Posts Tagged ‘queer’
I am quickly interrupting your Anal Week posts to tell you some very exciting news!
This note comes from the Femmepress Shar Rednour herself, who wrote to me to let me know that S.I.R. Productions—Shar and her partner Jackie Strano, the amazing butch/femme couple who brought you Sugar High Glitter City, Talk To Me Baby, Hard Love/How to Fuck in High Heels, and Bend Over Boyfriend—is casting for a new film!
Read on for the details, what S.I.R. is looking for, and how to contact Shar if, perhaps, you’re interested:
Hey Sugarbutch: thought you should be the first to know that over here on the west coast, [S.I.R. Productions is] casting for a new movie. We did a general call a couple of years ago to see who was out there and interested. We got some hot and fabulous people. But the time just wasn’t right for us personally to make a movie.
Now we are ready and randy to go.
NOW: specifically we need a super hot in love in lust butch femme couple. NO EXPERIENCE needed. not at all. Jackie and I really like to work with people who are hard-workers, fun, NOT wendy-whiners, way into sex and bodies and love and lust and truth and art and feminism and beauty. Furthermore we would love to take your fm virginity. in the end though virgins or pros, just in love and hot. You do NOT need to live on the west coast. I would love nothing more than to cast fabulous folks from anywhere.
NEXT: we are collecting resumes and contact info for people who want to be in our next movie in general. again. NO EXPERIENCE necessary. What we have always done is putting puzzle together-finding the people who really fit a role in the script.
We are casting for a dyke movie and we always are on the lookout for the next Bend Over Boyfriend 3, so tell your freaky-deaky het friends.
And last but not least, I am the wife to Jackie Strano the C.O.O. of Good Vibrations and they are casting as well for Pleasure Ed. I help them out when I can too, passing on a contact that I like or think is appropriate. They are looking for super hot couples with one person who G-spot ejaculates.
So please, Sugarbutch, can you tell your peeps to email SharRednour [at] comcast.net, or befriend me on Facebook, with a note telling me you are interested in casting..
Anything for you, Shar. Hey peeps: want to be in a porn film? Are you a butch/femme couple in love and lust, or do you know one?
And Shar … if you ever want to swap for an evening, I know, ahem, Kristen’s got a mad crush on Jackie.
Shar & Jackie from March, 2004 (D. Ross Cameron/The Oakland Tribune)
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:
- Disc Set: Belladonna’s Strapped Dykes
- Family Chronicles: Episode 3 – Making Up
- Crash Pad Series – Episode 9: Julie & Michelle
- Belladonna: The Best Of Vol. 1
- Girl Train
- Rock & Roll My Butthole
- Heartland – A Woman’s POV
- The Fashionistas
- Lesbian Tutors 9
- Couch Surfers 2: Trans Men In Action
- Couch Surfers: Trans Men In Action
- Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Anal
- Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men
- Belladonna’s Fucking Girls
Which of these have you seen? Any in particular that you recommend?
While I was kind of slow to follow the story, mostly because I thought, okay, wrong-doing that has made national news, clearly everybody else is going to jump in and take care of this and I don’t really have to, I’m kind of outraged by the recent update on Constance McMillan’s fight to go to her high school prom. She was told there was a prom, showed up with her date, where there were only 7 students, and some faculty and teachers. The location and time of the “real” prom, privately held, was kept from her.
I can kind of comprehend that that happened. I mean we’re talking about a school district, a small town, a state, which denied her access to the prom in the first place because of her sexuality and gender expression (with her request to wear a tux). I am not too surprised that they would hold another prom, that students—her peers and classmates and (supposedly?) friends—and parents would deliberately deny her access.
What I can’t comprehend is the shock of it all. Because when something like this happens, the experience of realizing reality isn’t quite what you expected it to be is what is shocking.
She won her court case. She was told there would be a (private) prom she could attend. She walked in, expecting that to be the case (at least, from what I can tell in the statements released so far, she expected that), only to find that she had been cast out, ostracized, again. That is such a shock for a person to sustain.
It’s like losing your job or having someone break up with you—you might think, yeah, we weren’t really that good together, but just the act of NOT SEEING IT COMING can make you feel nutso, and that reality somehow didn’t line up with your expectations is enough to make you lose your mind, just for a few minutes. But the recovery from that momentary loss can really be difficult. Because hey, if you didn’t see THAT coming, what else won’t you see coming? What else is going to just blindside you completely unexpectedly? And of course there’s no way to prepare for that kind of thing, but the mind doesn’t really comprehend that, only that if it happened once, we can learn from it, and prepare, in case it does happen again.
Here’s my question, now, though: what the hell can we do about this? What is the piece of adequate activism here? My first thought is that they MUST be doing something illegal, they must be crossing some line or committing some act of discrimination, because HELLO, they so clearly are.
But they threw a “prom.” Teachers and school administrators showed up at it, so it was a “real” event. That all the other students went somewhere else doesn’t have any legal ramification, somehow, right?
Because it is TOTALLY LEGAL to hold a separate prom. It is totally legal for people to hold private parties and not invite certain people, regardless of whether it is due to their gender identity, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, or if you just simply don’t like that person. This is, in my understanding, how many of the segregated proms still exist and operate in the South: because they are private. And of course these events are products of a culture that makes it normal to have a segregated prom.
Okay, so: if the students were all making a fuss about this, if the students were saying, “we don’t want two proms, of COURSE this really outta-sight gay lady is included, we all want to go to the same prom, yay differences!” then perhaps we would have one prom, yeah? But the students aren’t really going to do that when it is their parents who are throwing the separate prom in the first place. The kids of those parents are probably elite, privileged, and have, to some degree or another, grown up with discrimination in the water, in the air they breathe. They are probably not very likely to stand up and support Constance.
So what next?
No I mean really, what the hell can we do about this, given that technically, TECHNICALLY, somehow, even though it is so fucking obvious that it is blatant discrimination here, technically it seems to me that they have done nothing wrong. Technically they “threw” a “prom” and invited McMillen, and therefore did what they were told. And given that the students are blaming McMillen (I have heard about that terrible Facebook group, blaming her for ruining their “best high school memories,” nevermind that a) those for whom prom is their “best high school memory” are those who are the ones running the school, in a privileged, elite, and often very hierarchical system that discriminates and puts down others, and b) usually, those for whom prom is the best thing that ever happened to them end up stuck in their own home town, with kids and mortgages and dead-end jobs instead of attending colleges. Not always, of course, but often), they are not going to stand up for her.
So what next? How does the queer community rally around her? This is the time when Kristen and others I’ve been talking to all say, Constance, GET OUT. Leave your teeny little narrow-minded town, like we all did, come to the liberal havens, come to the gay meccas, come find your people. You got handed a nice fat check on the Ellen show and now can go to college wherever you want. Or you could harness this opportunity and make a documentary out of your hardship and ride on this ten minutes of fame all the way to a job in the gay-for-pay queer nonprofit world.
If I had her address I would say that we should all send loving letters of support, signed, your queer family, the one that awaits you and already embraces you. And while it might be comforting to Constance to know that there are people who support her, what about the other students (who will be voting adults soon enough), what about their parents, what about the school officials, what about the school board? What about the town who is blaming her for such an OUTRAGEOUS attempt at doing something like dancing with her loved one at a school dance oh mah gawd what is she thinking!
Is there anything anyone can do about the homophobia that is so clearly deeply embedded in them all already? Aren’t there more options than her just up and leaving?
This is where the question of education comes in. How on earth can one—or, more accurately, can this movement of queer activism—possibly continue to chip away at bigotry and hatred and homophobia? Is it actually possible to reach people, to help change their minds?
Generally, activists say no. Activists aim at that same populace as politicians: the Movable Middle, who could kind of be swayed either way, depending on the day or what they had for breakfast or what was on Oprah yesterday.
Thus this is the part where I vow to continue to do the kind of activism I do, and where I continue to encourage the kind of activism you do, in whatever way you participate in the queer community, even if it’s just by being out and keeping your private life private. Perhaps especially then. Perhaps it really will trickle down, that the general culture will disgrace and shame homophobia such that, at least, it can no longer be done openly, and there will be consequences.
On the good days, I believe we’re already there, or at least got quite a good map and we’re in a nice easy stretch of open road. But on days like this, with news like this, my jaw just drops a little, and I wonder what can we do? What can I do?
You may have heard me mention the queer reading series that Cheryl B. and I are starting in New York City. Well, it’s official—it’s starting April 13th at 7pm at Sapphire Lounge in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
This month’s theme is SECRETS, starring:
Sam J. Miller
Seth Clark Silberman aka PhDJ
The Lambda Literary Award nominees were announced today, and as usual I’m making a checklist of ones I’ve read, ones I’d like to read, and the ones I think will win be finalists. And, as usual, the only transgender content is in the specific “Transgender” category, though the “Bisexual” category has split into fiction and non-fiction because, it seems, there are finally enough nominees to warrant it. Are there really that few books on trans and bisexual issues? Puzzling. Overall this year, there are 112 finalists in 23 categories. I’m sure there’s got to be a book or two or five in there that you’d love to read. Check it out.
Special congratulations to Nairne Holtz, whose book This One’s Going to Last Forever (Insomniac Press) was nominated in the Lesbian Fiction category. Holtz has a short story called “Bait and Switch” in Best Lesbian Erotica 2009, an anthology in which I also have a story, and when we were both in New York City at the end of 2009 for the annual Best Lesbian Erotica reading at the Drunken! Careening! Writers! reading series at KGB bar, hosted by Kathleen Warnock (who is coming to read at the very first Sideshow!), and I have had a chance to read This One’s Going to Last Forever. It is a collection of short stories and a novella. Here’s the description:
This One’s Going to Last Forever reflects both the naive optimism of those who have yet to learn about love and the cynicism of those who feel that by now they should know better.
Clara, a university student working at the McGill Daily, discovers that in love and politics, commitment is often more imagined than real. Kelly and Sonya share a bond that has less to do with love than with their dependence on each other and a succession of friends who supply them with heroin. A middle-aged man who performs drive-through weddings dressed as Elvis realizes, as he marries his first same-sex couple, that the only domestic partner he is ever likely to have is his ailing father. But when he ends his latest relationship, an unlikely friendship results.
The characters in these darkly comic stories and novella may be searching for love in all the wrong places, but they are also able to find love in the most unexpected places.
The Lambda Literary Foundation recently relaunched their website and it’s quite spiffy, by the way.
Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica Edited by Tristan Taormino is due out February 16th, and I have a story in it! (I believe it is The Diner on the Corner, also published in Best Lesbian Erotica 2009.)
There are very few books exclusively focused on butch/femme erotica—Back to Basics edited by Therese Szymanski is the only one I can think of—and I’m thrilled to see another one come into print. Cannot wait to get my hands on it!
“Butch/femme is erotic iconography. Butch/femme is bulging jeans, smeared lipstick, stiletto heals, and sharp haircuts. It’s about being read and being seen. Sometimes it’s about passing or not passing. It’s about individual identity and a collective sense of community. It’s personal, political. It’s a sexual electricity and power exchange. It’s the visceral space between the flesh and the imagination.” — from the introduction by Tristan Taormino
Does the swagger of a confident butch make you swoon? Do your knees go weak when you see a femme straighten her stockings? In Sometimes She Lets Me, Tristan Taormino chooses her favorite butch/femme stories from the Best Lesbian Erotica series.
Even if you think you know what goes on in the bedroom between femmes and butches, these 22 stories will delight you with erotic surprises. In Joy Parks’ delicious “Sweet Thing,” the recently arrived town librarian shows a butch baker some new tricks in bed. On a chase through the woods, the stud in “Tag!”, by D. Alexandria, find her baby girl by scent alone. And the girl in a pleated skirt gets exactly what she wants from her Daddy in Peggy Munson’s “The Rock Wall.”
Includes contributions by Alison L. Smith, Joy Parks, S. Bear Bergman, Amie M. Evans, Samiya A. Bashir, Rosalind Christine Lloyd, Kristen Porter, Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, D. Alexandria, Anna Watson, Shannon Cummings, A. Lizbeth Babcock, Sparky, Elaine Miller, Isa Coffey, Skian McGuire, Jera Star, Toni Amato, Peggy Munson, Sandra Lee Golvin, and Sinclair Sexsmith.
Tristan Taormino is an award-winning author, columnist, editor, and sex educator. She is the editor of Hot Lesbian Erotica and fourteen editions of Best Lesbian Erotica series as well as the author of The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. Tristan is a former columnist for the Village Voice and currently has a column in Taboo; her writing has appeared in Velvet Park, Vibe, Spectator,The Advocate, and more than 15 anthologies. She has been featured in more than 200 publications, including the New York Times, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, Details, New York magazine, Men’s Health, and Playboy. She has also appeared on CNN, MTV, Oxygen, the Discovery Channel, The Howard Stern Show, Real Sex, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, Scarborough Country, and over 50 radio shows. Tristan directed the adult videos the Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, Tristan Taormino’s House of Ass, and the Chemistry series. She lives in upstate New York. Visit Tristan at www.puckerup.com.
I’m going to be on a panel at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas in March, thanks to Trish Bendix of AfterEllen.com. Bil Browning from the Bilerco Project will join Trish and I on the panel, and Fausto from Feast Of Fun will moderate the discussion.
The panel is Engaging the Queer Community, and the description is “A discussion on maintaining successful and active blogs and social networking sites that are geared toward the LGBT community and its niches.” It’s set for 3:30pm on Saturday, March 13th, though the location is still TBA. Some of the questions the panel will attempt to discuss are:
How do you reach new readers?
How do you utlize social networking to reach the LGBT audience?
What can web series and video blogs do for your site?
What’s the best way to balance entertainment-focused content with relevant LGBT news stories and political issues?
How do you avoid getting your site blocked because of its gay/lesbian content?
How can you manage to address several generations that are all part of the same community?
How do you build an online community without becoming a social network rather than a journalism-based site?
What is the responsibility of LGBT blogs/websites/online communities?
How should the online world of the LGBT community deal with issues on “outing”?
How can LGBT sites with specific niches manage to not offend the other parts of the community (i.e. lesbian sites covering transgender issues, etc.)
Simple! No, just kidding. This is complex stuff, but very interesting. I’ve never been to Austin or to SXSW, I’m looking forward to it, though I’m already a bit overwhelmed by the number of panels that same day and the density of the event. I’ll be traveling with Kristen, which will automatically make it better.
I know it’s really expensive to come to SXSW, so if you’re in the Austin area and would like to come say hello, I’ll be doing a Sugarbutch meetup on Saturday, March 13th, probably at a dyke bar in the evening, 8pm.
I don’t have any other events planned while I’m visiting—though if you live there and want to book me to speak at your college, queer independent feminist bookstore, or sex shop, contact me mmkay? (I know that is extremely unlikely given that SXSW is going on, but hey, who knows.)
I won’t have as much time as I’d like to explore a new city that I’ve never visited, I think it takes more than a couple days to really get a feel for the place. I will be researching dyke bars, indie bookstores, sex shops, and public parks especially—those are my favorite places to visit when I see a new place. Any recommendations for me? Where should I go while I’m there? Also, food. What are the restaurants we should not miss? Are there any good vegetarian places?
So what do you say? Will you come share some Jameson with me in Texas?
Need a fabulous gift this holiday season? Don’t know what to get your (least) favorite boss or your Grandma? Well! Here ya go: the New York City Sex Blogger 2010 Calendar: Visions of Sexual Freedom.
This year’s calendar features 16 bloggers, including myself, Audacia Ray, Calico Lane, Abiola Abrams, Jamye Waxman, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Melissa Gira Grant, Elizabeth Wood, and plenty of other hot pinups, and benefits Sex Work Awareness, a fantastic non-profit organization that puts on the annual Speak Up! media training workshop.
This year, I was photographed with Audacia Ray by Amanda Morgan and featured in April – which has my birthday, Sugarbutch’s inception date, and Dacia’s birthday.
Me, my photo in this year’s calendar with Audacia Ray (photographed by Amanda Morgan), and Kristen (and her amazing princess dress) at the Sex Blogger Calendar Party in New York City. Photo by Nick McGlynn (thanks!), more photos from him in this set.
The theme for this calendar was “SEXUAL FREEDOM,” and while Dacia and I were discussing what to do, we both were inspired to feature something very New York-y, since New York has been a big part of sexual awakening for both of us. I moved here almost five years ago now, and my sex life and sexuality has changed significantly since I did.
We talked about iconic photographs and couples that we could imitate or reproduce, and eventually settled on the famous shot of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square. Amanda was totally game for it (though she insisted that we shoot early in the day so we’d have the best light), I hunted down a sailor suit, Dacia queered up her nurse outfit, and voila, there’s the shot.
The original photograph, V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was taken just after the radio announcement that World War II was over – that the US had “Victory over Japan” – on August 14, 1945. This is a significant time period particularly for queers in the US, as World War II brought people massively congregating in coastal cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. For the first time in US history, more people lived in urban environments than in rural environments, and suddenly, queers were finding dozens, hundreds of others like us. This led to those sudden “oh my god I’m not alone” revelation moments, the increasing recognition of the systematic marginalization of us because of our sexuality, and, ultimately, activist organization and the birth of the gay rights movement!
Post-WWII and the subsequent activist movements – like the second wave of feminism – also gave rise to all sorts of new sexual activism, which is absolutely the root of the work I do today. Safe sex, STI information, sexual health, sexual choice, sexual advocacy, sexual agency, ability to have control over how many children we have and how far apart they are, birth control, knowledge, BDSM skills, gender theory, power theory … all of that is built upon earlier movements. And all of those movements, and their intersections, allowed me a significant study of gender and sexuality that has lead me here, to Sugarbutch, and to the 2010 New York City Sex Blogger Calendar.
I bet you can think of a couple people on your holiday list who have been nice enough to get a gift like this calendar, hmmmm?
All proceeds from the calendar, don’t forget, go to Sex Work Awareness which puts on the annual Speak Up! media training workshop. Help support the efforts of this wonderful and much-needed organization through the purchase of a calendar!
Calendars ship upon order and cost $20 a piece plus $3.25 for shipping. And – as a special holiday bonus – through the holiday season, when you buy the 2010 Sex Blogger Calendar you will also get a free MP4 download of the 25 minute director’s cut of Audacia Ray’s film Dacia’s Love Machine, which debuted last year in Berlin. (Link to download will be provided on checkout.)
S. Bear Bergman has a new book out, The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, which is a collection of personal essays, mostly on gender. And to celebrate, Sugarbutch is helping to kick off a virtual book tour! Thanks, Bear! Thanks, Arsenal Pulp Press!
Bear also wrote the book of gender essays Butch Is A Noun, which I’ve mentioned on this site more than a few times. It is one of the only books written about butch identity in the last ten years so it’s certainly influential to my work and philosophies on gender in general. There are some clips and excerpts from Butch Is A Noun available online and I highly recommend them. That first essay, “I Know What Butch Is,” I quote from often and go back to frequently, I just love Bear’s writing and style in that piece.
When I published Top Hot Butches in the Spring earlier this year, Bear was listed as #48 and was one of the factors of me including trans men in the list of butches in the first place. If I excluded trans men, I would have to exclude Bear, and Bear wrote pretty much the only book on butches in the last ten years – did that make sense? Not really. I thought it was extremely important to include Bear, specifically, which opened up the door to include other trans men as well. Of course, not all trans men identify as butch, but at the time I didn’t think I could include some trans men and not others … and the inclusion was problematic. I do not want to start hashing through that here, this is about Bear’s work, after all, but I really appreciated Bear’s supportive emails and contact around the list and that controversy.
Lots has happened for Bear since the publication of Butch Is A Noun. Ze addresses this right away, in the second essay: whereas during the first book, ze was for the most part perceived as a dyke, partnered with a woman, and lived in the suburbs, and now Bear is pretty much perceived as a fag, partnered with a guy, and living in a fairly big city. This transition from “suburban-dyke-me” to “city-fag-me” seems to have altered Bear’s relationship with masculinity a bit, and many of the essays in The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You address this unpacking of masculinity, tracing it back through history and family (I especially liked the discussions of masculinity through the lens of Judaism and his particular family experience of ‘being a man’), and discussing what it means in some new life contexts.
Arsenal Pulp Press provided this lovely little blurb:
Alternately unsettling and affirming, devastating and delicious, The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, is a new collection of essays on gender and identity by S. Bear Bergman that is irrevocably honest and endlessly illuminating. With humour and grace, these essays deal with issues from women’s spaces to the old boys’ network, from gay male bathhouses to lesbian potlucks, from being a child to preparing to have one; throughout, S. Bear Bergman shows us there are things you learn when you’re visibly different from those around you―whether it’s being transgressively gendered or readably queer. As a transmasculine person, Bergman keeps readers breathless and rapt in the freakshow tent long after the midway has gone dark, when the good hooch gets passed around and the best stories get told. Ze offers unique perspectives on issues that challenge, complicate, and confound the “official stories” about how gender and sexuality work.
I’m still working my way through the book, I haven’t finished it yet, partly because I’m savoring it. I could zip through it a bit faster than I am, but I really appreciate Bear’s perspectives on all of this and I love having access to someone’s inner thoughts about gender, masculinity, queerness, transitioning, love, life … all of those little things, ya know. Sometimes it feels like my own mind eloquently written down, sometimes the concepts are a bit foreign and I have to stop and go over it again. I don’t agree with everything, and there’s some tension between butch and trans here that I am finding fascinating and particularly hard sometimes, but I am so grateful for Bear’s work.
Aside from the virtual book tour, Bear is on an actual book tour, too! Check out the schedule on sbearbergman.com for dates and appearances in Columbus, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, & more.
Pick up The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, Essays by S. Bear Bergman from Arsenal Pulp Press, or from your local independent (feminist, queer, radical) bookstore.