked bias in it, but I mostly do that privately and offline. I don’t spend much time calling out in the general conversations online, or chiming in when someone else has been called out. I sometimes fear that I should and have some guilt that I should participate in that more, but I also know how I am deeply introverted and more witness is better than more conversations for my energetic ability. I witness other’s calling out constantly and I read read read and listen and try to learn what went wrong, what was going on, and to apply that to my own work. With some folks I’m close to, we have spent a lot of time digesting and thinking about the project and how to do better in the future. See also: Calling In: A Less Disposable Way of Holding Each Other Accountable.

8. When I fuck up, I apologize, listen, fix it (if I can), and do better next time.

There’s a fine balance: I am trying to recognize that we’re all human (including me) and I fuck up sometimes, but not to dwell in the fucking up so much that it makes me paralyzed to keep trying, and to still do the best I can to make up for, apologize for, and understand for my mistakes. I am a creator and I want to make art and writing that reflects culture and my inner world, and a huge piece of that is my desire to make it better through social activism. And because I am making things, not just witnessing and critiquing, I have messed up before and I will mess up again. I am doing my best to be okay with that inevitability, and to know that messing up is a necessary part of the process of trying and improving. I have strategies to both protect myself (and my highly sensitive person / high reactive / intuitive empathetic poet self) but also to listen, learn, back up, integrate changes, apologize, and move forward.

I’m sure there’s more I could do.

I am always pondering the ‘more’ of activism and the new, previously unknown parts of my own privilege to which I am still blind. But for now, this is what I’m doing, and I see a lot of room for growth in just what I’ve laid out here and what I’m already doing.

It’s been very interesting to reflect on what I am doing, actually. Reading the original thread on Mollena’s Facebook page gave me lots of ideas and more insight into how I engage the way I do, and what is good for my particular personality and skills. I’d love to hear what you all are doing, too, if you feel like sharing.

“I wish I could show you … the astonishing light of your own being.”

astonishing

I read so many things about queer folks and trans folks and genderqueer folks about dating and sex and how the person you love doesn’t love you anymore and how you really want the new binder or surgery or just ran out of your HRT dose or how your heart is breaking or how fucking good your sex was last night or how lucky you are to be in love or how hard long distance relationships are or how abusive M/s and D/s can be or how much you crave something other than what you have or how you’re being overlooked for some good thing yet again. Every day I read the internet, read read read the internet, my Tumblr feed full of college students and poets and dirty pictures, my Facebook feed full of my most favorite people in the world and at least 2,000 people I’ve only met once and had some sort of desire to connect with deeper, I read Twitter and all of your briefest of thoughts about what’s going on in the world.

(I don’t read RSS anymore. Do you? It seems the overabundance of social media has replaced following specific blogs and reading everything they write. I am much more inclined to see what link ten of my friends has shared and click through to read that article, regardless of the source. We are in the internet age of the group blog, where things go viral, where good writing has so little place on blogging platforms but rather blogs are built with bullet-pointed bolded subheading lists, bite-sized revelations we can easily quote. Little nuggets of truth and wisdom. I don’t know what to do with my “real” writing in the online blog world that only values (virals) those. And see, I do it too, only listing my bite-sized social media readings, not any significant articles. So interesting, how morning habits evolve.)

I think about you, my people, my tribe, my lineage, my students, my friends, my lovers, all the time. I read through what you’re saying and I want to sit down with you, I want to say: Hello, how are you. What’s going on for you today? How is your heart? Are you going to make it to the next holiday, your next birthday, with more dove-grace and courage than the last one? Are you building anew the ways to remake yourself? Are you gathering tools so this world doesn’t crush you?

I guess I am. Sometimes I think that’s all I ever do. And while it’s you I am reading, your words and thoughts and heartaches between the lines, your hard-ons and dripping soaking through pleasures, your mouths open yawning gaping hungry, your words screaming hoping for someone to listen, really it is that inner kid of mine that I am looking for, listening for, my fourteen year old self who was shattered by the process of coming into an adulthood with no models, no context, for what I was becoming.

So I read all of you, but really I am listening for the ghost of her, and I see her everywhere.

All that is to say that when I read your words, this Hafiz quote always comes to my mind: “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.”

I wish there was some way I could show you the astonishing light of your own being. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish I could show myself that, too, on my bad days, on the days when I am betrayed or betrayer and struggle to live with what I know I’ve done. It’s all projection, you’re all mirrors for what I am trying to tell myself, I know that. And I know the struggles. I know it’s not that easy. I feel it too. I straddle the worlds and some mornings cannot get out of bed for the softness of the sheets and the purring cat and the empty space next to me. I am no stranger to having one’s chemistry betray one’s ambition, I know how it feels for one’s body to be the thing standing in the way of everything else.

But still: there is light. I know there is. (There has to be.)

And when I can see it … oh, it is, it truly is nothing but astonishing.

The Girl in the Red Dress (Excerpt from Sex Still Spoken Here)

This story is included in the forthcoming collection Sex Still Spoken Here, the Erotic Reading Circle anthology.

At first I’m trying to ignore her. I have my latest review book, Best Lesbian Bondage Erotica; I have my iPod on to some soothing lofi mix Muse made for me; I have lube in my pocket for a quick jerk-off session before we arrive in New York. I need all the sanctuary and release I can get before returning to that hyper-stimulating city.

But she’s making a big show of her many bags, heavy, designer luggage, and she – being tiny petite thing – seems unable to slip them all into the overhead luggage rack.

The only other person in this car is a man in the back who has been snoring since I got on. I think about telling her to just leave her suitcases on the seat next to her, but her jaw is set, her sensuous mouth twisted in a sneer, and as she begins to climb onto the train seat to reach the rack better, I sigh and, reluctantly, get up to help her.

“Please. Let me,” I say, sliding behind her and putting my hand on her waist to guide her out of the way, then taking the heavy suitcase out of her struggling grip and nudge it onto the metal rack easily. She’s got a great ass in those tight jeans. Her eyes are wide, then she drags her gaze along my arm to my face. I watch her watch me. She looks like Penelope Cruz, all dark hair and big pools of dark liquid eyes.

“Um,” she says. “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it,” I answer, a bit dismissively, now offering my hand so she can get down. The train doors buzz and are about to close, we’ll be in motion shortly. I pick up her other bags and one by one put them up into the rack above her seat. She takes off her thin white sweater and sets it with her handbag next to her, and watches me.

I groan a little with the weight of the last one. She notices. “Thanks again,” she says, and I detect a slight accent, French maybe, though she looks Spanish. Her words are a little airy, already pulling Vogue Milan out of her purse and turning her attention to it, a tiny sideways glance at me to see if I’m still standing next to her, waiting for my good-dog biscuit.

I retreat back to my aisle seat. We are facing each other, opposite sides of the train. She is absorbed in her magazine. I put my feet up and crack open my book, start reading through the bondage stories. She takes out a compact and lipstick and fusses with her mouth, repainting, touching her fingertips to the edges of her lips, then wipes microscopic flecks with a tissue. I don’t watch her, but she periodically sweeps her eyes over to me. I rest my hand on my neat little package as I read through the story by Toni Amato, “A Girl Like That:”

She’s the kind of girl who brings out the worst in me. Coming on all hip and cool and all into sex, rubbing some part of herself all up against me every chance she gets. I’m not saying all the things my people taught me about women are so great, but I’ll tell you what, where I come from, that kind of girl is called a cock teaser.

It’s like there’s this small thing, like those stars they talk about, those White Dwarves, sitting deep and low in my belly, and this girl comes along, doing her number, and that son of a bitch just goes nova.

She makes the worst part of me want to do the best it knows how to teach her a thing or two about fucking.

I’m stroking my cock unconsciously through my jeans when I notice someone looming next to me, and it’s her, she’s returning from the bathroom with a clutch in her hand, I didn’t even notice her get up. The girl smiles, almost, and pushes past as though I am taking up the entire aisle, or maybe to show off her gorgeous ass in those tight, tight jeans.

The train lurches and opens its sleepy doors, the man in the back of our train car is moving at half-speed and makes his way off the train.

We’re alone.

She notices too. She’s looking out the window but keeps stealing glances at me. The conductor comes through and says nothing to either of us, just takes the small pieces of paper on our seats, the remnants of our tickets.

I go back to my book. I finger the bottle of lube in my pocket and think this would be a good time to go rub one out, then get absorbed in a story about a dyke cop who is passing as male in a straight club, picks up a girl and takes her, handcuffed, out to her truck. I nearly reach my hand into my pants.

“Um, excuse me?”

She’s standing, still in her seat but leaning forward over the seat in front of her, facing me, ass tipped to the side, front of her button down revealing creamy skin, long dark hair swinging. She smiles when I look up, flashes me an intentional smirky pose that she has practiced in the mirror – her seduction look. “Would you help, I have to … I need … something from that bag.” She glances up at it.

I put my book down and tug at my jeans to cover my hard-on. Clear my throat. “Sure.”

I get up and move toward her. She kneels and reaches for it, her back to the aisle as I come up behind her and reach up.

“This one?” My mouth is close to her ear.

“No, not – yes, that one,” she says as I touch the smaller suitcase. She reaches up to help me, bending slightly forward, as we both ease the weight of her bag down onto the seat. And I swear she rubs right against me, pushing back, just a little. Maybe I’m imagining it. Yeah, sure Sinclair; you just happen to have a boner and this girl offers up her ass on a silver platter.

I back off. Return to my seat. Again.

“Um, thanks!” she calls.

I toss a half-smile over my shoulder. “Don’t mention it.” She pulls a bundle of fabric out of her bag and I don’t watch. I don’t pay attention. I can’t see it. I shouldn’t be watching, but I am. It is slinky and red. She finds a few other bits and tucks her hair behind her ear, gathers an armful of clothing, makes her way toward me, down the aisle, to the bathroom at the back of the car.

She’s in there a while. I try to concentrate on my book, to not wonder what she is doing, what she’s slipping into, who she’s meeting when she gets off the train, not to imagine being that somebody so filled with lust and permission that I’d fuck her right on the platform, couldn’t even control myself long enough to wait until we went to dinner, drinks, a show, whatever it is she’s dressing up for. My breath is quickening and my hands are starting to do that aching thing where they are pulsing with grip, wanting to hold push grab press punch slap.

She makes her way back to her seat like the aisle is a runway, like she’s coming in for a landing. Each step deliberately placed. Legs precisely angled and separated and her gait is sharp, strong. Her red dress swings from her hips, past her thighs, to her knees. A few bracelets jangle from one arm, simple and slim. She’s pulled her hair up high on her head, into some sort of ponytail, then twisted around itself in a beautiful knot.

I watch her as she closes the distance to her own seat. I don’t drool. I am not drooling. I try not to drool at the sight of her ankles, her calves, the hints of the backs of her knees as her dress swings. I wipe my mouth. Her ankles cross just slightly, which makes her hips curl and switch like a figure eight. Like a come-hither finger.

I swallow. Breathe in. And quickly open my book, flustered, and turn it to the page I was reading as she slides onto the train seat and I snap out of my spell.

Of course – of course – I am too zealous and the book slides out of my hand, skittering out into the aisle. I take a sharp breath in and some spit goes down the wrong way, I start to choke, cough, loudly, as I jump up to retrieve the book.

Oh good lord. I get ahold of myself. Straighten up, book in hand. Clear my throat. I don’t look at her. I can’t see her. I am sure I am five shades of crimson and I steal a glance her direction, she’s covering her mouth, that perfect smirky smile, eyes dancing, looking away from me. Obviously she saw everything.

Fuck.

I resettle. Book in lap, adequate breath in lungs. I sneer to myself. Re-open the erotica. Do you have to be so obvious? I yell at myself in my head. You dumbass. Real smooth, Sexsmith.

She’s going through her open case next to her, I can see her arms moving but can’t see what she’s doing. Then suddenly she’s up, out of the seat and back in the aisle, pads down toward me as if she forgot something.

I catch a whiff of her perfume as she walks by. Dizzying, intoxicating. The swish of her skirt. I watch her little toe-heel trot down the aisle. My body acts without my mind and I reach for her. My hand on her hip. Lightly at first, but then she doesn’t pull away and I grab her harder. Both hands and I stand, pull her toward me, her back to me, and she is still. I can’t see her face but I can feel her breath through my hands, she’s holding it. Surprised. Waiting.

I lift her skirt in the back to reveal her perfect ass. A work of art. A combination of genetics and squats and hundreds of hours at the gym. She knows it. She’s bare under her red dress, no panties, no stockings. Perhaps that’s what she forgot. I can’t resist, I palm the apple of her ass, caress the flesh, spreading her cheeks and opening her slit.

She lets out her breath, finally, and it comes with a breathy moan, just a little.

And I’m gone. The slightest noise from her lips and all I can feel is what it’ll be like to be inside her, to feel her body curl around my arm and buck and thrash and grasp as she comes. I’ve got to feel it. Got to make her.

I press against her back. Her neck is bare, hair up, and my mouth is just at the corner of her jaw, below her ear. I reach around her and pin her arms to her sides, pressing her back to lean against me, and she arches, thrusts her hips up, feels the cock behind my fly. She lets her head lean back against me, lets me take her weight.

“Bend over.” Right next to her ear. Barely audible …

***


This is the beginning of my story, “The Girl in the Red Dress,” that is in Sex Still Spoken Here, the Erotic Reading Circle anthology.

Co-edited by Jen Cross, Carol Queen, and Amy Butcher, this erotica anthology is one of a kind as it is not only a collection of erotica stories, but also a how-to guide, detailing how to begin and run your own erotic reading circle, with stories learned from San Francisco’s own erotic reading circle which meets monthly at the Center for Sex and Culture since 2006.

I’m thrilled to have a piece included! And very excited for the anthology. To get your copy and support the book and the 27 authors who have contributed pieces, donate to the Sex Still Spoken Here Indiegogo campaign.

But wait—that’s not all!

Ever wish I would write you a custom story, maybe about you and your partner, or about someone you fantasize about, or about a particular act?

SSSH is running a referral contest right now, and one of the prizes is a custom story from me. (Jen Cross is also writing a custom story!)

(Sidenote: I am currently the top referral, and while it’s fun to write my own stories, it’d be more fun to write yours. I don’t offer custom smut very often—I hope it goes to someone who wants it!)

Click over to Indiegogo to preorder your copy and support this amazing project!

“Under the Desk” Featured in eLust #50

Welcome to e[lust] – The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #51? Start with the newly updated rules, come back October 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

This Month’s Top Three Posts

Featured Post (Molly’s Picks)

Readers Choice from Sexbytes

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Want to attend the BUTCH Voices 2013 Conference for free?

BUTCH Voices 2013 national conference postcards are here! Rife designed them, and I love how they turned out.

Now, we just have to get ’em out into the world. And that’s where YOU come in. We are forming Street Teams in the Bay Area in California as well as in all the cities where we held Community Conversations in 2012-2013: Dallas, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Toronto.

If you are in one of those cities and want to help out, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Big thank you from BUTCH Voices!
  • Volunteer hour credit: 4 hours of volunteering = ticket to one day’s worth of the BV 2013 conference.
  • The fuzzy-inside feeling you get when you’re helping to build community. Aww.

Contact the Volunteer Coordinators to volunteer, at [email protected].

streetteam

Press release follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

Contact: Sinclair Sexsmith
Media representative, BUTCH Voices
+1 (917) 475-6316
[email protected]

Opportunities available with BUTCH Voices: 2013 Street Teams!

June 24, 2013

Oakland, CA: BUTCH Voices, the organization which will host its third national conference August 15-18, 2013, in Oakland, California, has opportunities for volunteers to distribute flyers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in July.

“Volunteers for BUTCH Voices can volunteer in exchange for comped days at the conference,” said Meg McEachin, BV board member, “but Street Team members can rack up volunteer time before the conference even starts. For four hours of volunteer time, we’ll give you a one-day ticket to the conference; for eight hours, two days.”

“It’s a great way to give support and a helping hand to the organization,” Meg added, “and for folks to get financial assistance to attend the conference.”

BUTCH Voices Street Teams are being formed in Dallas, Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Oakland. “We’ll have Street Teams in all cities where 2012-2013 BUTCH Voices Community Conversations took place,” said Meg.

People interested in participating in Street Teams should contact the Volunteer Coordinators at [email protected]. Postcard-sized flyers will be provided to you by mail and you must have them distributed by the beginning of August.

BUTCH Voices expects more than 300 attendees for the conference. More information can be found at www.butchvoices.com. Further inquiries can be sent to Sinclair Sexsmith, Media Board Chair, at [email protected]

###

More dirty things than you can read in one sitting

Alright, so they’re not all dirty. But many of them are very dirty. Definitely R rated, sometimes NC-17.

Remember back a few years ago when I used to have a reading list of links in the sidebar? It was powered by Google Reader, and it was awesome. Instead of keeping a links/suggested websites in the sidebar, I’d just subscribe to all of my favorite blogs in my reader, and then “share” the posts that were excellent and touching and interesting, and the shared items would appear as a list in the sidebar, complete with my notes about them.

It was great! I don’t know if you ever clicked through them, but there were dozens (hundreds?) of amazing articles shared through that.

(You can still see them on the somewhat-hidden community page, which I don’t really update anymore, or you can check out the whole google reader shared items archive of mine here.)

Unfortunately … trouble came into paradise. Google Reader integrated with Google Plus and they stopped offering the “share” feature. Curses! Looks like it happened sometime in October 2011, since that’s when my shared items stop.

I have used Google Reader less and less since then. Fuck, it’s been a year and a half! I have often thought that I should put a list of links in the sidebar, that I should promote other bloggers, because I like community and I think sharing the love and pointing you to other thinkers and writers and artists is important, but I haven’t had the time. This past year and a half have been insane, you might’ve noticed. (Was it insane for you too? Seems like it was insane for everyone.) I looked, but I didn’t have any luck finding a decent RSS reader to dump all my hundreds of subscriptions in and share.

And then … they announced in March that they’re discontinuing Google Reader entirely. What! The fuck. Argh. This does not go with my plan at all. I thought they’d figure out that Google Plus is not the new Facebook and put my beloved “share” feature back.

But with the demise of Google Reader entirely, new readers have popped up! The one I’ve settled on is The Old Reader, built after Google Reader at its prime, but a little bit better. Sweet! (The only feature I’m really missing is the “email this” article link, which I used to use a LOT. Oh, and an iPhone app. Please and thank you!)

So here it is folks: My shared items are now BACK in the sidebar, thanks to The Old Reader. If you use TOR, you can subscribe to my shared items there, or use the RSS feed of my shared items for your rss reader of choice.

This geeky internet reader post has been brought to you by the letter <.

PS … instead of maintaining two separate RSS accounts, as I did before with my two separate Google/gmail accounts, one for my personal use and one for public/Sinclair use, I dumped ALL of my RSS feeds into TOR and they’re all there at once. So you’ll get shares for sandwich recipes, writing prompts, and dirty dirty smut all in the same place. Integration! Yay!

“Let Them:” A Request To Help Keep Me Writing

TL;DR version: This is a request for financial help. Donate some cash to me, if you can, to keep enabling me to pay my bills and keep writing. Thank you.

The long version …

So, Give Out Day came and went yesterday, a drive “supporting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) community through a new national giving campaign. … Give OUT Day will mobilize thousands of donors across the U.S. to contribute to 400 participating LGBTQ causes.” More than $500,000 was raised. I wanted to write a post about how I’m not a 501c3, but I need your donations, too, but I couldn’t figure out what to say.

Yesterday, I watched Amanda Palmer’s TED talk, The Art of Asking, again, which is up there with her piece Why I Am Not Afraid to Take Your Money, things I go read when I need inspiration. The artists going directly to the fans for financial support seems to be more and more of a common model. And yet … and yet. I don’t bite my fingernails anymore, but I start biting the inside of my lips when I think about money.

In March, I put a really weak little hidden sentence in the middle of a paragraph, “If you feel inspired to donate to me as I restart and recalibrate and transition into a new incarnation of myself, and figure out what the hell I’m going to do with Sugarbutch and my heart, that would be incredibly helpful.” Two people emailed me after that, saying that the donate link in my sidebar was broken and they wanted to help and how could they best do that?

I blinked. Really?

It was a weak request, buried and almost a sidenote, something shadowy I didn’t want to cop to. But I actually do need it. So I fixed the donate button in the sidebar. And I added a donate page in the top bar which includes a link to my Amazon wishlist, if you want to buy me practical gifts or books or other kinds of presents instead of sending money.

One of the biggest goals I have for my work, as I’m continuing to claw my way out of this fog, this year of grief, is to make it financially sustainable. When I started this site, I had a corporate office 9-to-5 job which made it possible for me to concentrate on writing all the time. When I was part of the jobs cut in their downsizing, I had unemployment compensation right after I left my corporate office job, but that ended last year. I used to have a tiny but regular income from affiliates, but as I am doing less and less product reviews, and as many sex toy stores have closed their affiliate programs, I have much less of that. I also used to have a long term partner with a day job, until she lost it last summer and, later, we split up.

All these things, all that financial support, enabled me to do this work.

Have you noticed that I have spent a whole lot more time on Sugarbutch in the last few years a) promoting workshops and events that I’m doing and b) promoting products? That’s because the workshops have been my #1 income, and the products often give me that affiliate kickback of $100-200 a month, which made a big difference. Workshops have been my most reliable income in order to keep paying rent and keep eating—and keep doing this work. I spend so many hours a day pitching and replying that sometimes I just can’t stare at a screen anymore, and that means I don’t write those exciting productive things.

This past year, I’ve been focusing hard on how to let this work make me money.

Not because my only priority is making more money, but because I need some money to survive. To eat, to pay rent, to attend the events that I write about, to travel, to buy a new suitcase. (Did you know that the wheels on my carry-on suitcase, the one I purchased in 2002 to study abroad when I was in college, are almost completely broken? I basically drag the suitcase along the ground now. It makes a terribly loud noise. It also makes me feel like everyone knows that I am that dirty, broke-ass kid, just like I’ve always been, and I can’t afford new things. The business people in the airport look when they hear my suitcase chunk-chunk-chunking down the moving walkways and look at my suitcase and give me that pathetic smile, eyebrows kind of raised, skeptical. I shrug, feel sheepish. I don’t need a new suitcase, because this one technically still closes and holds my clothes. But it’s on its last legs. I should add that to my Amazon wishlist.)

Part of my aim in leaving New York and moving to the west coast is to cut my expenses down significantly. I know the Bay Area isn’t exactly cheaper than New York City, but that is part of why I’m sublet-hopping and spending two months in Alaska with family this summer—to cut down on my expenses, to hopefully build up my bank account for a little while, have some cushion when I start having more regular bills again. I’m not sure I want to live in the city proper—I’m not sure I can afford to live in the city and still do this work.

I don’t quite know how to get from here to there, but I’m starting to formulate a plan. This homeless summer on the west coast where all of my stuff is in storage is part of that plan.

Since last weekend, I’ve noticed my traffic on this site has been up, both because I have written more here in the past week than I have in probably two months together, and because Rife spent many hours debugging and finding all the malware in the backend of this site. (So useful, that one.) I spent some time looking at my traffic statistics this past week, and I noticed that my traffic dropped by almost half between February 2012 and March 2012, and it’s been down in that almost-half range ever since.

My dad died in March 2012. Maybe you remember that—I put up a request for donations then, too, and received enough that I could buy a last minute plane ticket home to Alaska and be with my family the week he died. (Thank you. Thank you.) I think that’s about when the spyware/malware issues first showed up, too, when readers started telling me my site wasn’t loading, and I didn’t have the emotional capacity to fix it. I limped along, this site limped along, my relationships limped along. And some other things happened then, too. I continued the year long Tantra training, and I went on tour for Say Please. My relationship with Kristen started falling apart, though I didn’t know it at the time. Everything changed that month last year. And the site statistics reflects that.

I want to build it back up. Keep including my personal struggles here, and write more poetry, write bolder, tell more rather than less, answer your questions, finish more videos, more advice, more theories. In order to do that, I have to be able to pay my bills. I don’t want to spend all my time hustling for college workshops—I want to spend time musing about power theories and what it’s like to grieve and what it’s like to be a Daddy when my dad died and how to make deeper bruises and how to fall in love and how to heal and of course dirty, dirty smut.

So I’ve been looking around, spending more time on this site, writing things, fixing up the sidebar, researching advertising. I received an email just this morning from a potential advertiser telling me that my site had too much “adult content,” even though they are an advertiser that is friendly to sex related stuff. Specifically, they had problems with the recent tags like “daddy/boy” and “my boy’s cunt” and “resistance play”, which, they said, “pushes the lines of what BDSM content we could accept.”

Hm, I thought. I could tone it down. I could take those tags off. I could stop writing dirty Daddy stories about force. Is that what I have to do in order to make money? Am I willing to compromise my art in order to have sponsors? No, probably not. But if I can’t have paid ads on this site, how can I afford it?

You could ask for help, my mind prodded. You could let people help.

I feel guilty asking for money. I feel failed. Amanda talked about how, as a street performer, people would drive by and yell, “Get a fucking job!” That’s what it looks like, right? That I don’t have a job, that I just play on the internet and live my life and do fun things like have a lot of sex and wear ties? But what’s underneath that is that I am an entrepreneur, even a business owner (I don’t want to be that, I didn’t aim to be that. I just want to be a writer. But if I want to keep it up like this, that’s what I now am). What’s underneath is that I am a figure, a mini-celebrity (very well known in tiny, tiny circles).

What’s under all of that is that I work so hard on the exchange between us—that moment where something I do connects with you.

Amanda talks about that moment as part of the exchange for the immense amount of help she’s had all along the way. Fans leap forward everywhere to offer home-cooked food and places to crash and entertainment for her fans. “Is it fair?” she asked in her TED talk. Is it fair to receive that back from her fans?

It’s an energy exchange. Is this energy exchange fair?

This site is free, always has been. You can read all of it—seven years of thoughts, musings, theories, my personal sex life, my best writings, poetry, breakdowns, ecstatic moments, feelings, recommendations for music, sex toys, books. And, yeah, smut. Lots and lots and lots of dirty stories to turn you on. I donate my time (and, when I can, my money) to my community, to people directly and to events and to products I support. I give away my time and my writing and my teaching. I give away hundreds of days of work on this site.

I don’t know how to ask for money. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had much of it. I’ve never lived anything but paycheck to paycheck, and now in my creative class/working artist life, I barely even have that, because the paychecks are so irregular.

I’m still trying to figure out how to make this work successful, how I can have enough space to write deeply. Do you want me to keep doing that? Is it worth it to you, to keep reading those things here?

“Don’t make people pay for music,” says Amanda Palmer. “Let them.”

So I’m letting you. I’m letting you help me, by letting you know that I need help—financial help. I don’t need a lot to cover my expenses, but right now, I’m barely making that from this work. I have to keep seeking other supplemental income, and I am and will. Anything you give me will enable to me keep writing.

I am so very grateful to have people I can ask, to have the privilege of even asking. Thank you. For reading, for sticking with me while I’m struggling to make this into something I can keep doing.

Oh, one last thing: everyone who donates $25 or more will receive a special sponsor smut story unpublished anywhere else. (It’s a good one, too.)

International Ms. Leather 2013 Begins Tonight! Say Please, Pack n Play Cocks, Happy Hour, More

IMsL, the International Ms. Leather contest and one of the biggest gatherings of leather dykes and queers I’ve ever been to, starts tonight! I’m really looking forward to this weekend, to being a part of the contest behind the scenes (I’ll be judging!), and to catching up with so, so many friends from all over the country who will be in attendance.

winners2012

And! I want to send out a serious congratulations to the 2012 IMsL family, IMsL 2012 Synn Evans, IMsBB 2012 Tarna Scyanne, and 1st runner up Angel Propps. I’ve been following some of the adventures and tours and travels of these folks this past year, and they’ve done fantastic things being representatives of the leather community, doing outreach, gathering support for causes, raising money, and generally raising hell. I’m proud of Synn and her efforts to reflect multi-dimensional, complicated identities and issues within these communities. Thanks, Synn, for your year of service and all you’ve done.

synn

So badass, right? I’m excited for Synn’s roast on Friday night especially. I’m gearing up to say … some stuff.

There’s a queer happy hour from 7-9 at the host hotel (the Holiday Inn on Van Ness), and then there’s a drag show that both Rife and Lillith Grey are performing in (and others, I’m sure, but I’m pretty thrilled to watch the two of them).

You don’t need to have a ticket to the whole IMsL weekend in order to come for the happy hour—so if you’re in San Francisco and want to have a drink with sexy folks tonight, come on by!

I’m teaching a class on Flirting, Foreplay, and Fucking on Saturday at 2:30pm, so if you’re attending IMsL, come by and see me at that class.

And …

Say Pleaseshilogroup

I made a special stop at Cleis Press to pick up some more copies of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica (that I usually call “queer kinky smut”), the anthology that I edited that came out last year. I’m still incredibly proud of this collection and if you don’t have a copy of it yet, pick one up from me at IMsL and I’ll be glad to sign it for you! It’s got a pretty incredible lineup of stories and it’s dirty as hell.

I’ve also got the beautiful and “game changing” pack and play silicone cocks by New York Toy Collective, Shilo. I’ve got a couple different colors. They’re $135 each, which I know is a lot and can be preventative, but they are absolutely worth it. My Shilo has replaced two or three other cocks I used to carry around for different reasons (one for blow jobs; one for fucking someone who might not want to use my other favorite, the Maverick, because that one is sometimes too big; one for packing) and I love that it’s become my go-to cock. Maybe even my desert island cock, meaning the one I would bring to a desert island if I could only bring one. Depends on who I was on the island with, probably!

Here’s some other great things about Shilo:

  • The way the spine can curve means that it conforms to a person’s body better, and that means it doesn’t slip out as easily
  • It’s excellent for prostate or g-spot stimulation, since it can curve to any direction
  • The internal spine is a “proprietary core,” which the NYTC tells me means they “can’t tell you what’s in it,” but it does contain metal (which means it might show up as a blip on an airport security scan). The core is also wrapped in layers of silicone, and they haven’t had any instances of the inner bendable core poking through the silicone. It could hypothetically happen, but the layers are very thick and seems very sturdy
  • Of course, it is really good for packing and then fucking!

I’ll have my Square on me, so you can actually buy one with a credit card if you’d like to, or you can make sure to bring cash. Which color do you want? Let me know and I’ll save one for you!

See you at IMsL!

Photos from the Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Dallas

I’ve gone all over the country in the past year to promote the anthology I edited, Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica. In November, Kristen and I were in Dallas for Thanksgiving and Lillith Grey helped me to produce an incredible lineup at Ver Les.

Amy Price took photographs, and they are pretty amazing. It was quite a rockstar lineup and it was in fact so successful that Lillith has decided to create an ongoing erotica series! Check out Panty Raid on Facebook for more details.

The Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Dallas Edition featured live music by Ashely Boucher, and erotica readings by Lillith Grey, Kasson Marroquin, Cheyenne Cartwright, Artemis Rose, Morgan la Fae, and CD Kirven.

Thanks so much to everyone who was there last night, to Lillith and all the readers, for making it an excellent celebration. I still aim to do a couple more Say Please readings in 2013, and I hope to have a new book project with Cleis press soon, so certainly you can expect more of me in your city in the future.

My Dirty Sexy Queer Writer Recommendations

I was interviewed for Time Out NY recently (along with Rachel Kramer Bussel and Rachel Rabbit White and some other folks) about my favorite sex bloggers, and the article came out today.

I’ve meant for a while to compile a list of links to have somewhere here on Sugarbutch. Nominations for the top sex bloggers of 2012 were open recently (and closed now) and I meant to put forward a list of my personal favorites, but didn’t get around to it. (Check out the comments for hundreds of sex blogs to search and surf, if you’re into that.) You can also surf through the Top 100 Sex Bloggers of 2011, but there are very few queer bloggers on there, if that’s what you’re looking for. (Where are they?) (I’ve been retired from that list because I was in the top three years in a row, which is kind of too bad, but Sugarbutch is also totally not competitive in that world anymore. Which is a slightly different post.)

I used to have a community page, but I haven’t updated that in (probably literally) years.

I also used to keep my Google reader shared items in the sidebar, which was awesome and I loved that it was a frequent solution to links, because I’d just share the articles or stories or blog posts that were awesome, and other people who used Google reader as their primary RSS feed reader could see what I recommended in their feeds too. Google reader has since been basically rendered useless as they tried to integrate their shared items into Google+, which nobody uses and can’t seem to be embedded into a sidebar. I’ve looked into Feedly and a few other online feed readers, but nothing has that particular feature that I’d love to see revived.

Any suggestions for a tool where I can a) read my RSS feeds, b) share items, and c) embed the shared items into the sidebar of this site??

There is also Tumblr, of course. I kind of wish I could just share my whole dashboard as recommendations of who to follow, but I guess that’s what the reblogging is for. My tumblr is mrsexsmith.tumblr.com and I try to keep up with that.

Meanwhile, here’s the Time Out NY article, and the links below that I sent them (many of which they didn’t include). These are sex blogs specifically—there are many other blogs I read often and eagerly, though I no longer have the daily habit of checking my reader first thing and reading The Entire Internet every day.

Erotic writings:
http://quickienewyork.com
http://www.writingdirty.com
http://bdswain.com/

Things I keep in my underwear drawer:
http://bedtimestories-daddy.blogspot.com/

Not frequently updated anymore, but influential on me:
http://www.247richardandamy.com/
http://devastatingyet.wordpress.com/
http://afeministsub.wordpress.com/
http://littlegirlyone.wordpress.com/

Writings about sex (more on the theory side):
http://www.charlieglickman.com/
http://clarissethorn.com/blog/
http://www.mollena.com/
http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/

Podcasts:
http://www.masocast.com
http://thestranger.com/savage

Community sites:
http://www.fearlesspress.com
http://filthygorgeousthings.com
http://www.scarleteen.com

Sometimes I feel very removed from the next new thing—I spent so much time marketing and promoting and doing workshops these days, and less and less time on the net. It does seem like there is a big lack of queer erotica writers sharing their work online. Who are your favorite writers or blogs? Are there queer sex blogs that I should be reading, but maybe don’t know about? Who are your favorite butch/femme bloggers? Who do you read every day? I’d love to know.

You’re Invited to (Kinky) Summer Camp 2012

So you’ve heard about Summer Camp, or at least, about how I met the boy there. And you heard about what happened at Fusion this year, which will give you a little more context (and a photo!) for the beautiful camp where the Dark Odyssey summer events are held.

Have you thought about attending?

In a purely selfish move (because I am completely invested in having very, very sexy hot queer, butch, femme, genderqueer, trans, and gender-aware folks in attendance) I want to extend you an invitation to come this year.

(And yes, that is the kind of come I mean, pervert.)

They’re starting to call it “Dark Odyssey’s intimate family reunion,” and aside from that, it’s the most queer of the four events that DO runs. Or at least, it seems the most queer to me—it’s the smallest, so the ratio of number of queers to general perverts is bigger.

I have been kinky for a long time, since before I was really out and queer even, but my experiences with the leather and kink communities when I was young led me to believe that that world wasn’t really for me. Seems a lot has changed in the last ten (gulp—fifteen) years, though, and I’m really glad I took the chance and went to Summer Camp last year. It’s introduced me to the leather world in a way that I didn’t even know I was missing, but of course that’s part of me and what I do. Being immersed in it for a whole weekend has changed how I interact with kink and leather worlds, and I’ve attended a lot more events, meetings, workshops, and conferences in the past year than I have before.

But, want to know a secret? Summer Camp is still my favorite.

Not only because of that cute boy and that we met there (and will be celebrating one year together there this year), but also because it’s queer, casual, so gender-accepting, full of sexy people, full of amazing workshops (that I swear I will attend more of this time), full of tons of equipment to play on … and OUTSIDE! I love listening to the trees and watching folks wander around outside topless (or completely nude), love the fire pits in the evening.

Details from Dark Odyssey:

    Beat the heat and the rate increase and bring your summer to a climax with Dark Odyssey: Summer Camp 2012! Our Early Registration rates are still available if you register this weekend!

    Summer Camp is Dark Odyssey’s intimate family reunion. A place where, surrounded by other experienced players, you can go deeper and more intense than anywhere else. All happening in an immersive play-centered atmosphere that blends our darkest desires with the fun and whimsy you’d expect from someplace called “Summer Camp.”

    We’ve got a fabulous line up of events, presenters and workshops that you won’t want to miss:

    Events Include: The Full Monte Carlo Kinky Casino & Auction ~ Cruising in the Dark ~ Whose Kink Is It Anyway – a lifestyle improv show ~ The Asylum of Love & Lust ~ Kinky Crafting Fair ~ Explore & Taste ~ Jim Deuder’s Bootblack Hour ~ Switch It Up! ~ Erotic Massage Party ~ Sex-O-Rama Night ~ Bare Stories ~ Breakup Bonfire ~ Guided Anal Self Exploration

    Presenters: Capt. Gordon ~ Del ~ Finn ~ Fire Tashlin ~ Jefferson ~ Jim Deuder ~ Lee Harrington ~ Lolita Wolf ~ Murphy Blue ~ Slutress ~ Sinclair Sexsmith ~ Sir C ~ Strap-On-Jo ~ Vesper ~ Wintersong

    Selected Workshops: Water Wrasslin’ ~ Needleplay as S/M ~ Sewing It Shut ~ Art of the Not-So-Deep Throat ~ Chewtoy – Erotic Biting ~ Going Deep ~ Shapeshifter: A Journey in Astral Gender and Desire ~ Sensory Deprivation & Control ~ Hojojutsu and Take Down for the BDSM Practitioner ~ Fucking Forever: Sex in Long Term Relationships ~ Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Sex Ed ~ Plays Well With Others ~ Rough Housing & Kinky Wrestling ~ Improv in the Dungeon: From Roleplay to Dirty Talk ~ Event Survival ~ Hands-On Caning ~ GenderQueer Bondage ~ Hot Stuff: Fire Play ~ Predicament Scenes ~ Cock Confidence: Strap-On 101 ~ First Impressions: How Not to be a Douchebag ~ David vs Goliath: Rough Body Play for Tops and Bottoms of Different Sizes ~ Talk Dirtier ~ Speed Bondage ~ And Plenty More …

Did you spy my workshops up there in that list? I’ll be teaching:

Fucking 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.

Cock Confidence: Strap-On 101

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, we’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.

Talk Dirtier: How to Let Your Tongue Go

Talking dirty in the bedroom can be terrifying at first, but once you unlock your tongue, you’ll find yourself saying all sorts of delicious things! Come to this workshop and we’ll figure out what’s tying our tongues in the first place, what’s holding us back from being more free with our language in the bedroom, and what the heck we should say to enhance our sex and intensity our sensation. The brain is the biggest sex organ, after all, and the more we can turn on our minds, the better our experiences will be.

Flirting, Foreplay, & Fucking

We all want to get laid. But making it happen in real life can be a lot harder than we want it to be. Do you wish more people would hit on you? How do you make yourself more available? We can all use some practice asking for what we want, but how do you escalate from flirting to foreplay and foreplay to fucking? Learn to perfect the art of the tease, draw out your potential lover’s interest, and make sex even hotter in the process.

  

What do you think? Want to come? Early registration rates end on Monday. darkodyssey.com/summercamp

eLust #38 Features “The Three Minute Game” in the Top 3

Thanks, e[lust], for featuring my recent story about the Tantra “three minute game.” I like thinking about it spreading throughout the sex blog readers and queers and kinksters, and how we can all get a little more of what we want.

Welcome to e[lust] – The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust].  Want to be included in e[lust] #39? Start with the newly updated rules, come back August 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ Top 3 ~

Wrong On Every Level – “If you wouldn’t ask them to borrow $20 bucks, how the fuck is it ok for you to ask them to fuck you? Oh right, it’s not.”

Good Girl – “She nearly melted into me. When I finally released her, she exhaled–she had been holding her breath.”

The Three Minute Game – “The timer went off and I breathed out, both a sigh of relief and disappointment that it was over.”

~ Featured Post (Picked by Lilly) ~

Bitch– “I don’t let her run the show…but she’s always around. She’s in the background saying: Bullshit”

e[lust] Editress: Dangerous Lilly

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Kristen & Sinclair Answer Your Questions, Episode 3: “How Can I Be More Open About Kink?”

Kristen & I answered Laura’s question on video this morning from Seattle … hopefully our colds don’t make us sound too weird.

Laura asks: “I am a kinky queer femme bottom/sub and have read your blog for a long time. The thing that strikes me most is how open you, and also Kristen, are about your explorations and your celebration of your gender and sexuality. I am only 23 but have known I was queer and a submissive since pre-adolescent years, and it feels like I will never be comfortable fully expressing myself or finding my voice except with my partners, because I still get ashamed/embarrassed about all of it sometimes, especially when I think about my family or straight and/or vanilla friends finding out. How did you overcome those feelings to be more open, if you ever had them?”

eLust #37 Features “Like a Faggot”

Welcome to e[lust] – The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust].  Want to be included in e[lust] #38? Start with the newly updated rules, come back July 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

Top 3

Coming to Terms with Being Gay – From the time I was seven I was raised Mormon, which meant I wasn’t allowed to have a girlfriend until I was 16 or to have sex until I was married.

What I Want – I want to be humiliated. Call me a slut. Call me a whore. Slap my face. Expose me.

Dinner Party Entertainment – At that moment, J’s eyes went wide–he finally realized I was leaving him there, tied to the bed.

Featured Post (Picked by Lilly)

My Abstinence Only “Sex Education” – The speakers were a married, Christian couple, and the man told us about how he had pledged to stay a virgin until he was married.

e[lust] Editress

Your Crappy Writing Turns Me Off – Your written words are your clothes, your power, your voice, your facial expressions and that by which we measure intelligence, personality and even attractiveness.

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

One Key Photograph From IMsL, Featuring Sara Vibes and KD Diamond

So I have really a lot to say about my experience at the International Ms. Leather contest in San Francisco last weekend—about how it was pretty phenomenal to be in a hotel space filled with leather women (and those who love them), about the BDSM & anal workshop that Tristan Taormino led, about the 10 rules for happy non-monogamy workshop that Andrea Zanin led, and the single tail workshop that had me inspired, and the “parade of colors” and the leather sashes that made me, from the audience, go, “oh my gosh this is such a thing,” the royalty that leather title holders have, the awesomeness that are our new titleholders: the butch from Texas is our new IMsL and the femme bootblack is the new IMsBB! I’m thrilled that they’re representing this community and I wish them so many amazing adventures and fun travels.

And I kind of don’t know where to start, with what to tell you. I am extremely crunched for time these days (turns out, the week that your book comes out is kind of busy, who knew) and I don’t want to just give you a play-by-play (though you might be interested in that, I know, ya pervs).

So instead, I just want to send lots of love to IMsL and IMsBB 2012, KD Diamond and Sara Vibes, with this shot of them I snapped while Sara was feeding KD peeps off of her knife.

And yeah, this is just the kind of thing that happened, right in front of me, when I didn’t even expect it, all weekend long. If you’re kinky and queer and into women, this is one of those gatherings you don’t want to miss. You bet your ass I’ll be there next year.

eLust #32 includes my story “The Pink Dress”

Welcome to e[lust], the sex blog round-up- The best posts from the hottest and smartest sex bloggers all in one place! This edition highlights topics such as libido, fake orgasms, teenage lust, voyeurism, BDSM consent and so much more. Want to be included in e[lust] #33? Start with the rules, come back in February to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

The Top Three Posts

Assent Matters by SherynBFind your emotional power to recognize and say “no” to what you don’t want BEFORE you get naked and tied up and give up your actual physical power to walk away to anybody.

Forever The Night‘Why the hell shouldn’t I listen? This is my home, my bedroom after all’. So I do listen and I do feel myself twitch at every minute sound on the other side of that fucking wall.

Hands. Fingers. Pleasure.This was the first time a boy’s fingers had such unfettered access to my pussy. Prior gropings under and through clothes had never been like this.

e[lust] Editress

The Fake Orgasm: You think you know, but you have no ideaI am 34 and I have faked orgasms. There ya have it. But I have never and will never qualify doing so as “I did it for him”.

Featured Post (Picked by Lilly)

Sadie Says… AwakeIn the haze of my missing libido I also lost myself. I began to wonder if I remembered who the hell I was?

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

e[lust] #27 includes “Strapping On for the First Time”

Welcome to e[lust] – Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #28? Start with the rules and subscribe to the RSS feed and Twitter for updates and submission reminders.

This Week’s Top Three Posts

Ruby LOVES her body, so should YOU – What ever size you are, love yourself, be nice to yourself and concentrate on health instead of looks.

Performances So, of course, I don’t have any sensation in my cock, but holy baby Jeebus, sinking into her is so fucking hot that I groan right along with her.

10 reasons why I shouldn’t have had sex, but did anyway – I’ve written extensively about happy-sex; so now here are some of the more unpleasant reasons why I’ve had sex.

Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick)

Energy Orgasms – There is a moment, an incredible moment, when it feels like the universe is concentrated in my body.

e[lust] Editress: Dangerous Lilly

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable ~after this point~. Thank you, and enjoy!

Butch Lab Symposium #2: Call for Participation

Hey, writers and folks interested in gender!

The next Butch Lab Symposium topic has been decided, after much deliberation, and posted.

WHAT IS THE BUTCH LAB SYMPOSIUM?

The Symposium is a cross between a blog carnival and a round-up, where participants write about a monthly topic and submit links to Butch Lab which are then recounted. Participants are requested to a) link to the Butch Lab Symposium in their post, b) reprint the roundup on their own blogs within five days, and c) commenting on the other participants’ entries would be an added bonus (let’s support each other eh?).

You do not need to be butch to participate, anyone is welcome to discuss their opinion.

The topic for the second Butch Lab Symposium is Butch Stereotypes, Cliches, and Misconceptions.

Here’s the writing prompt:

What do people think “butch” means? What are the stereotypes around being butch? What do people assume is true about you [or the masculine of center folks in your life], but actually isn’t? What image or concept do you constantly have to correct or fight against? How do you feel about these misconceptions? How do you deal with them? Do you respond to these stereotypes or cliches? How?

To participate, write about this topic in some form on your own website and email the link to butchlabproject (at) gmail.com before March 1, 2011. The full roundup will be released mid-March.

Fantasy: Titillating and Taboo Workshop at the Lesbian Sex Mafia

I’ve been helping out with some of the programming for the Lesbian Sex Mafia based here in New York City, and our first workshop in January was just announced, featuring one of my favorite femme sexuality educators: Megan Andelloux.

So if you’re nearby, join us.

Lesbian Sex Mafia presents:
“Fantasy: Titillating and Taboo: What Gets You Off and How to Get It”
with Megan Andelloux

Does dirty talk turn you on? Want to be punished? Want to force someone to do naughty things? Really want to make those wicked thoughts a reality? This workshop will cover some common desires, like restraints, impact play, and dirty talk, as well as how to communicate your desires, confront personal shame/discomfort around fantasies, and maneuver such desires into your sex and play. Through small group discussion, interactive and reflection activities you’ll explore expressing your deepest fantasies and how to get what you really want.

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011; 8pm – 10pm
Location: The LGBT Center, 208 W 13th St, NY (Google Maps). Get directions using Hopstop.
Cost: LSM member: $5; Non-members $10 (Members – renew now and continue to get all the benefits of an LSM membership!)

About Megan Andelloux

Megan Andelloux is a nationally certified Sexuality Educator through A.A.S.E.C.T and a board certified Sexologist through A.C.S. She is the Founder and Director of the non-profit Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, located in Pawtucket, RI.

Ms. Andelloux lectures internationally at colleges, universities, medical schools, and sexuality institutions on issues surrounding sexual politics, pleasure, sexual health, and erotic justice. To date, she has taught at over three dozen higher educational institutions, including medical schools and Ivy league universities such as Brown, Yale, and Harvard.

She is an author in the books, We Got Issues A Feminist Response to Cultural Attitudes On Feminism and Sex and Society, a comprehensive guide to current knowledge and expert analysis of sex and sexuality.

Ms. Andelloux was named “Vagina Warrior of the Year” from the Vagina Monologues for her work regarding sexual communication and fear reduction. She has been labeled as “The Princess of Pleasure” and more recently, “The Sex Ed Warrior Queen”.

She is listed on Wikipedia as an American Feminist, Writer and Sex Educator and on the Erotic Heritage Museum’s Hall of Heros, which showcases icons of sexual revolution.

It’s Official: ButchLab.com Has Launched!

This is the new butch project I’ve been cryptically describing for the last few months: www.butchlab.com.

Here’s what’s over there right now: the Inspiration list, which is the new Top Hot Butches database of folks; the Symposium, which is the blog carnival link round-up (the first of which will be posted later today!); and the Butch Lab blog, which you can subscribe to for updates on the project, interviews, announcements, and all sorts of other things.

I have so much to say about it, so many things to describe and explain. HUGE THANK YOU goes out to the interns who have made this possible: Kyle, Lauren, Sarah, Roxanne, and Yvette, I am so grateful for your help in compiling the Inspiration list and for helping me knock around ideas.

We do have an official press release out, if you’d like a copy here’s the PDF. You can also follow @butchlab on Twitter if you’d like to be notified of updates and publications.

Please forward the URL widely, comment, share, and keep up with the new project. I really hope you enjoy it.

Nominations Needed for Top Hot Butches

With the relaunch of the Top Hot Butches project, I am including different people than last year, in a totally different way.

I think this is some of the confusion about including cis men. The Top Hot list is not a top 100 butches list like it was last year. I’m not that interested in hierarchizing everyone based on hotness. Hotness is all relative, anyway.

What I am interested in is community, and bringing people together who experience similar gender identities. I’m also interested in the word “butch” itself, and how it scares many people, how many of us have such a strong reaction to it, like it’s a slur, as it has been used against many of us for lifetimes. And how it becomes a strong, defining word for others, a major hook on which we hang ourselves and by which we define ourselves. Many different kinds of people use this word to talk about who they are, and I’m curious about that.

The new site is more community-focused, with a whole blog component, Tumblr site, and Symposium, as I mentioned the other day. And there is still a Top Hot section. It’ll be more like a database of people you can go browse through and find their work and be inspired by, not a numbered list. Just people, doing good work, going about their lives, with a butch or masculine of center gender.

I’m much more inclined to include women than men, and it will be harder to find men to include, since I am restricting the men included to being butch-identified (more about that below).

I am especially looking for trans women who identify or present as butch, men (cis or trans) who self-identify as butch, and people of color along the masculine spectrum. It’s been easier to find the white butch dykes than anyone else, but I know there are a lot of other folks out there!

Check last year’s list to see who was on it before you nominate somebody. Everyone from the list last year, unless requested otherwise, will be included in the new project.

Rules for nominations:

ALL nominees:

  • Must be active in the public sphere of some sort, or a leader, and well known, in their field. Performers, writers, and activists are particularly easy to point to, but anyone notable in any field is applicable. Yes, this means your girlfriend/boifriend/boyfriend might not qualify. No, having a blog is not necessarily qualification enough.
  • Must have been doing work at some point in the last decade. There are plenty of people we can dig up who are no longer alive, or who were notably butch or visibly masculine women from decades past, but this project is about what’s going on now. Perhaps at some point in the future we’ll tackle Top Hot Butches pre-Stonewall, but for now, let’s focus on who is around now.
  • Can be of any age, though generally we’re talking about folks who are post-puberty, and even more frequently folks who are post-Saturn return, as it sometimes takes quite a bit of time to really know oneself enough to come to an alternative gender identity and expression like these. Age doesn’t matter.
  • Can be of any race, religion, ethnic background, or sexual orientation. That probably goes without saying, but I’ll make it clear anyway.

Inclusions of women, cis or trans:

  • It would be GREAT if they self-identify as some some of masculine of center identity: butch, macha, stud, ag, tomboi, genderqueer, etc.
  • If they do not self-identify this way (or they have a level of fame where they wouldn’t reply to an email asking if they do or not), they will be considered for inclusion based on these things: 1. rejection of traditional femininity, including but not limited to dress, style, and hair; tendency to shop in the men’s department and display a masculine gender expression most of the time; 3. swagger, meaning some sort of masculine energy in their movements; and 4. are out as queer. Some exceptions will be made to the requirement that they are out as queer, such as in the case of Katherine Moennig, where she is very clearly queer but has not made official statements regarding such.

Inclusions of men, cis or trans:

  • Must self-identify as butch. Either you know that they identify as butch, because they’re your friend or you’re aware of their work, or they have made some sort of public statement that says they identify as butch.

Inclusions of genderqueer folks that identify as outside of the binary:

  • Should self-identify as some of masculine of center identity: butch, macha, stud, ag, tomboi, etc., and be interested in being included in a database of butches.

How to nominate:

Email me, or comment on this post, with the following:

  • Name of the person you’re nominating
  • What they do (writer, performer, activist, lawyer, whatever)
  • Link to or attached recent photograph, at least 640×480 (landscape) and better yet, cropped to 700×400
  • Link to their website, Myspace, Twitter, or other web presence for more information about their work

Aside from Top Hot Butches, I am also compiling a list of butch-identified bloggers. If you are a butch-identified blogger, or if you read a blog by someone butch-identified who you like, will you please leave a link to them here and I’ll add them to my list. I have quite a few that I know of, of course, but I’m sure I don’t know you all! Even if you think I probably have yours, leave it anyway just to make sure?

And a huge thank you for your help with this project! It is coming together, and I’m really excited to show it to everyone.

e[lust] #20: “On Making Sex Last” is in the Top Three!

Welcome to e[lust] – Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #21? Start with the rules, check out the schedule and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

This Week’s Top Three Posts

On Making Sex Last: Cheerleading & Open Relationships – as long as the possession stuff can be fun and consensual, and not interfering with each other’s sovereignty, I think the two—cheerleading and possession—aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

Owned – I had almost forgotten that while here, with him, I was HIS plaything. I was OWNED by him. We had discussed this. I knew the rules. I must not forget again.

The sheer indecency of what we are doing – Is he looking for what I’m looking for? Surely so—all men want that, don’t they? A flaming succubus that comes only in the dark to bring unworldly pleasures and leave behind strange lingering dreams that spice their dutiful daytime lives.

Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick)

Stop Hating on Campus Sex Education – Clearly, there is a need for this education, because if it doesn’t come from sexuality educators, it comes from word of mouth (which can often provide incorrect information), or from the internet, or from trial and error.

e[lust] Editress

Is it Really “Strange” Sex?

See also: Pleasurists #96 and #97 for all your sex toy review needs.

E[lust] #18: Summer Sexblog Reads

I know: for the most part, the e[lust] roundup isn’t a very useful thing for readers. I think most of you ignore them. I don’t submit posts very often to the roundup, but every once in a while, I like one of my smut stories quite a bit, and it doesn’t really get much attention, and I want to show it off a little, so I send it on over there.

This time, it was Sweat & Summer . I love the way that turned out, and it got so few comments. I can never tell what will incite comments or not, I guess that’s one of the mysteries of the Internet.

So, I promise these submissions and interruptions to your Regularly Scheduled Sugarbutch will be infrequent. Meanwhile, check out the top three, if you’ve got some time to kill. They’re usually quite good.

Welcome to e[lust] – Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #19? Start with the rules, check out the schedule and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

This Week’s Top Posts

  • Off Limits for 30 Days“You don’t listen very well,” I heard her hiss. “That’s off limits, damn you.” And there was a crack and fiery agony clawed into my back.
  • The Joy of Sucking CockI wonder at times if that is why I am such a “good little cocksucker” as W calls me. When I am deeply into it, I almost enter this place where I am both the sucker and suckee, and it is as though it is MY cock being sucked on.
  • This intensity gets me riled when I am tied up (photo story)James picked up that evil strap again. I watched helplessly as he positioned himself to use it on my pussy… Ever so lightly he started. Flick, flick, flick.
  • e[lust] Editress: Ask Lilly: How do I know if a sex toy has phthalates in it?The studies going around are saying that phthalate exposure can damage all sorts of organs, and can possibly cause cancer. There are a lot of harmful things in our world these days that we can’t avoid – so when we CAN avoid something like toxins in our sex toys, we should.
  • Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) Portal. Confession #493It truly is a spiritual give and take, these sexual relationships I form. I can cross the threshold and see however much of someone that I choose to see, with whomever it is that I am involved with.
  • See also: Pleasurists #88 and #89 for all your sex toy review needs.

e[lust] #15 includes my “Waking Up”

Welcome to e[lust] – Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #16? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~

Evolution – Open Marriage, Swinging, & Polyamory – Do we REALLY believe that there is one love for us? Do we really believe there’s one cock or pussy to fuck for the rest of our life?

Sweet To Taste – “I’m dinner tonight,” she breathes. “So don’t let me get cold before you start feasting.”

Having a boyfriend makes me feel fat I know my worth as a person isn’t devalued by my weight – but I can’t get past the notion that my worth as a partner is.

~ e[lust] Editress ~

Fucked by a StrangerFor as long as I can remember, I’ve had this bizarre, twisted fantasy. The roads leading to it were different, but the end result the same: a stranger fucking a very willing me in my bed in the dead of night.

~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~

At Her Mercy“You have been such a good boy today. Where do you want me to put your cock next?” she said with a wink.

See also: Pleasurists #78 and #79 for all your sex toy review needs.

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

And the Lezzy Goes To …

The 2009 Lezzy Awards are over, and you all voted Sugarbutch as the Best Sex/Short Story/Erotica site for the second year in a row!

Thank you so much to all who voted and all who mentioned me in the promotions … I’m honored and humbled and promise to keep up the sex and erotica writing. I was a finalist along with my fabulous femme friend Essin’ Em and the lovely lady behind Scintillectual, who I don’t actually know, but I’m certainly going to be reading now. Both blogs are excellent. Jeez, I am so glad to see the abundance of butch and femme and genderqueer and queer sex blogs out there! Nearly four years ago, when I started Sugarbutch, there were very few queer sex blogs.

The competition was fierce this year, and the final winners are all heavy hitters. If you don’t read ’em regularly, you’re missing out.

Best Entertainment: Dorothy Surrenders
Best Humor: Grace the Spot
Best Parenting: Up Popped a Fox
Best Engagement/Wedding: My Big Fat Gay Wedding
Best Feminist/Political: Feministing
Best Personal: Peaches & Coconuts
Best Out Later in Life: Making Space
Best Sex/Short Story/Erotica: Sugarbutch Chronicles
Best New Lesbian Blog: Autostraddle
Best Podcast: The Lesbian Lounge
Lifetime Achievement: AfterEllen.com

Sincere thanks to all who voted, thanks specifically to Kelly who runs The Lesbian Lifestyle. I continue to be amazed and touched by the support for and the recognition of this site and my efforts, thank you so much for being a part of these larger communities of queer, feminist, sex, and gender explorations.

elust #5: Quiet Holiday Version

Welcome to e[lust] – your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #6? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

This Week’s Top Three Posts

Late Arrival: An Airport Encounter I saw a possible haven ahead: a pilot disappearing into the pilots’ lounge. I could think of nowhere else that would offer us even a modicum of privacy. Time to brazen it out. With her still walking obediently alongside, I pushed my way into the lounge.

The Condom Question. Confession #397 – Luckily, this time I had my wits about me enough to reply with a categorical, Yes a condom is absolutely necessary, darlin, but history has proven that, while I’m naked and horny, I can offer no more justification as to why such protection is paramount.

No more… – “I’m so sorry, I can’t…”. Words, words, so many words… reasons and reasoning and things and stuff and none of it made sense, and through all of it, disbelief, dread, a sickness of heart… I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.

e[lust] Editress

Sex as a Panacea As I begged “faster” “harder” “more!” I felt my orgasm come on, a mere minute or two after we began with this combination. A thunderous orgasm overtook me as he kept up with the dildo and I with the Climax for the first big wave.

Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick)

Bad Girl – I take off my coat and stand proudly before her in my black lace corset, suspenders, stockings and heels. She looks me up and down and smiles at me when she catches my stare. Desire is already zinging through my body.

See also: Pleasurists #59 and #60 for all your sex toy review needs

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

e[lust] #4: Reconciling Butch Top + Feminist in the Top Three!

Thanks to the lovely judges over at e[lust], my post Reconciling the Identities of Feminist & Butch Top is featured this week in the top three.

I’m glad somebody stepped up to fill the shoes of the former Sugasm. This’ll keep me busy on this freezing cold New York pre-January afternoon.

Welcome to e[lust] – your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #5? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

This Week’s Top Three Posts

  • Interrogation – I looked up at him, feigning cluelessness. “I know you can understand me. So I ask you again. Where are the lenses?” Another strike. I crumpled into the bench.
  • Reconciling the Identities of Feminist & Butch Top – There’s something supposedly anti-feminist about wanting to dominate. There’s something in the feminist rhetoric which says we are all equal especially in bed, so that means I-do-you-you-do-me….
  • Fire and IceThe rain comes down harder around us, the freez­ing drop pelt­ing what­ever skin lies exposed over the sur­face of the water.

e[lust] Editress

  • By the Twinkling Lights… – His lips found my nipples and I forgot about the cold. If a car were to drive by and the passengers were to look past the twinkling lights on the tree, they would have seen a naked woman’s rear end pressed against the glass wall..

Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick)

  • Ronjazz: Late Night Rendezvous – Meet me in the parking lot at the post with the broken lamp. 10PM sharp! Do not be late! Stand facing the post, eyes closed. Wear a flimsy dress and heels – nothing else!

See also: Pleasurists #58 and #59 for all your sex toy review needs

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

A New Sex Blog Roundup – e[lust]#2

e[lust] has come along to fill the void left when Sugasm closed down. I’ve had a lot of comments from folks saying that the Sugasm posts I used to post were probably the things they skipped most often – and I do understand that, it’s not my original writing. But I continue to participate in the link roundups because it’s good promotion for Sugarbutch, and because I often also hear from folks that they found this site through one of the link roundups. It’s useful to reach the sex blog readers who haven’t meandered over to this place yet. Plus, I like to keep up with the good sex writing going on in the blogs, and this is a great way to do it. I do encourage you to read the top featured posts, at least, as they are usually above average quality.

And thanks, e[lust], for all the work (and it is a lot) of compiling the list.


Welcome to e[lust] – your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in the next edition? Start with the rules, check out the schedule in the site’s sidebar and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

This Week’s Posts

  • The Heart of Darkness – “I swear that man can sense my fear like a hound scenting a rabbit, and just like the hound, his blood rises to it.”
  • Forever… – “Forever is a beautiful idea, a wonderful goal, but it’s not a magic spell.”
  • His First Fuck – “He stood there, obviously nervous, obviously aroused by what he had been witness to seconds earlier.”
  • e[lust] Editress: I Dare You – “Aided by our clutches of printed papers, me hiding my nipples that could cut glass and him hiding the hard bulge in his dress pants, we scurried back to our cubes where the messages flew back and forth.”
  • Featured Post: Who am I? – “I’ve been through a lot of shit in my life and couldn’t fit it all on one piece of poster board.”

See alsoPleasurists #55 for all your sex toy review needs

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Some other announcements

A little bit of a round-up post about things that you might be interested in … though I’ve been a little bit offline and not very actively in the past month or so (this spring has flown by), the blogosphere, as it does, goes on.

The 2010 New York City Sex Blogger Calendar is underway! This year it is “Visions of Sexual Freedom” and the pinup list – and photographers involved – has grown.

There’s plenty of time to buy days in the calendar to show off your own blog, remind yourself of your anniversary of the day you got flogged, or mark sweetie’s birthday with how many spankings they should expect to bend over for.  Days are only $10 each, or you can preorder a calendar and a day for $30. Head on over to www.sexbloggercalendar.com for more information.

I’m not going to give too much away, but I’ll be working with Amanda Morgan, whose work I adore, I’m excited about that. I also may be sharing my month with a particularly hot vixen friend … we’ve got some ideas. It’s gonna be hot.

AAG has launched Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Shared expeirences in educating kids – and parents – about sexuality, and it’s fantastic. I don’t have kids, but I love kids, and I think educating kids about sexuality in healthy ways is so important, and the conversations and ideas are great.  This is a much-needed resource and I hope to see it grow and expand as it goes on.

While I’m mentioning sites that just launched, F/lthy Gorgeous Th/ngs is amazing and I keep going back to it. I love the graphics especially, the photographs, the flourons and the scratchy flash and the angles. I’ve been a bit obsessed over the idea of making love stay, recently, what with the romance and all, and the summer issue of FGT is Modern Love and features an article on exactly that: how to make love stay. It has a lot of the same things in it that Kristen & I have discussed about our own theories of long-term relationships and maintaining something strong and solid, and it resonated deeply. FGT is a project by debauchette, among others, who I’ve been crushed on since I met her at a tea party, once upon a time.

Call for submissions:

3 Kings are “three Brown-skinned/Black – male identified trans persons who seek to give voice and page to the array of persons of color* who may have been born female and now live all or a significant portion of their lives as TransMen, FtM, Boi, Daddy, Tranny, Tranny Fag, Butch, G3 (gee cued –gender gifted guy,) ’masculine/masculinized’ women (butches, studs, aggressives, ballers, playas….,) Drag Kings, male illusionists, Transgenders, Transsexuals, gender-queers, stealth, boys like us and the likes. When considering works written over the past 25 years, there are a plethora of books addressing the ‘social construction of masculinity.’ About 90 books deal specifically with TransGendered identities. To my knowledge only four of the 90, specifically offer more than an obligatory glimpse of what is repeatedly understood as the ‘illusive FtM of color.’ Where are the voices, opinions, insight of all the black, brown, red and yellow ’masculine/masculinized’ women, FTMs and others? We are the ones we are looking for and what our next generation needs. We are requesting your unpublished stories, photographs, poems, essays, drawings.” Visit 3kingsanthology.blogspot.com for more information; also on twitter as @FTMAnthology.

Circlet Press is revisioning fairy tales with queer twists: “Have you ever thought that your favorite fairytale from childhood would make a great bedtime story for adults? We’re looking for erotic retellings of fairytales, fables, and bedtime stories, specifically with a gay/lesbian twist.” More information here.

Sugasm #164: Slutty little girl.

This Week’s Picks

My picks this week:

My post My slutty little girl. was included, which, despite not being in the top picks, is one of my favorite real-life stories that I’ve written in a while.

Pleasurists #20

Pleasurists is your round-up of the adult product reviews that came out in the last seven days from bloggers all around the sex blogosphere. Did you miss Pleasurists #19? Read it all here. Do you have a review for Pleasurists #21? Submit it here before Sunday March 15th at 11:59pm PST. Please re-post this list on your own blog if listed.

Want to win some free swag? All you’ve got to do is enter.

Madame Editrix

Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek

On to the reviews…

Announcements: Three New Projects

I’ve got three new projects brewing, and they’re finally all just about ready for public launch.

toyswap-copyOne: The ToySwap Network

The idea started when I asked if anyone on Twitter had unused massage candles or massage oil just sitting around, and Dangerous Lilly offered up a nice little Babeland massage candle, and we started talking about how great it would be to have a place to swap the things we don’t use. Lots of sexbloggers are overrun with toys to review, and we end up with lots of things we don’t use or don’t want. So, we started doing some research about how to develop a little network for toy swapping, and after a bit of drama, we settled on Ning.com.

Unfortunately we might still have a bit of a problem here, since Ning.com updated their terms of service to not allow any “adult-themed” groups, but we’re trying to work that out with the administrators. Which is why I haven’t mentioned it yet.

But! Things are looking good! And the group is going strong! And today marks the beginning of our first Swap Week, where we hope folks will flock to do more trades than usual, to keep our lists updated and offer up the best of what we got.

If you want to join, you need an invitation to join our specific group but you can sign up at Ning.com and let me know you want to be a part of it with a comment here and I’ll send you a personal invitation.

Two: The Sugarbutch Recommended Amazon store


Hand-picked books, DVDs, & other products from Amazon.com and recommended just for you.

It’s a little peek into my bookshelves, really, because these are some of the best of the best books about gender, sex, sexuality, and theory that I’ve read, many of which I own. Hope you find some good recommendations and interesting things inside the store.

Three: Mr. Sexsmith Recommends … Hot queer porn movies on demand, through Hot Movies For Her

vodscreenshot

Sign up at Hot Movies for Her and receive 20 free minutes (usually you just get 10), then come back to VOD.sugarbutch.net to check out some of my hand-picked favorites. Quite possibly my favorite scene of all time – Episode 1 from the Crash Pad Series – is now included on HMFH. I also recommend Real Life in San Francisco and Good Dyke Porn and Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls and oh, right, I recommend everything in there, I picked it all out!

Last but not least:

Allyson is featured on Queer Eye Candy today. We’ve known each other for years – she’s one of the few folks still in my life who knew me before I came out. She’s started a new project at The Femme Domestic and it’s quite lovely so far.

The Community page has been slightly updated – I’m not great at keeping up with it, the RSS reader is a better way to see which blogs I’m reading. If you’d like to be added to the Community page, leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll get you updated soon.

Two Lezzys!? Really!?

It was all the promised photos of my ass that did it, wasn’t it? I knew it! You all are perverts.

Seriously though, tons of thanks to Kelly at The Lesbian Lifestyle for organizing the Lezzy Awards, to all the finalists, with special shout-outs to Jess I Am and I Am Not Afraid of Winter in the Best Gender Bender Blog category and Geek Porn Girl and Tongue-tied blue for Best Sex/Short Story/Erotica Blog. Tongue-tied Blue and Jess I’ve known for a while, but Geek Porn Girl and Carrot Quinn are new to me, I’ve already got ’em on my reader and I look forward to watching their stories unfold. I’m also a big fan of Weese in the Over-50 category, so, shout-out to her, too.

And congrats to Grace the Spot for taking Dorothy Surrenders in the Humor category – squeaking ahead with 48 votes! (Dorothy got two other awards and was clearly a shoe-in for Entertainment/Culture, I wanted to see Grace with ONE at least!)

Winners were:

Best Lesbian Entertainment/Culture Blog
Dorothy Surrenders

Best Lesbian Humor Blog
Grace the Spot

Best Lesbian Parenting/Wedding Blog
Lesbian Dad

Best Lesbian Personal Blog
This Girl Called Automatic Win

Best Lesbian 50 and Over Blog
just eat your cupcake

Best Lesbian Gender Bender Blog
Sugarbutch Chronicles

Best Lesbian Sex/Short Story/Erotica Blog
Sugarbutch Chronicles

Lesbian Overall Blog of the Year
Dorothy Surrenders

It is now your duty to add us ALL to your blogrolls and/or your readers, because these are some of the best dykey-homo-lezbiotic writings on all of the internet.

2008gender-bender-blog 2008sexshort-story-erotica-b

Important Calls for Support: Home Alive & Scarleteen

Two great organizations are in need of support.

I know there are dozens – hundreds – more organizations that also need support, but these two in particular are very dear and important to my heart, they’re community organizations that have provided so much help and support and information to underserved, underrepresented groups.

SAVE HOME ALIVE is a grassroots effort to save a grassroots organization, Home Alive, out of Seattle. They offer self-defense classes to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay, in response to issues of violence and safety in communities. They are particularly aware of those marginalized groups who tend to be more often the victims of street violence, and actively work to call attention to homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, racism, sexism, ableism, and classism. I’d love to see Home Alive classes in cities all over the country. Home Alive needs $25,000 to keep its doors open.

Scarleteen, which I’ve linked to here often and hopefully you already know about, is a sex education and resource center aimed at teens (though I go there – and refer friends there – all the time there to find information on STIs and sexual health). They have some exciting news – they’re now part of the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco! And rom February 14th through March 15th, one of their regular donors has agreed match the donations they receive up to $350 per donor, and/or up to $3,000 total. Just ten bucks helps, people! Do what you can, please.

If you don’t have money, you can help in other ways: steal these banners and reprint them on your own websites. Write a post about it. Send an email to all your friends (especially those with money). I’m taking out a blogads ad, and if you’ve got blogads on your site and want to donate to the cause by sending me your free ad code, I’d love to put the banner on your site.

More information on both of these amazing organizations follows.


Home Alive’s Mission:

Home Alive considers all forms of oppression as acts of violence against individuals.Through our self-defense classes, we call attention to homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, racism, sexism, ableism, and classism. We challenge participants to defend themselves and our communities from these forms of institutional oppression.

By standing up against these types of violence-both individually and collectively we an create social change. Home Alive believes that safety is a basic human right. Every member of our community has the right to a life free from violence and hate. We know that, working together, we can create safe families, safe relationships and safe communities.

About Save Home Alive:

Hi there. My name is Jen and I’ve lived in Seattle since 2000. A few weeks ago I found my way to a class at Home Alive and honestly, it changed my life. Read my story here. When I heard this organization was closing their doors I decided to do whatever I could to help. This is my grassroots effort to help save an amazing grassroots org.

“You are worth defending. I am worth defending. In my heels and in my running shoes, in my skirt and cleavage and in my drag king drag. We are all always worth defending.” (Home Alive)

Home alive is worth defending! This is a call for help.

Home Alive, the self-defense organization started by friends outraged at the rape and murder of Mia Zapata, has been deeply rooted in the Seattle community for the last 16 years. They offer sliding scale self defense and boundary setting classes to anyone that wants to learn, regardless of whether or not they can pay. Because of this the organization is dependent on community donations. Read more about the organization here.

Right now, Home Alive is 25k in debt and being forced to close their doors. Realistically they need more than that to recover and rebuild but this website’s goal is to get them back to zero, at least.

Sooooooooo, I’m calling on 25 thousand people to give $1 dollar or for 5,000 folks to give $5 or for 2,083.333 folks to give $12 or for 862 people to give $29… or any creative combination of this really. 

 C’mon people. Don’t you want to help Save Home Alive?  


 

   Double Dollar Valentines for Scarleteen!

From February 14th through March 15th, one of our regular donors has agreed match the donations we receive up to $350 per donor, and/or up to $3,000 total.

This is a great opportunity to amplify your support! You can play a part in sustaining Scarleteen and all of the young adults who need and are helped with our unique brand of inclusive, progressive, holistic and accurate sexuality education. As we finish one decade of delivering the goods we so strongly feel have nurtured and continue to nurture the development of a healthy, happy sexuality for young people, I’m asking for your help as we enter another.

Scarleteen is now affiliated with the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. The CSC was founded and is directed by Dr. Carol Queen and Dr. Robert Lawrence. Their mission is to provide judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum; and to research and disseminate factual information, framing and informing issues of public policy and public health. We’re thrilled to be the first young adult sex education project they have worked with and are very glad for this partnership. Robert and Carol, as well as other members of the CSC, have been incredibly supportive of Scarleteen and sex education as a whole over the years.

If you haven’t kept up, here are a few pieces we added to the site in 2008 and 2009 to give you an idea of what we’ve been up to:

Genderpalooza! A Sex & Gender Primer
How You Guys — that’s right, you GUYS — Can Prevent Rape
Birth Control Bingo
Shown Actual Size: A Penis Shape & Size Lowdown
Give’em Some Lip: Labia That Clearly Ain’t Minor
Blinders Off: Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault
I, Being Born Woman and Suppressed
Be a Blabbermouth! The Whys, Whats and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner
Let’s Get Metaphysical: The Etiquette of Entry

We have also had a handful of great first-person pieces added from users or volunteers in our In Your Own Words section. Our voting guide last year helped many users of voting age to find clear, balanced information about the Presidential candidates to best inform (and motivate!) their vote. Our archive of direct, in-depth advice to users who write in with questions is extensive. Lastly, our message boards, which we rolled out in the year 2000, continue to be busy, actively moderated and a place of bustling, supportive conversation (as well as a way to help users manage crises quickly) at a level many teens do not have other opportunities to engage in when it comes to such loaded subjects.

– We rank in the upper 25,000 of all sites online internationally
– We consistently rank in the top 11,000 – 12,000 of all sites in the United States
– 65 million page loads have occurred at the site from users since 2006
– We now have over 40,000 active message board users

Support Scarleteen now! Visit www.scarleteen.com or take a look at more information (and the rest of this letter that I’ve reprinted excerpts from here) at Double Dollar Valentines for Scarleteen.

Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom & Autonomy #15

carnivalWelcome to the 15th Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom & Autonomy! I’m your host, Monsieur du Sexsmith, as we wander around the sex, feminist, queer, and gender blogospheres to bring you some amazing reading, writing, introspection, self-reflection, and inspiration on the subjects of sexual freedom and sexual autonomy.

[If I missed your link, I’m so sorry – it was a challenge to keep all of these organized! Email it to me, aspiringstud at gmail dot com, or leave a comment with your link in this post. Thanks!]

I’m going to start with a reproduction of the entire poem from pomegranate pen called temararious. Don’t worry, I won’t reprint everything in its entirety, but this was particularly beautiful and I have such a soft spot for poetry. It’s so incredibly sexy and I really felt the inner conflict of BDSM, of coming to one’s own with power and surrender. Make sure you leave comments over on pomegranate’s blog. (ps: I had to look up temerarious. What a fantastic word.)

    you make me want to do
    what i shouldn’t,
    which is to give

    in. to stay up all night
    for the company of your warm and breathing body,
    to keep my eyes open in case

    you should want to meet my gaze.
    you make me want:
    to succumb. to surrender, hands above my head.

    (reckless abandon,
    they call it,
    i think.) you

    force me to my knees and
    you
    make me feel every second
    in my body –
    we are connected –

    every atom suddenly becoming
    something of us
    the sharp focus of my eyes
    and your breath filling my lungs
    my own blood pounding
    faster with each place you touch and
    my hips leaning slowly

    in –

    these are the things you do to me
    from across rooms and rivers
    (you make me want to do
    what i shouldn’t
    and you make me want to whisper

    please.)

I asked some very specific questions about sexual freedom and autonomy, and these are the 18 particular responses to that question. I know that’s kind of atypical of these feminist carnivals, but I have long thought that this carnival was full of fascinating concepts and was hoping to get some of the folks in my queer sex & gender circles to participate.

I was incredibly touched reading each one, witnessing people’s stories of coming to their own sexual power and understanding their own sexual journeys. Writing and examining our own stories is such an incredibly powerful way to witness our own lives unfold, and that is one of the reasons I adore the writing medium of blogging so much.

I have so much to say about each of these contributions, each of which held revelations for me. But I’m going to let them speak for themselves, with a small excerpt from each piece.

Without more fanfare: let’s get on with the contributions and excerpts.

When or If: When Your Heart Holds You Back

A friend asked that I write about sexual freedom, and being as I am a pretty sex-positive queer kid I figured I’d write about how I got my freedom. What obstacles I’ve overcome to reach the place in my life where I feel free to express my sexual desire, show off my sexuality. … But I couldn’t. I can’t write about that, because it hasn’t happened.

Running Away with the Spoon: Crossing Over

Earlier in our relationship, after we have talked about fucking, we wander into a conversation about how I am her woman, and I say, uncertain of her response, “I want you to be my man.” She pauses for a second, a little surprised, and then says evenly “I am your man. You are my woman and I am your man.” My heart jumps. I have so longed for this, someone willing to cross over into that genderfucking territory with me. but I can see that this is new for her to vocalize, new words for her to speak. So we tread slowly.

Butch Girlcat: Sexual Freedom, Autonomy, & Stone

I accepted the label of stone around the same time I embraced the identity of butch. In both cases it seemed like a matter of accuracy. I’ve written pages and pages now about being butch but very little about being stone. Which only makes sense. We do silence well. She does give me pleasure, oh my god she does, but you won’t hear about it from me, not even if you’re standing next to the bed. I know my face gives me away to her. That’s my version of surrender.

Freedomgirl: Some Thoughts on Sexual Freedom

The word ‘freedom’ is incredibly powerful and meaningful to me, hence the title of this blog. I titled it, and myself, at a moment when my life changed completely; I was realizing just how unfree I had been, for a stretch of time in my relationship, and more largely during my whole life. Unfree to be me, unfree to want the things that I oh so much wanted, unfree to express my sexual desire. […] it’s more than just opening the chains of my relationship; it’s also removing the limitations that I imposed on my own mind and my own desires. Sexual freedom is the new joy in my own body that I’ve found this year. It’s claiming my sexuality for myself, not for my partner or in opposition (or conformity) to some societal ideal.

Miss Avarice: Sexual Autonomy & Sexual Freedom

For me, Sexual Autonomy means having age-appropriate access to the wealth of information that exists about different types of relationship styles, different sexual activities, fetishes, and interests, as well as safer sex practices and contraception. I think this will only happen when we live in an environment that encourages open communication, mutual respect, and an understanding of the important role that sexuality plays in every person’s life.

Uncommon Curiosity: Straight Talk

At this point, keeping track of all the gradations of gender involved in living my life would take an accountant, three maps and a well-trained sheepdog. But I only say “pretty much” because there is still a small spot in my heart that yearns to join the club, to earn my queer patch – if only so the 11-year-old inside me could make it right.

Tina-cious: Freedom is Rarely Free

I thought, at first, [this was] a no sweat kind of question. Turns out, it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Truth is — my sexual “freedom” hasn’t – for the majority of my life – been mine at all. What it had been was the will of my lovers. … All of a sudden I knew what it meant to be allowed to have a say in what sex meant to our relationship. My ideas for new things to try all of a sudden were met with enthusiasm. EVERY sexual deviance I could come up with was open to me for the taking. I just had to vocalize them. Games, role playing, toys, positions, apparatus, anything. All of a sudden I actually felt sexy. Wanted. Lusted after.

Jess I Am: Then And Now

True sexual freedom came to me when I started fucking women. I was the initiator, the aggressor, the top. I felt like a whole new world of possibilities opened up for me and soon after, it did. I discovered the online queer community and before I knew it my inner perv resurfaced and I began to own my sexuality and my body once again. I started to come to terms with my gender identity and understand that sex was going to be something I would only enjoy if I was doing things that I desired. I realized that I could experiment with role play, kink, and even a bit of pain. To this day, there is still so little that I am not open to trying, and there is nothing about sex to fear because everything I do is on my terms, and I am 100% in control of it all, even when I choose to surrender that control.

Femme is my Gender: Shame

When I came out in my twenties I felt myself very liberated. And in some ways I was. However, shame was certainly preventing me from exploring my sexuality freely and in its entirety. I did make progress in some areas though. … Now in my forties and in the ridiculously late flowering discovery of my essential sexual nature, I feel less shame than ever before. That is not to say I am freed from it, but it certainly withers as my confidence grows.

Packing Vocals: What If

So what does “sexual autonomy” and “sexual freedom” mean to me? It means that I can enjoy, appreciate and express my sexuality and gender without fear of rejection or ridicule. It means that I finally have the access to knowledge, the experiences of others and the support to explore my emotions, fears and desires. It means that instead of standing still and stagnating, I can move forward, learning and growing as a person. It means I can be me.

Don’t Let’s Talk: “One of the virtues of not being puritanical about sex is not being embarrassed afterwards.”

[H]aving sex with girls has given me the freedom to access other aspects of my sexuality. Because coming out as gay was easy, but being gay is what gave me the ability to come out (at least to myself) as slutty, kinky, and maybe a little less than gay.

Butchtastic: Don’t fence me in

For me sexual/gender autonomy and freedom are ultimately about self-determination. We should each have the freedom to not only choose our identity labels at any given time, but change them as we wish. I don’t know about you, but my notion of who I am has changed a helluva lot since I came out as a lesbian at seventeen. For the first part of my sexual life, that label and the expected behaviors associated with being a lesbian fit me. I had no desire or need for men in a sexual way. At the same time, I also didn’t relate much to ‘butch’ because of what I saw as a restrictive set of behaviors associated with that label: being less open sexually and emotionally, and taking on what I saw as mostly negative masculine behaviors.

The Verbosery: Finding my Pieces

A woman who personifies the masculine spirit but still craves being fucked like a woman? To me, personally, that’s just about hotter than the surface of the sun. … Part of my journey in understanding my personal relationship with femme was coming into the realization that the stereotypical femme bottom role did not apply to me. I had to come to terms with the fact that femmes top, too. Not only that, but I had to revisit my own personal understanding that I don’t, have never, fallen neatly into given categories. I have always endeavored to forge my own trail, to find the pieces that fit best and felt right for me, personally.

Three-hole Punch Me: On Sugarbutch Chronicles, Sinclair Asked …

To me, sexual autonomy and sexual freedom are synonymous with “owning” my sexuality. This means that I am responsible for putting myself into sexual situations as well as removing myself from those situations when I need to. It means that I decide when I want to have sex, and what kind of sex I want to have. No one else pressures me into it, and I am not forced to do things that I don’t understand or don’t want to do. It means that I am honest with myself and honest with my partner(s) and that we communicate openly and honestly about what we will do together and what the boundaries are. It means that my partner asks for my CONSENT and I do the same for the other person.

Green-Eyed Girl: Sexual Freedom

If asked a couple of years ago what my thoughts on sexual freedom were, I would have laughed and said, “A whip, silly. A whip in one hand and my fingers wrapped around your hair, pulling tightly – that is when I feel most sexually free.” That’s the person I used to be – very much in control & a touch on the violent side (sexually). I don’t know when it changed, I can’t give a specific time when I came to the realization that I am no longer that person. I am fully aware of it though, this huge difference in my sexual behavior. I am also fully aware that it is because I trust her and that is the reason why I have shifted from being a top to a bottom.

A Feminist View: Freedom & Autonomy, Part 1: All Places are Not Alike

[M]y journey to sexual freedom (and autonomy?) is synonymous with my discovery of consensual and safe BDSM sex, and of consensual D/s relationships. With reference to my own past, it is clear that I had no freedom or autonomy as I grew up, and it was only when I came to understand other ways of seeing what was innately in me that I came to have any sense of having control over my own sexuality – that I could own it in every sense of the word. [Also check out part two.]

Sugarbutch: Sexual Autonomy & Freedom

I’m supposed to be writing about sexual autonomy and freedom – so let me tell you this: I cannot untangle gender from sex from power. They are all the spiraling sugar-phosphate backbone in the DNA of my sexuality, and it wasn’t until I unlocked my gender that my sexual liberation truly lived in my body, that my sexuality was truly realized and in practice. It wasn’t until I had a cock – no: it wasn’t until I had a girl who knew what to do with my cock. My gender is the language of my desire, my attraction. The ways I communicate physically. Say gender is a drag, but also say this: I wasn’t me until I discovered my own gendered space.

… and yes, I know this is the longest post in the history of long posts on Sugarbutch, but it’s worth it, I promise.

Read about 20 more posts after the cut.

Sexual Autonomy & Freedom

Written for the 15th Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom & Autonomy. Thoughts in response and reflection to my own call for contributions.

Let me say this: I don’t think, in this culture which vilifies sex and punishes especially female sexuality, that I will ever be “done” reaching my own space of sexual freedom and autonomy. It is probably an endless task, a lifetime battle.

Let me also say this: I have crawled up out of shame by my bloodied fingers and I am not going back. I stand on my own two legs, strong-cunted, and I am not going back. I drive the engine of my body hard, glide it through passageways I have previously thought unnavigatable, and I am not going back.

Maybe ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is freedom.

I would not have had the sexual awakening I’ve had if it wasn’t for feminism: the feminist health movement, the theories of consciousness raising, the lesbian sex wars of the 80s that produced porn and smut and BDSM with theories of liberation at their roots.

I am so grateful for all the things that have contributed to my gaining of sexual autonomy and freedom, to my sexual awakening. Nancy Friday’s book My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies. My high school boyfriend telling me kink was great and fun and he respected me, too. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio and Cunt Coloring Book by Tea Corrine and Femalia and Nothing But The Girl; The Blatant Lesbian Image and the entire series of Best Lesbian Erotica (especially 1998). Kitty Tsui and that one scene in Breathless with a knife. S.I.R. Video and Hard Love / How to Fuck In High Heels and Sugar High Glitter City. Babeland, which taught me more than I thought there was to know. Body Electric, which woke me up to my own power, and still does. The Topping Book and The Bottoming Book. The Ethical Slut, which changed how I see relationships. Pink & White, which finally made porn I wanted to own and watch over and over again. My academic studies and my degree in women studies which taught me how social change works. Dan Savage and Savage Love.

The fucking INTERNET. From BBSs to chatrooms to the web to Wiki After Dark to Scarleteen to RAINN to the amazing sexblog communities. The connection to marginalized community despite distance and fear.

Let me say this: I don’t know how any woman grows up and develops her sexual autonomy and freedom, let alone a queer woman, let alone a genderqueer butch or femme. These are not things that are built into us, no matter how progressive our families, no matter how much our parents loved us. There are so many layers to the damage, and the length of the legacy is long and wide, the depth of those wounds are long and wide.

Let me also say this: for me, the first step had to be seeing those wounds, recognizing the damage. By beginning to feel what a “healthy sexuality” (uh, whatever that is) felt like in my body, I could more easily differentiate between the damage and the strength. And I learned to use erotic energy to heal those places in me still reeling, still healing.

Why do you think gender dynamics are so erotically charged for me? I was damaged as a girl. As a girl, I was damaged. And I don’t mean “I was abused when I was young” but rather, that this culture hurt my girlhood. That’s why I turned to feminism as soon as I began to understand the power of social conditioning and gender roles: to learn how to undo the damage.

And why do you think I love femmes something fierce? Our wounds run parallel. We are the same, but opposite; opposing, complimentary, full of traction and friction when we rub against each other. Lay your wounds here next to mine, they fill and warm and comfort each other.

Why is gender so erotically charged for me? Because it has been the site of so much discomfort, so much damage. Not just for me: for my friends and lovers, for my sisters, for my parents, for the one boy I ever slept with, for our collective unconscious. So when I take it and corral it and tame it, when I become the Gender Whisperer and see the thoughts in its head despite our different languages, when I learn its language and teach it mine, I become strong. I take the lead. I win.

I know, I’m supposed to be writing about sexual autonomy and freedom – so let me tell you this: I cannot untangle gender from sex from power. They are all the spiraling sugar-phosphate backbone in the DNA of my sexuality, and it wasn’t until I unlocked my gender that my sexual liberation truly lived in my body, that my sexuality was truly realized and in practice. It wasn’t until I had a cock – no: it wasn’t until I had a girl who knew what to do with my cock.

My gender is the language of my desire, my attraction. The ways I communicate physically.

Say gender is a drag, but also say this: I wasn’t me until I discovered my own gendered space. Butch – but not just butch, high butch – but not just high butch, capital-H High capital-B Butch. My body has never made as much sense as it does, now, in button-downs and ties, in sweater vests and cufflinks, hell, even tee shirts and jeans feel right now that I buy them in the department that cuts them to fit my body, square, even lines, corners, dark colors.

It’s not that I want society at large to treat me as male. It’s not that when I put on men’s clothes, I liked the way I was subsequently treated differently – though I was. But the difference was greater than that: I gained autonomy. I gained agency. I gained my own voice, my own stride, my own body, my own control. And I love the disconnect that most people see – female body, masculine presentation – I love witnessing the subtle struggle of random passers-by.

Just by living in the world, walking down the street, I set out a challenge. I work hard to make this masculinity, this presentation, an acceptable way for a woman to live.

Say gender is constructed, but also say this: something in me lines up and sees clearly when I get to express myself just the way I want to. I know how to deconstruct – I know how to break down and examine and look from various angles and research and consciousness-raise and bounce ideas around. And I’m learning how to construct, how to create, how to make myself anew from the inside, all the way out.

Call for Contributions: Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom & Autonomy

The Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy, edition #14 is up at Silent Porn Star, and Sugarbutch is hosting the next Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy, edition #15, here.

That means, I am on the lookout for links about sexual freedom and autonomy. Email them to me to submit your site to the upcoming Carnival, which will be posted – here! – on Monday, January 26th.

That gives you almost TWO WEEKS! to write something. Get crackin’.

UPDATE: Deadline for submissions for the January 26th Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy #15 is this Friday, January 23rd. This’ll give me the weekend to read and compile the posts. Thanks!!

So, I am thinking about sexual freedom and autonomy. What does that really mean? How does that apply to feminist butches and femmes, to queers in this particular time (and place), to this community that I’m involved in of lesbian feminists exploring gender within the sexblog community?

I’m into words, so I have to start with what these terms mean.

Sexual Autonomy

Google helps me out with the definition of “autonomy”: personal independence; the capacity to make an informed, un-coerced decision; a person’s ability to make independent choices.

I’ve thought a lot about autonomy and choice, especially in terms of gender roles, of butch/femme, and the ways that exploring these gender dynamics often appear to be reproducing a compulsory gender hierarchy. One particular thing about choice that I want to reiterate is that I believe that all options have to be empowered and equally valued in order for it to be a real choice. The consequences to both choices have to be comparable.

If someone says, “Either you can eat this pile of dog poo, or you can eat this pile of carrots,” uh, that’s not really a choice.

So, sexual autonomy has to do with the ability to make choices based on all options being empowered, instead of having sexuality dictated upon you by cultural or gender stereotypes. Sexism is rampant, and androgyny is somewhat required in queer communities, so butch/femme roles are misunderstood, mistrusted, belittled, seen as archaic, and dismissed.

But autonomy in choosing to explore gender can come through 1) deconstructing the cultural expectations, identity alignment assumptions, and compulsory roles, especially regarding the ways that those things are destructive, hierarchical, and marginalizing; and 2) reconstructing selective parts in ways that have inner resonance, that “just make sense,” and are empowering.

I’m talking about gender autonomy here, I guess, not so much sexual autonomy – sexual autonomy would more be along the lines of … what? Choosing your sexual partners? Coming out? Claiming a kinky sexuality? The concept of autonomy automatically calls to my mind questions and issues about gender development and identity, perhaps because I feel that is more fragile than sexual autonomy – I think there is more discourse on sexual autonomy, claiming your own sexuality, learning yourself and your own sexual needs, etc.

Sexual Freedom

What does this really mean? What does it mean to be “sexually free”? The stereotype that would perhaps come to mind is someone promiscuous, sexually “liberated,” who has a lot of sex. And hey, that person might be sexually free, sure, but that’s not necessarily true, and definitely not the only way to look at it. What other ways are we able to exercise our “sexual freedom?”

So, considering these two concepts – sexual autonomy and sexual freedom – I have some questions for you:

What does “sexual autonomy” mean to you? What does “sexual freedom” mean to you?

Are there any particular stories you want to tell about gaining (or losing) your own sexual freedom or autonomy?

How does your knowledge of feminism play into the concepts of sexual freedom and autonomy?

How does your sexual autonomy or freedom conflict, interact, or engage with your feminist beliefs?

Any other questions or ideas you might have about these concepts?

I’m open to all sorts of posts – your submission to the Feminist Carnival does not have to specifically answer these questions. In my ideal dream world, here’s a list of folks who I would hand-pick to contribute to this conversation. Please consider writing something on these questions – or, at least, submitting something that you’ve worked on during the month of January.

Leo McCool
Freedomgirl
Butchtastic
Green Eyed Girl
Natt Nightly
Packing Vocals
Femme is my Gender
Queer Fat Femme
Fatgirl Femme
Just Like Jesse James
Ladies in Waiting
Miss Avarice
Femmeinist Fucktoy
Lesbian Dad
Jess I Am
Tina-cious
Don’t Let’s Talk
Essin’ Em
When or If
The Femme Show

(These are some of my favorite blogs, if you didn’t get that, so if you aren’t reading them already I highly recommend them. These folks keep me thinking, engaged, and conversing about sex and gender in ways that make my head twist in knots and light up and feel alive. Send my love to ’em all.)

Let’s queer (and butch/femme) up this Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy.

Sugasm #155: Top Three!

This Week’s Picks

More Sugasm | Join the Sugasm | See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

My other favorite pick of the week:

Sugasm #152 – editor’s pick!

The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them.

This Week’s Picks

More Sugasm | Join the Sugasm | See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

The Sexblogger Calendar Party

The New York City Sexbloggers Calendar release party is over. Now, five days later, the Twitter-loving on each other is fading, the blog posts are just about exhausted.

There were so many folks in from out of town and it was such a pleasure to meet everyone! I especially want to shout out to Greg & Jason from Njoy – such a pleasure, gentlemen – and the Gay Friday ladies whose company I very much enjoyed. And thanks so much to my friends (A, C, W, J, B).

Here’s a couple write-ups and reflections from the party:

If you haven’t already seen it, my pinup photo from the calendar is featured in Time Out New York online.

What’s that? You haven’t seen it? Is that because you weren’t at the party, and haven’t purchased a calendar? Well you’re in luck – they are not entirely gone. $20 – twenty bucks – and twelve sexbloggers will stare back at you all throughout 2009.

Buy it now through Dacia’s online store at wakingvixen.com!

Actually, a word about the calendar: it’s more than pretty pinup photos (though it is that), it’s more than donation to a good cause (though it is that too) – it’s also a community resource. Nearly 2/3 of the days have blog URLs, sex toy company bargains, or cultural events listed.

Did you get a copy of the Sugarbutch Star Chapbook from me at the party? No? Well, you’re in luck there too, I still have some. They’re $10 each. Email me for more details, or donate $10 via the paypal link over on the sidebar and make a note that it’s for the Chapbook.

A couple of my favorite shots from the party:



Signing a calendar
Photo by Bevin from The FemmeCast: Queer Fat Femme Podcast Guide to Life


Me & Miss December, aka Elizabeth Wood from Sex in the Public Square
(photo by Norman Blake, stolen from Stacie Joy, the talented calendar photographer)

Sex Blogger Calendar release party – this Friday!



This Friday at the White Rabbit for the release of the NYC Sexblogger 2009 Calendar. I’m one of the pin-ups (ahem, Mr. August), and I also was the senior graphic designer on the project, and I spent a lot of time on the layout & design, so it kind of feels like my baby in some ways!

ALL the pin-ups will be at the party, plus some fancy burlesque dancers.

NYC Sex Blogger 2009 Limited Edition Calendar
RELEASE PARTY
Friday, November 14, 2008
from 6:30 pm – 9:30pm
at The White Rabbit
www.whiterabbitnyc.com
145 E. Houston Street, between Forsyth and Eldridge, New York City

ALSO: we had SO many sex toy sponsors that I don’t even know how we’re going to give it all away. The first 100 people in the door get Babeland gift bags; the first 100 people to buy a calendar get a bottle of Sliquid Silk (really great lube). Plus there are crazy raffle prizes, burlesque dancers, and special guests … it’s gonna be a big night in Sexblogger history, don’t you want to be there? Yeah, I thought so.

On Love, Post-Election

How can I write about anything except politics right now? Obama, Obama, Obama. Fivethirtyeight had the projections almost completely accurate. I didn’t see too many major voting mishaps – aside from the long lines at polling places which, as we all know by now, are the new “poll tax.” Which is reassuring! In the last few days I kept hearing, “things are looking good for us, but remember: they cheat.”

So, thank the gods. I’m glad we all got to vote. I’m glad each of our votes counted. I’m so glad to see Obama victorious.

But … then there’s the gay stuff. Prop 8 in California, Prop 102 in Arizona, Prop 2 in Florida. Initiative 1 in Arkansas. Connecticut and Colorado were victories, but with the other four I’m feeling pretty defeated this morning.

I’m angry about this election. I am so grateful for Obama’s landslide win, don’t get me wrong. He ran a fantastic campaign and he did some incredibly gracious, beautiful things with the entire United States, in every place he visited – he wasn’t purely focused on the battleground states, he wasn’t ignoring the South just because it was a given that it’d go red.

But I’m angry about all the other propositions that passed. The literally millions of people who think that me, my relationship, my love, my orientation, my body’s wiring, my queerness is somehow a threat to them, somehow damaging to their way of life, somehow harmful, somehow detrimental to society, somehow bad and wrong and evil.

I take personal offense to these results.

It’s so hard not to. I try pretty hard to ignore the gay marriage activism that are going on in this country – ever since DOMA I’ve been only increasingly discouraged. I’ve written about this recently – my hesitation to think that the gay marriage fight is the end-all be-all of gay activism, that gay marriage is going to get us accepted into the “normal” club. Well, maybe I don’t want to be in the “normal” club.

But this time, I got involved. I got all crazy with 8 Against 8, I read every post Lesbian Dad kept eloquently writing, I researched the state of gay marriage in the US for weeks. I got invested. I named the puppy. I – in my liberal progressive hippie love-will-prevail idealist brain – was not prepared for such a defeat.

Gay marriage is going to revert to being illegal in California. Californians just voted to legally and specifically discriminate against a group of marginalized people. To explicitly and intentionally make us second-class citizens. Less than.

What about Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin’s widow, who just months ago made their more than fifty-year relationship completely equal, valued, valid, legitimate, in the eyes of California law? God I hope they had a good lawyer who put all sorts of forms and documents in place. How stupid and fucked up and time consuming and wasteful that Phyllis and Del even had to go through that, to do the research to figure out what rights and privileges, precisely, they were being denied because they couldn’t get married, and pay a lawyer to draw up the corresponding papers, and enter into a legal agreement with each other.

[It reminds me of If These Walls Could Talk 2, the first segment, with Vanessa Redgrave. Watch it, if you haven’t seen it. I guarantee it will break your heart, but kind of in a good way.]

I want to go back and study the history of interracial marriage – also called miscegenation, which is a great word I don’t know if I knew until today – and see how it was finally overturned. Was it state-by-state? So-called “activist judges?” Did this country watch as, one at a time, states added their own constitutional amendments banning interracial marriage? Were there Mayors who were radical enough to marry interracial couples anyway? How did it finally get overturned? I’ve never been much of a historian, really, I’m much more interested in what’s happening right now, in front of me, how this current system works – and of course it’s important to know where we came from to know how the current system works, but still, I didn’t understand history until I started studying the history of my people, the queers and gender-variants and radicals and revolutionaries.

But still, I don’t have a firm grasp on this particular American activist history, and I want to know how it worked before, because I want it to work again. Because maybe after I know one storyline’s success, I’ll be comforted. Because I’ll remember that it took hundreds of years to gain that particular right to marry, and then I’ll remember that this fight is young, that, despite our headway, there is much farther to go.

I know there is much to celebrate. Perhaps I am taking Obama’s win too much for granted. I know I have a particularly “biased” perspective because I grew up with activist parents in liberal communities; I spend my times in progressive activist circles and queer communities in big cities. There is a piece of me that is saying, “of course Obama was elected, how could it possibly be any other way?” But I said that about Gore and Kerry too, despite that Gore did win the popular vote (don’t get me started) and I’ve seen cardboard cutouts of people that have more personality than Kerry.

Clearly I don’t have a very good grasp on the reality of this country. On how conservative Republicans are capable of organizing people to vote against their own best interest in the name of “values.”

I’ve seen some posts around today already that say having Obama in office we are poised for a Federal lift on the ban on gay marriage, but honestly I don’t know if I believe that. Of course I’d like to think so, sure, but then there’s DOMA, and “37 states have their own Defense of Marriage Acts [and] … 27 states have constitutional amendments.” (source.)

Make that 30, as of November 2008: Arizona, Florida, California.

Times like these I wish I knew more about politics, and history. How can we lift these constitutional amendments out of the states? Do the voters have to vote again? Who can overturn DOMA at the Federal level? Do we need it to go through the courts, or through voting? Do we need certain Supreme Court members in order to have these things overturned? How do we get a Federal constitutional amendment that protects the rights of minorities?

We couldn’t even get something written into the Federal constitution that says that women are equal to men. Remember the ERA? Failed. Failed, failed, failed. It has been introduced in front of every Congress since 1982, and yet we still do not have anything official that says women are equal to men. Is that really so radical, so influential, that there is such opposition to it?

And correct me if I’m wrong here, I am not a constitutional scholar, but: I thought constitutions were for guaranteeing rights, not for taking them away.

Despite that I do understand what people say about the threat of gay marriage, I don’t really understand. I just don’t. Why? Why why why are we so threatening? On bad days – like this one, when literally millions of people voted against my very personal right, my very personal decision to get married – my heart fills up with emotion and I feel like a little kid after another kid yells, “I HATE YOU!” My eyes well up. I didn’t do anything to you. Just – why?

Here’s what gay marriage is: it’s commitment. Building a family, possibly taking care of children, or dogs or cats or hamsters or fish. Finding someone to share your life with. Taking care of each other. Being better together than you are alone.

And here’s what gay marriage is: love.

The simple act of loving another person. Maybe I forget how difficult love is for so many of us. Maybe I’m forgetting that love is often beaten out of us before we are even able to critically think about the world around us, just by nature of growing up in this culture. It really is revolutionary, isn’t it? Just the act of who I love could change the world, and is changing politics.

Despite my frustration at the horrible steps back that we are taking, there is hope. There is change happening.

Obama’s acceptance speech was especially moving. He slipped “gay” right in there with that long list of American identity descriptors – “young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled” – as if it belonged. As if it was no better or worse than any of those other things.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

(Full text of Obama’s presidential acceptance speech here, though I do suggest watching the video – he is such an impressive orator.)

I just have to keep remembering: let the soft animal of my body love what it loves. I can do that. I have to do that. I will do that, despite that my government says it’s not good enough. I know, I really do know, underneath it all, under the pink of my skin, in the nest of my heart, that it is enough – that I am enough – that we, my beautiful community, are enough.


UPDATE, 7pm EST: I know, I know, it’s not completely 100% official yet: the No on Prop 8 folks haven’t given up, and a recount has been demanded. But last count, Yes on 8 was ahead 400,000 votes. Not an easy thing to make up.

Legal Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 8, Should It Pass: “The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court today urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group — lesbian and gay Californians.”

Also: There’s a protest rally tonight in West Hollywood: We Shall Not Be Overlooked. Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 7:00pm – 10:00pm, San Vicente Blvd between West Hollywood Park and the Pacific Design Center (647 N San Vincente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA).

We’ve replaced your usual smut with political activism … let’s watch

“What’s going on here?!” You may be asking yourself. “What happened to my usual Sugarbutch Chronicles, with queer eye candy and smut and gender theory?”

Through October 28, it’s the 8 Against 8 campaign, where 8 lesbian bloggers are raising $8,000 over 8 days to defeat Proposition 8 in California. Along with Grace & Grace, Lori Hahn, Kelly at TLL, Dorothy Surrenders, Pam’s House Blend, Riese, Renee at Lesbiatopia, we are writing to raising awareness about the homophobic, bigoted political initiatives that are stripping away equal rights from queers.

It’s not just Proposition 8 in California, it’s also No on amendment 2 in Florida, No on Proposition 102 in Arizona , No on Question 1 in Connecticut, and No on Act 1 in Arkansas. Educate yourself. Talk to your friends & family. Send emails. DO SOMETHING.

The 8 Against 8 roundup on Sugarbutch:
Day 1, Monday:

Day 2, Tuesday:

Day 3, Wednesday:

  • Julie & Nikola, and a video for Julie’s hilarious comedy-song Commitment Ceremony

Day 4, Thursday:

Day 5, Friday:

Day 6, Saturday:

Day 7, Sunday:

Day 8, Monday:

  • Photos of fierce-gorgeous-moving-sexy-hot-inspiring queer weddings!
  • Got photos of YOUR gay wedding you’d like to be featured? Send ’em in to aspiringstud at gmail.com.

We have currently raised: $6,314 of $8,000 as of 10:30am on Wednesday, 22 October! We have reached our goal! Late on Wednesday, October 22, our donations tipped over $8,000. BUT the polls are still saying that we are not guaranteed a win against Proposition 8. Keep donating! Let’s see how far we can go! As of Monday, 27 October, we’ve raised over $13,000!

Vote NO on Prop 8

8against8 – 8 bloggers, 8 days, $8,000 – Vote No on Proposition 8!

This marks the beginning of 8 Against 8, where 8 lesbian blogs are writing for 8 days against Proposition 8 in California which would render same-sex marriage illegal and raising a goal of $8,000 to defeat the initiative.

Aside from me, the other 7 bloggers participating in this 8 Against 8 are Grace Chu and Grace Rosen at Grace The Spot, Lori Hahn at Hahn At Home, Kelly Leszczynski at The Lesbian Lifestyle, Dorothy Snarker at Dorothy Surrenders, Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend, Riese at This Girl Called Automatic Win, and Renee Gannon at Lesbiatopia.

In addition to California’s Proposition 8 on the ballot in just a few weeks, Florida has Amendment 2 and Arizona has Proposition 102, both of which would amend their state constitutions to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Arkansas also has Act 1 on the ballot, which would forbid gay and lesbian parents – and any unmarried parents – from adopting children.

Every day during 8 against 8 I’ll be featuring some different things against the initiative. Donate some funds NOW, talk to everyone you know about voting in this year’s election (regardless of their location), urge your Californian friends and family and lovers to VOTE NO on Proposition 8.

8against8 – 8 blogs, 8 days, $8,000 – VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 8

sugasm #149: editor’s pick!

Eileen’s Sugarbutch Star story is the editor’s pick at Sugasm #149 this week – thanks!!

This Week’s Picks

More Sugasm | Join the Sugasm | Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

DC celebrates mothertongue

I’ve met Natalie – the coordinator of mothertongue – in passing a few times and always really enjoyed her company, I always wanted to go down to DC to see her show and watch her perform some more. Those of you who are in the area are lucky to have this fab event coming up, check it out.

mothertongue Turns 10 Years Old
October 15, 2008
Word.

Safe. Empowered. Creative. Heard. Since October 1998, mothertongue has encouraged women in the Washington, DC area to share their voices. mothertongue is a community-based, all-volunteer run organization that works to create a safe space where all women may speak freely and powerfully and have their creative and artistic voices heard. Through monthly women’s spoken word events and writing/performance workshops, mothertongue encourages women to use their voices, art, talents, and skills to build just and inclusive communities.

mothertongue celebrates its tenth birthday on October 15 at the Black Cat, featuring spokenword performances by mothertongue cofounders Karen Taggart and Ruth Dickey; mothertongue collective members, and a splash of new voices.

After the open mic, the anniversary celebration will continue with local up-and-coming folksinger Nancy Eddy and the punk rock duo Trophy Wife.

The event will also showcase a screening of The Coat Hanger Project (2008) directed by mothertongue alumna Angie Young.

Unlike any other spokenword organization, the proceeds of each mothertongue shows go to a local beneficiary. mothertongue is proud to have supported a diverse group of local DC organizations, including the Black Lesbian Support Group, Dinner Program for Homeless Women, DC Rape Crisis Center, Hannah House, Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, Lesbian Services at Whitman Walker, Tahireh, Ophelia’s House, Visions in Feminism, Girls Rock DC, DC Kings,The Rainbow History Project, and
Phasefest 2008.

mothertongue calls upon readers from across the DC Metro Area to share their original spokenword on the celebrate 10 years of mothertongue with original spokenword performances. Natalie E. Illum, mothertongue’s current President and longest-running board member, will also be stepping down at this herstoric event. She looks forward to being an inspired audience member at future mothertongue events.

Got something to read? Contact Michelle Sewell at msewell[at]mothertonguedc.org Or Danielle Evennou at dmevennou[at]gmail.com.

When: October 15, 2008
Doors 8:00pm/Show 9:00 pm
Where: The Black Cat (1811 14th St, NW)
Cost: $8-10 (proceeds to benefit mothertongue’s future programming)

STAY IN TOUCH:
www.myspace.com/3wordproductions
www.myspace.com/mothertonguedc
www.myspace.com/wordwarriorsbook
www.myspace.com/girlchildpress
http://www.mothertonguedc.org

about the calendar photo shoot

The New York City Sex Bloggers 2009 Calendar photo shoot took place this past Sunday at the Slipper Room, and it was a huge success.

The Slipper Room, if you haven’t been, is a really amazing venue where the New York Burlesque troupe reherses and performs. It’s got fabulous gold and red curtains, iron art-deco railings, velvet booths – the works. Burlesque Night Club & Cocktail Lounge floor manager and DJ, Ken, was in attendance to help with logistics (thanks Ken!).

I frequently admired photographer Stacie Joy for her toppiness of the entire shoot. “What if possibly we …” “No.” Stacie would cut us off. “This is what we’re doing.” Stacie’s assistant darren Mayhem was running around and taking care of all the crazy details with much grace. We had our own scene stylist, Jezebel Express, who, when we were swing dancing toward the end of the day, revealed that she’s got a degree in dance – and given her burlesque talents I’m not so surprised. Though I didn’t work with them, also significant for the shoot were hair stylist Danny K Style and makeup artist Stormy, who was celebrating her 50th birthday and was a freakin firecracker. I can’t wait to see her perform some of her burlesque, I bet she’s amazing. Makeup and hairstyle make such a difference, it’s still a surprise to me – Mariella, for example, looked so much like a classic pinup – I couldn’t get over it.

Speaking of the beautiful pinup girls:


Elizabeth, Tess, Diva. (Oh I love heels.)

Twanna was an amazing little brown courtisan and she’s got such a great smile. (Her outfit made me feel like such a pervert, and I suppose that’s part of the point.) Audacia was so elegant in two different corsets and gloves, Desiree pulled off Jessica Rabbit like you wouldn’t believe. Diva‘s identity was protected, so she had to cuddle up with me for a few of the shots (aw, such a tough life, Sinclair, you’re thinking. I know. The things I do for art). Elizabeth was rockin’ some feisty heels and amazing fishnets, which was all the more glamorous because she’s rarely dressed up all girly like that. Jamye has an even bigger camera personality than she does in person, and one of my favorite moments was when she was doing one-legged push-ups to get her muscles to “pop” prior to her shoot. Hot! Lux was lovely and a bit smoky/mysterious in lots of black, Rachel couldn’t get away from featuring her great ass – and why would she? May as well show it off if you got it, yeah? Mariella showed off her perfect hourglass figure and looked like such a pinup. The feather boa tipped the tall leggy blonde Riese into a serious model, she had such the perfect smile-with-your-eyes Tyra thing. The sadist in me got off as I watched Tess writhe in pain getting her corset laced even tighter, and I even got a chance to smack her ass at the end for a minute.

Oh yeah, and me … well, I’ll tell you there were some fabulous accessories involved in my shoot, including a pocketwatch and a cigar. We’ll see which ones turn out, I think we’re all still waiting for the proofs from Stacie.

Twanna, Desiree, and Diva have their own round-up accounts, and Tess posted to the Sex Blogger Calendar blog about it too.

Today’s the deadline to buy a day on the calendar, so head on over to the Sex Blogger Calendar blog and pray that your birthday or blogiversary or kinkiversary or coming-out-iversary is still available.

It’s going to be a hellofa calendar.