The Night Everything Changed (Lauren & Beck #1)

Beck waits for Lauren outside of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, leaning up against the brick wall, posing herself deliberately while trying to look casual. One foot back on the wall, knee bent; leaning on one shoulder, hand in the pocket; crouching down with her back resting against the wall—none of them felt quite right. Beck fiddles with a Bic pen, the back of which is nearly destroyed from chewing on it. At least it isn’t a cigarette. Lauren hates it when Beck smokes.

Fancy rich Berkeley people mill about, waiting for their reservation to be called. The night air is warm, the breeze still a little cool; it hasn’t rained in weeks and everything is dry and dusty. Everything is well taken care of on this block, but just one block in any direction and things get a lot more brown and crisp.

When Lauren emerges, she is long and limber and worked up from her shift, talking a mile a minute, kissing Beck so quickly she misses Beck’s skin and only touches air. Beck always picks up Lauren on Thursday nights, since she works from home on Friday. It’s become their date night, an unspoken agreement that they’ll spend the night together. They have a lot of unspoken agreements.

“The duck tonight was outta control,” Lauren is saying as Beck opens the door of her green VW Jetta and Lauren steps in. Her bare legs rub up against each other for a moment as she’s shifting and pulling her long legs in to the car, and Beck’s mouth waters. Lauren is wearing the black ballet flats with the little white bows, and Beck loves how she always kicks them off the second she gets home—”Who needs shoes? Shoes are for people who don’t like their feet to touch the ground. Me, I’m a realist.”

Beck is nodding, listening, interjecting little murmurs of interest as she drives through Berkeley up to her house in the Oakland hills, a modest little thing financed the first year she landed that exec position at Yelp. Beck lives alone. Beck likes to live alone. Lauren’s apartment in Berkeley is cramped but sweet, and they almost never stay there. Beck is pretty sure Lauren’s roommate Ricky hates her.

“And she didn’t even listen to me!” Lauren is saying. “It could have all been avoided if she’d just paid attention when I told her the plan for the evening.” She’s talking about the other host at Chez Panisse, a hetero woman, Christy, who just discovered Burning Man and won’t stop talking about it. Beck and Lauren went out to dinner with Christy and her “partner” Ben once, but spent the entire evening criticizing the food and never said one thing that was interesting. It was a good choice of restaurant though, Beck had to give them that—but she won’t put herself in that situation again, even though Christy has queried.

Lauren always needs half an hour to talk through what happened at work after her shift is over. Beck takes the long way, winding up Snake Road and up Skyline Boulevard, enjoying the view of the sparkling lights of San Francisco, Treasure Island, the Oakland shipyard, and the Bay Bridge.

Suddenly, Lauren says, “Pull over,” right into Beck’s ear. Her hands are on Beck’s thigh in that provocative way that tells Beck that she is about to dig into her jeans and she damn well better be wearing a cock. Lauren’s skirt is short and tight and her legs are tanned, her thighs thick. Beck licks her lips and eyes her girl as they slow to a pull-out overlooking the Bay. Beck hasn’t gotten a word in, doesn’t even know how to say what she needs to say. She’s been waiting to pick up Lauren ever since she left work at 5 o’clock, and the combination of lust and trust is making her hands ache to pull Lauren close and inhale her lavender shampoo smell. But talking can wait.

Lauren lunges at Beck’s fly before Beck even has the chance to put her car in park, pulling out Beck’s packing cock and taking it into her mouth. Lauren’s curls tumble out over Beck’s lap and Beck holds them back so she can see Lauren’s pretty lips. Her kisses are full-lipped and luxurious, soft and supple. Beck can’t feel anything through her cock, and she thinks it’s stupid when dykes pretend that they can, but she loves how Lauren looks when she wraps her lips around it and licks with her tongue. Beck comes pretty easily anyway, so a little extra distance between her premature orgasms is always nice.

Beck runs her hand down along Lauren’s back, over her ribs and the sides of her body, over her hips, pushing her hand between Lauren’s legs to reach her cunt. This is what Lauren likes: being fingered until she comes while Beck’s cock is in her mouth. This is what Beck likes: the weight of Lauren on her lap, the feel of her curls when Beck fists them, the feeling of her palm disappearing inside Lauren’s cunt, and fucking Lauren’s ass bent over the bed when they get back home. Plus, whatever gourmet midnight snack Lauren makes is always the perfect blend of sweet and umami. The curling up together and sleeping is the hardest part, but Beck is getting used to it, letting her messy self be seen.

It isn’t going to take long. Lauren’s hips are rocking already and she’s working her hand up and down on Beck’s cock. Beck could come at any moment. She feels numb. Her thighs are squeezing together and Lauren’s cunt is squeezing at the same pulse, her fingers caught inside and shaking. Something is happening, but Beck isn’t sure what, it doesn’t usually feel like this. This feels hard, dangerous, like she’s going to cry out and pee and come all at once, and something is going to happen, it’s going to make something happen, like her body is going to come apart at the seams and slowly disintegrate.

Against her palms, Lauren’s thighs are quivering. Beck wants her mouth on them, wants her mouth on Lauren’s cunt, wants to drink her down and make her come over and over, sucking her clit so swollen. The thought of it sends Beck’s own cunt contracting and coming, and she pushes her hips up against Lauren harder, her clit spasming in sharp jolts of electricity as she bites her lip, hard, harder than she means to. Her body bursts and vibrates, the numbness seeping away and leaving more spasms of pain, release, confusion. Why does it have to feel like this. Beck wants to ignore it, push it down, but she can’t, it bubbles up, and pretty soon she’s crying—tears leaking from her eyes, gulping for air, the messy gross crying that Beck would never let herself do in front of anyone else.

Lauren is in her lap before Beck even notices it, curled up between Beck’s body and the steering wheel, and the weight of Lauren feels comforting. Lauren is kissing her face, nuzzling into her neck. Beck can’t form words yet. Lauren knows better than to ask, or to demand, explanation. She just sits still, she just holds.

“My mom called earlier,” Beck breathes out, not even sure she can say the words. She can hear her mother’s voice again, so clear, ringing like a bell: “Rebecca, Mallory died last night.” They had been waiting for it, of course; it was inevitable, the doctors had said. It had been looming. She’d hung on longer than anyone expected. Beck had already traveled out to Connecticut twice to say goodbye.

Lauren is looking at Beck expectingly, her expression softening as she sees how much struggle is in Beck’s eyes. Beck takes another breath, and manages to say, “It’s Mallory. She’s gone.”

“Oh,” Lauren gasps. Her fingers lace through Beck’s, and she lays her head on Beck’s chest. Beck lowers her face to kiss the top of Laurens head, and inhales the scent of her lavender shampoo.


Featured image from Crash Pad Series Episode #185, James Darling & Juliette March.

Ready to explore “embodiment”? Three workshop offerings in Seattle & San Francisco in March & April

Two of my greatest queer erotic embodiment / sacred sexuality teachers, Alex Jade and Lizz Randall, are facilitating workshops at the end of March, and I have a collaboration with another mentor and friend of mine, Betty Martin, the first weekend of April.

So it’s shaping up to be an incredibly erotic and embodied spring!

I highly recommend ALL of these workshops, of course, but which one might work for YOU depends on where you’re at on your own journey, where you are, who you want to work with, and what kind of explorations you want to continue.

Lizz’s workshop Dedicated to Your Body will be an entry-level somatic embodiment experience dedicated, well, to YOUR body, where there will be a lot of temple time, deep ritual, play, somatic time, integration, and pelvic floor exploration. I just had a chat with her this morning about curriculum and I’m really excited it’s happening. I won’t be at this one, but I have known Lizz for many years and I know it’s going to be great.

Lizz’s Dedicated to Your Body workshop is for all women, meaning anybody who identifies as a woman or female and wants to do this work in a space for women-identified folks. It’s different to be in a women’s temple, and as someone who has been doing work in women’s temples for about 15 years, I highly recommend it. Because I know Lizz and her trans- and genderqueer inclusions, I know I would feel comfortable attending, as a genderqueer trans/ish butch who is probably female and definitely passes as a “woman.” Just, for the record. You butches and trans folks are invited, assuming you want to explore your connection with female and woman-ness in a women’s temple space. And, just in case it isn’t clear, it is explicitly inclusive of trans women, as the facilitator is very trans-aware and -versed, and since it’s inclusive of all women, that includes trans women. (Duh. But just being clear.)

Alex’s workshop, Tantra & SM, is in San Francisco through Flesh & Spirit. It’ll be a bit more advanced, I imagine, and delve into some kink things and shadow. I haven’t spoken with her about curriculum but I trust both Flesh & Spirit as a container and Alex as a gender-fluid SM player and as a teacher. I’m signed up and very excited to be there!

Tantra & SM is for any and all genders.

My workshop with Betty Martin is actually two linked workshops, Betty’s Learning to Touch on Saturday and my day-long workshop Playing with Power on Sunday. I am THRILLED to be playing with Betty and building off of her Learning to Touch workshop, and I’m really excited to offer some embodiment practice based in power dynamics and the embodiment of power. I can’t speak to Betty’s side as much, but my side will be about domination and submission, about power and surrender, about giving over and taking, about receiving and pulling out. It’s a combination of my Queering Power Dynamics workshop, which is more theoretical and talky-based, and my erotic ritual day-long workshops that include some small group and optional play parts.

Touch & Power will be for any and all genders and orientations, queer trans genderqueer masculine feminine straight d-type s-type, whatever. I’m hoping we’ll have a wide range of all of it, actually. I don’t expect it to be “power balanced,” meaning to have the same number of d-types as s-types, and as such we’ll ALL be exploring ALL aspects of power and surrender. It’s going to be delicious.

So, won’t you come join me in the Pacific Northwest for some erotic embodiment play this spring? I’d love to see you there.

Click on the big green plus (+) to expand the descriptions and see which one would work for you!

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Dedicated to Your Body: A Retreat for Women

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Dedicated to Your Body: A Retreat for Women
March 22-23, 2014, with Lizz Randall in Seattle

Our bodies need tending, away from lovers, partners, children and media. This retreat gives you that time.

In a safe, respectful and fun environment of women discover and connect with the aliveness and potency of your body. This workshop is designed for women interested in the conscious cultivation and exploration of embodied presence and sexuality. You will slow down enough to listen to what your body really wants and needs, to be witnessed and to witness, to receive on your terms, and go with your own flow. This retreat offers you full choice, presence, honor and permission to be where you are and go where you want.

Learn about clear boundaries and self-trust.
Connect with your erotic energy as a source of generative power
Learn how to ask for what you want.
Uncover the power of giving and receiving without losing yourself.
Explore states of embodiment, from subtle to bold, through conscious touch, movement, meditation and ritual.
Develop a relationship with your whole body that serves as a foundation for everything in your life.
Experience the potency of connecting with your eros
Come experience the healing and transformative power of this experiential work.

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DETAILS:
Location: Columbia City, Seattle
Date: Saturday, March 22 and Sunday March 23rd
Time: 9:30-5:30pm
Fee: $395 (early registration by February 15th: $350)
Pre-registration required!
To Register email [email protected] or call (619) 839-9349
Limited to 14 participants
Open to all women: gay, straight, undecided, queer, trans, genderqueer

Lizz Randall is a gifted and highly trained facilitator who has been teaching whole body workshops for over 15 years. Her work and private practice are dedicated to helping people create erotically embodied passionate lives. She has fierce trust in the body, the healing power of pleasure, and the interconnectedness of spirituality and sexuality. Lizz is a Body Electric School teacher, Sacred Intimate, tantra teacher, farmer, and parent.

Amanda Geller is a Body Electric alumni and a fellow woman on her journey. As a coach and entrepreneur she has seen the power of connecting to her body as the starting place for everything working in one’s life.

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March 22-23, 2014, with Lizz Randall in Seattle

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Tantra and SM: A Spring Equinox workshop

“] Tantra and SM: A Spring Equinox workshop
March 29 and 30, 2014, With Alex Jade in San Francisco

Once again, Alex Jade returns to us to share her unique alchemy of classical Tantra and SM. Those who have been to one of Alex’s workshops know that it is difficult to describe the magic (and fun!) that we create in our time together with Alex. We will conjure the healing power of pleasure through Tantra, SM, and more! Drawing on the power of the spring equinox as a balance point between day and night, we will explore the fertility that emerges from the riches of the dark. We will go from stillness to activation as we uncover the inner marriage of polarities.

This workshop is designed for those who have had erotic ritual or community erotic gathering experience, and who have some level of comfort and/or skill with SM. Previous experience with Tantra or with another flesh and spirit workshop is not necessary. We are happy to speak with you to explore whether this workshop would be right for you.

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DETAILS:
Date: March 29 and 30, 2014
Time: Saturday 10 AM- 6 PM, Sunday 10 AM- 6 PM
More information: http://www.fleshandspirit.org/women-s-community/35-power-of-pleasure.html

LOCATION:
A beautiful private dungeon location, SOMA, San Francisco
Details will be sent after registration
COST: $325, payment plan available.
Early bird: $250 if $75 non refundable deposit paid by February 24, 2014

ABOUT ALEX:
Alex Jade, MSW, is an erotic educator, sacred intimate, psychotherapist, and student of Tantra. She is on the faculty of the Body Electric School and has produced and taught independent workshops for over 17 years. She has mastery in clothes-off, hands-on experiential erotic education and the use of ritual as a healing tool. Alex’s specialties are gender exploration, classical Tantra, SM, and exploring with an open heart and mind.

This will be the fourth workshop Alex has led for Flesh and Spirit. We are excited to welcome her back to our sacred space!

[/toggle] March 29 and 30, 2014, With Alex Jade in San Francisco

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Learning to Touch & Playing with Power

Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, 2014, with Betty Martin and Sinclair Sexsmith in Shoreline WA”] Learning to Touch & Playing with Power
Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, 2014, with Betty Martin and Sinclair Sexsmith in Shoreline WA

~ Women, men, genderqueer, trans folks, singles, couples, queer, straight –
any and all genders and orientations
~ Inexperienced, wildly experienced or anywhere in between

Saturday: Learning to Touch, with Betty

Learn how to notice what it is you want, why it matters, when to bring it forward and when to set it aside. Feel the difference between receiving a gift and giving one, and what they have to do with touch, and what they don’t. And fall in love with both of them – completely and equally.

Find each of the 4 Quadrants of Receiving and Giving and what each of them can teach you. Each one is inherently pleasurable but often misunderstood and therefore sometimes difficult to find. Each of the 4 is innate to who you are as a lover and as a person, and the more you discover about yourself in each of the 4, the more freedom you have to be yourself, fully and authentically.

Sunday: Playing with Power, with Sinclair

Take what you have just learned about desire, consent and the dynamics of receiving and giving, and now expand it to play in the realm of power and power exchange. We take the skills and dynamics, and dive in a little deeper into this fascinating, fun and potentially erotic playground.

For beginners in this realm, this is the perfect way to gain a solid footing of awareness and skills. For experienced players, discover what the 4 Quadrants have to teach you that clarify your dynamics let you go even deeper.

MORE ABOUT THE CLASSES:

Saturday, April 5: Learning to Touch

At this workshop, you will:

~ Get crystal clear on Receiving and Giving – what the difference is and why it matters
~ Fall completely in love with both of them, equally
~ Find the surprising source of your confidence and creativity
~ Bring a new level of presence and sensuality to all your touch
~ Learn the Circle of Consent and the 4 Quadrants, a sensual practice that will clarify your relating on all levels
~ Learn real, tangible skills to ask for what you want, with ease and generosity

This workshop is for you if you:

~ are seeking the next level of ease, confidence and joy, wherever that is for you
~ love and care for each other, but can’t quite find the key to loving your love life
~ know there is something deeper, more meaningful in sex, but have no idea were to start looking for it
~ have been experimenting with Tantra but find it awkward and contrived
~ are not comfortable ‘receiving’ and don’t know why or what to do about it
~ want to have more fun!

Sunday, April 6, Playing with Power

At this workshop, you will:

– Practice principles of giving and receiving touch
– Feel in to your consent and agency, and more feminist foundations for power play
– Learn and explore some of the basics of domination and submission
– Experience what it’s like to tap into the great strength of vulnerability in being seen, asking for what you want, and giving yourself over
– Feel into the inherent power that is in all of us
– Deepen your connection with your own calling

This workshop is for you, if you:

– Have some experience with giving and receiving consensual touch in groups
– Trust yourself to feel in to your yes and no in the moment, and vocalize that
– Want to take your power play to a deeper, bigger, bolder, playful level
– Want to increase your capacity for asking for what you want in the moment
– Want to get more in touch with your own surrender to another’s desires, or
– Want to get more in touch with your own desires, to request them of another
– Are eager to play with power and touch

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Cost:
For one person:
One day: $120
Both days: $200

For a couple (or pair of friends):
1 day: $200
Both days: $380

Maximum class size: 14

When & Where:
Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, 10 am – 6 pm both days
Shoreline, WA, at a private residence

TO REGISTER, visit bettymartin.com/learning-touch-playing-power or contact Sincliar!

ABOUT BETTY:

I’m Dr. Betty Martin, a Chiropractor, a Body Electric School trained Sacred Intimate, Certified Sexological Bodyworker, Foundations of Facilitation trainer, and a self-propelled erotic adventurer and intimacy coach.

Every one of these and more has contributed to my understanding of the nature of professional touch.

I’m one of those lucky people who grew up in the touch-y feel-y hippie years. Then I got serious and went to Chiropractic school and learned to touch with some clear intent.

That makes about 30 years as a hands-on professional, first in therapeutics – Chiropractic, Somato-Respiratory Integration, Educational Kinesiology, Reiki, Neuro-Emotional Integration – and later in body-based erotic education, including sensual massage, Taoist Erotic Massage, Kashmiri tantric massage and Sexological Bodywork.

I’ve taught peer counseling, gender liberation, embodiment and empowerment, fantasy play, goddess awakening and erotic massage. I’ve played with contact improv dance, Authentic Movement, Non-Violent Communication and Shaivic tantra. I am a student of The Work of Byron Katie. I am a Board member and train and certify new facilitators for a touch and communication workshop called Cuddle Party.

ABOUT SINCLAIR:

Sinclair Sexsmith, known as the “kinky queer butch top,” is an erotic coach, teacher, and writer who produces Sugarbutch Chronicles at sugarbutch.net, full of dirty stories, essays, advice, and journal entries since 2005. They travel frequently to perform and lead workshops, and to work with people one-on-one for identity puzzles and sexual experiments. Sinclair’s work is published in more than twenty anthologies, and they edited Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 and Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica. They are an expert on strap-on technologies, a feminist Dominant, an identity puzzler, a classically trained poet, and a sacred intimate, and prefer the pronouns they and them.

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Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, 2014, with Betty Martin and Sinclair Sexsmith in Shoreline WA

Do you like queer smut? Next week, I bet we can make you blush.

I’m really excited about the Best Lesbian Erotica reading that Amy & I are putting together! We picked up two big boxes of BLE from Cleis Press headquarters today and are almost completely ready for the big day.

The books look beautiful!

Our lineup is incredible!

I’m working on getting someone to record video—I do have some leads, but if you are in the Bay Area and want a comp ticket to go in exchange for helping with video recording, let me know please. I would love that. I’m trying to get more videos of my work up online.

It’s an experiment, doing the release party with a kind of high cover price ($20 at the door) that includes the thing that the release party is for (a copy of Best Lesbian Erotica 2014). I’m not sure if that’s going to mean more people show up, or less, or people show up and want to donate instead of getting a book + ticket (which we’re allowing with our “no one turned away for lack of funds” policy). The general culture of book readings in New York and Seattle and (from what I can tell) San Francisco is that they should be free, and then that people will buy the book to support. But instead of that, we’re including some other goodies (like door prizes! And wine & snacks!) and making sure that everybody gets a book.

Here’s the details. I hope it’ll be an incredible turnout! I’ll be reading my story from the book, which also happens to be the lead (first) story, called “A Good Workout,” which is my first published butch/butch erotica piece.

It’s been interesting, changing my reputation and my perception to others as a “femme-oriented butch” to a faggot butch. I have pages and pages to say about that, but for now I just want to share that when I read this last year at an erotica reading, another butch who was reading after me stood up and declared, “I’m a REAL butch. I ONLY date femmes.”

!!!

I was kind of speechless and stunned. It was definitely for audience laughs, for impact, and to set her apart from me and my story, but it also kind of stung. Plus, ugh, I really don’t like anyone who uses the phrase “REAL ____” to try to describe how there is One True Way about just about anything, especially around gender.

I’ll write a bit more about that later, but for now, just know that I’ve got a controversial faggoty butch story (set in the locker room at a gym) and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you all in person.

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QUEER SMUT: BEST LESBIAN EROTICA 2014
READING & RELEASE PARTY

The holidays are upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with the brand spankin’ new Best Lesbian Erotica 2014 West Coast release party! Each year, the Best Lesbian Erotica series captures some of the best smut stories by well-known and brand-new authors. Come hear readings from 2014’s collection edited by Kathleen Warnock. Join us for an exciting reading from the new 2014 collection and beyond.

Featuring Amy Butcher, Jen Cross, Carol Queen, Sinclair Sexsmith, BD Swain, M’kali-Hashiki, Cheryl Dunye, Xan West, and Jiz Lee!

$20 at the door includes the price of a book!

Buy your tickets EARLY from Eventbrite and receive an EXTRA ticket in the door prize giveaway, featuring fancy silicone toys from TANTUS and queer porn DVDs from PINK & WHITE.

Facebook & Fetlife

Books will be for sale—bring $15 extra and get yours signed by the contributors. As Kathleen always says: buy one for Grandma!

Queer Smut: Best Lesbian Erotica 2014 release party
Thursday, December 12, 2013, 7-9pm
Center for Sex & Culture
1349 Mission Street between 9th & 10th, San Francisco
Cost: $20
Includes a copy of the book Best Lesbian Erotica 2014
No one turned away for lack of funds

Get tickets now! Eventbrite

Free eBook Download: BDSM murder mystery about dogs & neighbors

During the month of November, in celebration of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), author (and my good buddy) Amy Butcher is giving away ebook copies of her award-winning Nanowrimo novel Paws for Consideration.

Of course, if you get the ebook version, you will miss out on the awesome flip book—illustrated by Amy—in the upper corner of the book, which features Daisy the person zooming around in her wheelchair while Skittles the dog pees on the page numbers.

From Amybutcher.com:

Paws for Consideration won the Gay Category at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival. That now makes Paws for Considerationan “award-winning novel” . . . who knew?

It’s also National Novel Writing Month. Another cause for celebration not only for all the crazy writing happening but also because that’s where Paws for Consideration got it’s start.

So throughout November, you can download a free copy of Pawsthrough Smashwords. Enter your email in the form [on Amybutcher.com] and we’ll send you the download code. And if you enjoy, please give a shout out on Goodreads.”

Paws is an easy fun read, full of jaunts all over the Mission and Castro in San Francisco. I read it on a plane in basically one sitting last year when it came out, and I laughed out loud and cried when Skittles was found and was moved as the neighborhood characters found a way to come together and puzzle through someone’s death. I like how Daisy navigates through the heretofore unexplored world of BDSM in the Castro, the perspective is sweet and curious and accepting.

Oh yeah, there are play parties and sex and masturbation and flogging scenes and leather dungeons in this book too. And also lots of dogs.

It starts like this:

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For the briefest of moments, a question hung in the air between two damp noses. Daisy-the-person joysticked her electric wheelchair a little closer to Daisy-the-dog. Daisy-the-dog danced one cautious step backwards in response, slid a long tongue across the tip of her nose and tasted the dampened air, trying to decide if this hulking combination of vehicle and person was to be trusted. Daisy-the-person snorted too, and wiped a sleeve across her own muzzle. “Come on over here, you cutie, and give me some love!” she said, beckoning low with an outstretched hand.

The voice of Daisy-the-person carried way beyond the dog in front of her. She was the morning wake-up call for her neighbors, as regular as the bells ringing out from the steeple of Mission Dolores, only higher pitched. She patted her generous lap again, encouraging Daisy-the-dog to come closer.

To the canine, it wasn’t clear where chair began and person ended. The way this creature moved, the wheels and the whir, were disconcerting. But she smelled good—of oily chicken scents and warm lint—and she wasn’t moving now. Daisy-the-dog decided to take a chance.

Now, don’t you want to read the whole thing? Go download it now.

Big Book of Orgasms: Blog Tour!

bigbook Today’s my day on The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories blog tour … BUT I am running around like a crazy person getting ready to

1. Zoom into San Francisco and read at The Big Book of Orgasms release party (where I’m going to read Five Blow Jobs, FYI)
2. Go right from the reading to the airport
3. Catch a red-eye overnight plane to New York City, where I will
4. Teach a writing workshop at Columbia tomorrow, Thursday, and then
5. Perform a spoken word set in the evening (also at Columbia), and
6. Host an open mic to encourage the students to share their own work.

Fuck.

Maybe I shoulda waited to put up the hottest parts of the hottest parts of the stories post. Oh! Hey, those of you who are here for the blog tour? Go read that post. It has some good quotes in it.

So, consider this my Big Book of Orgasms placeholder until a) my schedule dies down, and b) I actually read more of the book (oops). Which I will. I love the short-shorts.

The hottest parts of the hottest parts of the stories: The Big Book of Orgasms

If you’re a fan of reading erotica—and chances are high that you are, if you’re following Sugarbutch—you probably know Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s work. She’s one of the most prolific erotica editors and writers currently curating and creating dirty books and stories for us to read and explore, and I’m a huge fan of her work.

She’s included stories of mine in a variety of her anthologies, and I’m in a brand new book of hers called The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories which also features many of my favorite queer erotica writers, including BD Swain and Xan West.

The Big Book of Orgasms joins a few other “big book” anthologies of short-short dirty stories, including Girl Fever and Gotta Have It and Frenzy (the latter two I have stories in), and they continue to be some of my most favorite anthologies. They’re so easy to read. It’s like the “good parts” version of other erotica anthologies, where in this one, the writers only have a couple of pages to give you the point of the story, which is usually the hottest part of the story.

The hottest part of the story isn’t always the orgasm part (very often the tease is what does it for me, for example), but it’s definitely one of the hottest parts. So basically what I’m saying is, this book is the hottest parts of the hottest parts of stories. Amazing.

So next week, on Wednesday November 6th, I’ll be reading at the Polk Street Good Vibrations toy store in San Francisco, along with a handful of other contributors to the book, to celebrate the release of The Big Book of Orgasms!

Details:

bigbookThe Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories (Cleis Press) is editor Rachel Kramer Bussel’s latest and greatest erotica anthology. This climactic collection of pansexual short shorts are perfect for bedtime reading to a lover or on your own. Whether getting off from exhibitionism, voyeurism, hot wax, dirty talk or a very special pair of blue jeans, the characters in The Big Book of Orgasms go all out for the Big O. From vanilla to kinky, and everything in between, there’s something for all erotic readers here. At this special reading, Bussel will be joined by contributors Lily K. Cho, Malin James, Crystal Jordan, Donna George Storey, B.D. Swain, Virgie Tovar, Sinclair Sexsmith, Jade A. Waters and Xan West for an evening of steamy stories that’s sure to leave you hot and bothered.

FREE!
Time: 6:30 – 7:30pm
Where: Good Vibrations Polk Street Good Vibrations Polk St. store 1620 Polk Street (at Sacramento Street), San Francisco, CA 94109
http://events.goodvibes.com
https://fetlife.com/events/201391
https://www.facebook.com/events/186231794893318/

… The only problem is, I’m not entirely sure what to read. This book includes a story about Kristen, and traditionally, at book release parties, it’s customary to read the story that is included in the book. But I don’t think I can read a story about how good she is at sex and how much I loved fucking her, in public, right now. Maybe someday I can, maybe it’ll feel like fiction again, or like my own writing, but right now it just feels like ouch.

So what do I read?

Options are … well … I could read a different piece, something about rife or something more fictional. I could read someone else’s story from the book. I could write to Rachel and ask her what she recommends. I’m not sure what the best option is, for this one.

Suggestions?

And while you’re at it, if you’re in or nearby to San Francisco, why don’t you come see me read, and get a copy of the book signed by some of the amazing contributors? It’s been a while since I’ve had an erotica reading, I’m looking forward to it.

Review (& Photos!): Aslan Leather TG Chest Harness

Last year, Carrie Grey, creator and owner of Aslan Leather, custom built me one of his leather TG Chest Harnesses. I’ve worn it a few times over the past year, like at IMsL and to a couple of smaller play parties, but just this month I wore it to Folsom Street Fair—and whoa that was quite the experience!—with rife and his dog.

aslan2

I really don’t like crowds, or hot weather, so being in an extremely crowded blocked-in couple city blocks on a sunny day was not my ideal situation. But it was really fun to see so many kinky people in one place. Fascinating, really. (I particularly liked Vivian Fu’s photo essay of this year’s Folsom.) We eventually made it to the women-and-trans area, and then promptly camped out and didn’t leave that space until we were ready to head back to Oakland. I liked their gender policy: the women-and-trans tent included anybody who does identify as a woman, has identified as a woman in the past, or will identify as a woman in the future. Clever, I thought.

I got a lot of compliments on the Aslan Leather chest harness. It’s hot and comfortable and unique for someone with a chest like mine (36DD) to be wearing something like that. I left it over my binder and tee shirt all day, but had it as a possible option to wear it bare chested.

Here’s the Aslan description:

This is box title
Ever wish you could wear a chest harness out to a party or event without a T shirt underneath? ASLAN’s new TG chest harnesss is designed to function like a binder and a chest harness. The 3- 4″ wide leather chest strap can effectively flatten up to a C cup chest. The harness pictured has a 4″ wide strap. This harness is made with comfortable heavy weight glove leather, wich allows you freedom of movement for all types of play situations, and because it’s an ASLAN you can be sure it is guaranteed for life!

To order please provide the following measurements: Chest, cup size (if applicable), height. This is a custom piece made to order so please remember to include your measurements.

Please note! The measurements part is important. When I wrote to Carrie requesting this piece, I gave him my measurements, but I was wrong. Very wrong. I gave him old measurements that I thought were accurate, but did not account for the weight I have recently gained (lots of which, let’s be honest, ends up in my chest). That sucked—the first binder he built for me didn’t fit, and he had to go back and basically remake the whole thing.

Don’t send the wrong measurements. Get someone who knows how to measure bodies for outfitting well to measure you, and get a current measurement.

Carrie snapped a few photos when I tried it on in the Aslan studio in Toronto last fall:


aslan2 aslan aslan1

I kept hoping to wear it during a photo shoot and get more better photos of it, but I haven’t had many (any?) photo shoots since I picked it up (oh except for that one with Meg Allen, but we were taking professional shots and not really kinky ones, which is why I didn’t wear it then). I’d still like more better photos of me in it, but I don’t want not having the perfect photo to hold me up in telling you about how awesome this is. And hey, the holidays are coming up, right? Don’t you need a great present for somebody in your life, or yourself?

I like the way it looks! And it feels really good and fun to wear. I even like the way my chest looks naked underneath it. I wouldn’t have expected that.

Thank you, Aslan Leather & Carrie Grey! Pick up your very own Aslan Leather TG Chest Harness over on Aslanleather.com.

“How Poetry Saved My Life” Reading with Amber Dawn (& me!) on Wednesday in SF

I’m reading as a special guest for Amber Dawn‘s San Francisco book release party for How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir this Wednesday night, May 22nd, at 7pm at the Modern Times Bookstore Collective.

Sub Rosa remains one of my favorite novels that I’ve read ever, and definitely in the top 3 in recent years. She received a Lammy in the lesbian fiction category for it and it is well deserved.

I haven’t finished How Poetry Saved My Life yet, in part because every time I start reading it, I read it slowly, taking time with each word, and I put it down often to jot down my own poetical thoughts. It’s inspiring.

“I’m asking you to entertain that wish I made earlier. To treat this like a two-way conversation. My dear reader, you’ve caught on by now that this is not really about sex work. Sex work is only one of many, many things we learn we are not to talk about. Sex work is only one of many things we’ve been asked (but never agreed) to keep silent.
This is about the labour of becoming whole … Locate yourself within the bigger, puzzling, and sometimes hazardous world around you. You are invited to do this work.”

I’m working on a new piece, chewing a lot on the connections between poetry and sex work, between gender and sex, between desire and language. I think there are so many overlaps and connections and I’m striving to connect the dots in a poem for Wednesday (tomorrow!) night.

If you’re near the Bay Area, please come! I won’t be reading much more before I head up north for June & July, so this’ll be a rare appearance. And you really want to hear Amber Dawn read from this new book—trust me!

howpoetryAmber Dawn reads from and discusses her new book, “How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir
*Joined by Special Guest Sinclair Sexsmith*
Wednesday, May 22nd: 7PM
Modern Times Bookstore Collective
2919 24th St (at Alabama)
www.mtbs.com

Amber Dawn’s acclaimed first novel Sub Rosa, a darkly intoxicating fantasy about a group of magical prostitutes who band together to fend off bad johns in a fantastical underworld, won a Lambda Literary Award in 2011. While the plot of the book was wildly imaginative, it was also based on the author’s own experience as a sex worker in the 1990s and early 2000s, and on her coming out as lesbian.

“How Poetry Saved My Life,” Amber Dawn’s sophomore book, reveals an even more poignant and personal landscape―the terrain of sex work, queer identity, and survivor pride. This story, told in prose and poetry, offers a frank, multifaceted portrait of the author’s experiences hustling the streets of Vancouver, and the how those years took away her self-esteem and nearly destroyed her; at the crux of this autobiographical narrative is the tender celebration of poetry and literature, which―as the title suggests―acted as a lifeline during her most pivotal moments.

As raw and fiery as its author, How Poetry Saved My Life is a powerful account of survival and the transformative power of literature.

Sinclair Sexsmith (www.mrsexsmith.com) is an erotic coach, educator, and writer. They write the award-winning personal online project Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at www.sugarbutch.net, have contributed to more than twenty anthologies, and edited Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica. They travel frequently to teach workshops on gender and sexuality.

Amber Dawn is the Lambda Literary Award-winning author of Sub Rosa, as well as a filmmaker, and performance artist. She’s appeared at dozens of universities and literary festivals, both for readings and to sit on discussion panels. She is often invited to speak on topics such as “writing from the margins,” queer identities in writing, and sex-positive writing. She also leads creative writing classes with high-risk youth and/or sex workers populations. She has toured three times with the Sex Workers’ Art Show and is the former Director of Programming for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF). Her website is amberdawnwrites.com.

Exploring Gender Through Photos: The new headshots by Meg Allen

I had some new headshots taken, with the aim to actually capture some joy and pleasure and fun, instead of someone who has “been through the ringer” and “in the wars”. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about my business and what I’m doing and how I’m representing myself, in no small part thanks to the Catalyst Conference I attended in DC in March and Barbara Carrellas’s Urban Tantra training for sexuality professionals.

BD Swain (who is a butch kinky erotica writer—if you aren’t following her blog, you should be) hooked me up with Meg Allen, whose portraits immediately resonated with me. Meg is also working on a portrait project she’s calling BUTCH which features—wait for it—masculine of center folks.

Working with Meg and talking about photographing butch identity, what makes it different than photographing other gender presentations, how to encourage butches to feel more at home in our bodies through photography, and a dozen other things, made me think about all the other butch portrait projects that have been popping up lately, like BUTCH: Not like the other girls by SD Holman and the Butch/Femme Photo Project by Wendi Kali. I’m starting to put together a panel for the BUTCH Voices conference that is full of photographers of butches and I want to address exactly those questions.

BUTCH Voices call for proposals is open, by the way! Submit art, workshops, lectures, panels, or performance ideas before June 1.

I know for me, having my photograph taken changed significantly after I came to a butch identity. I actually started liking how I looked in photos. I actually kind of recognized myself. I spent some years obsessively taking self-portraits, from 1997 to about 2002, and maintaining personal photo blogs online, and one of the major reasons for that was experimenting with visual representations and markers of gender. After I came to a butch identity that I was pretty solid and comfortable with, somewhere in 2001 or so, I took fewer and fewer self-portraits and felt much more at ease having my photo taken by others. Having professional photos of me taken, starting in about 2006, has continued me on that journey of finding myself through visual representation and continuing to feel comfortable with the way that I look, my gender, and my body.

Which is yet another reason why I started craving new headshots for the summer. I want it to reflect where I am, and how I feel about myself and my work. They needed to be updated.

Here’s about 30 of my favorites from the shoot. I’m still experimenting with which will be my new avatar for Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and for the sidebar and my about pages, so I might pick one and then change it up in a week or so, test some of them out.

If you can’t see the photos, here’s a link to the full set on Flickr.

Here’s the other thing about these photos: they look like me. They don’t really look like “Sinclair,” they don’t look like some persona I’m putting on, they look like me, how I look on a pretty much daily basis, how I look when I’m hanging out with friends or teaching a workshop. Maybe if I would’ve dressed up more that would be different? Maybe it’s the sweater over the polo, too casual for this shoot somehow.

Not that that’s a bad thing, exactly. I am aiming for more integration. The difference between me and my “Sinclair” persona/character gets thinner and thinner. It’s just kind of … odd. Unexpected. Interesting.

What do you think? Which ones are your favorites? Any advice for headshots or representing my work?

International Ms. Leather 2013 Begins Tonight! Say Please, Pack n Play Cocks, Happy Hour, More

IMsL, the International Ms. Leather contest and one of the biggest gatherings of leather dykes and queers I’ve ever been to, starts tonight! I’m really looking forward to this weekend, to being a part of the contest behind the scenes (I’ll be judging!), and to catching up with so, so many friends from all over the country who will be in attendance.

winners2012

And! I want to send out a serious congratulations to the 2012 IMsL family, IMsL 2012 Synn Evans, IMsBB 2012 Tarna Scyanne, and 1st runner up Angel Propps. I’ve been following some of the adventures and tours and travels of these folks this past year, and they’ve done fantastic things being representatives of the leather community, doing outreach, gathering support for causes, raising money, and generally raising hell. I’m proud of Synn and her efforts to reflect multi-dimensional, complicated identities and issues within these communities. Thanks, Synn, for your year of service and all you’ve done.

synn

So badass, right? I’m excited for Synn’s roast on Friday night especially. I’m gearing up to say … some stuff.

There’s a queer happy hour from 7-9 at the host hotel (the Holiday Inn on Van Ness), and then there’s a drag show that both Rife and Lillith Grey are performing in (and others, I’m sure, but I’m pretty thrilled to watch the two of them).

You don’t need to have a ticket to the whole IMsL weekend in order to come for the happy hour—so if you’re in San Francisco and want to have a drink with sexy folks tonight, come on by!

I’m teaching a class on Flirting, Foreplay, and Fucking on Saturday at 2:30pm, so if you’re attending IMsL, come by and see me at that class.

And …

Say Pleaseshilogroup

I made a special stop at Cleis Press to pick up some more copies of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica (that I usually call “queer kinky smut”), the anthology that I edited that came out last year. I’m still incredibly proud of this collection and if you don’t have a copy of it yet, pick one up from me at IMsL and I’ll be glad to sign it for you! It’s got a pretty incredible lineup of stories and it’s dirty as hell.

I’ve also got the beautiful and “game changing” pack and play silicone cocks by New York Toy Collective, Shilo. I’ve got a couple different colors. They’re $135 each, which I know is a lot and can be preventative, but they are absolutely worth it. My Shilo has replaced two or three other cocks I used to carry around for different reasons (one for blow jobs; one for fucking someone who might not want to use my other favorite, the Maverick, because that one is sometimes too big; one for packing) and I love that it’s become my go-to cock. Maybe even my desert island cock, meaning the one I would bring to a desert island if I could only bring one. Depends on who I was on the island with, probably!

Here’s some other great things about Shilo:

  • The way the spine can curve means that it conforms to a person’s body better, and that means it doesn’t slip out as easily
  • It’s excellent for prostate or g-spot stimulation, since it can curve to any direction
  • The internal spine is a “proprietary core,” which the NYTC tells me means they “can’t tell you what’s in it,” but it does contain metal (which means it might show up as a blip on an airport security scan). The core is also wrapped in layers of silicone, and they haven’t had any instances of the inner bendable core poking through the silicone. It could hypothetically happen, but the layers are very thick and seems very sturdy
  • Of course, it is really good for packing and then fucking!

I’ll have my Square on me, so you can actually buy one with a credit card if you’d like to, or you can make sure to bring cash. Which color do you want? Let me know and I’ll save one for you!

See you at IMsL!

Where I’ll Be in Spring 2013: Leaving Marks, Fucking Forever, and Other Workshops in Toronto, Seattle, New York, and More

Greetings from Texas! I’m back in Houston visiting Rife, and I’m booking working traveling emailing and trying to get my next few months of spring travel solidified.

In addition to doing workshops and classes at colleges and toy stores, I’m available for private sessions in any of the cities that I’m visiting. I finished a year-long training in 2012 to see people privately for sex and intimacy coaching, and as you can imagine my specialties within that include BDSM, topping and bottoming, power exchange, D/s, gender explorations, leather, Daddy identity, and … well, basically everything that I write about here. I’m glad to tell you more about what those sessions are like or what I’m available for, and if you’re interested in booking time with me when I’m in one of these cities, contact me and we can talk about it, mrsexsmith at gmail.com.

More information about my private coaching sessions is available over at mrsexsmith.com/coaching.

Of course, I’m available for individual and couples sessions—sex and intimacy coaching—via Skype or phone, too, but doing it in person is a lot more fun.

Here’s where I’ll be in the spring as of now:

January 9-16, TBA, Houston TX
January 11, Sex Out Loud Radio, 5 pm PST/8 pm EST on Tristan Taormino’s radio show on The VoiceAmerica Network. Call in to talk to me and Tristan LIVE: 866-472-5788.
January 17, Advanced Cock Confidence, Wild At Heart, Seattle
January 18, Talking Dirty, The FSPC, Seattle
January 20, Leaving Marks, Wild At Heart, Seattle
January 25-27, Celebrating the Body Erotic II for Women, Body Electric Retreat, Albany
January 31, Queer Porn TV #pornparty! Free! Three scenes that I’m sure will be hottt.

February 4, Leaving Marks class at Conversio Virium, Columbia University, New York
February 7-10, Feminist Politics of Topping at the IvyQ conference, Yale, New Haven CT
February 14, Guest speaker at the 50 Shades of Grey course at American University, Washington, DC
February 15-17, Protocol in D/s Relationships, Talking Dirty, Fucking Forever: Sex in Long Term Relationships, Write Better Smut at Dark Odyssey Winter Fire, Washington DC

March 1-3, Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic for all bodies workshop, Body Electric, Philadelphia
March 7, New College of Florida, Sarasota

April 4-6, Feminist Porn Awards, Toronto
April 7-9, Queering the D/s Dynamic, Talking Dirty, Cock Confidence at Come As You Are, Toronto
April 10-11, Sex Week at University of Tennessee Knoxville
April 18-21, International Ms Leather Contest, San Francisco

May 15-17, Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women, Body Electric workshop, New York, NY
May 23-26, Saints & Sinners Conference, New Orleans

Woah crazy right? I’ve never been to Florida so I’m especially excited about that one, I’m going to be judging the IMsL contest so I can’t wait for that adventure, and I’ve never been to the Feminist Porn Awards! So many firsts and exciting things in the works.

I’m still booking more places and filling out my schedule in the next few months. Want me to come visit? Get in touch and give me ideas about where I should pitch!

As usual, you can subscribe to my events/appearances feed through RSS or through iCal. And it’s all online at http://www.mrsexsmith.com/appearances/—that’s the first place that gets updated when I get booked, so you can always see my most up to date schedule there.

BUTCH Voices Community Conversations in San Francisco & Boston

Community Conversation in San Francisco

BUTCH Voices presents our first Community Conversations event happening on December 15th, co-sponsored by the Queer Resource Center at City College San Francisco.
Capacity is limited to 60 attendees. So RSVP today. No cost to attend.

RSVP with your name and contact information via email: [email protected]

Saturday, December 15, 2012
10am-3pm
at City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue
Co-sponsored by BUTCH Voices & City College’s Queer Resource Center

Schedule:
10:00am -10:30am Welcome
10:30am – 12:00pm Session 1
12:00pm -1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm – 2:30pm Session 2
2:30pm-3:00pm Wrap up

Community Conversation in Boston

BUTCH Voices presents our Community Conversations event happening on Saturday, February 16th, co-sponsored by ButchBoi Life and Boston University’s Queer Activists Collective.

Capacity is limited to 50 attendees, so RSVP today. No cost to attend.

RSVP with your name and contact information via email with Boston in the subject line to: [email protected]

Location:
Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism at Boston University
775 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Date: February 16th
Time: 9am – 5pm

*Accessibility information for the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism *

For handicap accessibility, there is an elevator down to the basement of the student union where the Center is located.

Public transit and parking:
The nearest T stop (the Boston transit system) is BU Central on the B branch of the green line. Parking is available on the street, but all other lots require permits, so it can be tough to find a spot.

About the Community Conversations

Folks have enjoyed our regional and national conferences and asked for more BUTCH Voices events in their towns. We’re looking to help make those happen where we can. In our ‘off time’ from producing our National Conference, we’re holding Community Conversations in various cities across the United States and Canada.

While our regional and and national conferences are open to all, these Community Conversations are specific to folks who identify as butch, stud, and other masculine of center identities – in order to hold space for each other and foster ways to connect and build community. As always, as an organization we do not make the distinction as to who fits those identities, we leave that up for individuals to decide for themselves.
Topics will be generated by the individuals and groups who attend. We expect regional differences to affect which subjects, philosophies, and concerns each group will focus on. Our goal is to have 20-50 people attend each Community Conversation gathering, and we hope to encourage dialog, connection, and networking as we gear up for next year’s 2013 BUTCH Voices National Conference.

In conjunction with the Community Conversations we are also producing fundraisers for BUTCH Voices. Funds will be split between local organizers to assist their attendance at the National BUTCH Voices conference and with BUTCH Voices National.

We are currently working on Community Conversations and fundraising events in, though not limited to, the following cities: San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Portland OR, Boston, Atlanta, and Dallas. As cities and dates become available we will announce them here on the BUTCH Voices website, and get the word to you just as soon as we can. Be sure to sign up for our updates and e-newsletters to stay in the know about all things BUTCH Voices here. www.BUTCHVoices.com

If you are interested in being involved in hosting, fundraising, or coordinating a Community Conversation in your city, contact BUTCH Voices outreach at [email protected].

Also! Save the Date – BUTCH Voices 2013 National Conference – August 15-18 in Oakland, CA. Registration and calls for submissions and performers coming soon

Beauty and the BUTCH: BUTCH Voices Benefit in San Francisco

Oh, San Francisco.

Why you gotta be so cool? I am having trouble enough keeping our relationship long-distance. And now, this …

I can’t be there this time, but please, please, go for me and have an amazing time.

Beauty and the BUTCH: A 2012 BUTCH Voices Benefit

You are invited to indulge in an evening of deliciously BUTCH revelry… Bask in the decadent sights, bold sounds and the brilliant energy of everything BEAUTIFULLY BUTCH*! The mystique and myth are nothing compared to the raw beauty of butch truth…

Saturday September 15th, 2012
7:00pm – Midnight

at The City of Refuge UCC
1025 Howard Street – SF CA
$5-15 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds

7:00pm – Doors Open
7:30pm – Butch Briefs Part Deux – a Mini Film Festival
8:00pm – Beauty and the Butch Live Performances and Fashion Show
9:00pm – Butch Ball with DJs JacATac, Black and Ryan

FOR ADVANCED TICKETS
RSVP HERE: http://beautyandthebutch.eventbrite.com/

BUTCH ATTIRE defies simple elegance… we have a swagger all our own that many have tried to duplicate but few have achieved

BUTCH ART breathes a magnificently unique masculine
mixture of the sacred and the profane into what is much more than a label… it is an experience

BUTCH MUSIC gives us all permission to dig deep into our spirits and howl our TRUTH, our TENDERNESS, our unabashed BRAVERY and our brash movement without boundaries!

Paws for Consideration: BDSM Mystery Scavenger Hunt Party Tomorrow in San Francisco

One of my best friends, Amy Butcher, published a mystery novel this summer called Paws for Consideration. It’s about a wheelchair-bound woman named Daisy who lives in the Castro and loves dogs (more than people, most of the time). She stumbles upon a dog whose owner is dead on the street and vows to solve the mystery of his death when nobody else seems to be doing much about it—and stumbles into a world of BDSM play parties and leather and queers.

It’s such a fun read, pretty quick, hard to put down, and full of San Francisco references and internal dog dialogue (I have a theory that pretty much all that any/every dog thinks is, “I’m a dog I’m a dog I’madog,” but Ames is convincing me otherwise). I highly recommend it—it’s on Amazon!

This Thursday—tomorrow!—Ames is doing a big release party/scavenger hunt in San Francisco at the women’s building for this book. I wish I could be there! I was trying to figure out some way that I could, but it didn’t work out. Please go in my place and say congratulations to her for me—you can say I sent you, then you’ll have an excuse to talk to her. (She’s a hot silverfox butch, if you hadn’t noticed that yet, so you might want an excuse to say hi.)

Details:

    Thursday, August 30th
    Audre Lorde Room, The Women’s Building
    (3543 18th Street, San Francisco)
    6:00-7:00 optional scavenger hunt
    7:00-8:30 awesome event!
    RSVP on Facebook

    Join us in celebrating the publication of Paws for Consideration, the debut mystery novel from former Women’s Building board member Amy Butcher. Performers, readings from the book, an optional scavenger hunt with prizes, premier of the book trailer video . . . and more! All proceeds from book sales will go to support The Women’s Building.

    Scavenger Hunt—How to participate:

    The scavenger hunt will take you to real locations straight out of the mystery novel. In order to participate, you’ll need a QR code reader for your smart phone and an old-school paper Clue Sheet. Links for both of these are below.

    At each site you’ll find a placard with a QR code (that’s how you know you found the right spot). Scan the QR code and it will bring up a video. The video will tell you about where you are, pose a challenge to solve, and then provide clues as to your next destination. In all, it should take you about 45 minutes and it should be fun!

    The placards will be in place by 6:00 pm on Thursday, August 30th. Remember to bring your completed clue sheet to the party no later than 7:15 to qualify for great prizes. Doors open at 7:00.

Watch this video for more information.

More details, links, suggested QR code readers, over on amybutcher.com

Does that not sound like SO MUCH FUN? How often do you have the opportunity to attend a scavenger hunt around San Francisco? Hope you can make it, and hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

I’m at IMsL! (So Of Course I Got a Haircut)

Thanks, Tomcats, as usual, for the ability to not really think that hard about my hair and still have it look good.

So I’m in San Francisco this week! I was at Mills College doing a Radical & Responsible Gender workshop last night (hi Colleen! Hi Jack! That was fun!), and this weekend I’ll be at the International Ms Leather contest and conference, and I’m really stoked to be here. I’ve never been before but it’s been on my radar for many years. I’m really looking forward to many of the workshops (and who knows, maybe I’ll discover some new presenters who might want to come do some things for the Lesbian Sex Mafia in New York City?) and to the social time too, hanging out with the incredible folks who are going to be here.

I’ve got some copies of Say Please hot off the presses! And I’m doing a reading at Good Vibes (Polk Street) on Sunday at 5pm if you’d like to come to that—in addition to me, it’ll be readers from Say Please, Best Lesbian Erotica 2012, and Salacious Magazine’s Leather issue. It’ll be debaucherous and fun. I’m now calling the whole Say Please tour the DIRTY QUEER SEX TOUR, and still working on dates (Chicago! Portland! Hi I want to come visit!) and hope I can get out to many more places this summer and fall.

The virtual Say Please DIRTY QUEER SEX book tour kicks off on April 1—more info on that shortly.

If you’re at IMsL and see me, say hi!

Say Please: Dirty Queer Sex Tour Kicks Off April 1 in San Francisco


IMsBB 2011 & Sugarbutch Present:
Dirty Queer Sex Reading
at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street, San Francisco
5pm on April 1, 2012

Featuring August InFlux, Amy Butcher, Andrea Zanin, Ashley Young, T.R. Moss, and rife, from Salacious Magazine: Leather issue; Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica; and Best Lesbian Erotica. Join us for an evening of debaucherous, dirty smut written by and for queers. Take a sexy break from a whirlwind of delicious leather, kink, and sex to additionally stimulate your … brains.

Hosted by KD Diamond, editor of Salacious Magazine and International Ms Bootblack 2011, & Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012

RSVP on Facebook!

The fabulous readers:

Amy Butcher is exactly that and when she isn’t wrestling with the responsibilities of that twist of nomenclatural destiny she writes, facilitates workshops and does massage in San Francisco. Her murder mystery Paws for Consideration was published in 2011. Find her at amybutcher.com

Andrea Zanin, a.k.a. Sex Geek, wears glasses when she fucks. For over a decade, she has been teaching about queer sexuality, polyamory and BDSM/leather for universities, colleges, sex shops, community groups and conferences in Canada, the States and internationally, and she takes an anti-oppression approach to all her work. Andrea is pursuing a PhD in women’s studies at York University with a focus on Canadian leatherdyke history. She writes about alternative sexuality for numerous newspapers and magazines, blogs at http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/, and pens erotic fiction (recently appearing in Tristan Taormino’s “Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica”). Andrea co-organizes the annual Canadian leatherdyke weekend An Unholy Harvest, runs a pervy book club called The Leather Bindings Society and judges the occasional leather contest (including IMsL 2009). She lives in Toronto and enjoys doing yoga, cultivating M/s relationships with exceptionally high-quality individuals, eating fine dark chocolate and wearing really nice shoes.

August InFlux (augustinflux.wordpress.com) is brand-new to the wonderful world of writing. By day, she wanders around San Jose State University (California) campus as Big Queer Activist. By night she hides in her Bat Cave and homeworks it up until the wee hours of the morning. On weekends, she dons the guise of a housewife and bakes up a storm in her apron and high heels. She loves being femme, as a boy or a girl, and thinks monogamy as it relates to her is silly.

Ashley Young aka Indigo is a sex blogger, educator and smut writer. She is the creator of Indigo’s Theory, a blog about her experiences as a poly queer black women navigating the BSDM/Kink Community in New York City and beyond. Indigo also writes a column called “Indigo’s Poly Beginnings” for Fearless Press, an online magazine about the intersection of life and sex. Her column focuses on the development of her polyamorous relationship with a partner Sara Vibes – International Ms Leather 2011, as well as her experience in the leather women’s community. Alongside her partner, she has taught workshops on sexuality and BDSM practices at Dark Odyssey: Fusion, International Mr. Leather 2011 and the LGBT Center in New York City and is a faculty member for Kink Academy, an online education resource for the BDSM community. Indigo’s erotic writing has been featured in Salacious Magazine Issue #2 and she is a contributor to “The Perverts of Color Anthology” to be published in 2012.

T.R. Moss’s erotica has appeared in various publications including Best Lesbian Erotica anthologies and most recently, Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica.

[rife] is a genderqueer leatherboy from Texas. They work as the lead artist for the GENDER book project, which is a visual primer on all things gender. When he isn’t doing that, he can be found doodling, pulling prints, welding, walking in the woods, or getting flogged by some butch hottie. Mel has a BA in studio arts from Rice University and even though he’s a recent transplant to Oakland, he will always be a cowboi at heart. Follow his work at www.thegenderbook.com or see more of rife’s art at www.rowdyferret.com.

And your hosts:

kd, International Ms Bootblack 2011, is equal parts bootblack to artist. The very nature of leathercare, leather worship, and leather community are all similar and connected to the core of being an artist. kd uses her art as a platform for conversation and education, and similarly uses her bootblacking as a means to support her community, open up dialogues about leather, and get her hands good and dirty. kd is also the creator of SALACIOUS, a queer feminist anti-racist sex magazine, looks to meld high art, stunning visuals, and written erotica. www.salaciousmagazine.com.

Sinclair Sexsmith runs the award-winning personal online writing project Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at sugarbutch.net. With work published in various anthologies and websites, including Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, she is the guest editor of Best Lesbian Erotica 2012, and her first full-length erotica anthology, Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, will be published by Cleis Press in April 2012. Mr. Sexsmith writes, teaches, and performs focusing on the subjects of sex, gender, and relationships. More information on her at mrsexsmith.com.

What’s Happening in November

I love fall! It is kind of threatening to be winter here already, what with that snow fall last weekend, but it’s supposed to warm up a bit and the leaves still haven’t changed all the way. I love this time of year.

I was supposed to go visit Bryn Mawr in early November, but we’ve postponed that. I’ll add it to this list as soon as I have a new date (I hope it’ll be in late November). My schedule is always as up to date as possible on mrsexsmith.com/appearances.

I’m busy this month! West coasters, see you in Seattle and in San Francisco in just a few weeks—I’m leaving on Thursday for a private training in Seattle and then I’ll be heading to SF for the Outside the Boxes workshop that I am really thrilled about. It is almost full! We do still have a couple slots left, so if you have been thinking about it, and feel called to participate, now may be the time to sign up. (I’m glad to tell you more about it if you want to know specifics.)

Events with Mr. Sexsmith

Monday, November 7, 2011Talk Dirtier: How To Let Your Tongue Go Talking dirty in the bedroom can be terrifying at first, but once you unlock your tongue, you’ll find yourself saying all sorts of delicious things! Come to this workshop and we’ll figure out what’s tying our tongues in the first place, what’s holding us back from being more free with our language in the bedroom, and what the heck we should say to enhance our sex and intensity our sensation. The brain is the biggest sex organ, after all, and the more we can turn on our minds, the better our experiences will be.The Wet Spot, Seattle, WA

November 11-13, 2011Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic through the Body Electric School. Your gender. Your body. Your energy. Your beautiful self. How often has the world tried to force you into the gender binary, asked you to assure it that your pronouns matched what it saw rather than what you felt, required that your genitals conform to expectations, demanded that you deny the complexity of all that is you?San Francisco, CA

Monday, November 14, 2011Radical & Responsible Gender Workshop: Academics breaks down and deconstructs gender. How do we build it back up radically and responsibly? How does one adapt masculinity or femininity “positively”? How do we become responsible about gender? How do we continue to break down the gender role restrictions that are hurtful and traumatizing? In this interactive, engaging workshop, we will cover some basics about what gender is, what gender roles and stereotypes are, and how they work, then cover basic gender theory, breaking things down into small parts, in order to build them back up again “responsibly,” by which I mean thoughtfully and intentionally, with feminist principles and anti-sexist perspectives strongly in place. Participants will go away from the workshop with a better sense of how to use labels as liberation instead of limiting, as celebrations rather than restrictions, and be able to more fully embody whichever gender roles they choose.Mills College, Oakland, CA CANCELLED

Monday, November 21, 2011Some really amazing workshop about BDSM that is TBD but will no doubt be fun and awesome and enlightening. No doubt. Possibly the Talk Dirtier workshop. We’ll see what the smarties decide.Conversio Virium, Columbia’s BDSM Student Group, New York, NY (details TBA)

Monday, December 5, 2011Owning Your Birthday Suit: Embodiment for Queers, Genderqueers, & Other Outlaws: Queer, genderqueer, trans, and outlaw folks often find it hard to be present in our bodies, to feel the powerful connection between genitals, heart, and mind. Explore a variety of playful experiential exercises to increase embodiment while respecting stone sexualities and everyone’s boundaries. Learn some simple tools to feel erotic energy, build connection to your desires, and feel more alive and at home in your body. Experience the taboo power of sharing this exploration within community. Amy Butcher and Sinclair Sexsmith met at a tantra retreat three years ago and have worked together for deeper embodiment and gender liberation ever since. They both study erotic energy and write smut.LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), Manhattan, NY. gaycenter.org

Events in New York City You Shouldn’t Miss

Thursday, November 3, 8pmRed Umbrella Diaries, www.redumbrellaproject.comHappy Ending, 302 Broome Street between Forsyth and Eldridge, Manhattan, NY

Satuday, November 5, 8pmQueer Memoir: Speaking Truth to Power featuring Ryann Holmes, Amber Dawn, Nick Krieger, Dan Horrigan, Lea Robinson, & host Kelli Dunham. Facebook event with details.QEJ

Monday, November 14, 7pmThe Hilarious Adventures of Two Femmes On Tour: Jessica Halem, queer comic, and Sassafras Lowrey, queer author, come together for a hilarious comedy/storytelling pairing chronicling the best (mis)adventures of their lives on the road as touring artists. These two femmes reveal it ALL about the (often not so) glamorous life including: being chased out of hotels; getting lost; dishing about butches (even some famous ones); hooking up with college students; and so much more. Bring your sense of humor, love of femmes, and love of the road. Check out the Facebook event.Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street, Lower East Side, New York City, 212.777.6028

Friday, November 18, 8pmLesbian Sex Mafia: Deep Connection: Punching, Kicking, Trampling, and Stomping with Jim Deuder. A hands on class covering the fundamentals of heavy impact play including anatomy, safety, technique and the art of making a deep connection with your partner. Techniques for punching, kicking, stomping and trampling will be covered as well as the use of SAP gloves, truncheons, and other heavy implements. Participation is encouraged, but not mandatory, so bring a partner to practice with, pair up with a classmate, or take advantage of Jim’s willingness to be punched in the name of education! Our annual open to all genders workshop! Everyone is welcome!LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), Manhattan, NY

Saturday, November 26th, 10pmSubmit Party, submitparty.com, a BDSM play party for women and trans folks onlyBrooklyn, NY. For exact location call 718.789.4053 or email [email protected]

I am still trying to get a few more places this fall! My schedule is kept up on mrsexsmith.com/appearances if you want to see if I’m coming your way.

If you’re interested in bringing me to your town or college, check out what S. Bear Bergman wrote: Bear’s Guide to Getting the Artists You Want. It’s got some great tips for how to fundraise and make an offer to bring the people you admire to come do some custom work just for you & your friends. (Hint, hint.)

Last but not least, here’s my 2011 workshop offerings in a PDF so it is easy to download, you can also download my one sheet PDF or high res photos in my press kit). Get in touch if you’re interested in booking me, you can contact me directly—mrsexsmith(at)gmail—or my booking company, PhinLi, at bookings(at)phinli.com.

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Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic

I’m thrilled to invite you—yes, you—to this new workshop that the Body Electric School is developing. We will be doing it first in San Francisco in November as an experiment, and if it goes well, I hope to bring it out east, too, to Toronto or New York or both.

I’ve been involved in the Body Electric School for more than ten years, and started assisting with them around 2003, participating in erotic energy workshops by helping to hold the structure and move energy. It’s been a tremendous experience for me, and I credit my amazing teachers in this lineage with the basics of much of my own sexual ideologies, my spiritual/sexuality connections, and even with my own self-value and self-worth. These teachings have been invaluable, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Even if it’s not something that you end up dedicating your life to studying (like I basically have), I think everyone should attend one of these workshops at least once, for the potential to crack open and discover entirely new pathways of connection within yourself and with others is huge. And this one is particularly near and dear to me, since it’s for the outlaws and queers and non-binary folks that wouldn’t usually feel comfortable with Body Electric’s usual “men over here and women over there” type of delineations. I think it’s going to be ground-breaking, and I really hope we can continue to offer this kind of work to the in-betweeners, because gaga knows, we need it as much as or more than anybody.

I hope it will be a wild success! I am really looking forward to it and I hope you’ll consider it, if you feel called. You can email me if you want to with questions, and I’ll be glad to address what I can, but if you want to register, the west coast coordinator is who to talk to (her email is down near the bottom of the text).

Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic

November 11-13, 2011 – San Francisco

Your gender. Your body. Your energy. Your beautiful self. How often has the world tried to force you into the gender binary, asked you to assure it that your pronouns matched what it saw rather than what you felt, required that your genitals conform to expectations, demanded that you deny the complexity of all that is you?

What if you could come into a community in which all expressions were possible? Where gender, sexuality and expression were aligned according to your truth? Where no one assumed what parts would go where? Welcome to Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic!

Come explore your erotic potential through the mind, the body and the heart using conscious breath, movement, process work and massage. Awaken the erotic energy that lies within all of us. Through a queer tantra lens, explore archetypal masculine and feminine energies and the myriad ways they can be expressed. Break down silos of gender and sexuality.

This workshop focuses on the entire body and is conducted in a container that is playful, safe and reverential. Using carefully designed experiential embodiment practices participants will:

  • explore the innate wisdom of your body
  • expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each person’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

Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic is a 2 1/2 day workshop (Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday), often clothing-optional, for those who are ready to vigorously explore new levels of feeling and aliveness, both within themselves and within a community of queers.

NOTE: Couples are welcome to attend Outside the Boxes: Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic and have the option of working together or with the other participants.

Cost: $395-$150, sliding scale. We are committed to finding creative financial solutions so don’t let money be the barrier that keeps your soul’s desire at bay.

SPECIAL OFFERS for Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic

$50 off if PAY IN FULL 7 WEEKS in advance = $345

$30 off if PAY IN FULL 5 WEEKS in advance = $365

OFFERS CANNOT BE COMBINED

CONTACT • Amy Butcher • (415) 377-4107 • Send Email • November 11-13

–REGISTER ONLINE–

Lizz Randall is a gender-queer Body Electric teacher, Sacred Intimate and long-term student of tantra. Her work as an integrative body worker and educator offers a holistic and open-hearted approach to wellness, passion and aliveness in body. She is fiercely dedicated to creating spaces where all bodies can come together and explore their erotic potency. Lizz has been teaching experiential workshops and working in the fields of sexuality, spirituality and health for over 15 years. She also spends her time as a farmer and parent, resides on Vashon Island and has a private practice in Seattle.

Cock Confidence, Owning Your Birthday Suit, & More Workshops in the Bay Area Next Week

I’m just starting to feel like I’ve returned from the Pulse retreat, finally, in body, mind, emotional landscape, and spirit, when now I am leaving again on Tuesday for the Butch Voices conference in Oakland, and for some surrounding events, like a spoken word set in Oakland on Sunday, August 21st. I mentioned that it’s going to be a busy August here at the Sugarbutch Empire!

I’m also doing some new workshops in September at Dark Odyssey Summer Camp, which I’m really excited about.

Cock Confidence

At Camouflage, Santa Cruz, CA, August 16, 8pm
At Good Vibrations, San Francisco, CA, August 17, 6:30pm
At Butch Voices Conference, Oakland, CA, Date TBA (August 18-21)
At Dark Odyssey Summer Camp, Date TBA (Sept 14-19)

Many of us have experience with strapping on, packing, and playing, but there are lots of new products out there on the market that might be exciting and that you haven’t encountered yet. Writer and sex educator Sinclair Sexsmith talk about what cocks are good for packing, what options are out there for pack-and-play, which harnesses are the most loved, and which to avoid. Plus, she’ll delve into some cock confidence, getting into the psychology of penetration, and discussing what it’s like to shoot from the hip. Come get the nuts and bolts of strapping it on and fucking. You’ll learn about positions and lube, how different products work, what “cock confidence” means, and the psychology behind strapping on and playing with a cock with a partner, or with oneself.

Owning Your Birthday Suit: Embodiment for Masculine of Center Folks

Taught with Amy Butcher
At Butch Voices Conference, Oakland, CA, Date TBA (August 18-21)

Masculine of center folks often find it hard to be present in our bodies, to feel the powerful connection between genitals, heart, and mind. Explore a variety of playful experiential exercises to increase embodiment while respecting stone sexualities and everyone’s boundaries. Learn some simple tools to feel erotic energy, build connection to your desires, and feel more alive and at home in your body. Experience the taboo power of sharing this exploration within community.

Queering Power Dynamics: D/s, Age Play, and More

At Dark Odyssey Summer Camp, Date TBA (Sept 14-19)

Top, bottom, switch, and everything in between: many of us like to explore what it’s like to give up or take power in our sex play. Some of us even like to play with psychological domination and submission. Add a gendered or age component, and the power distance index (PDI) increases. So what happens if we severely increase the power distance, through 24/7 role play or domination and submission? What happens when we incorporate identities like “Daddy” from the leather community? What could other age play roles of bigs and littles, Daddies and Mommies, boys and bois and girls and grrrls, have to offer us as we seek deeper and more fulfilling sex explorations? This advanced kink workshop explores power, gender, and age play in a queer context, where we’ll discuss bringing a power exchange relationship of any sort from the bedroom into a 24/7 lifestyle, what the benefits are for both, and how to go about navigating long term fulfillment for all parties within the relationship.

Steamy: How To Write About Sex

At Dark Odyssey Summer Camp, Date TBA (Sept 14-19)

To write about sex well you need the boldness to command and describe the dirty and oh so delicious acts we humans explore, and the basic writing skills of plot, setting, and character. In this pen-to-paper writing workshop we’ll look at some examples of extremely successful and unsuccessful erotica, steamy love letters for your sweetheart, how to step up your blog to the next level, where to submit your work for publication in the erotica world, and some quick basics for editing your work. Bring a paper and writing utensil, we will be doing writing exercises.

Talk Dirtier: How to Let Your Tongue Go

At Dark Odyssey Summer Camp, Date TBA (Sept 14-19)

Talking dirty in the bedroom can be terrifying at first, but once you unlock your tongue, you’ll find yourself saying all sorts of delicious things! Come to this workshop and we’ll figure out what’s tying our tongues in the first place, what’s holding us back from being more free with our language in the bedroom, and what the heck we should say to enhance our sex and intensity our sensation. The brain is the biggest sex organ, after all, and the more we can turn on our minds, the better our experiences will be.

In Addition …

I’m booking fall travel to colleges, community centers, and nearby sex toy stores now!

I have travel plans to Seattle in November, and I’m hoping to get to Chicago, Milwaukee, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, and Raleigh/Durham. If you’re in one of those places, I’d love to chat with you about helping to make a workshop happen.

My full list of offered workshops is online, and you can also download a PDF of extended descriptions or a press kit on mrsexsmith.com.

Get in touch with me, mrsexsmith (at) gmail.com, if you’d like to book a workshop or want more information about my rates and fees, or about helping me get to your town. You can also contact my booking company, PhinLi, at [email protected]

May is National Masturbation Month

I don’t even know what to add to this … I’ve never participated, as someone who took pledges, though that sure would be fun. Anybody out there going to take part?

From the Good Vibrations press release:

buy kamagraes.com/?kbid=34272&m=24&i=107″>Good Vibrations, for 33 years America’s trusted purveyor of sexual knowledge and quality products for women (and everyone else), says, “It’s National Masturbation Month! Give yourself a hand! Or a vibrator, or something else stimulating, and don’t forget the lube!”

Good Vibes founded National Masturbation Month in 1995 in the wake of the controversy surrounding the firing of former Clinton administration Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who evoked conservative wrath when she opined that discussion of masturbation might have a place in sex education curricula. Realizing that one simple, sensible mention of solo pleasuring was enough to lose this prominent woman, the country’s first African-American surgeon general, her job convinced Good Vibrations staff that this most basic and accessible form of sex needed a serious image boost.

Some things have changed since 1995, but National Masturbation Month is still a necessary reminder that self-satisfaction is a healthy, accessible form of pleasure engaged in by almost everyone, of every gender and relationship status, at some time of (or throughout) their lives: It’s relaxing, allows people to learn more about their own sexual response, is a basic recommendation of sex therapists that can help people with many different sexual concerns, relieves menstrual cramps, and helps keep the genitals fully functional. On top of that, it’s the safest form of sex a person can have.

“Too many people still feel uncomfortable about masturbation and guilty about doing it,” says Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen, Ph.D., one of the originators of the National Masturbation Month concept. “If only so much of US culture were not so burdened with ideas that masturbation is shameful, a sin or a poor second choice to partner sex.

GV also created and promoted the Masturbate-a-Thon, a charity event that encourages people to get pledges from their friends and raise funds via masturbation. (This event was celebrated privately by individuals; it has since morphed into a public event, not conducted by Good Vibes, that raises funds for the Center for Sex & Culture, and Masturbate-a-Thons are also held in other parts of the country and world – the other largest one is an annual event in Copenhagen. For more, see www.masturbate-a-thon.com.)

Most importantly, however, Good Vibrations continues to celebrate masturbation as we have always done: as each individual’s birthright, and as a basic pleasure that is the foundation for our other sexual experience. Visit Good Vibrations for information (in books, videos, and from our trained Sex Educator Sales Associate staff members), pleasure products of all kinds (vibrators, dildos, and of course lubricants), and inspiration (erotic books and movies). Whether shared with a partner or kept as a solo secret, self-love is accessible to, and good for, everyone.

How To Begin Playing with BDSM

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.

Blog for Lesbian Health Day

nlhs_smallLet’s talk about our health.

Personally I am extremely grateful to have grown up in a culture where the women’s health movement had already had significant effects and waves. I went to teen-positive health centers for my first annual exams and birth control prescriptions, I went to queer-positive centers after I came out who didn’t blink twice when I checked “lesbian” on the forms.

And, honestly, Lesbian Health and Women’s Health are big – huge! – topics on which I am not so well-versed. Breast cancer, cervical cancer, HIV prevention, the myths around lesbians being less susceptible to STIs, safer sex practices, gender discrimination, transphobia … these are huge topics, each of which are worthy of their own examination.

And lucky for us, there are many wonderful people working within these fields to make it more lesbian-inclusive, queer-inclusive, gender-inclusive.

Today is Blog for Lesbian Health Day in honor of the upcoming National Lesbian Health Summit taking place March 6 through 8, 2009, in San Francisco. It’s only $30 registration for both days.

(Anyone have any plane-fare hookups? I’d love to go, but can’t afford to actually get there. Note to self, get an airline sponsor.)

I’ve been in touch with Cat, one of the organizers of the conference, and she writes:

Instead of it being just a boring conference, we want to use it as a place to build grassroots, community-based conversations on our health and what health issues affect us. AND most importantly, how we can be leaders in championing our health and getting TPTB to pay attention to our health. This is a critical moment in our nation’s history and we want to make the most of it.

The thing that is probably #1 on my list about health, as a, ahem, sexually active queer person, is STIs and safer sex. It’s something that I always intend to write about more here, to address issues how to keep your toys clean, reminders to wear gloves and use dams and condoms, but it’s a topic that – again – is HUGE, and I tend to feel like I need to do a whole bunch of research on something before I write it up, and I can’t seem to make the time to do the research. (I do practice safer sex, and I try to include it in my write-ups … but that’s not quite the same as opening up a specific dialogue about it.)

So let me take this little opportunity to say: EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT SAFER SEX. There are many ways to do this. I recommend Scarleteen – though it is geared toward teenagers, the information is clear and straightforward, basic, and in-depth, and I often use it as a resource when I come across health questions that I can’t answer.

So, instead of writing about my own experiences with the healthcare systems (which have been mostly positive, actually) or speculating too much about the community questions, I want to ask you:

What health issues are you concerned about? For yourself and for your community?

What information do you need to make better decisions about your health?

And what experiences have you already had with your health and the healthcare world (the good, the bad, the ugly)?

What do health issues do we need to take on and how?

How can we better grapple with how we form who we are (allowing for all of the ways we see ourselves) and let that lead our conversations on health?

What do you want to see this summit address?

Do you want to take them to task for calling it the Lesbian Health Summit? Is it welcoming to your particular identity?

If you’d like, leave your stories in the comments, or write it up on your own blog – and please do leave a link to what you write here.

Register online for the Summit now, or visit their website for more information.

Milk: In the Footsteps of Gandhi and King

After You Cannot Live on Hope Alone, the folks at Causecast.org have made a second short film about Harvey Milk.

The life of late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the context of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. This animated documentary charts a time-line of the life of the first openly gay man elected to public office in between events in other civil rights struggles. Produced by Causecast for Focus Features, the piece celebrates the release of the film MILK, in theaters November 26.

I haven’t seen Milk yet – or read many reviews, because I’m waiting to see it for myself first. Hopefully I’ll go this week.

Have you seen it? What’d you think, what were your reactions?

queer bodies in psychotherapy conference

QUEER BODIES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY CONFERENCE
www.ciis.edu/publicprograms for more information.

Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy calls attention to queer sexualities, identities, and practices that are inadequately addressed in both psychodynamic and somatic psychologies.

The Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy Conference is an opportunity for LGBTQI and straight therapists, queer theorists, somatic therapists and practitioners, members of various queer communities, scholars, activists, and educators to surface questions, develop theories, share case examples, and explore best practices in this emerging field. The Somatic Psychology Department at CIIS and The Center for the Study of the Body in Psychotherapy are organizing this conference as part of our ongoing commitment to exploring issues of embodied difference, marginalization, and the sociocultural understandings of somatic formation.

DETAILS

October 17 – 19, 2008
Hotel Whitcomb
1231 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

$225 for full weekend
$25 for Tim Miller Event (if not attending conference)

FEATURING

Tim Miller
Jewelle Gomez

Alzak Amlani, PhD
Matthew Bronson, PhD
Richard Buggs, PhD
Randy Connor, PhD
William F. Cornell, MA, TSTA
Dossie Easton, MFT
Karen Erlichman, MSS, LCSW
Zachariah Finley, MA, MFTI
Connie Hills, PhD
SJ Kahn, MFT
Kristin Kali, LM, CPM
Betsy Kassoff, PhD
Keiko Lane, MA, MFT
Janet Linder, LCSW
Connors McConville, MDiv, MA, MFTI
Elena Moser, LCSW
Rev. Trinity A. Ordona, PhD
Vernon A. Rosario, PhD, MD
Shoshana Simons, PhD
Steven Tierney, MA, EdD
Dylan Vade, PhD, JD
Center For Nonviolent Education and Parenting

COSPONSORS

Community United Against Violence
Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for
Gender and Sexual Diversity
Maia Midwifery and Preconception Services
New Leaf: Services For Our Community
Pacific Center
The Psychotherapy Institute
Visual Aid
Women’s Therapy Center

Visit us on the Web!
Go to www.ciis.edu/publicprograms or call (415) 575-6175 to register