Posts Tagged ‘san francisco’

Protected: On Stabilizing and Transformation

May 24, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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

May 21, 2013  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

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

May 17, 2013  |  miscellany  |  10 Comments

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?

Protected: Rife’s Bow Tie Birthday Party

May 2, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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

April 18, 2013  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

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!

Protected: Closer.

April 10, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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

January 11, 2013  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

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

December 12, 2012  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

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

September 1, 2012  |  miscellany, on butches  |  No Comments

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! Read More

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

August 29, 2012  |  miscellany, reviews  |  2 Comments

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.