eye candy: bedroom eyes

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

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

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

beebo brinker on stage

I’ve got tickets to go see the Beebo Brinker Chronicles in a few weeks … based on Ann Bannon’s series of pulp novels from the 1950s, they’re classic lesbian books reprinted by Cleis in the 90s. Here’s the description:

Fueled by booze and furtive sex, BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES follows the lives and loves of four friends in pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village. Beth and Laura, secret lovers in college, still pine for each other. Before they can reunite, they find themselves entangled in a web spun by Beebo Brinker, a butch denizen of the underground bar scene, and Jack, a flamboyant fop with caustic wit.

Makes me wonder if me & Beebo are kindrid spirits! All those romps, free-lovin’, through this city, makin’ the ladies swoon. Love it! I haven’t read the books in years, I should pick ’em up again.

I’ll be giving my full report after I see the play – if you’re near New York City, consider seeing it yourself – it runs through April 27th. Press release & more info below.


BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES
Continues Off-Broadway run thru April 27 at 37 Arts
** 2008 GLAAD Media Award Winner**

BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES is a stage adaptation of Ann Bannon’s groundbreaking, award-winning pulp novels of the 1950s. It is written by Kate Moira Ryan (25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, 2007 GLAAD Media Award Winner for Best Play) and Linda S. Chapman (Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving) and directed by Leigh Silverman (Well). Performances of this Limited Off-Broadway engagement run through April 27 at 37 Arts Theater in Manhattan.

Fueled by booze and furtive sex, BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES follows the lives and loves of four friends in pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village. Beth and Laura, secret lovers in college, still pine for each other. Before they can reunite, they find themselves entangled in a web spun by Beebo Brinker, a butch denizen of the underground bar scene, and Jack, a flamboyant fop with caustic wit.

The producing team includes Tony Award winner Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner (The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe), Harriet Newman Leve (STOMP, The 39 Steps), Elyse Singer (Mae West’s Sex, Trouble in Paradise), Jamie deRoy (Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Coram Boy), Pam Laudenslager (The 39 Steps), Douglas Denoff (The 39 Steps) and Double Play Connections (Radio Golf).

The production stars Jenn Colella (High Fidelity, Urban Cowboy) in the title role, along with David Greenspan (2007 Obie for Some Men and Faust), Carolyn Baeumler (Trouble In Paradise), Bill Dawes (Gross Indecency / Burning Blue), Autumn Dornfeld (The Graduate), and Xanthe Elbrick (Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominee for Coram Boy). The design team includes Rachel Hauck (set), Theresa Squire (costumes), Nicole Pearce (lights), Jill BC DuBoff (sound), J. Jared Jana/Rob Greene (wigs, hair & makeup), Pamela Edington (stage manager), Bradley Thompson (production manager) and Roy Gabay (general manager). The original production was produced by Hourglass Group at The Fourth Street Theatre.

Kate Moira Ryan’s critically acclaimed collaboration with Judy Gold, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother won a 2007 GLAAD Media Award Winner for Best Play. This past spring, Voice/Hyperion published a book based on the play and it was recently nominated for the prestigious Quill award in the category of humor. Linda S. Chapman co-created and played Alice B. Toklas in the Obie Award-winning and GLADD Media Award Nominee Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving. Leigh Silverman is the critically acclaimed director of Lisa Kron’s Well on Broadway, David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face at The Public Theater, Brooke Berman’s Hunting and Gathering at Primary Stages, and From Up Here at MTC later this season.

BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES runs through April 27 with performances Tues. at 7pm; Wed, Thus. & Fri. at 8pm; Sat. at 5pm & 9pm; and Sun. at 3pm & 7pm. 37 Arts is located at 450 West 37th Street (between 9th & 10th Aves. — accessible from A,C,E trains to 34th St). Tickets are $46.25 – $56.25. To buy tickets call 212-307-4100 or visit www.TicketMaster.com.

Sex Work, Trafficking, and Human Rights

Sex In The Public Square Presents:
Sex Work, Trafficking, and Human Rights: A Public Forum

New York, February 20, 2008 – Ten prominent sex worker advocates, writers, researchers will be publicly discussing the issues of sex work and trafficking from a human rights and harm reduction perspective, February 25 – March 3, on SexInThePublicSquare.org. The week-long online conversation will conclude with a summary statement on March 3, International Sex Worker Rights Day.

Sex work and trafficking are two issues that must be discussed as distinct yet intersecting, and we’ve invited some of the smartest sex worker advocates we know to help sort out the complexities. “This forum is not about debating whether or not we should be using a harm reduction and human rights approach instead of the more mainstream abolitionist and prohibitionist approach to sex work,” explains Elizabeth Wood, co-founder of Sex In The Public Square and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nassau Community College. “Instead our goal is to create a space for nuanced exploration of the human rights and harm reduction approach so that we can use it more persuasively.”

Wood explains: “The human rights and harm reduction approach seeks to reduce the dangers that sex workers face and to stop human rights abuses involved in the movement of labor across borders, a movement which occurs in the service of so many industries. We want people to be able to learn about this perspective, and to develop and refine it, without having to dilute that conversation by debating the legitimacy of sex work.”

Questions and themes include:

Defining our terms: Is the way that we define “porn” clear? “Prostitution”? “Sex work” in general? What happens when we say “porn” and mean all sexually explicit imagery made for the purpose of generating arousal and others hear “porn” as indicating just the “bad stuff” while reserving “erotica” for everything they find acceptable? When we say sex work is it clear what kinds of jobs we’re including?

Understanding our differences: How do inequalities of race, class and gender affect the sex worker rights movement? Are we effective in organizing across those differences?

Identifying common ground: What are the areas of agreement between the abolitionist/prohibitionist perspective and the human rights/harm reduction perspective? For example, we all agree that forced labor is wrong. We all agree that nonconsensual sex is wrong. Is it a helpful strategic move to by highlighting our areas of agreement and then demonstrating why a harm reduction/human rights perspective is better suited to addressing those shared concerns, or are we better served by distancing ourselves from the abolition/prohibition-oriented thinkers?

Evaluating research: What do we think of the actual research generated by prominent abolitionist/prohibitionist scholars like Melissa Farley, Gail Dines, and Robert Jensen? Can we comment on the methods they use to generate the data on which they base their analysis, and then can we comment on the logic of their conclusions based on the data they have?

Framing the issues: What are our biggest frustrations with the way that the human rights/harm reduction perspective is characterized by the abolitionist/prohibitionist folks? How can we effectively respond to or reframe this misrepresentations? What happens when “I oppose human trafficking” becomes a political shield that deflects focus away from issues of migration, labor and human rights?

Exploring broader economic questions: How does the demand for cheap labor undermine human rights-based solutions to exploitation in all industries, including the sex industry?

the therapy session

The Saturday that Miss DD was visiting me in New York City, we attempted to go out to a queer dance that boasted swing, salsa, and tango music, but when we arrived it was near empty, awkward, unsexy, and unwelcoming. We did not stay.

The failed dance, really, is irrelevant, aside from that we had dressed up for it. We’d been to the Shanghai Mermaid the night before, which, we didn’t realize, would’ve been a perfect venue for our swing outfits: her short-short black twirly dress, small jacket with leopard-print accents, seamed stockings (there’s a word for those yes? “cuban heel”?), and she carried her red “ruby slippers” dancing heels in a bag – can’t have the soles getting all messed up – which she’d found when we’d been out shopping in the Village. I wore the outfit my stylist and I had picked out especially for this, including a black velvet jacket (which I’ve always wanted) and a fedora.

“I love that you understand costuming,” Miss DD said to me.

So we should’ve worn those fabulous swing outfits to Shanghai Mermaid, but we thought this dance was going to be great. Instead we were let down. We left the dance almost immediately, and went to Therapy.

“Therapy has the most fuckable bathrooms I’ve ever been in,” I remembered, opening the thick, heavy wooden door at the gayboy bar for DD. Fucking her in the bathroom honestly hadn’t been part of the plan – I was just desperate for a queer-ish venue where we could have some drinks, make out, possibly dance. It was the only bar around Midtown I could think of.

We found two stools at one of their huge beautiful tables and watched the gay boys, made up stories about their characters and hookups. Occupations, personal histories. Talked about literature and gender and dancing and costumes and how the fedora was fucking up my perfectly messy hair.

Eventually we made our way down to the first floor, to the back, to the bathrooms. I followed her into one of the stalls, which are more like individual rooms, real walls but the doors don’t quite go all the way to the floor. We both set our drinks down near the wall where we’d try not to kick them over.

She dropped to her knees, almost immediately. Did I kiss her first? Possibly. Possible too that she took my fingers deep into her mouth like she does, letting me feel her throat and the back of her tongue and her soft palette with my fingertips. Two, three fingers. Her tongue, her teeth grazing my knuckles.

And then on her knees. Her beautiful eyes looking up at me, cock deep in her throat, her hands on my thighs, on my ass, pulling me deeper into her. I’m moaning and gasping aw fuck and she takes my hand and puts it in her hair, I grip a fistful and hold her there, steady, as I pump my hips and fuck her face.

I was getting a little out of control here. I could feel it. That feeling looming where I can expand and explode and take. Different than orgasm, this is a topping energy that rises up and makes me want to damage, rip apart, destroy.

I started thrusting deeper and harder, taking control of the blow job, fucking her mouth rather than letting her do the work. I began tipping her backward.

Aw yeah, aw fuck yeah. Fuck.

Pulling her hair to lift her up to me, I stopped, pulled my cock out of her mouth, slammed her against the wall, hit her head against the tile. Kissed her. Hard, and again. Hand in her hair again, on her arms, shoulders, pinning her between me and the wall. I thrust my hand between her legs and found her pussy wet and ready for me, pressed my fingers inside, two then three, in and out slow, then harder and deeper, curling inside to touch her gspot and feel her opening for me, feel her swelling under my fingers.

She had one leg up, knee bent, against the wall and my arm was under her knee, but then she lifted it farther and pressed the sole of her high-heeled black leather boot against the opposite wall of the stall behind me. Opened her pelvis even deeper, gave us both better leverage.

Not to mention: so. fucking. hot.

She gasped, moaned. She bit my lips a little too hard and I pressed my hand to her cheek, pushed her face against the wall.

“Come for me, baby,” I started, whispering in her ear. “So fucken hot, you all pressed up against the bathroom wall like this. I love the way you suck my cock, you’re so good, so good. Now I want you to come for me, squirt for me, let it go, I want to feel it, I want you to splash the floor of this dirty bathroom … ”

She gasped, kissed me, mouth open, her stomach contracting and all the muscles in her body became taut, pressing hard against the edges of her so she could feel my fingers thrumming inside, and she started to gush, ejaculating in a stream I couldn’t see but could feel against my hand. Her pussy tightened and thickened and her muscles started pushing my fingers out, which means to finger her clit, so I did, brought two fingers against the hard swollen nub and pressed, worked it like a guitar string, an instrument, and she gasped and kept coming and coming, so much liquid.

“Yeah baby, oh yeah.”

Her fist gripped my hand, eyes bored into mine. “Don’t stop, don’t stop.” Her body shook. Her face opened, eyes wide and she shuddered, kept coming, I don’t know how long, a steady stream of come wetting the floor until finally her body gave out, spent, and she started laughing, whimpering and breathing hard, pulling me to her, kissing me, gasping.

We kissed. She brought her leg down from the wall with a slightly painful adjustment and stretched her hip. I adjusted myself and – of course – kicked her drink over, spilling it out from underneath the door of the stall.

Which is when we heard, “One at a time in the stalls!” and a knock on the door.

We laughed, tried to stifle it. “One minute!”  DD called.

“Oh, sorry ladies … ”

We shifted, gathered our jackets, bags, looked at the mess on the floor but could do nothing about it.

“Come on, now,” the voice called again.

We left the bathroom, trying not to laugh, embarrassed, made a bee-line right for the door of the club. Laughed and held hands and kissed in doorways all the way to the subway.

“God,” I said. “That was so hot.

Body Electric School 2008 Spring Programs, NYC

I’ve been to many of these Body Electric workshops for women over the past 8 years or so, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’re terrifying, and life-changing, and amazing. I recommended last year’s CBE here and wrote about some of my revelations and experiences after the workshop as well.Two workshops for were just announced for the 2008 schedule. Highly, highly recommended, I can’t say that enough.

Safe, playful and profound workshops for women of all ages and sexual orientations
Taught by two very gifted teachers

Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
March 29-30, NYC, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
with Isa Magdalena
(back teaching at Body Electric after many years)

• Feel comfortable in your body
• Improve your body image and self-esteem
• Expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath,
movement, touch, and communication
• Release fear, shame and old patterns that hold you back
• Communicate your desires and boundaries more clearly
• Learn to give and receive without losing yourself
• Explore the power of sexual energy / ibido / life force / kundalini
• Learn from your own and others’ experience
• Enjoy sex more
• Have more fun

Isa Magdalena was the first woman teacher at Body Electric (1993-98). She teaches sexological bodywork at the Institute of Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, is author of Libido: Where Sex, Science Spirit Meet (2006). Isa is featured in several sex education videos from the New School of Erotic Touch, is a practitioner and leads classes in Taos, New Mexico. For fuller information, visit www.xtasia.info

*

first time in many years!

Power, Surrender and Intimacy for Women
June 20-22, NYC, Friday 7-10pm, Sat-Sunday 9am-7pm
with Alex Jade

* Learn BDSM techniques and develop skills
* Discover and clarify issues of empowerment and liberation
* Recognize how you engage in power dynamics in your everyday life and exercise more conscious choice
* Heighten awareness of your body’s capacity for sensation
* Explore power and sensation games for fun and healing
* Experience the joy of surrender and trust

Presequisite for this workshop is Celebrating the Body Erotic

Alex Jade has been a leading teacher at Body Electric for a decade and has developed several courses for the School. She is a gender-fluid sex activist, community organizer, shadow explorer and body-based therapist living in Seattle. She uses her training as a massage therapist, movement therapist and masters degree in social work to teach experiential sexual education classes and has a private healing practice.

Both Isa and Alex are profiled in Reclaiming Eros, Suzanne Blackburn and Margaret Wade, editors (2007).

Tuition: $395 per workshop. Recent CBE grads receive $50 discount on repeat workshops. Register with minimum $100 deposit. Full tuition is due three weeks before start of workshops. Contact Debi Soler, NYC coordinator, 212-726-0679, [email protected]

http://www.thebodyelectricschool.com

the hurricane between us

Four full days, four nights.

I don’t even know where to begin. There was wandering around the Village, visiting The Leatherman and New York pizza and a very successful trip to DSW for shoes – I found brown leather Steve Madden loafers, she bought ruby slippers, these incredible wine-red heels. There were noodles at Republic, coffee & bagel breakfasts in Park Slope, dancing at the dyke club Cattyshack (and a little too much whiskey for me, which only made it easier for her to fuck me on my kitchen floor after), burlesque at the Shanghai Mermaid where we stepped into 1920s Paris, which featured the house Tin Pan Blues Band. There was an unsuccessful dance at Stepping Out Studios and then the subsequent making up for it at Therapy, where, yes, we did get busted having sex in the bathroom.

There was sex and fucking and making love and play and rope and my flogger even came down off the wall for a while.

There was sitting in a coffee shop, writing across the table from her. There were late night conversations on pillows and morning light over her face and showers and walks and drinking and stories on the subway and kissing her. Holding her hand.

It was hard to stay present, hard not to be sad that she was leaving, that this was temporary, but I wanted to squeeze everything out of it that possibly could. Since she left, I feel numb. I took a deep breath, started focusing on my 200-item to-do-list and couldn’t focus on anything, not even a TV show.

I held it together until I peeled back the covers to find the baby-blue babydoll nightie she’d been wearing all weekend, sheer, barely covering her ass, so beautiful, and it smelled like her skin of course, and my fingers had been holding her body inside of it for days, and then suddenly it was just fabric, empty, and I welled up with the loss.

I know – we both know – better than to cultivate such intensity so early on in a relationship. We’re both passionate, intense, emotional – makes for romance and fascination, I’m sure, but we are wary of the distance between us, we discussed this; angry that we cannot properly date, slowly, excitedly, and instead we’re doing this hurricane long distance thing.

I don’t know what we’re going to do. All I know is, the next step is that she’s working from Puerta Vallarta in February, and I’m going to visit her at the villa she’s rented (just happens to be over Valentine’s Day). Twenty-two days, then, until I get to see her again.

I can make it until then.

One step at a time.

busy practicalities

As I’m sure you can see by the countdown clock in the sidebar, Miss DD is landing in New York City in 1 day, 9 hours, 22 minutes.

I’m, uh, getting nervous. Spent last night readying the apartment, washed the sheets, boiled the cocks (again), organized my closet, did laundry, swept the floors. In fact, the apartment is just about ready. Tonight, I have a long list of errands to run, ranging from 1. get my nose stud properly coiled so it stops falling out of my nose to 14. pick up snacks and breakfasty options at the grocery store.

After work, I’m meeting a friend of mine who I will now call “my stylist” for some outfit help.

Because, see, my boy wardrobe is getting kind of boring. I pretty much wear the same outfit when I’m getting dressed up for a date or for a reading of my work: black slacks, black or red button-down, tie. I guess this varies a little. I have a few sweaters that I occasionally wear on top. I like the peep of a tie through a v-neck.

But I need to spice it up a bit. That’s where my stylist comes in.

So we started talking about my “wardrobe,” and I started wondering about a “basic men’s wardrobe guide” or some such book on men’s style, because that’s what I do, right, when I have a question or a dilemma or a problem I go find a book. Well, perhaps first I google it, then I find a book.

I’m in the gathering-data phase of this wardrobe project, but I will certainly let you know what I uncover.

… this is all to say that Miss DD and I are plannng to go dancing on Sunday night, and I don’t have a thing to wear. I will dust off (and polish) the solid black wingtips, but I’d like to wear something fun, peppy. Suspenders? I can’t seem to find my fedora.

… and this is also all to say that I am avoiding the topic of writing about my nerves, and DD’s visit, because though I am 90% excited and thrilled and in awe and beside myself, I am still 10% terrified. I’m already braced for that inevitable heartache that will happen when I have to take her back to the airport, send her back to Seattle. The reality of loss looming behind all our joyous interactions is such a weight to carry between us. Will we weather it? What are we going to do? How will I fall for someone, date someone, explore someone, from such a distance? It can’t possibly be adequate. It can’t possibly be enough. How do I make it enough? How do we approach this, how can we possibly frame this so that it will work, function, like two real hearts intertwining?

She sent me a photo yesterday of a new paddle with “BOY” cut into it, ready to mark. I got out my ropes and flogger and practiced my ties and aim. Felt good to twirl my wrists. I tightened my bedframe.

And now my head is swimming with the practical questions. What do I wear to pick her up from the airport? Do I pack? Must make a car reservation. Must get the apartment prepared. Do I have eggs? What kind of coffee does she like? (She is from Seattle, after all.) See and then I’m back to the distractions of the practicalities, and I feel a little better.

gratitude from a new place

I’m in the eye of a storm at the moment, meaning I’m going to have to move through it again before it passes entirely. But hopefully, this time next week, it will be smooth sailing again …A very brief update: this past weekend I did something very Noo Yawk, and moved from a third-floor walkup to a third-floor walkup without movers. Well, without formal movers that I paid, anyway – some fantastic friends (and surprising acquaintances!) came out to help my sister & I transfer the mountains of crap from one apartment to the next, and here we are, snug in the new place.

It’s really great. Loads better than the old place. Big huge thanks go out to C + J + J + J + T, and of course my sister Bee. We are all sore as hell, bruised, and battered today, but hell if they don’t have some serious moving karma coming back to ’em! It was a big deal to have so much support, so I have to thank these folks in any big way I can. I was thinking about it, and last year when I moved, when The Ex and I split up and moved out of our joint apartment into two separate places, some excellent, important friends helped us both move as well, but it was one of the most hurried, unorganized, difficult moves I’ve ever done.

This move, it was so smooth. Possibly the easiest move I’ve ever made.

Don’t forget, it’s not easy to move a writer. Two-thirds of my posessions are either books or boxes of paper – archives of writing, articles, clippings, journals. Many boxes of books. The friends didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.

I think we – my sister & I – are in a much better place now. I’m really excited to be here.

So, that was Saturday. Yes, just Saturday. Sunday, my writing group had a big publishing panel where we contacted all these editors, authors, agents, writers, we knew and got four people to come and give us a bunch of advice on our careers, MFA programs, how to get published, what to do.

I went away from that panel with the distinct advice that I need an agent. So, I’m gonna be working on that.

The panel, though, and the whole writing group, really, often gets me in this state of awe about New York City. The opportunities here are just boundless, and I am so grateful to be making connections.

Tomorrow, I head to Seattle for about a week. I’ve got a performance on Thursday night while I’m there – contact me if you’re in the Pacific Northwest and would like to attend – I won’t be reading much smut, probably, but will be doing my performance poetry. I’ll also be visiting with college friends, primarily.

I love Seattle. I miss it, it’s hard to be in New York sometimes, to be so far away from my adult home, from the family of friends who went through my early 20s with me. But at the same time, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if I wasn’t here, in this particular location, in New York.

And I’m oh so grateful that I’m here, now.

Roses on fishnet stockings: yum

On the V train:

Caramel skin and she smelled like vanilla. Her hat was knit, covering her head like a something poofy and french, brown ringlets poking deliberately out from under it. Her jacket was mocha coffee colored suede with white fur at the seams, it came in stylishly at the waist and flared at the bust, unbuttoned to reveal delicious curves, cleavage. I don’t usually notice cleavage. Hers was near perfect.

On the E train:

Snow white: ruby lips, raven hair, creamy skin. Stop staring, I tell myself.

At Union Square:

Roses embroidered on the backs of her fishnet stockings. Black heels, not delicate, but not clunky either, rather very solid, firm. I wanted to bite each rose from her calf. Tear it with my teeth.

Clearly something is happeneing to my libido today. I do go through these moods occasionally. I wonder where I am in my cycle, if this corresponds.

Makes me wish I had someone to call & fuck.

Closest relationship I’ve had to that is Belle – but apparently, she has a girlfriend now. I haven’t talked to her much recently, we really only saw each other a few times. Too bad, though. I thought she’d be on the market for a while longer – I should’ve played with her more while I could, I really enjoyed her. And – on top of the physical chemistry, she never put pressure on me, never needed anything from me. That’s how we both laid it out at the beginning of getting together, and I had my doubts as to whether or not that could happen, but it did.

I guess it’s good to know that I’m capable of a sex-based relationship, in theory.

be a gay Santa!

An acquaintance of mine sent this on to me, she is going to be playing Santa at Sylvia’s Place Homeless Youth Shelter again this year, and they need donated gifts for queer youth.

If you want to be a Gay Santa, they’ll send you a “dear santa” letter from one of the youth, and then you an drop off or mail the gift with their name on it back to the shelter. if you’ve got the means, it sounds like a really fun process to be a part of! I’m excited to participate.

More information about Sylvia’s Place: We provide emergency shelter to homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City. A 2006 report from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force estimates that a third of homeless youth identify as LGBT. In New York City, this means that something like 8,000 to 10,000 youth are without shelter every night. This has led many to refer to this as an “epidemic” of homelessness among LGBTQ youth. Find out more…

Gay Santa wrote:

Happy Holidays from Sylvia’s Place Homeless Youth Center! We are hoping you will consider being a ‘Gay Santa’ this year.

To participate, send us your postal mailing address and you will be sent a “Dear Santa” letter from a homeless young person asking for a gift. Wrapped gifts, labeled with the young person’s name, can be mailed or dropped off at the shelter: Metropolitan Community Church , 446 W 36th st, NYC NY 10018

Our goal is to make sure each of our young people receive a gift this Christmas. With your support, we know this goal will become a reality.

Many thanks and warm holiday wishes,

Kate Barnhart, Director
MCCNY/Homeless Youth Services
446 W 36th St, NYC NY 10018

modified eros: erotic body modification art show

The ever-amazing Audacia Ray has curated an erotic body modification art show here in New York City, and while I missed the opening night (insert kick-me sign here), I can’t wait to see it.

There is also a play piercing workshop on the 28th of November done by the fabulous Lolita Wolf. Times like this, I am so grateful to be living in this city.

From Dacia’s website:

On November 9, 2007 erotic art and body modification meet in “Modified Eros,” a photographic celebration of bodies modified with tattooing, piercing, corsetry, and scarification. The show is curated by Audacia Ray, features photography from BellaVendetta.com, and runs through January 18, 2008 at Arena Studios, a non-traditional art venue, BDSM play space, and organizer of the Black & Blue Ball, located at 407 Broome Street, Suite 7A.

Some of the photographs in the show have previously appeared on Bella Vendetta’s eponymous website, where she showcases the erotic fantasies of people whose imaginations run on the taboo side. The pieces in the show represent not just the photographers’, but also the models’ predilections. “It’s hard to get a gallery to show images like this because they don’t see body modification as an art form and they don’t think of modified people’s bodies as beautiful,” says Ms. Vendetta.

Audacia Ray, who has curated $pread magazine’s “Sex Worker Visions” shows for the past two years, says, “The photographs I’ve selected for this show invite people to appreciate the erotic beauty of body modification, though some images, like photographs of suspension, blood play, and genital modifications, will make folks squirm a little too.”

During the run of the show, Arena Studios welcomes the public to view the art daily by making an appointment by phone at 212.889.1591 or via email: info[at]arenanyc[dot]com. Arena will also host an evening with Lolita Wolf, a BDSM player, educator, and TES Emeritus Board Member, who will present a hands-on workshop on play piercing in the gallery on Wednesday, November 28th from 7 to 9 pm. The workshop costs $25 to attend and will arm attendees with knowledge about tools, supplies, safety, technique, preparation and aftercare.

Inquiries about the art should be directed to Audacia Ray by email at dacia[at]wakingvixen[dot]com or phone at 718.554.1714.

the morning after

I had a date last night, which went quite well really; we had fabulous conversation over dinner, then made our way over to the Brooklyn promenade that overlooks the shimmering buildings in downtown Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano bridge, and the Manhattan bridge.It was quite a view. I hadn’t been over there before. She wore these really cute shoes with straps that tied.

I was going on about topping, and the ways that feminism – and a general respect for other people – makes me hesitant to get involved in some particular sex play, like humiliation and name calling, and that I would actually like to push myself as a top and play with those things, but that it’d have to be with the right person, someone who wanted to specifically explore those things, not just as passing take-it-or-leave-it but really want it. I’d like to push myself as a top, I think was my point.

And that was when she gave me those eyes. You know the ones.

We had a fantastic first kiss, full of restraint and passion and air and deliberate hesitation, a slow building, perfect timing for going deeper, a little more crushing tender against teeth.

So, yeah, the date went well. Trouble is, I’m not particularly interested in purusing more with her – partly because she’s not what I’m looking for (I could go into detail here, but it’s not terribly relevant), and partly this is because I suspect that she likes me already, and is interested in pursuing things, maybe even in a relationship.

And I just can’t do that.

That sounds so predictable, so playboy, so “aspiring stud” of me, doesn’t it? You wouldn’t expect any less of this persona of mine, this Sinclair characature of myself, she should be the player, the heartbreaker, the one who takes girls home on the first date and has sex all night only to cut things off the morning after, right?

But that’s not me, that’s never been me. I’m not even sure how I got to this place sometimes, and I don’t want to continue to do this. What do we really get out of it, either of us? Sex, I suppose, which hey, that can be very important. But this day-after agony is not worth it. I’m too overly conscienscious of hurting her feelings.

And this is why I really shouldn’t be dating right now, at all.

I’m still just barely to the place where I’m pursuing dating. There have been some opportunities, and I haven’t turned those down … but it’s just starting to occur to me that I probably should be.

I said recently to Bee, my sister and roommate, that if I came across somebody that I really felt connected to, who I could potentially have a relationship with, I’m not even sure what I would do – I’d sabotage it, maybe, or I’d run the other way, or I just wouldn’t even recognize that that was possible with her right now, because I don’t want it. Everything in me says you’re not ready.

Do I wish I was ready? Yes. Am I working on becoming ready? Yes. Am I ready now? No.

And this, coupled with the difficulties I’ve had lately communicating with even my closest friends, let alone a random date, has made it clear to me that I’m in no place to even date. Hell, I am barely in a place where I can interact successfully with anyone else, it feels. Forget the extra added complication of emotion.

She didn’t stay over last night, though it was a struggle for me to ask her to go. How do you do that and not sound like an asshole? Eventually, I guess I had to not care that I sounded like an asshole. And I’m going to have to not care about that again today when I contact her to say that I had fun, but that we won’t be doing that again.

Lord. There is just no easy way to say it. There is no easy way to reject someone. Okay, so it’s not easy, fine: what is the kind way? What is the ‘right’ way?

I have one more date on Tuesday, and I have a sex date (much less complicated) with Belle today. I am tempted to cancel Tuesday’s date because really, why am I going? What do I hope to get out of it? I don’t want a relationship, not dates or sex or another person in my life.

This girl on the date last night, she is a lovely woman. Gorgeous and fun and smart, good in bed, and she has perhaps the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen, a green-gold shade that with her dark hair is just stunning. I had fun.

Why don’t I just stop doing this altogether, before somebody really gets hurt, instead.

this is my life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 things I love about being gay

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

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

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

  4. Drag kings, drag queens, and queer burlesque

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

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

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

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

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

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

another public service announcement

The early registration deadline for the Body Electric School‘s Celebrating the Body Erotic for women (only) is coming up next week. I wrote about it here and this PSA is to remind you about it, in case you are interested.The workshop is $340 if paid in full by August 15th, which is next Wednesday. When I return from it in October and write all about it, you are going to be very sorry that you weren’t there, too.

(I attended one last year in October, the weekend before Callie & I met up for the first time since our single summer date, though it looks like I didn’t actually write about it at all, which is weird. I guess I was oh so distracted by the potential romance. Ah, if only I knew. I’m excited that I will be focused more internally this time.)

Women come from all over the country for this workshop – and it will be the only women’s program offered this year, so I have no doubt that it will be incredible. Also, it’s run by Alex Jade, who is my favorite of the Body Electric teachers because she’s very genderqueer and looks like a silver-haired fag. She’s a lot less mother-goddess energy and a lot more playful kink energy, which I adore, with still a lot of the spirituality mixed in. It is transformative and foundational, it’ll break down the unstable places inside you and build up stronger ones, it’ll bring old, ancient pains to the surface and caress them, set them free.

It’s phenomenal. I can’t say that enough. I would gladly tell you more about it via email, if you have particular questions.


The Body Electric School Announces
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
with Alex Jade

October 5-7, 2007, New York City
I am excited to extend an invitation to you and the women you know to join in a circle of women for an opportunity to explore, discover and celebrate empowered sexuality, self-defined eroticism, spiritually integrated eros. You will feel welcomed into a safe, serious, and playful space where we respectfully honor boundaries and experience ourselves as powerful, expressive and sacred.

In this weekend program of carefully designed embodiment practices women will:
– explore the innate wisdom of your body
– expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored
– learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
– learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
– learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

This full weekend workshop is for women of all ages and sexual orientations who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality.

Men, please pass this information on to your women friends. They will always be grateful for your thinking of them.

Debi

Workshop Title: Celebrating The Body Erotic for Women
Tuition: $375 per person ($340 if paid in full by Aug. 15)
Registration: $100 non-refundable deposit per person due three weeks before event

The workshop starts Friday evening and ends Sunday evening.

Contact: Debi Soler
New York City Coordinator
646-245-4371
[email protected]

public service announcement

Here’s the deal:This workshop, Celebrating the Body Erotic, is the ‘level one’ beginning of the Body Electric School, and it is phenomenal. I have participated in workshops through Body Electric since 2001, and have done CBE three times, Power & Surrender once, and assisted at CBE twice. it has sincerely and deeply changed my relationship with my body, my sexuality, my sensuality, my spirituality, and my relationship to other women’s as well.

(I can speak much more to that. Ask me anything.)

This is the ONLY women’s program being offered this year in the US. Body Electric School offers men-only and mixed courses as well (and many many more of them), and usually is able to offer 2-5 women’s programs, but funding and management is tight (I don’t really know what’s going on, but this is what I’ve gathered) and the Women’s Programs are in danger. I am so, so saddened by this idea, and want to promote and encourage and talk up a STORM about this upcoming CBE workshop, with the hopes that it will entice even ONE more woman to come and participate.

It’s not cheap, I know, for a weekend (especially those of you who may have to travel to come here), but I can’t say enough how much it is worth it. It is a safe, beautiful space for breakthroughs, healing, moving on, looking back, unsticking anything that is stuck, making connection, growing, evolving, becoming beams of light.

I don’t know yet to what capacity I’ll be going to this workshop – I may be attending.


The Body Electric School Announces
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
with Alex JadeOctober 5-7, 2007, New York City

I am excited to extend an invitation to you and the women you know to join in a circle of women for an opportunity to explore, discover and celebrate empowered sexuality, self-defined eroticism, spiritually integrated eros. You will feel welcomed into a safe, serious, and playful space where we respectfully honor boundaries and experience ourselves as powerful, expressive and sacred.

In this weekend program of carefully designed embodiment practices women will:
– explore the innate wisdom of your body
– expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored
– learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
– learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
– learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities

This full weekend workshop is for women of all ages and sexual orientations who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality.

Men, please pass this information on to your women friends. They will always be grateful for your thinking of them.

Debi

Workshop Title: Celebrating The Body Erotic for Women
Tuition: $375 per person ($340 if paid in full by Aug. 15)
Registration: $100 non-refundable deposit per person due three weeks before eventThe workshop starts Friday evening and ends Sunday evening.

Contact: Debi Soler
New York City Coordinator
646-245-4371
[email protected]

How to Survive Your First Year in New York City

(work in progress) 

I Summer

Immediately in the city everything is just as hard as you’ve always heard it is: the disgusting humid summers. Finding an apartment. Getting a job. Locating friends. But the subways become easy, once you get the hang of it, and Manhattan is comprehensible, once you orient yourself. Be careful not to over-orient: you will change.

Invest in an air-conditioner. August will be brutal.

Distract yourself by going to every Brooklyn roof party you can find. Ask everyone for their New York survival tips. One boy with great hair says “a solid pair of skater shoes” ‘cause they’re so durable to the constant new relationship of your feet to concrete. A German girl who’s lived here ten years says, “an expensive, fancy pair of headphones” that she puts on before she leaves the house and takes off only when she gets to where she’s going. An older woman from the West Coast says “nature shows” remind her of the earth and essential oils give her that sense memory. A young queer boy says “a day bag, a perfect day bag,” with pockets for all the survival tools you need for the city: book, notebook, pens, subway map, Manhattan map, metro card, water bottle, wallet, hand sanitizer, tissues, smokes, cell.

Search everywhere for these tools. Your search will teach you the city. Do not stop until you find them.

II Fall

When the leaves start to become undone and summer’s oppression begins to unravel and the tourists leave, go to the park. Buy a skateboard or roller blades or a bike or a Frisbee. Borrow a dog.  Promenade the West Village with a pretty girl, any pretty girl. Fall in love, that’ll help.  Best if she knows the city better than you and can take you to her favorite Mexican restaurant, dive bar, dance club.

This is good. Keep yourself occupied. But be careful not to get too comfortable in her world: you won’t be there long. Do not assume you will get to keep anything from her, other than the memories. You are still making your own New York. Join some organizations, make some friends, make some art, take up time. There is so much to be done here.

Keep trying to figure out what you’re doing here. Once you figure out what you’re doing here, you will know how long it will take to do it, and then you’ll know when you can leave. But you won’t know until you know. And it always takes longer than you think.

III Winter

By the time the first snow falls, you will have an idea of what your own New York looks like. Re-read Colson Whitehead’s The Colossus of New York and remember that it is only after your favorite Thai restaurant becomes a coffee shop that the city will begin to show you its ghost.

This is a good thing. But winter is a hard time here, and you will loose two of the four of the following: your job, your apartment, your community, or love. It is hard to hold more than two for very long in this city. Watch the New Yorkers, they have these four balls in the air constantly but rarely touch more than two at a time.

You may loose the girl. The one whose hair swirls, whose breath you feel all the way to your toes. This will hurt. That’s okay. Feel it.

The girl you want isn’t in New York anyway, the girl you want would never live in New York. She’s too tender, sensitive to the overstimulation, just like you. But you can take it, for a little while. You can learn to put the armor on, and then take it off again.

This is how New York makes you strong.

IV Spring

When you’ve finally given up on the trees, they will start greening again. It is time for a few more things to hop into place. Your sister will become your roommate and you will learn so much about your childhood. You will begin to watch and understand how what you take into your body effects you. You get a friend, a best friend, suddenly, an instant connection, someone you call when something big happens, someone who is usually free for beers at the pub on the weekends.

This city may exhaust you, but you will never exhaust it.

"Lesbians found guilty … "

I don’t usually post about news or current event type of things, but I’ve been following this story since it started and I’m really sad about it today:Lesbians found guilty of attacking a straight man: their lawyer said, “These are seven decent and nice young women who came into the city to have a good time. They were hit upon by an abusive homophobic man. Now they’re all going to state prison.”We are, still, not safe.

If you do click through that link – which I thought to be a rather sympathetic telling of the sentencing, on the girls’ side – watch out for the comments at the bottom. I am actually really shocked: “They deserve what they got.” and “They deserve to go to prison for a long time. Good riddance.” and “guess what, you poor little girls, you can’t stab people!” and “why weren’t they charged with hate crimes?”

Oh, god, it’s just heartbreaking.

They weren’t charged with hate crimes because hate crimes are intended to protect minorities. It goes along with the argument for “reverse discrimination” – such a thing, in my opinion, which does not and can not actually exist, because the consequences to descrimination against someone in the majority are very, very slight, are not institutionally implimented into society, and have very little to do with systemic disadvataging of the marginalized.

Homophobic attacks on the street are terrifying, and have real, serious, current, deadly consequences. These slurs that the man was yelling to the group of women, they were not “just words” and “harmless,” they have serious consequences, serious reprodcussions in a homophobic, heteronormative society such as ours.

Queers need protection, and sometimes need – NEED – to fight back. I don’t think they should have stabbed that man; I am a pacifist and believe seriously in non-violence, but we weren’t there – we don’t know – he could have been so threatening that they needed to physically defend/protect themselves.

I am really sad for those girls. It makes me want to take action, act up, do something in a way that few events in the gay activism realm have recently.

This is why I watch Boston Legal. I haven’t kept up with this season (I wait for the DVDs), but if they haven’t already, I really hope they use this incident.

I won’t even begin to mention the whole partial-birth abortion/Supreme Court news, or the Virginia Tech shooting, or that CNN released all the videos and letters of the shooter, that has also been hitting the fan in the past few days. Any god, anywhere, help us all.

note to self

Dear Sinclair,When winter finally sets into New York City, and it’s precisely eight degrees outside NOT INCLUDING THE WIND CHILL, and you finally decide to get the hat out of your bag that you’ve been carrying around for months and hate to wear, and you put it on, and wear it all the way to work, then when you get to work, you MUST CHECK YOUR HAIR IN THE MIRROR before eleven am, because you look like a doofus.

Sincerely,

Sinclair

ps: at least the rest of you looks goooood today. ;)

"a terrible New York story"

Alright, I have a question: what sucks more than losing a mattress off the top of a truck while driving over the Williamsburg bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn?’Cause honestly, at the moment, I can’t think of anything.

… And the fucken mattress wasn’t even mine. It was my sister’s friend’s, who has been subletting her apartment and was going to put it into storage, but instead gave it to Bee on loan while she’s still out of town. The mattress was brand new. King size. And very, very nice.And it just slipped right off the top of the truck.

Yes it was tied down! Yes it was bungeed to the truck in multiple places. The friend driving the truck said he’d moved mattresses dozens of times, maybe he just got cocky, but it just didn’t make any sense, it was the same way he always moved them. Same truck. Same tie-down method.

The mattress was on first, then the boxspring, the bottom of which we punctured to loop bungees around the beams inside of it. The mattress somehow slipped out from between the boxspring and the truck, and the boxspring, still tied to the truck, dragged behind us for a few hundred yards (I would guess). So, we did rescue the boxspring. And structurally, it’s sound. But the netting on the bottom is destroyed.

Before we saw the mangled mattress, when we still thought we’d stop on the bridge and stuff it into the back of the truck, I said, “well, this is a good New York story!” We were laughing. Shocked. He said, “Yeah, but let’s make sure it has a happy ending … otherwise it’ll be a bad New York story!”

We noticed almost right away, but it was too late. We had to turn around, go back over to the Manhattan side of the bridge, and come back over, only to discover the mattress was no longer a mattress at all and was only fabric at the side of the bridge.

Holy crap.

I probably wouldn’t even believe it if I hadn’t have seen it.

We didn’t really know what to do. It would’ve been so dangerous to stop in the middle and try to retrieve it, so we left it. I feel a little bad about that, but it was no longer anything remotely close to a mattress.

I am so grateful nobody got hurt.

But I can’t believe I somehow – accidentally! – destroyed a beautiful, new fluffy mattress. I have no idea how much it was worth, but we’ll have to replace it. Bee’s friend was too poor to stay in New York City and was saving up money at home for a while, which is why she was subletting.

[Every time I write “subletting” my hands try to write “submitting” instead. And as much as I’d like to pretend that’s all about sex it’s probably actually about writing and submitting pieces to magazines and such … ]

And I can’t believe New York just drives right on – it didn’t cause a traffic jam, didn’t cause an accident, the poor mattress just got caught under the wheels and eventually pushed to the side.

What a week, oh my god, what a fucken week I’ve had. I haven’t even told you about the people who found my cell phone inviting me in for scotch & chocolate cake, or how I spent Sunday at the emergency room with my sister, and I only barely touched on the poet who saved my life on Monday. And I’m going down south on Friday to visit a girl. Oh my my, what a life, how did this become the one I am living?

So, it reminded me of Madeline’s mattress fund. My sister and I – and the friend who was helping me transport the mattress – are all quite broke these days. We don’t really know what to do. Any suggestions on how to replace it, and how to get a bed for Bee rather quickly?

postscript: about the apartment

ps, my new apartment is amazing. Bee and J. spent the last two days (while I was at work) building a loft for the smaller bedroom – the ceilings are so tall, it turned that room into three rooms. They discovered yesterday that we have a pretty amazing view of the Manhattan skyline from our roof, and since we’re on the top floor pretty much only we have access to it. Bee has great taste in furniture and appliances and such, she loves to eat good food (she is studying to be a nutritionist, after all) and we’re slowly getting things together. She’s really fun and excellent to be around, and even though we’ve never really known each other as adults, and haven’t lived together for 10 years, I think this is going to be a really wonderful place – for both of us.

delivered, unintentionally

Today, I saved a little fuzzy yellow caterpillar in Rockefeller Center. It was be-boppin’ along on the (cement) stairs trying to climb the (cement) building next to the (cement) sidewalk just off of the road, in a high traffic place, going the opposite direction of what little (meticulously planted) foliage was nearby. So, I scooped it up and let it off on a leaf. Perhaps that will save it from being squashed by some tourist’s unsuspecting shoe.As I walked along the trees (wrapped in holiday lights) and shrubs and ivy growing along the edge of the Center, I noticed that there were dozens of birds foraging for food (read: grubs) in the same foliage planters.

I may have delivered the poor thing into the beak of the enemy.