The Femme Show in Boston

Announcing: The Femme Show’s Second Annual Boston-Area Appearance

October 10 and 11, 8:00 PM
Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre, 820 Mass Ave in Central Square
$11 in advance, $12 at the door

After a summer of East Coast touring, the femmes et. al. of The Femme Show are back in the Boston area with an all new show. From Barbie dolls to garter belts, from 1950’s dyke bars to suburban back yards and late night taco joints, from hula hooping to clowning, this show takes audiences on a wild ride. The Femme Show offers a variety of diverse perspectives on femme identity with subject matter that is at times thoughtful, sad, sexy, funny, and fun, with film, dance, storytelling, burlesque, drag, and performance art.

Visit www.thefemmeshow.com for tickets, volunteer opportunities, preview shows, and femme community.

sex blogger calendar 2009

I’m going to be one of the pinups in the The New York City Sexbloggers 2009 Calendar.

This is a brainchild of Tess Danesi, aka Urban Gypsy NYC, and I can’t even believe how fast she pulled together sponsors, models (Audacia Ray, Desiree, Diva, Elizabeth Wood, Jamye Waxman, Lux Alptraum, Mariella, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Riese (who was also a TLL blog of the year finalist), the famous Tess herself, Twanna A Hines, and me), sexbloggers, designers (that’d be me + Jack), a photographer and stylist and makeup artist and hairstylist, a venue … This was a very difficult undertaking and a definite labor of love. I’m so honored to be a part of it!

Proceeds of the calendar will go to Audacia Ray’s Sex Work Awareness Project, and you can buy a day in the calendar for thirty bucks, which includes a copy of the calendar itself, or a day all by itself for $10.

Can’t wait for the photo shoot where all these hot ladies dressed up in burlesque gear start takin’ it off at the Slipper Room. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing for my shoot yet, but I will tell you that I got a shiny new pair of black and white wingtips.

top 100 sex bloggers

Uh … wow. I am kind of at a loss here. Rori at Between My Sheets emailed out last night that the Top 100 Sex Bloggers list she’s been compiling was up, and I was shocked – I am still shocked! – to have come into the top 5, let alone the #1 spot. Wow.

Thanks, Rori, for compiling this list, and thanks to everyone who nominated me. Thanks for reading, thank you for contributing, thank you for writing your own stories on your own blogs and for sharing your adventures and explorations of sex and gender with me, too. It sounds kind of cheesy to say, but I’m not doing this alone, I owe so much thanks to being situated and surrounded by and in conversation with this amazing community.

I’m including some of Rori’s announcement post because I really love what she put forward, and the Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2008 complete list. Visit these folks, they’re great.

[E]very day, as I read your blogs, I’m humbled. Everyone in this community has so much to share, so much to teach. … We’re writing personal stories about our lives and opinions about sexuality. This is about sharing our hearts. Everyone is so deliciously different, too. I love it!

1. Sinclair Sexsmith http://sugarbutch.net
2. Radical Vixen http://www.radicalvixen.com  
3. Curvaceous Dee http://curvaceousdee.blogspot.com
4. Always Aroused Girl http://aagblog.com
5. Ellie Lumpesse www.lumpesse.com
6. Catalina http://catalinaloves.com
7. Selena Kitt http://selenakittyn.com
8-9. Wifey and Hubby http://wifeytalk.com
10. Roger http://wwww.dirtyboy2.blogspot.com
11. Shanna Katz http://essinem.blogspot.com
12. Amber Rhea http://www.beingamberrhea.com
13-14. Richard and Amy http://247richardandamy.com
15-16. MJ and MJ’s Slave http://www.aslavestruenature.blogspot.com
17. Thursday’s Child http://thursdayschildhasfartogo.blogspot.com
18. Narration by D http://narrationbyd.blogspot.com
19. Andrea Zanin http://www.sexgeek.wordpress.com
20. The Provocateur http://theprovocateur.wordpress.com
21. Violet Blue http://tinynibbles.com
22. Autumn http://dreamsofaneroticaqueen.sensualwriter.com
23. SSS http://sweatshopsissy.wordpress.com
24. Storm http://ambientstorm.blogspot.com
25. Sub lyn http://longdistancesub.blogspot.com
26. Tara Tainton http://www.taratainton.com/tarastrysts/index.html
27. Jake http://factsandfriction.blogspot.com
28. Cherry Bomb http://cherrybombnyc.blogspot.com  
29. Lakey http://fairelaffaire.blogspot.com
30. Scarlet http://feministfucktoy.com
31. Glenpreece http://lastbreath.wordpress.com
32. Lolita Wolf http://www.leatheryenta.com
33. Vixen http://blue-eyedvixen.com
34. Tom Paine http://perverselypoly.blogspot.com
35. Tongue Tied Blue http://tonguetiedblue.blogspot.com
36. Maymay http://www.maybemaimed.com   
37. Miss Bliss http://blog.blisswarrior.com  
38. Mistress Maeve http://7d.blogs.com/mistress
39. Nadia http://www.kinkylibrarian.net
40. Luka http://barbedwireboudoir.blogspot.com
41-42. Odysseus and Penelope http://marriedexploits.blogspot.com
43. Eileen http://bloodylaughter.com
44. Calico http://dominatrixnextdoor.com/blog
45. Caroline Shepherd http://feministsexcarnival.blogspot.com
46. Kathleen http://polyspace.wordpress.com
47. Packing Vocals http://packingvocals.blogspot.com
48. Audacia Ray http://www.wakingvixen.com
49. Axe http://unspeakableaxe.com
50. Baccus http://www.erosblog.com
51. Chelsea Summers http://prettydumbthings.typepad.com/chelseagirl
52. Debauchette http://debauchette.wordpress.com
53. The Butterfly Temptress http://thebutterflytemptress.com
54. Dirty Little Girl http://dirtylittlemind.blogspot.com
55. Sexy Whispers http://sexywhispers.wordpress.com
56. Wendy Blackheart http://www.heartfullofblack.com
57-58. Padme and Anakin http://darkside-journey.blogspot.com
59-60. Him and Her http://sexcakes.blogspot.com
61. Slip of a Girl http://aslipofagirl.blogspot.com
62. Blowjob Babe http://strokesuckswallow.blogspot.com
63-64. Dirty Debbie and CJ http://dirtydebbie.blogspot.com
65. Scorpio http://adventuresofascorpio.blogspot.com
66. Charlotte http://charlottethorpe73.wordpress.com
67. Bitchy Jones http://bitchyjones.wordpress.com
68. Anastasisa http://www.chaosnoir.com/anastasia
69. Alice http://anonymous-alice.blogspot.com
70. Anita Wagner http://practicalpolyamory.blogspot.com
71. Jack http://roughwords.blogspot.com
72. Mistress Matisse http://mistressmatisse.blogspot.com
73. Mariella http://wannaplaymariella.blogspot.com
74. O http://eros-logos.blogspot.com
75. Shasta Gibson http://shastagibson.com
76. Gwen http://www.pop-shot.blogspot.com
77. fivestar http://www.iamfivestar.com
78. Lilly http://dangerouslilly.blogspot.com
79. Penny http://birdsaresmart.blogspot.com
80. Figleaf http://www.realadultsex.com
81. Tony http://www.comstockfilms.com/blog/tony
82. Viviane http://www.thesexcarnival.com
83. Six http://sixelaborates.wordpress.com
84. Bob http://bobsbestboobs.com
85-99. Fiammetta, Jill, Robyn, Scarlot, Melissa, Kitten, Karly, Holly, Surgeon, Stacey, Tara, Jessica, Gina, Wendy, and Tori http://deepthroated.wordpress.com
100. _________________________ Why is #100 blank? Because I know there are dozens…hundreds…of other amazing sex bloggers out there, and I want everyone to be a part of this list.

The 2008 Sex Bloggers page has further profiles of the Top 100 Sex Bloggers, check that out for recommended posts and more information about the folks behind these great blogs.

femme conference roundup, & links

Now that I am finally putting my thoughts together about the femme conference, here is a small roundup of other posts I’ve seen out there in the blogosphere about others’ experiences.

  1. fatgirl femme: femme conference 2008: “I left the conference feeling energized and excited, and like I can totally have the femme community I want. I feel really committed to making it happen here in Seattle, and also really blessed that even if it DOESN’T happen in Seattle, I have some really valuable femme community in the blogosphere, and that’s still pretty fucking remarkable.”
  2. the femme show – some first thoughts: “… what I want to share with you now … is how much I want to go back. How I want to be part of two hundred or so femmes and allies telling each other we’re beautiful, strong, sexy, survivors of misogyny and worse, capable of loving and fucking and building a movement and changing the world. How when I was alone on a street in some Chicago neighborhood I can’t even name, waiting for a bus, I looked at groups of women carrying purses and diaper bags and birthday presents, women in dresses going out to dinner, and I saw them as friends because I’d just spent 48 hours surrounded by people in dresses who were friends. How I want to keep seeing all feminine people that way, to let go of the idea that femininity in queers is subversive and special and superior and make this about chosen femininity, not about special us queers are with our big glasses and big earrings or whatever it is this year.”
  3. femme FATale: post 1 of lord knows how many others: “who knew … being around people of various shared communities that are separate at times and converging at others could so quickly feel like home, that i’d go to chicago excited and leave with a heart full and achey with missing? to answer the questions i’ve received from readers and from friends: the femme conference was amazing. it was validating and caring, but it was also intense and hard. there was support and there was community, as much as there were the reminders of how much further we need to go to be good to each other as femmes. as loving and thoughtful and supportive as we are to our butches and our bois and to our allies, we need to be good to ourselves and to each other.”
  4. coffee and gender: the architecture of femme: “In the workshops and keynotes we attended the discussions were so closely focused on femmes that allies often were relegated to sitting and listening: which is exactly what allies should be doing 80% of the time. However, there are always times when workshops or lectures are really meant for the self-identifying members of the audience and not for allies or family members/significant others. I don’t believe in “safe space” but I strongly believe in “safer space”, and it can be hard to tell when a lecture or workshop might be more easily received and understood if the attendees all belonged to that one identity group.”

If you know of other posts or wrote one yourself, please leave the URL in the comments + I’ll add them to the roundup!

There is a Femme Conference 2010 in the works, I hear it’ll be in Atlanta. There are some specific folks that I would really like to see at the conference in 2010, and I’m going to call you out publically because I can. Please consider coming. Please make your life revolve around creating the ability to come to the next conference. You will not regret it. You need to be there: sublime femme, Miss Avarice, Lady Brett, Green-eyed Girl, and Essin’ Em.

Speaking of femme community and links to what’s happening in the blogosphere, Hussyred recently posted on her fabulous blog about the concept of a femme archive, specifically positing this challenge: “Let’s post the who, the what, the where, the when of how we got to call ourselves “femme.””

There have been some lovely responses being kicked around: Sublime femme writes on what makes me a femme, Green-eyed Girl says who am I, Lady Brett Ashley rides around with her rag top down, and Belle (yep, she’s back) discusses supporting other femmes and her own femme competition.

It’s a great question, this idea of where we came from, how we our gender identities developed, when we called ourself by our chosen identity labels and why. If you’d like to explore this in the comments, please do so. If you post about this on your own blog, please do leave a link!

still on the tip of my tongue (sugasm #136)

My piece about going down on Penny was featured on Sugasm today. Thanks!!

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

This Week’s Picks

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

More of my personal favorites:

eye candy: bedroom eyes

My hot papi Jess of HouseofJero.com. She’s bringin’ butchly back. – Tina

Tina sent me three shots of her partner Jess because, she said, she couldn’t just choose one. It was tough! This one is so smooth. I actually met these two at Curly McDimple’s queer blogger weenie roast last summer (and there will be another one!), and I gotta say, they’re really sweet together. Tina’s quite the eye candy herself. 

And, uh, didja notice that headboard? Looks very … functional.    

onward & upward, gender explorers!

Lots of great comments on Tuesday’s post about my own frustrations with the discussions on this site – I’m replying to the comments in the thread, too, with more information, so read the comments if you’d like to know more about my thoughts around this issue. You can also subscribe to the Sugarbutch Chronicles RSS comments feed (but that’s really just for the hardcore fans).

I’d like to say two quick things about it, then I’ll move on to more random miscellany:

1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. That post was not meant as a request for praise, of course, it was just an update on where I’m at and what I’ve been going through – but I appreciate the praise, and I appreciate the clarifications about what this site and these discussions have meant for you.

2. I’ve mentioned that I’m implimenting some changes in how this site works, but don’t worry, I’m not planning on changing it drastically. If you have particular suggestions about what you’d love to see more of, what your favorite parts have been, what you hate, I’d love to hear that as I go forward. Really, though, the biggest change will probably not be on the published-side of things at all – it’ll just be in my own psychic process toward the site, and hopefully, in my own boundaries about frustration and internalizing criticism.

2a. I’d particularly like to grow the SSU category here on Sugarbutch – “Sinclair Sexsmith University,” the custom sex, gender, and relationships “program” with 101-level articles and information. I’m not sure exactly how to begin building that, but I’m working on it.

A little bit more housekeeping, random things to mention & file under colophon:

I

Help! Michelle – you emailed me that great article & I have a long response to send you, but your email keeps getting bounced back. Email me again from a different address, so I can send some thoughts back to you?

II

I just found out that sugarbutch has a livejournal syndication. If you use LJ, you can add Sugarbutch as a friend & keep up with me that way.

III

bzzzgrrrrl emailed me to let me know she’d nominated Sugarbutch for a BlogHer Hero award. She says, “You won’t get it, I’m afraid. The official rules prohibit material that is “inappropriate, indecent, obscene,” etc., and who knows what that means, but I bet Sugarbutch Chronicles qualifies.” Ah, she’s probably right – but I’m still really flattered, thank you for the nomination.

She sent me a very flattering, humbling blurb that she included with her nomination, and I’m reprinting it here with my thanks & gratitude:

Sugarbutch Chronicles changes lives — mine, at least. Sinclair writes frankly, openly, and playfully about gender. My generation of feminists just Didn’t Talk Like That: Transfolk made us uncomfortable. People who deliberately declared themselves “butch” or “femme” but weren’t trans made us more uncomfortable. Sinclair is as sexy as she is smart, and she opens dialogue for and between her readers that inspire us all. Since reading her, I’ve had better sex, better conversations, better jumping-off points for challenging my own ideas. SBC isn’t the only blog about queer theory or gender theory, but it’s the best I’ve found.

I’m attempting not to blush, and instead practicing my “thank you”s with all this praise recently – instead of deflecting I’m just trying to accept. I’m really glad that some – any – of my own thought processes, approaches, and philosophies are useful to others, and I’m extremely grateful to all the comments, emails, questions, and folks out there with blogs & books & further writings who are exploring these topics.

It’s a nice community we’ve got goin’ on here. My gender conversations are a lot less lonely than it used to be, thank you for that.

Lesbian bed death, Butch/femme dating, and More Femme Worship (Plus Q&A)

I’m in Salt Lake City for the long weekend, so hopefully I’ll have some time to catch up on writing and these questions. Thanks for asking them! Some of them are very complex and I want to give them good thought.

5. Mm asks: How does one (or more appropriately two) keep passion from waning in a long term monogamous relationship? It’s been done, but how?

Oh man – I won’t pretend to be the authority on this one. I have had two major long-term relationships, one for five years, one for four years, the latter of which was one of those LBD (lesbian bed death) situations. So I seem to be alright at sustaining some sort of time – though ultimately, all my relationships have ended, so I’m not sure I’ve got the secrets here.That said, I do think I have some ideas about what it is that I can and will do to sustain passion in a long-term relationship the next time I get the chance to practice.

  1. Talk about sex. Talk talk talk. It’s fun! It’s sexy, it’s intimate. Let go of inhibitions and let your partner into your dirty dirty mind. Make lists of things you’d like to do. Make lists of things you’ve never done and probably would never do. Fill out sex surveys – like the purity test, or a BDSM checklist – together. Fill out the fill-in-the-blank questions, you may be surprised at the answers. Make a list of things you’ve done and didn’t like but might be willing to try again. Maybe this is just my compulsive list-making, but it’s useful information, and it forms a common vocabulary for you two to both discuss your wants, desires, fetishes, interests. 
  2. Do sexy stuff together. Watch porn, or, if you don’t like porn (though I gotta say, dyke porn is getting better and better and better, you’re missing out if you haven’t tried out some of the recent stuff), read erotica aloud to each other. Go to sex toy shops together. Share your fantasies. Plan some elaborate fantasy scene. Explore!
  3. Figure out what turns you on, and don’t be afraid to own that. Look for someone with complimentary turn-ons, or discuss your newly discovered turn-ons with your partner. It amazes me how few people really know what deeply “does it” for them, or, even moreso, who are in relationships with people they can tell about this stuff. (Oh, you should see the email I get sometimes about this.)
  4. If things are working, we’ll both be growing, individually as well as together. In theory, our values will be so tightly aligned that the interests and pursuits that we meander through will keep each other interested, rather than putting distance or difficulties between us. But, that said, don’t assume the relationship will be between the same people in two, five, ten years. One of my favorite novels of all time, The Sparrow, has a quote in it that goes like this: “I’ve been married five times over the last fifty years to five different people, all of whom were named George.” We should grow and change. We just gotta give each other the freedom to grow, and recognize that that means, potentially, that we may grow apart. 
  5. Ultimately, I think, it’s all about sexual openness. The people I’ve seen who have been able to sustain things long-term have been deeply open. Experiment! Try something you’ve never done, then try it again – just because you tried it once and didn’t like it doesn’t mean you’ll never like it. See which edges you can push. Take a class, take a workshop. Open up, let go.

All this advice is sounding very cliché. I don’t like giving general advice as a rule … wish I had some more specific answers for you here. Other readers? Tips for sustaining a long-term passionate relationship? Hell, if you are IN a long-term, passionate relationship, how do you do it? What makes it work?

6. Dosia asks: What would you say is the best way for a girl to approach a hot butch in a bar/at a dyke march/behind the counter in a cafe/in class? How do we make those connections — not just for sex, but for friendship? Hell, it doesn’t have to be specific to butch/femme dynamics, how does it work, this meeting other queer women?

If there’s only one piece of advice to give about starting – and maintaining – conversations with strangers, dykes or butches or femmes or friends or potential hotties or whoever – it’s this: find common ground and elevate the discussion.

My mom told me that once upon a time about my (former) hostile work environment. And I tell ya, it fucken worked.

Find common ground: that is, when you hit upon a topic with which you are both familiar, attempt to deepen it. When you discover you both like art, go inside of that – elevate the discussion. Ask another question: “what kind of art do you like?” “Have you been to that exhibit at the Met?” “Do you paint?” “What kind of medium do you use?” “What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever done?” “What do you wish you could do?” “What made you get into that?” …see what I mean? Once you hit a common topic of interest, deepen the discussion by asking as many questions as you can about the different aspects of it. It’s hard when you don’t know anything about the topic – it’s hard for me to bullshit sports, for example – but when I actually know something about it, I can ask intelligent questions that, who knows, may even compliment my own understanding of the topic.

That said: there are a few good books I’d recommend here. The Art of Conversation and, cheesy as it may sound, The Game, a memoir about pickup artistry (with many grains of salt and a critical eye, of course).

Certainly there’s not just one way, and the trick is to find your own way, the way that works for you with your unique set of interests and talents. My way and your way are probably different. I know, that’s a lousy answer, but unfortunately it’s also true – what makes you interesting, what do you love to talk about? I am often talking to girls about their gender presentation at bars, and I quickly discover in that conversation which girls share a similar vocabulary for gender that I do (major turn-on), and which are performing some sort of femininity out of some sort of compulsory default (major turn-off).

Lesbians travel in packs, especially to bars, dyke marches, cafes, so it’s really difficult to actually a) gain one’s attention, b) keep one’s attention, and c) have an actual conversation of connection. That’s where the find common ground comes in, but I definitely understand that it’s hard to actually say something, hard to “break the ice,” to make contact.

I mean, I think this is hard for everybody, but particularly difficult because of the ways that lesbians stay huddled with their friends when out at social events, in public. Why do we do that? Maybe it’s a predator-pray kind of instinct, where it used to be so much more dangerous for us to be out on the town, and we remember that, as a community. There is safety in numbers, after all. From the specifically butch perspective, these are some things that would make me seriously take notice:

  • Ask me to light your cigarette (even better if you then say “I don’t actually smoke, I just wanted to talk to you,” because for one, I’m an ex-smoker, and for two, smoking, as romantic as it is (sigh), will severely damage your body and that is, ultimately, a turn-off. I should add that to the list.)
  • Compliment me on my gender (no, I’m serious!) – “hey, I noticed your gender from across the room.” “hey, you look like a old-school butch / faggy butch / dapper dandy / prettyboi – do you have a particular word for what it is you do?” “Your gender is quite noticeable.  You got a gender philosophy?” 
  • Offer to buy me a drink. It’s an easy excuse to get somebody talking. Say, “I wouldn’t want to presume to insult your possible dominant or chivalrous abilities, but can I buy you a drink?” Boy howdy, that’d definitely get my attention. (I’d say: “No. But you can allow me the pleasure of buying you one.” And then you’d giggle, and we’d talk and flirt until I eventually took you back to your place and fucked you in the foyer. Hey wait, how’d this become a sex story?)

These are things that would absolutely appeal to me, not sure how butches-as-a-whole would really respond. But that’s all I can speak to, really, is my own experience – other butches (and any folks who don’t identify as butch): what would get your attention? Don’t be afraid to be a little bold. Lesbians rarely are, but it’s my experience that we respond extremely well to boldness. Also, after you get to talking, it’s okay not to have a plan. And it’s also okay to let your nervousness come through as charming. “Uh, that was my one idea for a conversation. Now I’m drawing a blank ‘cause you’re kinda cute.  Got any topics for discussion?”

7. Cyn asks: … (see the first batch of answers)

8. Duck asks: Could you explain how the remaking of femininity has been “successful?”

Still working on this one ….

9. Miss Avarice asks: Have we yet figured out the subtle differences between straight girls and femmes at first glance? Does it really come down to a hunch in the end? Also, has writing SB changed you?

The only way I can say that I know the femmes from the straight girls is that, sometimes, I “just know.” And hell, I’m not even right all the time! I err on the side of caution, though, assuming someone is straight until proven otherwise – although “proven otherwise” is a broader and broader category, often as broad as “she’s talking to me, must mean she’s queer (in some form).” So yeah, it comes down to a hunch – it’s more than just a hunch though, it’s an energy. It’s gaydar, it’s a sixth sense that I can’t put my finger on. I wish I knew! I’m working on some writings on “gender energy,” we’ll see how those go.

Writing Sugarbutch has absolutely changed me. I was just looking back at where I was two years ago, and while I knew I was butch, I was so much less articulate and able to claim it in ways that I do now. Sugarbutch has been key and essential to my own personal development of gender identity. It’s plateauing a little bit, in the last year or so, but I still have some realms to explore (the “sex” part and the “relationship” part, namely). One big way Sugarbutch has measurably changed me, especially in terms of gender identity, is that I – as Sinclair – exclusively go by male pronouns. I write “Mr. Sinclair Sexsmith,” and in the few interviews I’ve had, I’ve asked to be called by the set of he/him/his. I don’t go by male pronouns in my non-pseudonymed life, though I really love being able to play with both.

It’s changed me in other ways, too, though; I’ve been able to let a persona wander free and explore lots more of that toppy/butch identity, and it’s definitely strengthened my own expression of it.

10. Zoe asks: How did you develop boundaries for your blog? How do you decide what to write about vs what to keep private? Who would you be most worried about finding it?

I established the boundaries early on, with the tagline “sex, gender, and relationship adventures” – that’s what I write about. Occasionally I get the impulse to post links, or media, or general bitchy writing, but I ask myself: is this about sex, gender, or relationships? Otherwise, no. Axed. (I suppose I should add “self-awareness” to that list, though really, usually it’s self-awareness about sex, gender, or relationships, so it applies.)

I don’t have hard rules about what to write vs what to keep private. Sometimes, a date or a situation or a new revelation just begs to be written about, and I do. It’s instinctual, I guess. Occasionally, I hesitate – usually in those situations I write it all out anyway, and then ask one of my trusty advisees to tell me whether or not it’s appropriate to post. Most often, they say no, for whatever reasons, and confirm my suspicions.

Who would I be most worried about finding Sugarbutch … I suppose I wouldn’t want my boss at work finding this blog, especially considering how many hours I spend on it while I’m at work. And while there are many of these entries I’ve written that I would send to my mother, I wouldn’t particularly wish her to find it, either – though, my family being what it is (completely non-confrontational) I’d probably never know she’d run across it.

I would never want to get an email from Callie with her comments about what I’ve said about her on this blog (note to self: when are you going to get around to password protecting the old Callie entries?). I don’t actually know for sure whether or not Callie knows about this blog. My logical self says yes, of course she does, how could she not; but, on the other hand, I can’t imagine she wouldn’t have mentioned it. I guess we had a “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing going on.

I’m really open about this stuff – sex, gender, relationships – and most people in my life know that I write here. I used to keep it much more of a secret, but as it’s been developing from a personal journal blog to a more thorough non-ficiton-essay blog, I share it more and more. Plus, I spend so much time on it, I like to talk about it and bounce ideas around.

another round of birthday wishes!

Wow! Birthday wishes are still coming in, four days after my birthday now. I’m honored by your thoughtful photos, indulging a fetish (or maybe two) of mine. What else are birthdays for, if not some indulgence? Thanks.

birthday - peach
Sexy cute red shoes from Peach!

birthday - muse
Strappy sandals from Muse

birthday - lolita
Ooh la la boots from Lolita (sir)

birthday - tonguetied
Tongue-tied blue (who just had a blogiversary! Mine is coming up at the end of April) attempts to one-up my own hairy legs with this shot … perhaps I’ll have to post one of my own to retaliate.

birthday - colleen
Sexy shoe shopping from Colleen

just what I wanted

I’ve been busy, the last few days! My birthday this year consisted of red velvet cake, prosecco, a queen, the film 21, dinner & drinks, dinner & drinks, and dancing! I feel oh-so-blessed to have great friends & community around me.

29 is going to be a fabulous year!

Thank you, everybody, for the lovely birthday wishes, in print & in someecards & in photographs of your fabulous accessories. I guess I didn’t make it clear, but any shoes or hats or glasses or belts or bags are welcome – or hell, any photos for that matter. A few folks have mentioned that they’re going to send me photos, but haven’t yet – if you’d still like to, please do! I’ll post ’em in a second roundup.

Without further ado … thank you:

birthday - ladybrett
Lady Brett Ashley, who also does drag
and hinted at sending another photo … yes please!

birthday
“My Vintage Puma Romas, My favorite belt – D&G Seatbelt
(yes, real men wear pink), Prada Sunglasses –
and being butt naked when taking the pic.” – Marcello

birthday - sam 2 birthday - sam1
“I’m not a huge fan of the strappy sandals, I much prefer boots and heels.
And another one of my favorite accessories, jeans” – Samantha

birthday - greeneyedgirl
Delicious silver heels from Green-eyed Girl

birthday - curvydee
“In honour of this auspicious occasion,
a rare event indeed – me in heels.” – Curvaceous Dee

birthday - avarice
Cutie heels from Avarice

birthday - einstein
Last but not least, Molly found this one!

“Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity”

I have much to write about, I’m working on a couple pieces for you, more rantings on re-valuing masculinity, something about butch stubble, and of course there’s the aforementioned “Therapy session” where Miss DD & I got kicked out of a bathroom at a gayboy club.

Also, I’ve slightly changed the settings on my WordPress template so that it no longer produces /#/ in the URLs. If you’ve linked here, and you have that in the code, you might discover that your link no longer works. Just sayin’.

Also, for that matter, some of you are still linking to my old blogspot address – please check your linkrolls and update to www.sugarbutch.net.

Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit caught up in all the politics of the presidential race. I, like so many, am going back & forth between Hillary and Obama (interesting that we call her by her first name, isn’t it? I know she’s perpetuated that in her campaign, but still). My inner brain argues, She’s so experienced! She could really fix some of the bad stuff that’s happened! But – he’s such an orator! An inspiring leader! I get so inspired by his politics, in a way that I never get riled up when I hear politicians speak!

(Apparently my inner brain speaks primarily in exclamation points.)

I’d be pretty happy with either one, honestly. There are benefits and drawbacks to each. It hit me this week that we will, most likely, I really believe, either have a woman or a black man as president next year. That’s phenomenal. I remember hearing the rumors a few years back that Obama and Hillary would likely be running and I thought, really? Are we ready for that? This country seems so bass-ackwards and I can hardly believe we would elect a minority, of any kind, after we elected W twice. TWICE! Sometimes I think this country deserves what it gets.

I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, it is certainly making the rounds, but just in case you haven’t: the “Yes We Can” speech Obama made was set to music by will.i.am of the Black-Eyed Peas and overlayed with some celebrity singers, and it’s brilliant. The speech by itself is even brilliant, but lord, I love this so very much.

And hey, help me out here: who is the white chick with the fabulous mouth and the plunging v-neck showing off her cleavage who is singing in the “Yes We Can” video? Someone told me this was one of the Pussycat Dolls, but I think that’s the other girl, not the one I mean. There’s a list of all the celebrities on yeswecansong.com but I don’t recognize enough of the names to figure it out.

Sometimes lately I’ve been thinking that we need a great leader even more than we need someone who will be able to navigate the system, because hell, I and so many people I talk to are so disillusioned with politics right now. How many times did I hear “I’m moving to Canada” or “I haven’t been able to watch any political speech or debate or a word that W says since 2002” or “why even bother? this country is run by the elite” or et cetera in the last eight years? We – the liberals, the radicals, the social change fighters – need some hope and inspiration.

A few other links, before I stop ranting politically:

And: if you’d like to follow some of the articles and blog posts that I’ve been reading lately, you can either subscribe to my Google Reader RSS feed, or add me as a friend on your own Google Reader (I’m under aspiringstud (at) gmail (dot) com), or look over in the sidebar, now, where I added a clip of my shared items.


While I’m doing some housecleaning, let me also let you know that I’ve been invited to join the Lesbian Bloggers Blogads Hive (thanks Kelly!), which means that you may be seeing some ads appear on this site in the near future. I have such grand plans for Sugarbutch, and I love the ways that people are responding and contributing and communicating with me – and with each other – about so many of the things that I’ve brought up here, and I want to be able to do more, but I currently can’t devote as much time to it as I’d like. I’m hoping that, if it begins to make me some money, I’ll be able to clear more time in my schedule for it, write more, make some changes, keep it up better. I hesitate, though, because I really do think that ads compromise a blog’s integrity, but I’m trying to remember that these labors of love are expensive and time consuming, and I – we all – deserve to be compensated for our time and hard work.

I’ll keep you updated as the quest for compensation progresses. Ideas are always welcome.

That concludes your random political/community post for today … we will return you to your regularly scheduled smut on Sugarbutch Chronicles soon.

remembering those lost

Today is the Trans Day of Remembrance in honor of the genderqueer and trans lives lost to hate crimes.

From the official website: “The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.”

Read Quench Zine’s post on the trans day of remembrance. (Thanks to Feministing for the link.)

Read S. Bear Bergman’s poem

Questioning Transphobia has a great collection of links and snippets as well. Read ’em.

Check out the Transgender Law Center, including this awesome booklet on Beyond the Binary: A Toolkit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools. Forward it to the teachers in your life.

It’s only very recently that I’ve been seeing my own butchness as a form of trans-gender, within the past year.

These are some of the things that have happened to me within the last month or so, based on my gender appearance:

  • My uncle’s young grandson called me male pronouns all night during a dinner party with family

  • A little kid asked, “Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?” behind me in line at the grocery store

  • A man yelled “fag!” at me on the street (I was puzzled. I wasn’t sure he meant me. I said, “I think the word you’re looking for is dyke.” Perhaps in retrospect I should’ve said, “you wish you could suck my cock.”) This was perhaps six weeks ago …

  • A woman or girl in a public bathroom came in, did a double take of me at the mirror, or sink, or coming out of the stall, or drying my hands, and said, “Am I in the right bathroom?” or “Is this the ladies’ room?” or “Is this … are you … am I …” or something equally awkward. This happens rather often

Generally, I get ignored on the streets of New York City, definitely in Midtown where I make my days, I tend to blend in, tend to have the general office uniform on and get scanned over, and even in the slightly off-the-beaten-path neighborhood where I have an apartment (though only for another few weeks) I don’t get harrassed or even noticed, much. But I recognize the rarity of that, and how lucky I am to generally feel safe in my body and gender expression. Not everyone like me is so lucky. And many others like me have been harassed, beaten, bullied, raped, and murdered for their own expression.

Makes me extraordinarily grateful for my wild and precious life.

PS: “Remembrance” is such a beautiful word.

what sex bloggers do when we get together

Viviane‘s tea party of sex bloggers yesterday was yet again an amazing gathering. The conversation was mostly sex & general geekery like WordPress templates. logo design, site counters, anonymity and blog traffic.And then there was the sex. D/s verses topping and bottoming, penises and balls (I tried to keep a straight face, really I did), strap-on cocks, how bio cocks malfunction, oral fixation, flogging, single-tail whips …

Eileen mentioned that she particularly likes sex play that involves skill, and I have to borrow that from her and agree – skill is hot. Making difficult things look easy is hot. Single tail whips and play piercing are fucken hot. And did I mention that I’d like to be in a room with her again soon? Yes.

In other news:

Avah was adorible and makes lovely noises when tickled; Wendy has a seriously quick wit that included, “Casual sex?! What the fuck, as if the rest of my sex life has a top hat and tails?”

Maymay and I discovered that we were apparently twins separated at birth – well, in the ways that we like women, anyway. Tess was stunning and articulate; Susan and I had lots to talk about regarding anonymity and women bloggers; Selina did not disappoint in her nudist philosophies.

I caught up with the busy lives of Dacia and Rachel, two gals I’d really like to see more of – sounds like Dacia has some new projects and I am definitely submitting something to a new anthology of Rachel’s. Also, Rachel’s got a new Crossdressing Erotica blog and has some great things about gender bending and gender presentation. I’m reviewing her new book, Crossdressing Erotica one of these days (I swear).

It was a particular pleasure speaking to speak to Sissy Maid Stephanie, who talked a bit about cross-dressing in her (his? forgive me if I use a pronoun you don’t prefer) daily life, and I found myself particularly identified with that, as someone who wears men’s clothes, but clearly in a separate category than she is at the same time. I admire her, I’d like to talk to her more about that.

I didn’t get his name, but there was a guy there who was quite impressive with a flogger. Made me want to be his apprentice. I need to practice.

I didn’t have a chance to talk to Jefferson about his recent post on his ex and kids, but I’d hoped to – I emailed him to tell him I empathize. I did get to mention that we should make OLTT/WWJD shirts, and he said he’ll put me in charge of his merch. (Dude, I am a graphic designer, don’t forget I start cafepress stores for fun).

And just before I left, Chris and Mickey asked nicely to see my cock, so I unzipped and showed it off.

I’d brought it for the party, yes; but I’d also brought it for the date I was going to after, a particularly beautiful southern girl (not Belle) who was just in town for a day. But that is a different post.

Sometimes, like this weekend, I fucken love living in this city.

this is how it goes

You think, I’m not ready for a relationship, not even an ongoing sexual one with clear emotional boundaries.

You think, there’s no way I can even adequately interact with other human beings intimately without causing or receiving some sort of heartache.

You think, I must be more restrictive and conscienscious of my interactions.

Then, someone comes along, someone unexpected maybe, and for a minute, an hour, four hours, over Thai food, over a bottle of Presecco, over take out from Song, over a walk on the promenade, over a tattoo, you remember that there is more to an interaction than simply confusion and ache, and sometimes you can hold small shards of yourself up to someone else’s light and discover a shade of yourself that you’d never really seen until someone else was there to provide illumination.

Butch Stoicism

This past weekend, a friend reminded me that my sensitivity manifests in this butch body, this gender performance, as stoicism. I forget that about myself. I think it is obvious that my feelings are hurt, that I am withdrawn or sullen, yet externally it appears as anger, hard walls, and judgment.I forget that’s how I’m seen.

See, this butch thing is still relatively new – less than a third of my life – and I am treated and perceived differently because of it. I’ve written this before, but: I was never “one of the boys,” I was never the athletic jock, the girl who wished she could join the football team, the one with the toy truck collection. I was the ragamuffin hippie child, making daisy chains, playing in the mud at recess and then changing into mary janes when I got back inside. I was the girl with the handmade dress and the holes in the knees of my wool tights.

Back when I had long hair, this same expression of emotion in me was perceived as something else – hurt, pouting. But now, with my boycut #4, it is stoic anger.

I changed, yeah. But I also am just the same. Don’t forget I used to be the girl on the playground that built rock sculptures and then would sneek into the library to read Jean Fritz and Madeleine L’engle and Anne of Green Gables and The Babysitter’s Club. Don’t forget that this gender doesn’t mean that I don’t feel, too.

this is my life

Lately it seems I have had a lot of these moments when I get a screenshot of what I’m doing loaded in my head, and I think, holy shit. This is my life.Thursday night, it was that gorgeous blonde, on top of me, straddling my cock, grinding against me, hands in her hair, head turned to one side mouth open eyes shut, moaning, my hands on her hips – and I nearly laughed.

“You better not be laughing with a naked lady in the room,” she gave me a look like she was going to smack me, but her eyes were playful.

I tried to explain. This is my life, I said. I think she got it.

Friday, it was out with an amazing group of new friends, at a vegan cafe with prosecco, at a stunning concert with New York’s skyline in the background, then at the local watering hole (aka dyke bar) where I actually ran into people I know – that doesn’t ever happen to me! I was out on the town with (dare I name it) my community, sitting around a picnic table with cider and beer and bourbon, talking about sex and strapons and relationships and how to invite what you want into your life and topping and bottoming and delivering and love and romance and doting upon and, of course, gender …

It is the first time in a long time, probably many years, that I have heard last call at a bar. We were all so excited to be connecting, communicating friends that we didn’t want to leave.

Lucky for us, there is a rooftop barbecue already planned for this afternoon.

I gotta say, it is really fucken great to be me right now. And I am so, so grateful.

Top 10 things I love about being gay

  1. There’s that whole fucking women thing. Yeah, I like that.

  2. It challenges all sorts of compulsory hegemonic systems and encourages new ways of acceptance, tolerance, living, and loving

  3. The community! We have such fighters, artists, activists, lovers – I love our arts and culture, our philosophies, our theories

  4. Drag kings, drag queens, and queer burlesque

  5. That we are a lineage of kisses; because we do not inheret our legacies through our blood-related families, we must claim our heritage through our desire, love, play, and kisses

  6. Getting over the “ick factor” – which is what I’d call a lesbian’s aversion to men (and masculinity) or a gay boy’s aversion to women (and femininity) – and creating alignments with all sorts of genders within the queer spectrum

  7. The synthesis of feminism, gender, and sexual revolution

  8. The brilliance and hilarity of our (mainstream) queer celebrities – Ellen, k.d., Harvey Feirstein, John Waters, George Michael, Jenny Shimitzu, Rosie – and our media – Better than Chocolate, But I’m a Cheerleader, Bound, Queer as Folk, Brokeback Mountain, Will & Grace … and dozens more. They really are forging through.

  9. The Pride Parade & Dyke March. Stonewall. Knowing where I come from. Honoring traditions, and making new ones

  10. I do have a great toaster oven from all those young’uns I’ve converted …

Gender Dynamics in the Sexblog Community

Welcome to the community, Colleen and Jake. Even just a few months ago the dyke-run sexblogs were few and far between, but this little empire (car tires & chicken wires) of ours is growing. Have you seen my “Playin’ for My Team” sidebar list recently? Not all of those are exclusively sexblogs, but most of them are. But here’s a funny thing … almost all of these dyke-run sexblogs, though, are from self-defined femmes. Hey, all the better for me, really, but where are the butches?Similarly, I was at the Pervert’s Saloon Tea Party this past Sunday, and it was me, Jefferson, and six other women – Tess, Viviane, Calico, Selina, Rachel, and Lolita. (I missed Madeline, who has been there every other time I’ve been to a tea party, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.) We were interviewed by Craig Collinson of Nobles Gate for his documentary “A Sex Bloggesy” about, um, sexbloggers.

That’s us. Anonymized in the interviewer’s monitor. Photo borrowed from Viviane.There was a question at some point about the imbalance of genders in the room – At one point, Jefferson said (about me), “Well hey, you’re the only man in the room …” This imbalance is in the sexblog community in general, too. We did some speculation as to why this is. The interviewer even brought up the idea that women are not as sexual creatures as men. I think, honestly, he was playing TO the stereotypes intentionally, though he was also asking us to defend/discuss it. I spent much of the interview biting my fist to keep from jumping up on the table and start proselytizing.

And, what is that about, anyway? That it is primarily women who are running sexblogs? Oh, I have some ideas.

  1. The mainstream audience for porn is, of course, men, so women are better able to get a handle or corner on the potential marketability of a sexblog.

  2. Because of the way patriarchy works (gasp, the P word), men don’t have to examine or question or explore sex in order to figure out how to get pleasure, how to get validation, and how to reconcile their identity as a sexual person, because it’s socially acceptable and, in fact, encouraged, for a man to be sexually explorative. This is still not true for women.

  3. Women, as a whole, do tend to be more verbal (whether it’s nature or nurture, we can have that argument another time), and also attach more emotion to sex, probably for biological purposes (and this has been proven by sociobiological scientists, not just stereotypes). Therefore the act of sex is potentially more complicated and problematic for women (?? … I’m brainstorming here, don’t mind my generalities).

  4. There has been a lot of work done by women on the gender of femininity in the last forty years (holy smokes, second-wave feminism was forty years ago?) because of the sexual and gender revolutions of the 1960s and 70s. Therefore, many many many of the limitations and constrictions that were previously placed upon women and femininity have been deconstructed and revalued, and, generally, quite successfully I think. This is NOT to say that I think feminism is over, or that we are now in a post-feminist state – only that women and the feminist movement have done a lot of work on the feminine gender, which may actually be leading to how women are able to take control of and elaborate upon their various sexualities via writing on the Internet. However, that work has not been done in the same way by/for masculinity and men. I would argue, in fact, that that is where the next gender revolution needs to come: from and for men, revaluing and deconstructing masculinity and the mandatory tough guise. However, because we are STILL in a patriarchy, and STILL value maleness more than femaleness, men haven’t been forced to do this – yet. I don’t know how I can help fuel this revolution-to-come, but I sure would like to.

  5. Hmmm … anything else? (I’m digging this list format. Feels like my ideas are more organized this way.) I’ll keep thinking about this question. So, riddle me this, folks: Why is the sexblog community dominated by women? And why are the queer women sexblogs primarily femme? Where are the gayboy sexblogs, anyway?

So, after the interviewers left, we went back to our regular fabulous Tea Party, catching up with each other, discussing and processing and catching up.Viviane, always the amazing host, made strawberry shortcake and mint juleps, along with watercress & goat cheese tea sandwiches. And delicious tea, of course, both iced and hot. Selina brought beautiful cups & saucers for our tea, Rachel ran out to get the proper milk, and looked gorgeous in her summery dress. Selina had some pretty fantastic heels on that she’d discovered in London, and Tess … well, Tess had heels on too. (Oh I’m such a sucker for stilettos.) Lolita had a beautiful new cutting by Jefferson Sharrin Spector (who wasn’t there, but Lolita gave me her link so I figured I’d include it. I’m kinda jealous, I want a cutting). Calico I met for the first time, who is a newcomer to this scene but is already making quite the impression. And Jefferson, of course, infamous Jefferson, was showing off his rubber ducky boxers by the end of the night.

What else happened at this tea party, you ask?

Well … After the girls said they’d gotten pedicures just so they could wear their fancy shoes, I mentioned that I cut my fingernails just for the party … to which of course Jefferson retorted, “What, did you think you were going to get laid?” … which was the beginning of the shenanigans.

Jefferson told me “what gender is” while we were in the kitchen devilling eggs. To be fair, I thought he was saying “ginger,” because of his cute little southern accent, which prompted me to ask what the hell he was talking about. Although ginger wasn’t actually that out of context considering we’d been discussing ginger butt fucking (apparently called figging?) just shortly before.

It’s true what they’re saying, I did get a little lesson in flogging from Lolita, as did Tess and Selina. I felt out of practice and incredibly embarrassed, actually. Because I am good at flogging. Actually, quite good. And I hated being seen, in front of a roomful of experienced people, of whom I was one of the youngest, as not experienced in something I am good at. It was very frustrating. Really, it made me draw the conclusion that I need to flog more, to be sure to keep my skills fresh. … perhaps I should seek volunteers.

Viviane did a bit of a roundup, Tess wrote about it, and Lolita did too.

One last thing: I really have NO idea what I said on camera, what quotes of mine (if any) will be used. The one thing I did really want to press was how much I believe that our discussions of sex, relationships, and gender in these online communities is actually an act of social change and revolution. That it helps and encourages open communication about pleasure, identity, and of course sex, all of which are still taboo. We’re makin’ history here, we’re paving the way for a more sophisticated, more particular, safer, happier, much improved cultural dealings with sex. And I am oh so grateful to be a part of that, even in the smallest way.

for a good cause

So, the Masturbate-a-Thon is this weekend – Saturday, in fact. Why have I completely missed that May is (annually!) Masturbation Month? Usually I am well aware of this fact ahead of time. I have in fact participated in the Masturbate-a-thon three times in the past. I’d love to do it again.Also? On the Masturbate-a-Thon webpage is a fabulous little musical ditty by the Wet Spots: “masturbation, it’s okay, we all get to do it in a special way …” which then goes on to describe the different ways various animals masturbate … porcupines, a lioness, a spider monkey …

The Wet Spots – a “sophisticated sex comedy” duo – are somewhat infamous now from their YouTube video Do you take it (in the ass)?, so I was happy to run across their webpage & their other work.

But. Back to the subject at hand: masturbation.

I’ve actually been feeling somewhat scared & traumatized about masturbation lately. Don’t get me wrong – let me explain. Not to get too into my own private … um, practice, but I usually don’t really have any hangups or issues or blocks when it comes to getting off. I just do it, it’s pretty easy (I do know what I like, after all) and that’s that.

But lately? Since the breakup. I just haven’t been able to do it. Haven’t been “in the mood”, no, which is fine, I’m not rushing it, but sometimes I guess I kinda have been in the mood, or at least, I’ve been at home alone for multiple hours, which in a usual case scenario would involve me getting off, at least once.

But now … when I get turned on, I think of her. I still have so many bodily memories of her, of us together, especially when it comes to sex, which is where she was at her most raw, and where I was at my most … perfect. Everything snapped right into place. Jigsaw pieces. I knew exactly how to read her, how to respond to her body, her eyes, her movements, how to shift myself, how to take, how to give. I’ve never had anything like that, I miss it.

It’s hard to write that, actually. Hard to feel that grief well up in my chest. Impossible to feel it, when I’m also simultaneously trying to get off.

Her fantasies wove themselves deep in me. She tapped into so many things that I wanted, so much of my desire. It’s hard not to think of sexy things when getting off, and sexy things, right now, for me, are, well, her.

I’ll unlearn that, right? I’ll find other women attractive again, someday, somehow?

I used to walk down the street and just swoon, fall in love with every third girl, and it’s summer now, god, the strappy sandals and swirly skirts and bare legs … I have been so easily influenced by the sidewalk parade of femininity the last two summers I’ve spent here in New York City.

But this time? Barely. An occasional redhead catches my eye. An occasional perfectly shaped ankle, or swishing skirt. I even worry that if – when – I get back into bed with a girl, I’m going to freeze up, thinking of her (or saying her name, lord).

There really is a very small, small percentage of the population to which I am attracted. Femme women, yes, but even more specifically: poise. Legs. Posture. The way she looks when nobody’s looking at her.

I guess this comes back to a new resolution of mine, which is to date myself. For a year, approximately. I will be in an open relationship with myself, which means I am free to date other people too, but I am going to be my primary partner. I am going to focus on my needs, emotionally, creatively, sexually. I am going to take myself out to fancy dinners on occasion, to films, to museums, to days in the park. If there’s one thing this relationship has taught me it’s that I am good – good – at seduction, at courtship, and I am going to turn my own charms inward and see if I can sweep myself off my feet.