Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

“Whoops! Where’d my job go?”

October 3, 2009  |  miscellany  |  9 Comments

Followers of my @mrsexsmith Twitter account will know that my 9-to-5 day job is pretty much over. I’ve worked as a graphic designer at a firm in midtown for nearly the last four years, and they spun off two of the three divisions of the company, which were the two I worked for, and now I am technically on leave through December 1st. That means if they call me I have to go in, but I can’t accept another job until December 1st. Meanwhile, I have some t i m e o f f.

The million dollar question is, of course, what are you going to do now? Well, I’m not quite sure. I’ll be doing freelance graphic design and writing for a while, and building up my own artistic career. I will be looking for another job, but I’d like to have some down time before I begin a serious search, and I think I can live on a lot less than I thought was necessary.

I’m also hoping to make some appearances and do some workshops – so far I am scheduled on October 16th, Friday, at Bluestockings Bookstore, speaking on a panel about Feminist Sex, and also on November 16th at Conversio Virium, Columbia University’s BDSM student group, where I’ll be giving a lecture on Gendering Power: How to spice up your role play.

I’d love to do a bit of traveling to colleges nearby, too – Smith, Bard, back to my alma mater the University of Washington. I’m hoping that some of those gigs will work out, my booking company Phin Li has been helping me with my scheduling, and if you’d like to book a date with me, you can contact me at my regular email address or Phin Li at bookings at phinli.com.

(Also, Jesse James is coming to visit, and we are so going to paint the town. Can’t wait. She hasn’t met Kristen yet and it’s going to be a blast.)

I’ve noticed that July and August were two of the quietest months I’ve ever had here on Sugarbutch, for some reasons I’ve already explained, and because work changed their corporate access policies which meant that I couldn’t access this site from there.

I will be going back to the minimum of one-time-a-day five-days-a-week posting on Sugarbutch that I used to do, for a while, while I’m in this transition. I have about twenty topics I need to write on, and half a dozen drafts. If you have topical requests, now’s the time to chime in. And as always, if you have specific questions for me, I’ll be glad to address them as well as I can. I try hard to keep up with my inbox.

The ending of this job is a huge transition. It was absolutely time for this job to end, and it has worked so well for me – really, this job has been the major funding behind Sugarbutch for the last 3.5 years, since I started this site shortly after I got that job and I spent many hours working on Sugarbutch from that position. (Why else do you think my Sugarbutch Star chapbook is by “On Company Time” productions?) I basically got out of debt through this job, and I saved up quite a bit in my 401K, and it has afforded me to get on my feet in New York City in a way that seemed impossible a few years ago. I had been planning to leave this job in the beginning of next year regardless, and the way that this position was eliminated was probably the best possible way to lose a job. Still, it’s a huge change … I’ve commuted to Midtown Manhattan every weekday for nearly four years! I’ve had full access to all sorts of beautiful paper and color printers and supplies! I know my way around that neighborhood so well, in fact, that I don’t know where to get many things in my neighborhood near my house, since I knew I could just pick whatever it was up during my work week.

Meanwhile, though, I’ve had some amazing conversations with Audacia Ray about the future of the Sugarbutch Empire, and where I’m going, and how best to use my time with my artistic career. And I finally, finally, will have a good amount of time to get some of my shit in order and really meditate on where I’m going.

A Butch Roadmap

July 16, 2009  |  on butches  |  8 Comments

Ivan Coyote (#6 in the Top Hot Butches list), has just released a piece on his column for xtra.ca called A Butch Roadmap, and it really is a must-read. Here’s a snippet (reprinted with permission):

The word for you is butch. Remember this word. It will be used against you.

The word for you is butch. Your history is one of strength, and survival, and largely silent. Do not hide this word under your shirt. Do not whisper it, or sweep it under the basement stairs. Let it fill up your chest and widen your shoulders. Wear it like a sleeve tattoo, like a medal of valour.

Learn to recognize other butches for what they really are: your people. Your brothers or sisters. Both are just words that mean family.

Other butches are not your competition, they are your comrades.

Be there when they need you. Go fishing together. Help each other move. Polish your rims or your chrome or your boots together. See these acts for what they really are: solidarity.

Do not give your butch friend a hard time about having a ponytail, a pomeranian, nail polish, or a smart car. Get over yourself. You are a rare species, not a stereotype.

Trim your nails short enough that you could safely insert your fingers into your own vagina, should you ever want to.

It makes me want to write my own butch roadmap, my own tips and tricks and suggestions and ideas for being butch and pursuing this identity. I’ll have to think on this idea for a while, let it percolate.

What about you – what kind of things would be on your butch roadmap? Or femme roadmap?

Butches & Trans Guys

June 23, 2009  |  on butches  |  25 Comments

I know what butch is. Butches are not beginner FTMs, except that sometimes they are, but it’s not a continuum except when it is. Butch is not a trans identity unless the butch in questions says it is, in which case it is, unless the tranny in question says it isn’t, in which case it’s not. There is no such thing as butch flight, no matter what the femmes or elders say, unless saying that invalidates the opinion of femmes in a sexist fashion or the opinions of elders in an ageist fashion. Or if they’re right. But they are not, because butch and transgender are the same thing with different names, except that butch is not a trans identity, unless it is; see above.

- S. Bear Bergman, from “I Know What Butch Is,” the first chapter from hir book Butch Is A Noun.

If Mick Jagger was a literary, 30-something woman

November 1, 2007  |  essays  |  1 Comment

Speaking of places where Sugarbutch was mentioned, Susan Mernit called me “The Toppe” in her BlogHer Sex Bloggers 101 article:

Another New Yorker, this lesbian feminist writer/sex educator has so much heart — and the daring and passion to make her chronicles very, very interesting. If Mick Jagger was a literary, 30-something woman, instead of whatever he’s become, Sinclair might be the one to get those comparisons — judging by this blog’s good ideas and juicy stories, she’s a rockstar.

Well, thank you! I might quote you on that, Susan, if I may. (Susan & I haven’t actually met, but I hear tell that we are going to be in the same place at the same time sometime next month. Can’t wait.)It’s a little weird to be described as a “lesbian feminist” since that calls to mind a very particular time and ideology. Of course, I identify as feminist – and I wouldn’t disagree with someone calling me lesbian, but I don’t tend to use that term to describe myself. It feels almost clinical – like vagina instead of cunt.

Funny, how much those lables mean, and how much variation there can be within the smallest changes in terms.

Also, for the record, I’m still 20-something for a few more years.

gender identity vs sexual identity

October 31, 2007  |  essays  |  5 Comments

Within a larger post about the Tila Tequila reality dating show on MTV discussing butch identity, a reader on After Ellen mentioned Sugarbutch:

[F]or some, “butch” is a gender identity, and for others it is a sexual kink (for more on this idea, check out the totally awesome sugarbutch.blogspot.com. but probably only if you’re a grownup as it has some erotica alongside the political/language stuff). So being butch could be interpreted as being overtly sexual.

And, wow! I am flattered to be mentioned! But, I’m confused. Do I explain butch as a “sexual identity” here, as opposed to a gender identity? This is definitely a sex blog – when it boils down to it – my ‘sex, gender, and relationship’ chronicles. And yes, butch is a huge piece of that, and yes, butch is a huge piece of how I communicate physically, and sex is the primary place in my life where I practice that physical communication overtly.

But: butch is a gender identity. Always, I think. I’m not even sure what it would mean to have butch as a “sexual identity” without the gender identity. That even reminds me of that horrible phrase “butch in the streets, femme in the sheets” (which I’ve written about in a post called what gender is).

I’m also not sure how all my elaborate discussions of gender expression and the identity development proces would lead someone to conclude this about me … is it because I talk about sex and gender together, often interwoven? Because being butch is part of my sex life?

I so appreciate the shout-out. I think it’s part of that James Dean complex of being misunderstood – I don’t think I agree – or, perhaps more accurately, I’m not sure I understand – so it’s weird to hear someone else describing me that way.

fisting in time out

October 3, 2007  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Sinclair Sexsmith – ahem, that would be me – has been quoted in this week’s Time Out New York magazine (thanks to Viviane) about fisting.It’s under the Pick-a-fetish megachart, the penultimate of the list, almost at the end.

Not a bad quote, entirely:

“Go slow, slow, slow and use lots of lube,” says Sinclair Sexsmith, a Bed-Stuy-based sex blogger and femme fister with seven years’ experience. “It’s gonna be messy. Just put a towel down and get over it.”

It’s kinda hard to give someone beginning fisting advice without getting too much into the down-and-dirty. It’s so hard to be quoted, I would’ve chosen other things to highlight. And while I did say water-based lube is often slicker, in my opinion, it implies that the lube should be thin rather than gel-like, which is backward: I find the gel-like lube often stays wetter longer, though I do like how I can kinda pour the liquidy lube into my cupped hand and get things all nice & slick without pulling my hand out entirely. That’s helpful.

“you do not have to be good”

May 31, 2007  |  poetry  |  1 Comment

The Poetry Thursday prompt today is on Life/Lines, which the Academy of American Poets did a collective project with and defines as such:

We each carry lines of poetry with us. Words that others have written float back to us and stay with us, indelibly. We clutch these “Life Lines” like totems, repeat them as mantras, and summon them for comfort and laughter.

Anytime I think of my favorite poetry, poems that changed my life, significant lines of poetry, I always, always, always think of Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. And while I can think of a dozen – two dozen – more poems that have profoundly affected me (Under a Soprano Sky by Sonia Sanchez, Eating Poetry by Mark Strand, Otherwise by Jane Kenyon, Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich), it is always Mary Oliver that I come back to when I have to name just one, and it is always Wild Geese.

At first, it was the opening lines:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

The simplicity of it. The miracle of letting go of suffering, and only allowing your body to “love what it loves.” Gorgeous. As if Oliver lept from the pages and plucked a diamond from my heart cavity and said, look. Just look what you have inside you.

But lately, it’s been the ending:

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

… that has really gotten to me. No matter how lonely or alone, or scared or tiny or uneffective you may feel, you still have a place in the family of things. You still have one particular little pinpoint of light on the map, on the earth.

I’ve carried this poem with me for a long time.