Posts Tagged ‘praise’

In praise of femmes: trust

June 9, 2008  |  essays  |  15 Comments

I’m going to attempt a new series of writings in praise of femmes. This is the first officially, but it follows in line with in praise of stretchmarks.

This past weekend and some amazing time with Penny (more on that later) has me thinking about trust and femmes. I wrote recently in a dramatical moment, “I just don’t trust femmes anymore” – with immediate caveats and retractions – and I want to expound.

It is femmes that I perhaps trust the deepest. The way I am received – not just cock-and-cunt, not just my fist inside the muscular bowl between your legs, but all of me: when my strong hands weaken and flutter, when I cry, when I laugh too loud, when I give up give in let go, when I feel my power slipping and you put it right back into place with a gentle flick of your wrist.

It is within your embrace that I make the most sense. Callie was the first femme I ever dated, the first relationship where my affections were returned tenfold (before that, I’d loved a femme, my best friend, for years, but that was tragedy. After that, The Ex, who I thought was more femme than she was and that caused constant tension between us).

I know who I am around you. My carefully manufactured, deliberately manifested masculinity suddenly has a purpose, a function, a use, and it excites you, makes you cry out and give in and let go, turns you on. My gestures are held by you, witnessed, caught gently and cradled, and oh my god thank you for that.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

This dynamic runs deep in me. Who knows why – nature, nurture, socializing, fetish. I need it, ache for it, me a teenaged pretty-boy (you say), you a powerful goddess. And you must know I never use words like goddess to describe women (too cliché, too overused) but yes that really is what I mean here: magical, strong, miraculous, seductive, creational.

I was made against you. I can think of a couple of you specifically against whom I break and become myself: Callie. DateDyke. Muse. Strong enough to catch me, strong enough to let me sharpen myself against you.

And it is this power that scares me, that now brings these feelings of mistrust. Because I love this dynamic so much, fetishize it even, it touches deep primal nerves in me. I become carried by it and have trusted it – the dynamic – more than I trusted the person. I let her use her femme-ness to get what she wanted, I let her use beauty, seduction, soft skin and flirty submissive eyes. I watched it, I even knew what was going on, and I let it happen anyway.

I know better now, I guess, I hope. I should pay attention to the red flags of constant “conflict,” I shouldn’t have gone to Mexico, I should’ve been more honest, I shouldn’t have fucked her if I didn’t have the aftercare in me.

I’ve said it before – it is one of my greatest flaws: I trust what people tell me. I am convincible.

There really are charms that only femininity, only femmes, only queer femmes who know how to treat sugarbutches like me, possess. Charms that unravel me deeply, that pull me apart. When it’s good, it clears out the cobwebs, shines light into every dark corner, exposes all the cracks and flaws and structures that hold me up, and then, even, fixes them, or attempts to. I am made more whole, more complete. When it’s bad, I have been destroyed foundationally, or attempted to be. Piece by piece picked off and explained in a new way that suited her. My dick in a mason jar under a sink, punished. My every action her fist closed tight around.

It is good I am strong. I come from a strong family who gets along, a queer lineage of kisses, teachers who respected and taught me, who sheltered me and pushed me hard, who said I was worth something, who said we all are, who said stories of marginalized groups and communities must be told, who said I could and should change the world, who said I could do anything, who encouraged me to come alive, who said they liked what I had to say. And I have this place – this personal writing project I refuse to call a “blog” because it is so much more than that, it is revolution, it is community, it is self-awareness and witness and a very lighthouse.

I have built up these tools around me so I don’t fall prey to this problem of trusting femmes. It is because femmes are who I love, who I partner with, for whom I deeply ache that they are capable of such unraveling. If I partnered with butches it would be a problem trusting butches, if I partnered with straight boys or trans women or blondes or tennis players it would be a problem trusting them. And perhaps this is why women as a whole – and femininity – are seen as untrustworthy, sneaky, manipulative in our culture: because men – hetero men – are the ones who partner with this, and men are the ones who have held the pens to write our histories, to write their great love stories, which have involved many broken hearts and many malicious women, because love is scarce and precious and delicate.

Femmes are not untrustworthy. Femmes are who I trust the very most, with whom I make the very most sense, with whom I am more myself than anywhere else.

I am scared, and skeptical, about what it may mean for me to trust, to explore, especially around the specific ways that I can lose my head in this dynamic. It’s new to me, and it affects me deeper than any relationship ever has – I’ve never lost myself so completely in a lover before. So now comes the fusion: the combination of the intense, passionate sexual dynamic that comes with gender play, and the knowledge of relationship tools that I have been collecting and building upon since I began dating fifteen years ago (half my life, now. Amazing). I have the support, the community, the friends, the knowledge, the inner strength.

So.

Bring it on.

onward & upward, gender explorers!

May 29, 2008  |  miscellany  |  5 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

I

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

II

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

III

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

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

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

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

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