“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!

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!

Sugasm #170: Sugarbutch Star in the top 3!

Sugasm highlights the top pieces on sexblogs by the bloggers who blog them.

This Week’s Picks:

More SugasmJoin the Sugasm

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.

Sugasm #161: better late than never!

This Week’s Picks

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

Some of my favorites from the week:

My story about what Kristen & I did on Valentine’s Day was included this week.

Best Sex Toy Reviewers of 2008

topstr1The Best Sex Toy Reviewers list was published today, and on it, at #7, with a bullet, is yours truly. Thanks y’all! I’m glad the reviews that I do are useful for you.

So … now that I’m writing about sex toy reviews, I have a few things to say before getting on to the list. Our sexblog communities are currently flooded with sex toys. Go figure, sex toy shops have figured out that it is quite profitable for them to give us not-so-expensive products, which in turn gives them sales. Sex bloggers are happy – free sex toys! – and sex toy stores are happy – more sales!

Okay, but what about the readers?

I’m sure some reviews and recommendations are very helpful – especially when you’re not so used to shopping for sex toys, have no idea what’s out there or where to start. Great! Happy to help, happy to provide some information and ideas about certain products and how they worked for me.

I have a couple complaints about this, though:

  1. Some blogs seem to be taken over by reviews, and the reflective, personal writings are becoming background content.
  2. Some bloggers never write bad reviews. This kind of makes sense, since for the most part, the toy comes by request of the blogger, and we’re not really about to request things that we dislike. But how can I trust the good reviews, if there aren’t any bad ones?
  3. Some sex toy sites are sketchy, and bad business. I cringe at their awful objectification of women and hetero-centric gaze. I wouldn’t want to support them with my money, and I do sometimes feel judgmental about supporting them with links and promotions.

I did a lot of reviews in 2008 – thanks to my lovely assistant Alisha, I’m working on a round-up of reviews from the last year, especially focusing on which toys I still use (and which are just sitting in a box). I admit, I was wowed by the options of getting sex toys in the mail (yay!) in exchange for my opinions on them. I reviewed for Eden, Babeland, Spartacus Leathers, and even got a harness from Good Vibes. And I was asked by at least a dozen other companies to review things for them, but I usually felt too strange and uncomfortable about their politics for me to follow through.

For me, it comes down to this: our sexblogs are profitable promotional tools for sex toy sites & companies. I want to be intentional and consciencious about the politics and policies I’m supporting. Toys with phthalates cause cancer and are a problem. Lack of gender and queer diversity and knowledge is a problem. A non-feminist approach to sex, sexuality, and sexual health is a problem.

I have been limiting myself to one review a week (max!), and I’m going to continue to say no to a lot of the review requests that come through. I will absolutely accept review requests for gender-bending products, for cocks and harnesses, for BDSM toys, and for occasional other fun stuff that I’ve been curious to try out, but I’m saying no a lot more than I was last year. I don’t want toy reviews to overwhelm the content of this site.

If you’ve got opinions on the ways that I review things, now’s a great time to speak up!

  • Any toys you would love to see me review?
  • Any specific questions about toys that I’ve reviewed, sex toys in general, how to use a harness, which cocks to start with, etc etc? Ask away, I’ll see what I can do to answer!
  • Any ideas about how I can make reviews more useful?

And now, without further ado: the Best Sex Toy Reviewers of 2008.

Congrats, Essin’ Em, for the #1 slot! You definitely deserve it.

Best Sex Toy Reviewers is a new annual list compiled by Domina Doll and Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek. Only reviewers who reviewed during the year of 2008 were considered, there will be a list for 2009 next year.

  1. Essin’ Em
  2. Domina Doll
  3. Beautiful Dreamer
  4. Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek
  5. Epiphora
  6. Gabe and Elizabeth
  7. Sinclair Sexsmith
  8. Catalina Loves
  9. Agent Ansley
  10. Betty Rocket
  11. Carnivalesq
  12. J.D. Bauchery
  13. Toygirl
  14. Thursday’s Child
  15. Dame Demi
  16. Shay
  17. Shasta Gibson
  18. AlwaysArousedGirl
  19. Freddy and Eddy
  20. Dangerous Lilly
  21. Jack
  22. Erin Leone
  23. Sleeping Dreamer
  24. Ellie Lumpesse
  25. Wendy Blackheart
  26. Ducky Doolittle
  27. Curvaceous Dee
  28. The Porn Librarian
  29. Lux Alptraum
  30. Kyle
  31. Naughty Secretary
  32. Monkey
  33. Nadia West
  34. Alpine Subdreams
  35. Bulma
  36. Radical Vixen
  37. The Beautiful Kind
  38. Toys for Tarts
  39. Sienna
  40. Audacia Ray
  41. Mariella
  42. Ang
  43. Lucy Vonne
  44. Holden
  45. Coy Pink
  46. Backseat Boohoo
  47. Bad Bad Girl
  48. Jimbo Jones
  49. Tess
  50. BOX: Les Petites Morts
  51. Zephyrine
  52. N
  53. Phaedra Fallen
  54. Jiz Lee
  55. Alisa
  56. Syntax
  57. Panthera Pardus
  58. Red
  59. Sommer Marsden
  60. Mollena
  61. The Countess
  62. Adriana
  63. Madeline Glass
  64. Hussy Red
  65. Trouble
  66. Roxy
  67. Sexorcism
  68. Roxanne Rhoads
  69. Amber
  70. Roxi
  71. Kinkerbelle
  72. Sylvanus and Mina
  73. Dark Lady
  74. Sex Is Fun
  75. Adrie Santos

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.

Shared Items – December 26, 2008

Shared Items – December 19, 2008

What happened in November

Ah, November 2008: forever famous for THE ELECTION OF BARAK OBAMA as the President of the United States. Oh, rejoice, liberals of the US and the world. Except … then there was that pesky little thing about gay marriage amendments in three states, and the amendment that makes it illegal for unmarried folks to adopt in Arkansas.

But that wasn’t all. There was also the New York City Sexbloggers Calendar offical release party.

So even though I was attempting to take time off in November (betcha didn’t know that, huh), there were still many posts.

RELATIONSHIPS

ACTIVISM:

  • Post Election: On Love – and about my disappointment in the 2008 election, despite the fantastic nomination of Obama.
  • Letter to myself: Enough Moping – we took the temperature of the country by seeing how these anti-gay amendments passed so easily. Stop dwelling on the giant blow of the election and channel the hurt energy into activism. Buck the fuck up.

COMMUNITY:

REVIEWS:

In November, I also relaunched Sugarbutch into this new layout – if you’re reading via RSS, come on by and check it out. I’m still working on a “how to read this new layout” type of post, I know it’s rather difficult to tell which posts are new, but I’ve got some plans to fix that and I’ll iron that out in the near future.

Shared Items – December 5, 2008

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.

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!

sugasm #138: top three!

A few of you have asked about the Sugasm and why I post it … basically, in order to be part of the Sugasm, blog writers submit one of their entries from the past week and then everyone who submits votes for their top favorites. When the three are chosen, the weekly Sugasm roundup is released, and everyone who participates is required to repost the top links of the week as a thank you for their link being included in the Sugasm roundup. Basically, it’s a way for sexbloggers to show off what they’re writing, to feature the posts that we think are the best, and to direct readership to some of the best smut on the net.

It is a major source of visitors and readers from the sexblog sphere. Sugarbutch’s niche is kind of at the intersection of feminist blogs, lesbian blogs, gender blogs, and sex blogs, and as this blog continues to grow, I am continually attempting to encourage the overlap of all of those spheres.

This Week’s Picks

  • You’re going to come for me. “I imagined her, bound. Wrists behind her back, whimpering.” (Penny sure does know how to inspire me to write good smut, eh?)
  • Champagne Orgasms “I cry out, begging for him to stop, begging him not to”
  • Tie one on “He slipped his hands under my blouse and teased my nipples and breasts with his strong hands.”
  • Mr. Sugasm Himself: Sugar Bank
  • Editor’s Choice: The Look

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

My Favorites:

  • You can be a PIG! Ah, Lolita! Love the new domain, you’re such a rockstar. Someday I hope to do half the travelling around to sex camps and workshops that she does.
  • Chivalry and Me Essin’ Em, being her usual articulate and progressive self about gender & relationships.
  • It’s not easy being Sexhobbyist Hah – no, it really isn’t easy. People think it’s all sex and orgasms, but it takes a lot of work, too.

editor’s choice in Sugasm #131

This Week’s Sugasm Picks

  • Kink “A bill outlawing the possession of “extreme pornography” is set to become law next week.”
  • M is for Mine “You comment on my wetness.”
  • The Story Behind the Waxing “I tend to go to people that I trust really know what they are doing when it comes to my pussy.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself

Editor’s Choice

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

A few more of my favorites:

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