The Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013, Part Six: Stay for the Smut

Wow, you guys.

Between launching Submissive Playground and helping rife with The Gender Book crowdfunding and planning and executing the Best Lesbian Erotica 2014 release party (which HOLY SHIT was amazing), and then oh yeah the whole holiday thing, I have been swamped with projects lately, and have not kept up with publishing the mini-interviews. But they are very patient, and there they were when I went to sort the next series of answers.

And, you guys … wow. I just love what you have to say. And not (only) because you are saying such incredibly nice things about me and this project, but also because you are fucking smart and thoughtful and touching. I have been chewing a lot lately on how to post more advanced content, how I can talk about the Graduate Studies levels of D/s and cock confidence and healing from heartbreak and all those things I post about (somewhat) regularly, and your answers and engagement makes me think even more that I should step it up. Thank you for all that inspiration.

No wait, let me write that again: THANK YOU for all the inspiration. In these interviews, in emails, in conversations on Facebook & Twitter—with so much. I feel incredibly lucky.

And, that is the SECOND reader who said I should come visit London and they’d buy me a beer, so clearly I should go visit London. (Again. I did a brief study abroad there in 2002 in college, but I’d love to return.) If any of y’all have an idea about how we could put on some workshops there, get in touch!

Okay, on to …

More of the Reader Mini-Interviews!

What’s your relationship with sugarbutch.net and Sinclair?

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I started reading in 2007-ish when I was at university and just discovering the whole blogging thing. I came for the gender talk, was beyond thrilled to find the smut, and have loved the personal blogging, particularly the ones where you seem so connected with nature and the world around you. Your blogging of your gender identity/journey is also fascinating and feels really important to me.

Oh, and the reviews! I got my first packing cock based on your reviews so there’s a special place in my heart for those – I’d love to see more of that kind of thing.

—ollie, http://ollieroberts.blogspot.com

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I started reading Sugarbutch in 2008 or so. I started for the politics, and stayed for the smut. Seriously, your smut has been hot, your writing about gender has been thoughtful, and your writing about relationships has been encouraging and timely. I’m a bit of a hermit, so have always been on the edges of the dyke and BDSM communities, and your writing has made me feel more connected to them.

—Avery Cassell, https://averycassell.wordpress.com/

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What do I like best? Each component of your writing appeals to me in one way or another. Of course you write exquisite erotica, but more than that, I like your writing voice. I like your willingness to be self-reflective (though I think you think readers think that’s boring? It doesn’t bore me at all.) because you unpack things like I do, you seem to have a need to understand things in a deep way (I identify with that like woahhhh), and I wonder sometimes if you wish you could turn it all off, the way I wish I could shut my brain off even once in a while. I’ve learned a lot about coping strategies from you, I even found the Fluent Self through you! And I loved your photo series (what is the plural of series? Seria? Serieses?) over the summer! I know you felt like you weren’t saying much at the time but I saw the proverbial thousand words through some of those shots. Thanks for sharing those.

—Jacks/JacksofHearts, https://www.facebook.com/jacks.of.hearts

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[I’ve been] a girl who loves sex and has wild fantasies but has never had the guts to explore any of them. Always let others make the moves and lead the way, so girls were always going to be a late introduction to my life. But oh what a lovely addition! Kissing girls is like nothing else. So the past few years i’ve had my head down exploring women. Invariably women much like me and i enjoyed learning how their bodies worked and what makes them tick, and come of course.

And then online i met a woman. We were both looking for something casual. She was clear she doesn’t like to be touched. I didn’t really understand this to start off with and just assumed (in an ignorant arrogant sort of way) that this would evapourate as we went on, and i ‘worked my magic’. But of course, for her being touched intimately just does not work. Someone else touching her is not the exciting electric feeling; its just being touched. This has been a challenge for me as i love touching others. Although what i realise now is that i love giving others pleasure and for most that tends to be a form of touching. I have had to learn a lot about erotic energy and pleasure in order to feel that i was giving her as much pleasure as she gives me.

Sinclair you (maybe its fair to say Sugarbutch.net) have been my place of learning. I have learned about dynamics between people and how this can be as erotic as plain old sex. I have learned that i can give someone pleasure through my words. You have inspired me to write erotic stories to my lover. You have reminded me that the brain is the most powerful erotic organ and that the most intimate connection can be through words, or often in the spaces between words.

—clarkeroyale, https://www.facebook.com/helen.clarke.58118

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I started reading probably about a year ago, and while everything is good in its honesty and daring my favorite thing is probably the essays. I am sure it isn’t the common answer, but they are always interesting and well thought out even when I don’t agree with them which I rather love and find admirable.

—Taylor, http://mckownt.wordpress.com/

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

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Go with your instinct… you don’t just “admire” her, you are “in” to her – attracted to her. Be yourself – don’t try to fit in with the other girls – you never will. Relax – every encounter with a woman doesn’t have to be a long term relationship.

—Susan

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Know yourself. Do the back-breaking, heart-wrenching work it takes to know your limits and set up boundaries, because that’s when you can start letting people in.

Stop stuffing your gender identity into a deep corner of the closet because the people you date are too afraid to talk about it. You’ll lose 15 years and end up in the same place where you started–having to acknowledge who you really are. Be honest with yourself the first time around.

—Ian Galeski, https://www.facebook.com/ian.galeski

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I’d tell my younger self–my high school senior self–to stop being such a nervous wreck about sex, to trust that her friends can make their own decisions and there is value in committed relationships and value in a one-night stand. I’d tell my younger self that it’s okay to have casual sex and okay if she tries things she wouldn’t repeat, things that teach her more about what she really needs. I’d tell her that she will have the person who makes her crack apart with every touch and the person who makes her scream “fuck!” and the person it feels too strange to kiss and the person who teachers her to fall in love with giving oral and the person who will never let her forget her fat body is both desirable and beyond the confines of desire and the person who she will want to take her cock and that some of these people will be the same.

I’d tell my younger self that if she ever doubted her pansexuality, she will meet and desire people in such incredible conglomerations of gender that she will never be able to again, that gender is fun, hard, playful, devastating. I’d let her know that every time she thinks she has something pinned down, the entire map will change.

Relationships…about that one, I don’t know what I’d tell her, because no words could have prepared me for the things love can do, and the things it couldn’t.

—Tamara, http://wordsonnapkins.tumblr.com

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I think I would tell myself to recognize the guilt I felt (over having sexual feelings at a young age, having feelings for women, and being interested in non-normative sex practices like bdsm) as symptoms of socially imposed values and not my own shortcomings or sins. I grew up very aware of my sexual self but also very ashamed of it. Now I know all that guilt was for naught and I embrace the healthy pursuit of self-knowledge and pleasure, but it’s been a long and difficult journey full of lots of unsatisfying or only semi-satisfying sex and relationships.

—Amanda, http://superblysituated.tumblr.com

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

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http://www.stevepavlina.com. His work has always stoked the fire in me, the part that wants to live like a wild thing and channel all the strength and anger into something productive. It was because of his site that I had the courage to become a sex worker, which led to a more intimate understanding of things I’d always felt but never had words for.

—Katrina Elisse Caudle, http://www.faeriedark.com

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Sacred Pleasures workshop run here in London. Whilst i found it challenging to take part in exercises with strangers by the end of the day i had reconnected with a sacred sexual aspect that i thought i had lost. I also experimented with some impact play, which was a lot of fun! I would highly recommend this workshop to any Londoners reading. … Keep doing it Sinclair. Come to London and i’ll take you to my favourite bar.

—clarkeroyale, https://www.facebook.com/helen.clarke.58118

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A quote from Terence – ‘I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.’ This ever after encouraged me to try and understand the human processes by which seemingly incomprehensible things happened. In turn, that helped me untangle the incomprehensible in myself.

—Lilac, http://drinklilacwine.wordpress.com/

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I think somehow ending up in relationships with really amazing, self-aware people who have been willing to help me see a bigger picture of life has had the biggest impact on who I am and the path that I’m on right now, but that doesn’t make for a very good resource for other people ;) I’d say a great resource has actually been the Savage Love column – sometimes I love his advice, sometimes I’m ready to call and rant about it, but I do often find new resources because of his suggestions. And actually my college health center has had a huge impact – my first experience coming out to a health care professional was a disaster emotionally, but when I first went to the college clinic the intake form actually had questions about the sex and gender of past sexual partners. Not only did it avoid the awkward direct questioning by the nurse, but then the NP was able to walk in prepared to explain the kind of sexual health education I needed rather than a generic memorized paragraph that didn’t apply to my situation. And the best part is that the positive experience helped inspire me to pursue a career as an NP :)

—Jess, http://www.agirlandhercaronanadventure.blogspot.com

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When Someone You Love is Kinky…such a great pansexual resource when your partner is not as much into BDSM as you are…it helps you communicate what your needs are in a precise and sensitive way and honestly, is great practice for overall relationship communication. Great book, experienced authors, excellent resource.

—Nili, https://www.facebook.com/HolisticHealthRnHealthCoaching

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Because I’m thinking about sex and relationships, the website Scarleteen comes to mind. I come from a very conservative town in Texas with virtually no sex ed. Scarleteen was a haven of respectful discussion and factual information targeted specifically at young people in the scary world of the internet. If I had not had that resource growing up, I think I would be in a very different place right now, both physically and emotionally.

—Amanda, http://superblysituated.tumblr.com

Anything else to add?

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Just that I think the way you’ve been engaging with your readership over the past month+ has been really great to see, and I hope it’s been positive for you too! You’ve been going through so much hard stuff for so long now that (I imagine) it’s easy to forget that you have an entire support system built straight into your website, and you can lean on us, you know? We may be inside your computer but support and good vibes and advice and commiseration and empathy and comradeship are the same wherever you find them. On a personal note, thanks for acknowledging my comments to you. It was a lovely surprise!  I’ve really been enjoying this conversation.

—Jacks/JacksofHearts, https://www.facebook.com/jacks.of.hearts

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Please keep your postings and musings going. You are such a fantastic writer and your postings are relatable and heartwarming (or as of recently, heartbreaking). Writing is cathartic and from your most recent break-up, I think you could use a little catharsis right now and us, your followers, are more than happy to listen and sympathize. You strike a cord with me every single time, so thank you for what you do!

—Nili, https://www.facebook.com/HolisticHealthRnHealthCoaching

The Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013, Part 5: In which you recommend Stone Butch Blues & Fried Green Tomatoes, and give good advice

What’s your relationship with sugarbutch.net and Sinclair?

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I started reading about two years ago when I really started coming out as gender non-conforming and exploring my queer identity. At the time I was in a poly relationship and so a lot of the material resonated with me. I really have always appreciated the open discussions about sex and gender presentation and some of the more utilitarian posts about clothes, etc.

—Alison, http://a1tg.tumblr.com

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I stumbled upon Sugarbutch from a link in an Autostraddle post nearly 4 years ago and immediately spent every waking second that summer reading the entire archive. I felt like I had come home. Not only was someone writing about the sex I had always wanted to have (and that in and of itself had a huge impact on my sex drive and partners and play and whatnot) but they were doing it beautifully and well and consciously.

I still think some of my favorite posts are erotica, but I also know that the theoretical posts have changed my life in a completely literal sense and now that I am growing into my own versions of an alternative gender identity and kinky identity, they are more important to me. But mostly, it’s just the whole thing. Everything you do lets me know that somewhere in this world are people that think like me.

—Roux, http://www.queerlyroux.com

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That would be “Handprints on the Hotel Window.” My girlfriend emailed it to me shortly after we began dating. On out first trip to New York City together, she booked a room that had floor-to-ceiling windows so we could reenact the story. Tres hot. I’ve been a fan ever since!

—Dawn, http://southernfriedfemme.blogspot.com/

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I started reading around 4 years ago? Right around when you started writing about Kristen. I was just starting to identify as a femme and was desperate for anything anyone was writing. I’d read your posts praising femmes over and over again, reassuring myself that this identity I was claiming was real and true and that someone, some day, would want me. And I mean your smut really helped me get through several stressful days during undergrad…

—Emily, https://twitter.com/EmLuft

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

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You’re allowed to want things, even if you feel like your partner doesn’t. That doesn’t make you bad or wrong or broken. There are other people who will like you and also enjoy those things. You don’t have to be perfect, and making mistakes can only lead to improvement and giggling. Gender is hard and exhausting, and you are never going to satisfy anyone but yourself. So have fun and try not to talk other people’s opinions too seriously.

—kaj, http://distractionsandproblems.tumblr.com/

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Women appreciate authenticity. Don’t ever tone yourself down because you’re scared you’re too butch. Also, there is more than one femme in the world, even when it feels like the only one was the last one.

—Meg, https://www.facebook.com/megan.mceachin

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

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The book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. Something about that book grabbed me when I was in my early 20’s…I read it 5 times in one week after I bought it. It was the dynamic of Idgie and Ruth’s relationship. The people, place and setting of the book, drastically different from my life, but very similar in other ways. The way Idgie and Ruth lived, spoke to each other, the activities they participated in , the running of their cafe. I still read that book once a year (sometimes more) and it is always like visiting an old friend. In my mind I greatly embellished their relationship, which is left a bit ambiguous in the book, and maybe that is why I keep going back.

—April

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Stone Butch Blues. I was sixteen, not out to my parents, and it was the first queer book I’d ever read. It changed everything in my life. I learned that “butch” wasn’t a dirty word, that (somewhere?) there were women who might like me, and, most importantly, that people like me had a history.

—Meg, https://www.facebook.com/megan.mceachin

Anything else to add?

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I think you seriously underestimate the amount of people in this universe who have ridiculous crushes on you.

—Roux, http://www.queerlyroux.com

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I’m so excited to see where Sugarbutch is going to go in the next months and years. I’ve read this site for years and never commented-truly embodying “lurker syndrome.” But this website and your writing has meant a lot of important things to me at different times in my life, and I’m grateful to see a rededication to it from you. Thanks for all that you do and give. It does not go unappreciated-I promise.

—Emily, https://twitter.com/EmLuft

The Great Reader Mini-Interview, Part Four: “Shut up and get hit,” Communion, and fun erotica

What’s your relationship with sugarbutch.net and Sinclair?

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(As a brief addendum, I publish the above blog anonymously! I’d love others to see it, but am a little nervous, as I have a fairly conservative day life. How have you reconciled your public and private lives intersecting? I’m always curious.)

I’ve been reading you on and off for about four years now. I love your erotic writing and, as a fellow butch, have felt a kindred sense of discovery with you as I’ve come into my own. It’s refreshing to read your perspective as it mirrors some of my own experiences.

PS: I saw that you were attending QI in Hartford. So am I, and fuck, I’d love to suck your cock.

—J, http://camionneuse.wordpress.com

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Started reading 4-5 years ago. Most frequently repeated quote: “shut up and get hit.” Seriously, your life. Never stop writing about it for public consumption.

—Simon Hoardash

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I just came across Sugarbutch a week or two ago, and wish I’d found you sooner! I’ve been skimming through your archives whenever I have some free time. I’ve been thinking about sex/uality, gender, and relationships a lot lately, and thirsting for more discussion of them. I’m especially interested in the D/s dynamic since that’s something I’m currently exploring, from a framework of being queer, poly, and in committed partnerships with two people of different genders. And of course I love your dirty stories.

—elspeth, https://fetlife.com/users/2485909

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

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ohgod. calm down. it’s okay to not know (anything). thinking too much about what other people are thinking (and inventing what you think they are thinking/feeling/doing) is the absolute fastest way to create totally unnecessary drama. if you don’t know, ask. when you can identify that you are making an assumption, especially about what someone else is thinking/feeing/wanting, STOP IT, and ask.

—Kat Heatherington — http://yarrowkat.livejournal.com

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That my pleasure in and relationship with my body is the starting point of sex, not an extra. That it should be closer to communion (with self and other) than performance (totally externally focused) in order to be nourishing. I would congratulate myself on not shaming myself about trying lots of things, and suggest not shaming myself about my body shape. I’d suggest trying less hard to please unattainable people, and know that such advice at that time in my life would have meant nothing to me.

—Shereen, http://twitter.com/ShereenSamuels

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Femme is not a bad thing. It’s actually really, really powerful. I know you’ve somehow fallen into the mindset that to be Femme is to be weak or not queer enough, but that’s utter bullshit, darlin. You’ll eventually embrace Femme as an identity, and you’ll finally start to feel as strong and badass as you are. And red lipstick is the best armor you will ever find.

—Ashlee, http://femmeandfists.tumblr.com

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I would leave a link to your website and other queer friendly spaces on my computer for my 18 years old self. I struggled a lot with desire to begin with. I struggled even harder to come to terms with my same sex desires. Feminist and queers spaces have really helped me become a person I much more like.

— Gladys, https://www.facebook.com/gladys.is.awesome

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

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Body Electric. because it has opened me up to listening to myself in a way I have never really done before.

—Kat Heatherington — http://yarrowkat.livejournal.com

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The Artist’s Way. It was such a lovely, creative, non-prescriptive way into figuring out lots of things about myself. Many years ago in my early twenties, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah turned my whole world upside down – even though Richard Bach turned out to be something of a self-involved dick, the book changed how I saw and interacted with the world.

—Shereen, http://twitter.com/ShereenSamuels

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This might be a bit of a cop-out of an answer, but recently, Tumblr has had the biggest impact on me. I’ve found some amazing radical queer people and blogs who’ve all been a big part of helping me shape my activist identity. Tumblr also happens to be full of badass Femmes, gorgeous queer people of all identities, and some really, really fun erotica and smut in general.

—Ashlee, http://femmeandfists.tumblr.com/

The Great Reader Mini-Interview, Part Three: Personal accountability & self reflections, Kink, and Do Your Research

What’s your relationship with sugarbutch.net and Sinclair?

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I actually started reading Sugarbutch while I was still married to male. I had always known my sexuality was not what I was pretending it to be, and I knew that women that leaned towards the masculine side of the spectrum did something strange to me. I was completely naive to who I was deep down, and what it was I really needed in a relationship/partner. One day I was talking to a friend of mine whom I spilled the beans to, and she led me to this site. What I read on here was a beacon of light to me, and I finally started coming into my own. I have learned a lot about myself by reading your articles. I have most of all learned that I am not alone in who I am.

Keep doing what you are doing. I know you have had a tough run of it lately, but I admire you for staying true to who you are, what you want/need, and wearing your scars for everyone to see.

—Jennifer, https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.fitzgerald.92

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I actually like/enjoy your self reflection and journal entries. As PolyAnna, I spend a lot of time talking about personal accountability and self reflections. People who are successful at poly and find fulfillment in poly are those who take the time to reflect on their choices and actions. Please keep writing your journal entries. They are a joy to read. Truly.

— PolyAnna/Josette Sheridan, http://lookingthrough.us/

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

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1. It’s okay to be monogamous, even if all the ‘cool kids’ are poly.

2. Don’t even bother trying to date somebody who isn’t kinky; it’s not going to work.

3. Being attracted to trans men, after some years of only being into butch women, is okay and doesn’t change your fundamental self. You can still keep your queer card and just love who you love. Most of your ex-girlfriends will eventually turn into men, anyway.

4. If you’re in a D/s relationship with someone who breaks down your self-esteem and violates your boundaries, that’s not D/s: that’s abuse. Even if they buy you shiny presents.

— Anne Campbell, https://www.facebook.com/riverbend

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Believe in love where you find it. Trust your senses. Be angry. Then let it go.

—Cathlin Star, http://cathlinstar.blogspot.com/

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Oh God. I think it would boil down to “Do your research, do lots and lots of research.” But more specifically: I would find my fifteen-year-old self and sit her down and tell her “Honey, you have internalized some really toxic shit about how sex is *dangerous* and some even more toxic shit about how *knowledge* about sex is dangerous. Neither of these things are true. You want a lot of stuff that you don’t know how to articulate — go do some personal exploration and I promise, you get to decide whether or not you will act on your desires, but first you need to be able to articulate them. Either way, I also promise that the world will not end.”

And then I would give her a hug and tell her that it was going to be ok.

— Clara S., http://thethirdrose.tumblr.com

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Don’t settle! Too many women (men perhaps also but I cannot write for them) settle for perceived security, “love”, to make a home for children. I was too hasty to get it all and follow the traditional norm of settling down before I got too old and have a family. As for sex, I tell my daughter (now 12) that if you are not sexually satisifed in a relationship and the other person is not willing to work on it then you need to reevaluate that relationship and if it makes you happy. I wish someone had told me this when I was younger. I never had the exposure to gender differences. I now teach a program to teens at my Unitarian Universalist (UU) church call O.W.L (Our Whole Lives) about sexuality & healthy relationships and one of the tag lines is “Sexuality is fluid” I so love that!

— Tonja Hewlett, https://www.facebook.com/EnterprisingFae

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

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The Persistent Desire: A Femme Butch Reader (edited by Joan Nestle)

Maybe this is just as much about the book as the editor…. I’ve met Joan (she lives in Melbourne, Australia) and her partner Dianne and find her to be such a valuable elder to have in the community. I love the way her writing is so political, and that class and race are made so relevant. I also love that although Butch-Femme influences her whole life, it’s not in such predictable ways and has changed and morphed as she’s gotten older/grown.

Shes so involved in movements around Israel/Palestine and I see her out at refugee rallies monthly. She’s so engaged with the younger queer community here still and puts in so much time, for this and many other reasons I really respect her and she has taught me a lot. <3

In an attempt to look more queer and attract more attention from people that I thought I wanted I really played down my femme side to look as “queer” as possible so I guess I’d like to tell my younger self that there would be someone who would love your femme side and wouldn’t read you as any less queer for it. More specifically, would know all the ways that you were sexy just for her.

—M, http://brownskinnedslut.tumblr.com/

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Scarleteen.com was the sex and relationship ed I hadn’t even known I needed. I found the word genderqueer there, and it was like my head breaking the surface of a lake I hadn’t known I was in so deep, coming up gasping clean, cool air and feeling full, real, awake, alive in a way I hadn’t felt before. It taught me there was space for me, that it was okay to ask for what I needed to feel safe, that my body had agency and value even though it existed in strange, queer, liminal spaces.

—Cricket, http://beatingthebinary.tumblr.com

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In 1999 I listened to Bikini Kill’s Pussy Whipped for the first time and it changed my life. Kathleen Hanna’s outspoken, feminist, intelligent, fuck the patriarchy, sexually freeing, in your face, revolutionary and progressive approach to grrrl punk music both inspired and entranced me. The riot grrrl movement impacted my life in so many ways, teaching me how to love myself and embrace my feminist identity. There has not been a woman since who has challenged patriarchy, sexism and homophobia so passionately and poignantly.

—Kachina Addison, http://www.facebook.com/kachina.addison

The Great Reader Mini-Interview, part two

What is your relationship to sugarbutch.net and Sinclair?

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My favorite part is probably the porn. My least favorite is probably the personal relationship stuff; it’s interesting but also cringeworthy and full of secondhand embarrassment, at least for me, and makes me shout “WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT” at the screen a lot.

—jay, http://www.twitter.com/jswaggerbk

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I most enjoy the smart and progressive gender theory. I love the ways Sinclair moves the conversation forward, and remains open to all ways of knowing. I also enjoy the erotica, a lot. I would also be interested in an exploration of the “butch bottom” — my partner would probably fall into that category, and I’m interested in teasing out the less obvious relationships between gender and power there.

—rachel, http://www.bellybuttongazing.blogspot.com

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I wish you would do more of exactly what it is that you are doing. I know that some of your readers have been sending you messages saying that they miss Kristen, or that they wish you would do more of this or more of that. But all I wish is that you keep writing what you want to write. It’s that which shows me your true colours, and its that which is real. SO very real about you that keeps me grounded in my shoes, in my reality, in my concepts of what Butch is. Of what Queer is. Of what Love is and what power is. The fact that you have remained true to yourself. The fact that you have listened to your heart, despite the whispers and the judgements; you are still moving in YOUR direction, and that’s fucking hot. That’s power, that’s taking the time that you have on this planet and making the most of it by not wasting it on doing what others want you to do. You follow your heart, and that, to me, is truth.

You and I went through a breakup at the same time. I found that your silence matched my silence and i never once questioned it. When you finally found words again I felt them with you. and I found myself speaking to you through the screen consoling, and sharing my experiences. I wanted to tell you that we would be ok. That even though things ended perhaps under different circumstances, we were feeling the same pain, the same stages of denial and rejection and loss, and I felt like you brought me home a lot. But I also felt like I wanted to bring you home with me too. It was therapeutic and it helped me out a lot.

—EK, http://instagram.com/ek_bo

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

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It’s ok to be gay, go to church, believe in God, and live in the South all at the same time! I’ve been attracted to women since I was 4 years old. My first two kisses were girls! In South East Texas however, being gay isn’t even an option. I just thought I could easily appreciate another woman’s beauty. No one speaks about being gay. Thank you for putting out such straight forward information. I love that there is no beating around the bush on your site. Thank you for being a proud, intelligent, gay woman and not hiding it.

—Julie May Richardson, http://instagram.com/julie321

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I would tell my younger self to stop worrying about what everyone else is going to think, and say, and whisper behind your back and to just go flirt with girls already.

—Sara, http://somekindofsexy.tumblr.com

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

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I can’t narrow done one source but I can give you a genre: books. I read everything I can get my hands on. Right now I’m interested in the Invisible Femme problem. Since I happen to be one.

—Michelle

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Probably reading Butch is A Noun, S. Bear Bergman. As stupid as it sounds, I didn’t really ‘get’ that there were other people that felt like me. But if I can slide another thing in, it’s been kind of amazing to find the web presence of butches, dappers, and all the other words that confuse me. Tumblrs, blogs, twitter accounts; it’s illuminating to think that I’m not weird. Finding a community of similar folks has actually really helped with my confidence.

—Zoe, http://dapperirishdyke.wordpress.com/

Anything else to add?

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Femmes have been my salvation. There have been 2 femmes who made me whole again. After being abused by my mother for years about my gender, I shut down. hiding even inside the lesbian community. These femmes brought me out with their wisdom and sight, their ability to see me and respond to me. I was lesbian for a long time but never fully me until I embraced and lived my Butch life.

— sumner, https://twitter.com/Butchkind

The Great Reader Mini-Interview, part 1: National Fisting Day, embracing gender complexities, and more

Oh hey there! I’m writing this from my sister’s house in Brooklyn, where I’m staying while I’m doing a couple of workshops for colleges this week. It’s been an incredible whirlwind lately, with college touring season starting and the Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic workshop that happened in Oakland this past weekend. (It was incredible. You should’ve been there. Really.)

I love fall. I love fall everywhere, but fall in New York City is especially special. It’s stunning. The colors the trees the air crackling the people, the scarves! The coats! The boots! People are so well-dressed here. Honestly I miss the east coast “look” over in the Bay Area. (Granted, I’m mostly in Oakland, but the California / Pacific Northwest Casual look isn’t my favorite style.)

It’s the end of day 2 in New York, my first return since I left in April, and I’m starting to feel that deep New York exhaustion. I bought inserts for my boots. I keep taking off my leather jacket because it’s not really real leather (shhh) and the mostly-plastic of it is awful for the humidity that doesn’t allow my body to breathe. My skin sweats in the leather and smells musty when I take it off.

But, I took my sister’s big oaf dog to the park today, collected some fallen red leaves with bright veins, took some photographs, plotted out my Best! Sex! Ever! workshop for some cool queers at NYU and then hung out with them while we talked about what that might mean and look like, what really good sex is, what the barriers are to getting really good sex. And then we had a giveaway for some Pink & White queer porn DVDs.

I really like my job.

But! That’s not why I’m writing you. I’m writing to post the beginnings of the Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013.

I got 74 mini-interviews in response to that call. SEVENTY FOUR. Thank you, each of you, each of you seventy four people, for taking the time, for spending a few minutes and filling that out. I read each one as they came into my inbox. I laughed. I teared up. I was moved and touched and said, “really? Really??” at some of the praise about my work. I wrote notes about resources. I’m excited to share them with you.

And, as that many came into my handy-dandy google doc spreadsheet, I wasn’t sure how I was going to post them. 74 individual posts? Two a day for thirty seven days? That seems overwhelming and like I’d be flooding my site unnecessarily. Post ten and save the rest? Post them all as an e-book? (Who would read that, except me?)

I finally figured it out: I’m going to post snippets. Maybe that seems obvious, but it took me a while. I’m taking my favorite line or phrase or paragraph or answer from each interview. It might be hard because your WHOLE ENTIRE INTERVIEW is probably incredibly awesome, but I just don’t have the space to reproduce them all. So they must get cut.

I’m going to take 7-8 at a time and edit them down to one central quote for each person, and then post those all together in one post. So there’ll be about 10 of those. After that’s all done, I might (might!) put them together in a free ebook kind of thing, but we’ll see about that.

Ready? Ready! Without further adieu, here are the first seven interviews.

The Great Reader Mini-Interview of 2013: Part 1

What is your relationship to Sinclair & sugarbutch.net?

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I can’t quite remember but I think I was looking at dildos online and saw an ad for the Sugarbutch Chronicles. Everything about the site made me say “Woooooooooow where have you been all my life?”

My favorite part of the blog are the links to other queer sites/organizations. The most memorable email I’ve received was for National Fisting Day 2012. I’m lucky that I had opened the email on my phone because I was greeted with a giant picture from FTM Fucker. I had never seen trans men in porn before and it was amazing. Since I was following Sugarbutch for a while before that email I had already been exploring and realizing how queerness can be sexy and empowering. Basically I love how this blog has taken me on a journey to discover a community that I feel like I belong to.

I’ve been empowered to express my gender and sexuality is ways that I’ve never even anticipated. At his moment I genuinely feel like I am attractive and loved. That is something that I haven’t felt before and I know many queers around me are struggling with themselves. Being a kinky butch bottom is a badge I wear with honor.

—Sarah Garnett, https://twitter.com/lohidoesnttweet

What advice would you give your younger self about sex, gender, or relationships?

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Hey 19 year old self. It’s Feb 15, 1997, and you are going to meet the woman who will become your wife. You will live, laugh, and love together. You will fight together and against each other. You will have 2 sons, a house, and numerous animals together. She will be your first, and (so far) only love.

She will get breast cancer and it will change you. Walking alongside your wife will be the hardest, most sacred journey you will ever take. You will want to run away. You will want to quit. But, you won’t. Because, YOU are strong. You are fearless. You are fucking awesome!

After 8.5 years of fighting, she will die, in your arms. At first, you will think that you are going to be lost and drift. But, you will be found, and you will be fucking AMAZING! Trust that you DO have the strength. When the community you weren’t looking for, finds you, embrace them, for they will get you through.

There will be a second act. I am just starting it now, but trust me – it’s gonna be rad!

—Dree, http://motherbutch.tumblr.com & http://dreesdaydream.tumblr.com

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Go with it, go for it.

You already embrace your gender … “issues” isn’t the right word … complexity, now embrace others, as they have needs and their own complexities too. It’s too easy to get lost in yourself, as others lose themselves within themselves too, so go out and play!

“A person not improving him/herself, endlessly becomes him/herself.” Self discovery is good, gaining insights from others sharing as they go through it is also good; not sharing is bad, not growing/developing/improving is worse.

—randy, https://fetlife.com/users/309032

What one resource has had the most impact on you, and why?

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The Usual Suspects because it’s a wonderful example of how you can’t just look at someone and know everything. Getting to know someone may or may not tell you the full story or even tell you the truth. Sometimes you don’t see the real truth of a thing until it’s too late.

— Cookie

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I suppose my general college experience opened up my world quite a bit. I was exposed to very smart people, very dumb people, and a lot of opinions that I had never known. Sexually, I got to go to the Fetish Flea Fair every year, and met some really amazing sex educators. I’m back in school now, getting another degree, and my goal is to share my experiences with as many people as I can.

— Elise, www.ehmworks.com

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Therapy. I lucked out with a therapist who’s a shorthair who can keep up with me when I get to talking fast, believes the woo when I suspect I might just be crazy, and is slowly encouraging me to trust myself. I avoided going for years, but agreed to give it a try when things got really dark in my life and I was considering far more final options. The trick is to find someone whom you respect, who seems to have some good ideas about life, and who is similar enough that you can manage good communication.

Plus, for me, someone who laughs about life with me and lets me argue it out out loud.

—Roxy, http://uncommoncuriosity.wordpress.com

Anything else to add?

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These past posts, when you did all the hand-wringing about comments and reading, I felt a bit guilty. I’ve been reading for years, I never stopped reading and yet I’d never written a comment (although I did send you an e-mail once, showing you a Greek singer I like, to which you were kind enough to reply).

I thought therefore that it is time that I speak to you directly and let you know that I am still here, and not going anywhere, and that I am sure that there are a lot more like me, faithful and interested readers who are just too shy to comment, or believed they have nothing of substance to add.

We read you, we like you, and we’ll be here.

PS If you ever make it to London, England, I’d love to buy you a pint and meet you in person.

— GL, https://twitter.com/GenovevaLondon

What kind of comments you could leave

In keeping with the Comment Zen idea, here’s some things you could reply to this post with:

  • The places the mini-interviews resonated for you
  • Whether you’d like to see all of the mini-interviews in entirety or if the best quotes are enough
  • Your favorite thing about New York City
  • What you’ll be doing on National Fisting Day October 22nd

Thank you!

Hey readers! I want to (mini-)interview YOU!

Partly because I want to encourage this Sugarbutch space to be more conversation and less me prosthelytizing or preaching or complaining, I would love to deepen some of my relationships with my readers. That would be YOU. And the first way I know how to begin to do that is to get to know y’all a little bit better.

So, would you like to do a little mini-interview? Here’s the questions below.

If you read through this and decide you don’t want to do the mini-interview, or if you never get around to it, that’s cool. I’d still love to start following the blogs of many of my readers. So, if you have a blog, and you read Sugarbutch regularly (or often or sometimes), I’d love to know where you write, too. Leave your website URL in the comments and I’ll create an RSS feed of all of them and start keeping up with y’all.

Now, on to the Great Reader Mini-Interviews of 2013!

Answers can be as long or as short as you’d like. Here’s the form! If you prefer to fill it out in a separate window and keep perusing Sugarbutch, or if the embedded iframe below is acting up for whatever reason, here’s the link to the Google form unembedded.

I’ll collect responses until October 10th, and will start publishing them that week for everybody to read.

Quick Anal Interview: YOU!

Okay folks, Anal Week is coming to a close, you’ve had a chance to read Quick Anal Interviews with Dylan Ryan, Bailey, Tawny, Madison Young, Sophia St James, and Erudite Hayseed. Perhaps you read through some of those thinking, jeez, they left out this really important thing!

Well, here’s your chance: I’d like to hear YOUR answers to the quick anal interview questions! Here are the questions, add your answers to the comments.

1. What one tip would you suggest (aside from the obvious: lube, communicate, go slow)?
2. What lube do you recommend?
3. What position do you find excellent?

Any bonus perspective, tip, story, or thing that you’d really like to share?

Anal Week has been a really fun project, I’ve learned a lot in collecting all this data, Kristen and I have had some great conversations, and I’ve had some great comments and emails from folks saying they have had similar reservations, but that these tips and perspectives are encouraging.

Please do chime in, if you’d like to add something.

Quick Anal Interview: Erudite Hayseed

This is the last of the Quick Anal Interviews! Anal Week is coming to a close … just one more thing to go, and it’ll be all done. Thanks so much for reading. This quick anal interview is with Erudite Hayseed, author of Confessions of a Southern-Fried Kinkster.

1. What one tip would you suggest (aside from the obvious: lube, communicate, go slow)?

Tongue work, all day tongue work. Look, the prospect actual anal penetration, be it finger or otherwise, is pretty intimidating. Of course you have to ease into it that’s basic info and all. But the tongue, the actual art of analingus, is like a soft slippery key to a whole new facet of lovemaking. I’ve yet to find a partner that doesnt like it. Sure, one’s who thought it was strange of me to do it ( at first anyway ), but everyone tends to like it. That can lead to more play later. When people say “go slow,” folks have a tendency to think that means the actual act of preparation leading up to the actual fuck. There needs to be more “go slow” in relation to easing your partner into the idea of play.

While I consider anal sex to be a “No surprises” zone for most things ( and any guy who says that he just popped his dick in and went to town is either fulla shit or nursing some bruises around the head and face ), the odd surprise tounge swipe is a great way to get into the swing of things. Heck, sometimes it feels even better than the actual penatrative act, if my Lady is to be believed. But it does relax things, and it definetly shatters some hangups your partner might have.

2. What lube do you recommend?

Boy Butter. It was developed by Eyal Feldman, this brilliant gay businessman who owns and operates his website and who personally worked to create what he figured would be the best anal lubricant on the market. It’s silicone and coconut oil based, washes off with water, and just seems to last so much longer than any other lube I’ve tried ( and I’ve tried extensively ). They even make a desensitizing blend ( good for those who are just starting out or those who are working with a larger size ), water based if you’ve got any sort of silicone allergy. The price is fair, especially for such a groundbreaking idea, and the packaging is just adorable. Seriously, give it a try.

[ Quick note from Sinclair: silicone based lube does NOT go with silicone toys, so DO NOT use it if you’re using butt plugs or strap-on cocks that are silicone. Also, many sex educators are really against desensitizing anal creams, they can be dangerous. ]

3. What position do you find excellent?

Depends on what I’m doing. For rimming, I likefor Lady to basically lay down with her knees under her stomach, kind of sitting on her feet–it gives the best access to everything, the entire themepark of waist-southernly delights. Thats good especially for kinkier fare, and the application of bondage tape and an eager tongue tends to add up to a very, very fun time.

For the actual act of lovemaking, I tend to use a position that is popularly referred to as the “Prone Bone” wherin your partner lays flat on his/her stomach with legs closed. I will warn that this position should only really be used if you know what exactly your partners limits are. My girlfriend likes it rougher than most, with almost no way to get out of her predicament, so that position is just the best. Doggystyle is okay, but I feel like I sacrifice a bit of my actual thrusting power with it, and if we’re doing it, daggone it we’re doing it.

Any bonus perspective, tip, story, or thing that you’d really like to share?

Toys can be an intimidating thing, but if you’re comfortable enough with rocking the whole vibe/dildo set, I have to suggest a butt plug. For one, they come in just about any size, and for two, they are the ultimate in preperation. A good, small buttplug for the first time user is excellent. For one, it’s something you can slide in and not worry about holding, which is a big hurdle for a lot of people, myself included: I dont mind taking the time and all, but just sitting there with a couple of fingers up your partner while she adjusts can get a tad boring. If your partner is especially tight, like mine, it turns into this whole waiting game atmosphere. I’m a decent hand at dirty talk, but I can only keep it up for so long.

Another great benefit is that the butt plug is a good bridge between vaginal and anal sex. Trust me, it makes everything on the pussy end of things much, much more fun. The space that is normally afforded to your invading fingers or cock is filled up, creating a tighter feel and angling whatever you’re doing upwards, which can really up the chances of ( or the intensity of ) a pure penetrative orgasm. If you’re already past the first couple of stages of involving anal play ( discussion and light teasing/fingering ), this is honestly the next step to go.

Thanks so much!

Best Anal Scenes in Queer Porn

According to me, anyway. Essin’ Em and JD Bauchery also gave their opinions for Anal Week (which has extended longer than a week, but is still tagged, so it works. You don’t mind, do you?), but at this point, I’ve done enough queer porn watching and research to have gone through the scenes I wanted to and picked a list.

Warning: these photos are NSFW. I don’t post a lot of explicitly nude photos here, I know, I try to keep it at least kind of safe for work, but I just can’t resist putting some really great screenshots in this post, so you know what you’re missing, if you haven’t seen ’em.

All screenshots were snagged by me through Hot Movies for Her, and reprinted only to promote the films.

1. Dylan, Jiz Lee, & Jo in The Crash Pad (Scene 1)
Directed by Shine Louise Houston for Pink & White

I have a special place in my queer-porn-lovin’ heart for the original Crash Pad. It’s the project that launched The Crash Pad Series online, and has raised the bar for queer porn production everywhere. Shine Louise Houston set up a wonderful premise—that there is this mysterious apartment called the Crash Pad, which you can acquire the key for, and go there to fuck—that has led to scenes that are real, not campy, not bogged down in falsified plot, but still capable of some twists and turns.

Like this one: Dylan & Jo are having a good time fucking in The Crash Pad until Jiz and Jiz’s date show up too. Jiz joins in, while her date watches, and the resulting threesome is hot. The Crash Pad also sets up the porn careers for Jiz, Syd, and Dylan, and thank goodness it did. Isn’t the world a better place because we get to watch these beautiful, skilled queers fucking? Absolutely.

2. Syd Blakovich & Jiz Lee in The Crash Pad (Scene 3)
Directed by Shine Louise Houston for Pink & White

Syd Blakovich (credited as Shawn) and Jiz Lee are popping off the screen with chemistry in this one. I’ve heard some of the backstory (some of it they explain in the bonus features of Superfreak), that they hadn’t had sex in a few weeks and weren’t sure if they were going to continue fucking, so this might be their last hurrah. Thankfully for us, it wasn’t, and they’ve gone on to making a ton of queer porn, with each other and on their own.

In this scene, they both look very boyish (boiish?), lean, and super-short hair, and the intensity is riveting. Syd’s rimming is pretty amazing to watch, as is Jiz’s squirting all over Syd, later.

3. Rozen Debowe, Syd Blakovich, Jiz Lee, & Donny in No Fauxxx Roulette (Scene 5)
Directed by Courtney Trouble for Reel Queer Productions

Yeah, it’s Syd & Jiz again—I want diversity in this list, but they are just in so much good porn! So: here we’ve got director Courtney Trouble (who runs No Fauxxx) in a great video collection of scenes. This one is my favorite by far (I don’t even remember the others in this film), I’ve watched it quite a few times. Rozen Debowe—who I think is so incredibly hot and who, I’ve heard, has retired from porn, and who I think should make more—approaches a bartender, spreads her beautiful long legs, and proceeds to get fucked by three butches. Or, three masculine-ish-queers, if they don’t identify as butch.

In this screenshot, Rozen is on top of the bartender, Donny, Syd has a Pure Wand in her ass, and Rozen sucks Jiz’s cock. And, it gets better. Plus, they’re on a pool table.

4. Lorelei Lee, Princess Donna & Dana DeArmond in Superfreak (Scene 5)
Directed by Shine Louise Houston for Pink & White

Lorelei Lee and Princess Donna have done quite a bit of hot queer porn also, appearing in The Crash Pad Series and on various other sites. In this one, they’re joined by Dana DeArmond, and Lorelei is topped with some really hot anal, mostly with fingers and rimming. They’re sexy and clearly very skilled (though I have to kind of ignore all the whimpering of Lorelei and humming that the two top girls do. Maybe you like that kind of thing, I find it distracting). In some of the interview scenes, Donna and Lorelei say, “I wish we could’ve gone all the way,” in discussion of anal fisting. It’s illegal to show fisting on video, did you know? Not on the web, though, so you can find some great stuff in The Crash Pad Series.

5. Dylan Ryan & Trucker Cash in Roulette Dirty South (Scene 2)
Directed by Courtney Trouble for Reel Queer Productions

I couldn’t leave out my favorite porn couple! Dylan Ryan and her real-life partner Trucker Cash are so damn hot in this scene. I love the bright colors, the clothes they’re both wearing, that slightly rickety table that they fuck on, the way Trucker warms up her ass before taking out his cock and fucking her until she comes hard, shaking and swearing.

When Trucker unzipped and I saw he was packing the Goodfella, I thought, wtf? That cock is so small! But then, turns out it is a very good size for anal. Note to self.

6. Nicole Chatte & Peter Danger in Heartland: A Woman’s POV (Scene 1)
Directed by Madison Young for Reel Queer Productions

This last one comes from director and porn star Madison Young. She introduces the scene and explains that she found this couple because they’d contacted her online, and they agreed to be filmed.

I had a crush on Nicole the second she came onscreen. It’s filmed by Peter, I think—or, if not by Peter himself, than from Peter’s point of view of seeing Nicole, so we don’t get too many shots of him (too bad, cause he seems really hot and skilled, I’d like to watch him more), but I did like watching Nicole. It starts off with a beautiful blow job by Nicole, and leads into her getting fucked hard while she’s backwards in this beautiful worn-in leather chair. It’s a bit more amateur-ish than the others, but I especially love the way Nicole guides her lover, saying, “will you start out with the small one, then use the bigger one?” and then, later, “faster, go faster,” which Peter happily obliges. The scene is really sexy and goes on for a while, with various different positions. Nicole even asks Peter to fist her, at some point, but since that can’t be shown on the video, we don’t really get to see it.

Whew! Okay, that covers it, my current favorite anal scenes in queer porn.

While porn isn’t the best place to learn how to do a certain act, it can certainly be inspiring to watch and recognize how much pleasure everyone is having from the things they’re doing. It’s definitely been inspiring to me to try more.

Did I leave out YOUR very favorite scene? Which one looks like the one you’re going to rush out and watch right this minute (or, as soon as you can)? Got any must-see recommendations for me from Essin’ Em or JD Bauchery‘s lists that I haven’t included?

Anal Scenes in Queer Porn with Essin’ Em

Who comes to mind when I say “queer porn expert”? For me, it’s Essin’ Em, aka Shanna Katz, queer femme and porn lover extraordinaire. Since I’ve known her, she’s worked at Hot Movies For Her, Eden Fantasys, and now Fascinations, and she’s traveled the country doing workshops—even recently one on feminist porn. She was glad to offer some suggestions for anal scenes in queer porn; here they are.

Photo of Essin' Em by Half Moon Studios

There is the Vai/Jiz Lee scene in CPS that I LOVE because it’s Vai’s first time giving anal play (especially strapping it on and fucking someone) to someone, and it’s just fabulously fun to watch her love it and experience it.

Then of course, there is that super hot queer gang bang in Roulette with Rozen DeBowe, who just takes it in all three holes (including using the Njoy Pure Wand) from three hot andro/butch/genderqueer studs, on a pool table, in the middle of the Mission. Hot hot hot (especially because I’ve now met half the cast AND been to there it was shot).

I LOVED the sceen in Couch Surfers: Trans Men in Action where Dex Hardlove DOUBLE anal fists two of his greedy pigs…with lube boy coming it, bandana on the face and all to add lube as needed. It inspired me so much that I re-enacted it, with vaginal fisting with two bottoms and my lube girl (bananda and all) during a fisting class in Denver last year.

I love Dylan Ryan and Madison Young’s “Spa Day Gone Horribly Wrong” type of scene on Everything Butt. Is it technically a queer porn producer? No, but Madison and Dylan made it hot and sexy queer porn regardless, and really queerifyed kink that day.

Of course, how can we forget the hot anal in the original Bend Over Boyfriend with Carol Queen? This often gets left out of queer line-ups, but to me, it’s some of the first, hot queer porn, and in this case, specifically anal. Pegging your lover’s ass really fucks with so many expectations and binaries, and Carol was doing it years before people were even talking about it.

Thanks, Essin’ Em! Whew—I’m almost done compiling my own list, I will have that to share with you all soon. I’ve got a few more things to watch first.

Anal Scenes in Queer Porn with JD Bauchery

I’ve been compiling and asking around about the best anal scenes in queer porn, and I’ve got a bit to report.

If you’re one of those folks who thinks that lesbian porn is generally oriented toward men as viewers and producers, I encourage you to think again. Yes, there is plenty of bad lesbian porn, but the amount of queer and feminist porn that is getting made these days is a bit mind-boggling. Personally, I can’t keep up. I’ve got a long list of films to watch that I still haven’t seen, and directors like Courtney Trouble and Madison Young and producers like Good Releasing keep making films faster than I can keep up.

I asked JD Bauchery over at Hot Movies 4 Her for some of her personal recommendations for butt scenes in queer porn, since she is WAY more of a pro at queer porn than I am.

And here’s what she recommends:

Which of these have you seen? Any in particular that you recommend?

Quick Anal Interview with Lissa

1 – Tip – I’d say the most important component of anal sex is trust. Trust your partner, trust yourself. If it doesn’t feel right, for either partner, stop, pause, back off a little bit, try again. Change positions, move around. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Don’t be afraid to make a mess! Trust is key.

2 – Lube – I’m not sure I have a favorite. Whatever we happen to have on hand, really. I like Probe for an all purpose lube.

3 – Position – On my side, with one leg up. For me, anal sex is very intimate. Being on my stomach takes away some of that intimacy for me. I love being able to see my partner’s face, reach out to her, talk to her. For more power/control exchange situations, bent over any piece of furniture is glorious, especially if there is a vibrator nearby and my hands are behind my back. Two favorite positions for completely different reasons.

Thanks Lissa! Follow her on Twitter at @swtlissab.

Quick Anal Interview with Sophia St. James

Sophia St. James

1. What one tip would you suggest (aside from the obvious: lube, communicate, go slow)?

I think a person needs to be mentally ready for anal sex. Many go into it thinking it’s not gonna be the much different than vaginal sex and the feeling IS much different. And though anal sex can be quite enjoyable, the feeling can be uncomfortable for many. Personally, when I first started having anal sex it wasn’t my favorite. It was a little hard to get pleasure from it. But over time, I have become a huge fan of anal play/sex. Another thing that can help is anal play. Rubbing, touching, and licking can all be very erotic and stimulating. It can also help relax the muscles and allow for easier insertion.

2. What lube do you recommend?

I personally love Liquid Silk and Pink. They are the least irritating to my tissues and they last much longer than any lube I have used.

3. What position do you find excellent?

My favorite sexual position for anal sex is doggie style. I am more on the rough side of play, so I find that in the position, more BDSM/fetish play can take play that I enjoy. Plus it seems to open things up a little bit better.

Any bonus perspective, tip, story, or thing that you’d really like to share?

I like the ‘work-up’ approach. Start with playful touching and rubbing, then licking, then fingers, eventually working up to something larger. It’s sensual and erotic, not mention it helps me to get into it more and relax.

Hope that helps some!

Thanks Sophia! You may remember her from such films as Bordello, which is where I first saw her. Visit her site at sophiastjames.com.

Quick Anal Interview with Madison Young

This Quick Anal Interview comes from Madison Young, feminist, art gallery owner, and porn star. If you haven’t seen her come on camera, you are missing out, it is a glorious thing to watch.

1. What one tip would you suggest (aside from the obvious: lube, communicate, go slow)?

When doing anal play its important to remember Jane Fonda’s advice “Don’t forget to warm-up.” Stretching isn’t just for yoga or before a morning jog. If I’m planning on doing anal play with my partner or for work I like to warm up before hand. First I like to warm up with lube and a finger or two. Slowly insert into your anus and relax your sphincter muscles and let you anus suck in and relax around your fingers. Then start to slowly move your fingers further into your rectum. This also helps to lubricate the inside of your anus and rectum. I also really love butt plugs and feel like it is a great way to turn on your partner in public as a form of foreplay to wear a buttplug on your date. This also gives your anus plenty of time to warm up and get stretched and ready for different types of anal play when you get home. I highly recommend the silicone b-bomb from GoodVibes.com from Tantus.

2. What lube do you recommend?

I’m a big fan of lots of silicone lube. Swiss Navy is my preferred brand right now. It provides the the perfect slick lubrication for anal play that doesn’t dissipate too quickly. They also have a neat pump so you don’t have to fumble with the cap to the lube when you are in the moment.

3. What position do you find excellent?

It depends on what type of anal play you are engaging in. If I’m fisting my anus, which I love to do, I like to be standing and raise one leg onto a table or chair so it opens my bottom up more and makes it easier for me to reach around. I also like a standing doggy for anal sex with a partner or doggy style. Usually I like to back up onto the hand or cock to adjust myself and have my anus relax around the hand or cock before lots of fucking ensues. Anal play can be incredibly pleasurable and is much easier for me to orgasm this way than through vaginal penetration.

You can see Madison’s work on many sites, including NoFauxxx, Hot Movies 4 Her, and her own domain, madisonbound.com. Thanks Madison!

Quick Anal Interview with Tawny

Tawny calls herself an enthusiast, and says, “It’s my favorite form of intercourse.” Here’s her quick anal interview.

1. What one tip would you suggest (aside from the obvious: lube, communicate, go slow)?

-Masturbate a little, or have a vibe in place on your clit if you’re being penetrated and are nervous. You’ll relax easier, and be less focused on whether or not you’re freaking out (as the penetrated, obvs.)

-Breathe slowly and steadily. Anal can almost be meditative in the right mindset, and if you’re focused on your breathing and relaxing your rectal muscles, you probably will feel pleasure rather than pain. That’s been my experience, anyway.

2. What lube do you recommend?

Maximus is great.

3. What position do you find excellent?

The best position for me has always been doggy style. If whatever cock/toy I’m taking is rather large, I prefer to be bent over something so I can relax as much of my body as possible and have a hand free for the masturbation I mentioned above. (My ex-boyfriend preferred to lay on his back, but that never worked as well for me.)

Any bonus perspective, tip, story, or thing that you’d really like to share?

Honestly, one of the coolest and most zen-like experiences for me has been getting better at anal stretching. It’s erotic, trust-building, and requires great concentration. I’ve never been much of a meditator before, but I can tell you that I definitely prefer my blank slate states with something in my ass.

And story-wise: One of the most ridiculous sets of orgasms I’ve ever had (and I’m easy to get off, so we’re talking a LOT of orgasms) was being fucked in the ass with a Crybaby vibe in my vagina and my boyfriend (doing the fucking, obviously) holding the remote. We were yelled at by the neighbors, who were inside their house next door. So, I definitely recommend combining anal with vaginal penetration and a vibrator, if you’re comfortable with that.

Quick Anal Interview with Bailey

These tips are from Bailey (@bailey21975), who wrote to me after seeing my call for interviewing anal enthusiasts on Twitter. More quick anal interviews coming up!

1. What one tip would you suggest (aside from the obvious: lube, communicate, go slow)?

I’d suggest gloves (or condoms, if you are using a toy instead of fingers/hand), for several reasons. Safety, if you aren’t fluid-bonded with your partner. Gloves make certain that any scratchy nails are not going to cause even incidental damage. In my experience, wearing gloves makes the lube last a bit longer without being absorbed. Also, wearing gloves means that if you decide to go from anal sex to vaginal sex on a whim, you strip them off, toss them aside and have at it! No risk of putting bacteria where you certainly don’t want it, and you don’t have to head to the bathroom to scrub your hands, potentially killing the mood. I’m a big fan of gloves for anal play, myself.

2. What lube do you recommend?

If you’re planning on buying just one lube for all purposes, my recommendation is Liquid Silk, all the way. It doesn’t get tacky, it lasts a long time, doesn’t have an unpleasant smell, taste or texture — which is important to me, because I never know where I might want to put my mouth later. Liquid Silk is best if you’re looking for an all purpose lube, but if you’re going to have a separate lube for anal, Maxxximus is the way to go.

3. What position do you find excellent?

Whatever position is the most relaxing for the bottom, ideally. For me, whether top or bottom in this activity, my preference is on hands and knees, head down, ass up. It makes for great visual presentation, and you can see exactly what you’re doing.

Thanks Bailey—follow on Twitter @bailey21975.

Quick Anal Interview with Dylan Ryan

The second quick anal interview features porn star Dylan Ryan, one of my favorite people to watch fuck on camera, and anal enthusiast herself. When I started brainstorming queer porn scenes to feature here (upcoming!), two of hers came immediately to mind. Here’s what she had to say about anal sex.

Photo of Dylan by Aslan Leather, as featured on Dylan's website
Lube:

Maximus. Hands down the best one I’ve found. Stays cushy without getting gummy. I feel like most people don’t know it… which is funny because it’s sooo good.

Position:

This is hard to describe, but I’ll try. Technically it’s doggy, BUT my upper body and chest is completely on the bed. And then the boy is on top, but he actually puts his legs on TOP of my legs, and moves his cock up higher, in a more downward and less directly into the ass angle. His hands are on the bed on either said with most his lower body on top of me. We call it the SUPER DOG!

Basically, it puts more of his body weight on me. And the angle … it feels less OOMPHy. That’s the one thing about anal, I love it really hard, but the direct right-into-the-ass feels too much like poop, like “I’m filling you up with air.” But with more of an angle that feeling goes away, and there’s more sensation, less blowing up like a balloon.

In this position I feel very mounted, too, which I personally dig. It feels nasty and taboo.

Tips:

I like to do anal after I’ve already cum. So, stick to what you know, get off, and then give it a shot. Usually I’m raring at that point: the body is relaxed, the adrenaline and serotonin are flowing.

I’m really into rimming these days, and I don’t see that suggested very often. Rimming is an AWESOME way to start anal. It feels AMAZING and relaxes everything, and there can be some tongue penetration to get things started.

People tend to get really cerebral about anal, and I understand that, but internalizing all the stuff about it hurting sets people up. If anal was more a regular part of sex in people’s lives, it would be easier to do. Approaching with caution helps with injury, but the anus is pretty damn elastic. If it was something that was less associated with pain, I think people would practice and explore it more. Especially for women, the concepts around it are “oh no, thats going to hurt” as opposed to, “lets find out what I do and don’t like about it.” Just like vaginal or oral sex, everyone has different likes/needs, and exploring those can be icky and painful and weird and not hot, but it can also be amazing and sexy and hot and illuminating. Anal should be part of that package in a positive way!

Dylan Ryan is making the world a better place, one porn at a time. Follow her on Twitter @thedylanryan and check out her new website, dylanryanx.com.

Quick Anal Interview with Charlie Glickman

In the spirit of Anal Week, I’ll be doing some quick interviews with sexuality educators, porn stars, and anal lovers to get the conversation going. Here’s the first one, with sexuality educator Charlie Glickman.

A few tips:

1) try it out on yourself before doing it with a partner. If you’re going to be the giver, it’ll help you understand how sensitive and delicate the anus is. If you’re going to be the received, it’ll give valuable info about how you like to be touched.

2) do something else (simultaneously) that you enjoy. A vibe on the clit, a hand on the cock, whatever. Arousal makes anal play easier and it helps your body connect a familiar pleasure with new sensations.

3) pay attention to your mood. Anxiety and fear can cause the anus to contract, making anal play more difficult.

Lube: silicone, especially for external massage or getting started. Eros or Swiss Navy are nice. Thicker gels work better once you’re in the rectum because they give a bit more cushioning. Please Me Gel is a good one.

Position: hips above the head. Elbows and knees is good. Or on your back with a pillow or a Liberator Wedge under the hips. In that position, it can also be helpful to prop the knees up with pillows so the muscles can relax. Remember- anal penetration is about relaxing the anus, so the less work the other muscles are doing, the easier it’ll be.

You might find these useful: Anal Sex and An Introduction to Anal Play at Good Vibrations

Charlie Glickman has been a sexuality educator since 1989 and joined the staff of Good Vibrations in 1996. He holds a doctorate in Adult Sexuality Education and is certified as a Sexuality Educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. See more about Dr. Glickman or read his work at his blog, or on the Good Vibrations Magazine.