Posts Tagged ‘questions from readers’

From Not Stone to Stone-ish

June 11, 2010  |  advice  |  8 Comments

I’m finally getting around to the Ask Me Anything questions from Sugarbutch’s 4th anniversary. I hope to get through them all, though it might take a little bit of time!

My question: How do you relate or not relate to stone identity? To what extent do you ID/not ID as stone and how do you feel about that? Maybe you’ve written about this here before and I missed it … I’ve had a big process going from not stone to stone-ish to stone, and I’m curious about how other butches feel. —Bond

I haven’t written much about this, I don’t think. I don’t identify as stone, but I do identify as stone-ish. I’ve never been all the way stone, but I do remember on my first date with Kristen I said, “I’m basically stone,” as I was trying to describe the ways that I was a top and wanted to be in charge perhaps ninety percent of the time. I’d told this to other lovers on other first dates, but it didn’t always make sense to the other person, and I was trying to put it out there stronger and more specifically this time, lay everything out clearly as early as possible in hopes that she’d get it.

(She did, she does.)

But that is really new in my history—I’ve dated girls even in the past four years that I’ve been running Sugarbutch that were tops, or toppy, and to whom I bottomed. My first long-term relationship with my ex-boyfriend of five years was kinky, in a kind of entry-level kink way (light bondage, light percussion) and we experimented with some switching, but mostly I was bottoming to him. As our relationship drew on, we started taking some classes on kinky sex (at places like Babeland) and I started learning more and more about topping. It wasn’t until I got out of that relationship entirely and had a series of revelations that I started realizing I was more of a top than bottom, and that perhaps I’d never really been submissive as much as bottoming.

I’m mentioning all this because stone is tied to topping, for me, because I’m not stone so much as I’m a top. I’m not opposed to being touched or penetrated, and I don’t have strong emotional reactions to those things, as I know some other stone folks that I’ve talked to do. (I don’t think that’s the only way to be stone, but in my experience stone often goes along with a gender dysphoria and a disagreement of gender between body and mind.) As I’ve been dating (and chronicling my dating here), I started getting more and more specific about who it was I wanted to date, especially in terms of identity keywords like bottom and submissive, and I did start describing myself as stone or stone-ish to girls I was flirting with or on first dates. I wanted to see what their reaction was, what their relationship to stone was, and whether or not they knew what to do with that. More than one girl seemed to understand and then behaved differently in bed, which was not what I wanted.

There is a relief that comes along with not being touched (very much), though. It means I don’t have to try so hard, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m going to get off ‘that way’, whatever way she’s touching me, it means I don’t have to be in that particular position of surrender when I often (at least nine times out of ten) do not want to be. I much prefer getting off while strapped on and fucking … and yes, I suppose that does have something to do with gender, that I prefer my orgasms to be related to my cock and not necessarily while being penetrated.

I don’t always prefer to get off that way—I was just writing about masturbation and My Ultimate Masturbation Toys, one of which is that genius Pure Wand, which is just the right size and shape for me. And sometimes, especially it seems right before I start my period, I crave getting fucked, sometimes hard. That tends to be when I ask to be fisted. I don’t do that often, maybe three times in the last year and a half relationship with Kristen, but when I have, I think they have all been around that time of my cycle.

But generally, when I’m with someone else, when I’m with Kristen, I want to get off through fucking, through my cock. I want to be dominant, in some way, using some sort of physical strength that tightens my muscles and makes the getting off all the more intense. I want to be using my gender fetish, which I don’t ever fuck without, anymore. I want there to be a gender component and a power component, with me in particular places on those spectrums, and usually, that involves me strapped on, on top.

That doesn’t quite make me stone, at least not the way I understand it. But there’s something useful in the language of stone that helps get across that top identity, that dominant identity, and that butch identity, so I have relied on stone in the past to help me make all those identities come together.

What about you? Do you identify as stone? Stone-ish? Not stone? Why or why not? What’s your relationship to the identity of stone? What do you define it as, what do you think it means?

Spanking 101

March 16, 2010  |  advice  |  6 Comments

Someone emailed me recently with a question about starting to play with spanking, and after looking around online for a bit, I didn’t find much, so I jotted down my basic thoughts on the subject.

Here’s the question:

I was wondering if you know of any good resources for spanking. I have a friend who wants to get spanked and I said that if he wanted to, I would do it. Any tips? Handouts? Diagrams?

Babeland has a decent How To Spank article, so that’s worth a read. And there’s Rachel Kramer Bussel’s collection of erotica stories called Spanked and the corresponding Spanked blog.

This is what else comes to my mind:

  • Where to spank: Spank the fleshy parts of the ass & thighs, make sure to avoid the parts that are bonier like the little triangle coccyx bone right above the butt crack, the spine, or the kidneys. Basically, steer clear of the low back. Some people like to have sensation on the upper back and shoulder blades (though that perhaps is for later)
  • Start light: Start light with pats rather that swats or hits, jiggle the flesh even, warm it up, gradually increase pressure. Generally when I start I go light and fast, then work up to the big hits later, with full big arm strength, taking pauses and breaks between to press my body close, run my palms along the flesh to sooth it, and whisper sweet things
  • Hand vs Ass: So much of the pain is psychological, not about actual damage. It can hurt, but there are hundreds of teeny bones in the hand, and compared the big pelvis and femurs down there by the ass & thighs, the hand will get harmed way before it could do any real damage to those bones. Which is not to say you can’t bruise—you can—but that’s not the kind of damage I mean. Be sure to be reassuring vocally (or with pleasurable touches) as you’re getting heavier, and warm up slowly
  • Spanking to Sex: I tend to start spanking closer & closer to the genitals toward the end, working in some fingering in between spanks. That can be a nice way to segue from the spanking back to the sex play, and also when someone is turned on they can take a whole lot more sensation, so I tend to be able to hit harder then
  • Positions: Try a couple different positions: leaning over a bed with feet on the floor, on all fours, across your lap on the couch, hands high leaning against a wall. People have different preferences when both giving & receiving, so try out a few different things
  • Toys: My hand usually gives out before her ass does. Consider a little paddle maybe like this one, you can go for longer. ones that are flat and wide tend to be “thuddy” and ones that are thin tend to be “stingy”—usually people prefer thuddy ones, especially if they aren’t so experienced. Same rules apply for paddles

Readers, help me out here. Anything else? Any tips and tricks for taking or giving a spanking? Do you know of any online beginning spanking resources that I’m missing? How did you get into spanking? What’s your favorite way to get spanked? What are your favorite toys to get spanked with? Leave it in the comments!

Dear Mr. Sexsmith: Packing

October 13, 2009  |  advice, reviews  |  4 Comments

Hi Sinclair,

I have a soft packer, which I can carry around in my briefs with no problem. But, when strapping with a cock like Maverick for later use with my girl… it was so uncomfortable because of the way it was pressed down or upwards and the pressure from the base of my cock (which now was at an angle) on my pelvic bone left me sore and bruised. Plus, it looked like I had a huge hard-on. My pants were fairly loose, but it was so obvious that ‘something’ was in my pants… I was very self conscious that it looked like I had a boner and it was extremely hard to relax. I even went so far as to wrap the thing with an elastic bandage around my groin to hold it down. Every time I sat down…pain from my skin being tugged by my cock and the bandage pulling it away from the strap. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to ‘unwrap’ so we could fuck in a bathroom… I have even tried Silky (minus the bandage) by just bending it up or to the side(still looking like a hard-on), and once again, the base doesn’t sit flush when bent and puts a lot of pressure on the pelvic bone. It sort of takes the fun out it, which sucks, because I really having my cock with me and ready to go.

Is hard packing comfortably a fine art or is there really a trick to it?

Thanks in advance!
WrencHer

WrencHer -

Yeah, I hear you there. That’s like the #1 issue of packing, nobody’s really invented a cock that is soft enough in your pants and hard enough to fuck with yet.

I totally know what you mean about packing with something hard and having the pressure dig into your pubic bone, ouch. That does happens to me sometimes. Packing is a bit of a fine art, might just take a whole lot of trail and error. I pretty much only ever pack with either a) packers, soft and not made for fucking or b) Silky/Bendy. The harder/bigger ones like Maverick just don’t work, in my experience – VERY rarely I’ll put one on before I’m at home watching a movie or something, but that’s for when all I’m wearing is boxers and nobody can see me (’cause hello, tentpole!).

I’ve been packing with Silky/Bendy for like four or five years now I guess, and I’ve figure out the angle pretty well for that one so it doesn’t dig into me anymore, I can wear it around easily for a day. I do have to readjust sometimes, but generally I can get it to stay put. I guess having it really tight in the straps around my waist helps, so then it doesn’t shift or move around, but then I keep the straps between my legs looser.

What kind of harness are you using? Maybe try a different one, that might help? I definitely think Silky/Bendy can pack comfortably, so it might just take some more practice. There are two that seem to be the most popular and recommended: the Jaguar (leather, though they also have a vegan one, by Aslan) and the Joque Spare Parts. The Joque & the Jaguar are not my personal favorites, actually, mostly because I really prefer the one-strap harnesses, though it seems like these are favored by most people. Personally I like the commando, and also the Jaguar G, which is the G-string version of the same Jaguar. The leather is SO beautiful and soft and buttery and I just love the design, super comfortable and incredibly hot.

Same with the cocks, it’ll be about a $100 investment, but Aslan Leather (and some of the other nice harness makers too) come with a lifetime guarantee, like Vixen does, so the investment is totally worth it.

Sinclair

“Is it a trans characteristic to wear a cock?”: Cock-centricity and Gender Identity

September 17, 2009  |  advice, essays  |  12 Comments

Back in April, for Sugarbutch’s third anniversary, I offered up an “ask me anything” thread where readers could ask any burning questions that they’d like for me to answer.

is it a transgender characteristic to wear a cock (with anatomically accurate balls) and feel more complete or like yourself when you are a biological female? you self ID with a lot of labels, but trans isn’t one of them. have you explored this idea? – reader

There’s two parts of this question I’d like to explore: first, my personal identity, and my relationship to “trans”; second, gender’s relationship to cocks, and my personal thoughts on that, too.

I do identify with the term “trans,” to some degree. That’s complicated, because I am not transitioning, and I do not identify as male. I feel strongly that it’s important for me to be female, a woman, lesbian-identified, and to behave and look the way I do (i.e., masculine). But insofar as people with my biological sex most often have a feminine gender presentation (setting aside the societal compulsory prescription of the feminine gender presentation), and I do not, I feel as though I am transgressing gender boundaries by my claim to masculinity and by presenting in a way that is seemingly in conflict with the (societally prescribed) sex/gender assumption. I – me personally, my identity, my work, my discussions – defy rigid, polarizing gender norms, and queer gender. I believe in taking this and that from any sorts of presentations around us and re-creating onesself in ways that make us feel good, empowered, strong, sexy, expressive, and authentic. I think we can all transcend our prescribed roles – no matter what they are, gender or familial or societal – and become ourselves in larger ways.

I don’t usually include “trans” in my list of identity descriptors. When I refer to myself as trans, it’s usually very couched in other things, like “my particular kind of genderqueer masculine-identified trans-ness.” I guess I feel like my use of trans and my inclusion in the trans communities is a bit controversial, as there are plenty of people who will jump (and have jumped) in to correct my use of this term, saying that my use of it invalidates the experiences of “real” trans people who are FTM or MTF and who are transsexual, transitioning fully from one gender to another.

So I tend to claim butch, whole-heartedly and fairly simply, really, and leave it at that. Because that’s what I am (right now, anyway, not that I anticipate that changing, but who knows, it could), and though I do think that the identity of butch includes a sort of trans-ness or a genderqueer-ness of occupying more than one gendered space at once, ‘butch’ accurately describes me much better than the term trans.

Now: about cocks.

Specifically, about cocks with anatomically accurate balls, about realistic cocks, about flesh-colored cocks and really feeling it and claiming it as MY cock, about having a cock as someone whose body doesn’t quite have one, not in the same way that other bodies have one.

I want to disrupt this idea that cocks specifically and penetration in general is a male, masculine, or man’s trait. I mean I get it: when considering human genitalia, the man is the one with the penis, the woman is the one with the vulva. But men have holes that feel good when penetrated, too, and women have fingers and tongues and sometimes clits big enough to penetrate, and a long history of dildoes, and then of course there’s the strap on cock, for when we really want to feel what it’s like to swing from the hips.

I was at a sex blogger tea party here in New York City maybe two years ago, discussing cock-centricty, when I believe Chris of Carnal Nation said (something like): “I know I’m a guy and all, but I’m not as cock-centric as you are. When I fuck, it’s with my hands, or my mouth. I don’t identify with it the same way you do, and it’s not my central sex act.”

This seems like a rather rare perspective for cis men, especially given that our entire (American, white, dominant) sexual culture is pretty much built around penises and penetration and the male erection, etc, but I think it’s more common than we’d expect.

Likewise, I have known some femmes who have been some of the most cock-centric people I’ve ever met. They drive a mean strap-on, as they say. And I’ve known some butches and trans men who are not cock-centric at all, despite that it would seemingly align with their masculine gender to be so.

Maybe this perspective of mine is also partly as a result of coming out as queer into a lesbian community which questioned cocks constantly. I have absolutely heard girls say, “If I wanted to get fucked with a cock, I’d date a man!” (Who I, duh, didn’t sleep with. More than once.) So coming to my own desire for using a cock and my own cock-centricty, while at the same time coming to a butch identity though not transitioning to male, I claimed cocks as a certain sex act that I separated from any particular identity.

Because anything two lesbians do in bed is lesbian by nature of the definition, no matter what act it is.

Unless, you know, it’s not – I certainly don’t want to devalue the experience of being in lesbian relationships and doing a whole lot of cock-centric activities, and for one of them to later come to a male identity. Perhaps for folks who go through that, the act was not exclusively lesbian, but was also male in a way. My point is, I want to squelch the fear that lesbians can’t use cocks in their sex play because it’s “not lesbian.”

That is not to say that strapping on or identifying with a cock is genderless. It interrelates to gender identity, presentation, and celebration – but which ways it interrelates depends on the individual. For me, it absolutely plays on my gender fetish and the way I see myself as embodying a masculine gender, and I LOVE to play with that during sex (as, uh, the entire Internet knows). And femmes who strap on cocks and play with them have told me that they see cocks as part of their gender, too – that part of the turn-on awesomeness of the whole experience is that it supposedly misaligns with their gender, that their sparkly pink harness and dick is all the more sexy to them because it’s femme.

I suppose there are a few kinds of cock-centricty, right – because I’d say Kristin is fairly cock-centric, but she isn’t into wearing one and fucking with one the way I am. For the most part I’m referring to folks who want to be the wearers here, who identify with it as a part of them.

If you’re cock-centric, you’re cock-centric; I don’t think that necessarily should dictate your gender identity. Cock-centricity is not necessarily a masculine or male trait. Gender identity may be totally related, somewhat related, or not related at all – I think that just depends. For me, the interplay of gender and my cock is important, and I love the way it feels to use it, the way I feel when I’m packing, the way it feels to get off while fucking with a cock, the turn-on of dirty talking about my hard dick, the ways it drives me wild to get a blow job. It is part of my masculine sexuality, but I have many other parts of masculinity that are not necessarily sexual, and I’ve explored the line between butch and trans enough that, for now, I know I’m pretty firm where I’m at. I still struggle with some descriptors like “girl,” “woman,” and “daughter,” but the other options of “son,” “man,” and “boy,” don’t fit either. So, for now, I’m sticking with butch.

I’d love to hear what some cock-centric (or non-cock-centric) gay boys have to say about this, I’m not sure how it translates (though I have some guesses). I will have to ask around.

How To Begin Playing with BDSM

July 30, 2009  |  advice  |  9 Comments

Recently, this came into my inbox:

I’m in a relationship now with a wonderful person and I’m really intrigued and turned on by BDSM, but have very little idea of where to start. I’ve put up a plea on my blog for help from people who know more about these things, you can read my post for more background, but basically, where do we start? How can we segue into BDSM play? Dominance, submission, pain? How can we bit by bit, toe first, test the cold water and then gradually get used to it and then eventually just dive in and revel in it? I just have no idea. I live in San Francisco, so I don’t expect you to know of any local resources, but do you know anyone in San Francisco who I might be in touch with? Anything like that? Internet resources? Early blog posts of yours about your first forays into BDSM?
- Alphafemme

So I figured I’d write a little about it, tell you what I think, then also open it up to you lovely readers who might have specific San Francisco resources, your own stories, or more suggestions to share in the comments.

How do you start playing with BDSM? You jump in somewhere that feels exciting and hot, you talk about what you want to do, at least a little, then you do it. I don’t actually have any early blog posts about BDSM because I’ve been playing with it for a very long time – my first high school boyfriend and I used to do some light BDSM, like spanking, a little bit of topping & bottoming, and tying-to-the-bedpost kinds of bondage. My “kinky queer butch top” identity labels are roughly in order, actually, of when I came into them; I’ve been playing with kink (albeit lightly) for a long time.

I do suggest starting out light – though “light” for some people is heavy play for others, so just pick something that seems accessible and doable and try it out.

Some more specific suggestions:

  • Take a class on something (like spanking) from Babeland or your local feminist sex toy store. In San Francisco, I’m sure Good Vibes has events all the time.
  • Read The Topping Book and The Bottoming Book. Both of you should read both of them, even if you already know which role you are more likely to occupy, since learning about the other will teach you even more about yours. These books significantly changed and formed the ways that I think about dominance and submission and many incarnations of BDSM. Highly highly recommended.
  • Fill out the BDSM checklist and compare answers. Highlight the things you are most excited about and see what you have in common! (Hopefully you’ve already been talking about this kind of thing, you might even have an idea of what each other would like to explore.
  • Make a shared Google doc and brainstorm a list of what you’d like to try. (Kristen and I actually have one of these … )
  • Check out the BDSM section of the Sugarbutch Amazon store for more books you might want to pick up, or check out of the library, or borrow.

There are some more simple, less risky, very playful, and safe things you might want to try if you’re new to BDSM to begin to whet your appetite, such as:

  • Spanking. Don’t worry, your hand is WAY more delicate than her ass – think of all the little tiny bones in there, as compared to the lovely muscle & flesh. Her butt can take way more you’re your hand can give, actually – your hand will hurt and get tired and sore way before you will do any real damage. But, you still should be a bit careful – here’s how to start: 1. start out slow, make sure to warm up her flesh (and mind) so she can take deeper, harder slaps. 2. DO NOT slap or hit her sacrum, that triangle bone above the crack of her ass. That can bruise and be very painful. Keep it to her ass cheeks and thighs, the fleshy parts. 3. Make sure she is relaxed, and keep going softly until she starts writhing and moaning and liking it.

  • Bondage. Try some light bondage with whatever you’ve got lying around the house – clothesline, men’s ties, scarves … you can look up Two Knotty Boys on youtube for MANY great videos on how to tie knots, but really you can just tie with a plain ol’ granny knot, like you tie your shoes. Don’t leave her tied up for extended periods of time, however, and make sure to get the rope tied tight enough so that she can’t escape, but not tight enough to cut off circulation.
  • Dirty talk. Sometimes adding speech to your sex play is incredibly erotic, highly sexually charged, and very dirty. Sometimes you can keep going with whatever you “normally” do, but add some verbal descriptors of what you’d like to do, and it adds a great element of play and gets the minds going. Whisper in her ear while your fingers are inside her: “You know what I’d really like to do? I’d like to tie your ankles to the footboard so you can’t move your legs. I’d like you to struggle against the ropes so you can feel how you’re opened up for me. I’d like to feel how wet that makes you. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Yeah, I thought so …” and ask her about it later, outside of the moment, and see if it’s something she’d like to perhaps try.
  • Power & Surrender. Hold her down, pull her hair, hold her wrists above her head, bite her shoulders, bite her breasts, hold your knees on her thighs to force her legs open, push her onto the bed, get a little rough with her. Maybe she wants to fight back and see if she can take YOU down, instead – wrestling for who gets to be in control could be fun, too.

For me, things like elaborate role play – and even dirty talk – was a lot harder than some of these basics. And these are practically endless – I’m sure one could play with various elements of just these four things and have a very exciting sex life.

A little bit about safewords: Unless you are playing with non-consensual play, you probably don’t need a safeword. That is to say, you can use, “slow down,” “wait,” “back off,” “hold on a minute,” “don’t,” and “stop,” and things like that to indicate that something’s going wrong, instead of negotiating one special specific word which would stop the scene. Unless you want “no” or “don’t” or “stop” to be part of the play, those words will work just fine.

So, what do you think? What is your advice for beginning to play with BDSM? Anything you’d like to add or correct from my list? Any suggestions you have? Are there resources in San Francisco you’d like to recommend? Let her – and all of us! – know in the comments.

Butch/femme in various cities

March 6, 2009  |  miscellany  |  38 Comments

I got an email recently from a femme looking to relocate, but not sure where yet she’s going to go. Here’s her note:

I’m a young femme looking to relocate to a new city, and I want to go somewhere with a large diverse lesbian community that is very friendly to the butch-femme dynamic.

I’ve spent much of my life in LA, a city with nary a handsome butch to be found! And when I lived briefly in San Francisco, there were many cute butches but few other femmes, and I was always “read” as straight. It would be ideal to live somewhere where I could find both femme friends and a butch partner.

Some cities I am looking into: Seattle, Portland, Brooklyn, and Boston.

I can speak to Seattle and Brooklyn, but none of the others really. So I figured I’d ask you all: where do you live? What’s the butch/femme culture like in those cities?

Chime in regardless of where you live – I’d love to hear about the cultures outside of the US, too.

Some questions to consider:
- Are there lesbian-specific bars, or nights at the gay bars? More than one? Are some of them more known for being butch/femme than others?
- Are there butch/femme social groups?
- Is it gender-forward and inclusive of many expressions?