Posts Tagged ‘san francisco’

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April 6, 2012  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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

March 29, 2012  |  miscellany  |  1 Comment

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

March 16, 2012  |  miscellany  |  No Comments


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.

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November 17, 2011  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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What’s Happening in November

November 1, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

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, 2011 Talk 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, 2011 Outside 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, 2011 Radical & 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, 2011 Some 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, 2011 Owning 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, 8pm Red Umbrella Diaries, www.redumbrellaproject.com Happy Ending, 302 Broome Street between Forsyth and Eldridge, Manhattan, NY

Satuday, November 5, 8pm Queer 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, 7pm The 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, 8pm Lesbian 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, 10pm Submit Party, submitparty.com, a BDSM play party for women and trans folks only Brooklyn, 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

September 7, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

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

August 12, 2011  |  miscellany  |  6 Comments

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

May 13, 2010  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

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

July 30, 2009  |  advice  |  9 Comments

Recently, this came into my inbox:

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

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

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

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

Some more specific suggestions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog for Lesbian Health Day

January 5, 2009  |  miscellany  |  8 Comments

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. "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."

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