Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’
I’m catching a plane tomorrow for Anchorage, where the third annual Northern Exposure kink conference will be taking place.
NE is run by Sarha, who was just sashed International Ms. Leather 2013 at the IMsL weekend and contest in April in San Francisco. I was on the judging panel for this year’s IMsL contest, and while I promise I didn’t play favorites (Alaska rules!), I’m thrilled that my home state is representing the leather community this year, and I’m really excited to participate in the conference she produces.
The lineup looks pretty incredible. Though NE is remote, Sarha has attracted an incredible group of presenters who are teaching on a wide array of advanced topics. I’m particularly interested in the many M/s workshops that are offered, and I suspect I’ll be sitting in on as many of those as I can, taking copious notes. That’s a recent study subject of mine that I am really enjoying delving deeper into. I’m also really excited that Midori is presenting! I have been in classes of hers before, but it’s been many years, and I’m looking forward to learning from her. Lee Harrington is also going to be teaching!
Northern Exposure happens to coincide with Pride fest, so Sarha hooked me up with the folks over there, and I’m going to be teaching Writing Dirty, my skills for writing about sex class, on Thursday night (tomorrow!). I’m up against Drag Queen Bingo, so I suspect it might be a small class, but I hope we’ll have some good discussions and write some interesting sentences. I LOVE teaching writing classes, and often the ideal class number is something like 7-12, so I will be very happy with a small class.
The boy is coming with me. We’ve met at leather conferences before, but aside from IMsL in April, we haven’t actually come and gone from one together. And at IMsL, we didn’t get to play much (you know, just once or twice a day for short scenes, no big epic gang bang like at Winter Fire, no long, elaborate scene like at last year’s IMsL. I’m glad he’ll be there with me. I’m only teaching one class, Cock Confidence, aside from the writing class for Alaska Pride, so I should have some really nice time to play.
(Hopefully I’ll come back with some good stories to tell y’all.)
And, speaking of IMsL.
International Ms. Leather 2013 Sarha and International Ms. Bootblack 2013 bella join the IMsL and IMsBB alumni on stage at this year’s contest and leather weekend
I’d never judged a leather contest before. I attended IMsL the year before, but I’m not particularly familiar with leather contests. I’ve been more and more involved with the leather scene in the past few years, attending more leather conferences, events, and happy hours, and participating in more conversations online about leather and reading up on leather history and culture, but I’ve only recently really come to understand the difference between BDSM, kink, and leather, which, though related, are slightly different.
I’ve been kinky since as long as I can remember, adding sensation play and power dynamics to my friendships, playtimes, and interactions since my first adolescent sexual experimentations, and probably even a bit before that. I’ve considered myself part of the BDSM communities since … well, at least formally since about 1999 when I got my official membership to the SPCC, the Sex Positive Community Center (now the Center for Sex Positive Culture) in Seattle. But I’d only ever really gone to classes or events to gain a particular skill to take back to my bedroom—I never really stuck around in the leather community.
Until recently. Really it was Dark Odyssey that started me on that path in a significant way. I thought I was familiar with leather culture and the kink/BDSM worlds, but when I started teaching more at leather events, I experienced how different it really was, and realized how I’d longed for leather community even without knowing it. I was on the board of the Lesbian Sex Mafia in New York City around that time, too—clearly seeking some more kinky community, not just to support my own kinky efforts but also to immerse myself in and learn new, different things.
I found a lot of what I was seeking at Dark Odyssey, and I found a lot of people who really felt like my people in a new way. (I’m kind of sad to be missing Fusion, which is next week! But it was either Fusion or Northern Exposure, and I’m so glad to be in Alaska right now. I don’t know if I’ll make it to Summer Camp in Maryland in September, but I would really like to. I’ve been two years in a row and I’ll miss it if I’m not there.)
So when I ran into Glenda Ryder, who runs IMsL, at Summer Camp last summer, I was thrilled to consider the possibility of being a judge for IMsL 2013. I knew very little about the history of leather contests, what it pertains, what a judge would do (aside from the obvious, duh), but I’d attended once (and watched almost exactly 20 minutes of the contest) and was interested in being more involved with leather culture, so I said yes.
The judges judging | The judges brief moment in the spotlight, onstage, when they introduced us
I spent more time with the judges panel than anyone else that weekend, and they were lovely people I’m thrilled to know. (One of my favorite activities was passing dirty fairy tale stories back and forth with Tillie during the contest.) It was great to spend some time with KD Diamond, and Sarah Vibes, both of whom I know from New York, and to meet Woody, the current International Mr. Leather, and hear more about the traditions of leather, fundraising, queerness, and history.I spent so much time at the contest part of the conference itself that weekend in April that I barely had time to do much else—I didn’t attend any of the workshops, though I wish I had. I did send my boy to attend a power exchange relationships class called “Exploring and Deepening M/s, D/s and PowerExchange Relationships” taught by Liza and Jody, which was excellent, from what he relayed, and he took many interesting notes and gathered some concepts we still discuss. I also participated in a author’s meet and greet with Mollena, Laura Antoniou, and Tillie King (one of my fellow judges), hosted by Mr. and Ms. SF Leather, where we read some snippets of our work (and got to see many of the literarily-inclined folks at the conference congregate in one place, which totally got me hard).
Oh! And, here’s a quick sidenote: Laura Antoniou read from her most recent book, The Killer Wore Leather, which is a murder mystery set at a leather contest conference weekend. I picked up the audiobook on Audible.com for the long 5-day drive through Canada to Alaska, and Rife and I have been listening to it and really enjoying it. The reader is excellent, and the story is really fun. It’s kind of amazing to see our community through an outsider’s lens, and it’s also a very tight insider’s satire. If you want to know more about leather community, this book is definitely a fun place to start. Full review to come when we finally finish the book.
I also taught a Flirting & Foreplay class, for which Rife designed a little IMsL flirting bingo card, which was a fantastic hit. I want to do that again, and I think all leather conferences should have a flirting bingo card in their conference bags.
I don’t have tons to say about the actual contest itself, aside from that it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed being behind the scenes but still in an important role as a judge, as someone described it to me that weekend. I don’t always want to have attention on me, but I do like to be important, somehow, so that felt good. I thought the contestants were incredibly well spoken, all had very impressive resumes (and formal leather), and had both new young spunkiness and wise experience from many years of serving and guiding and participating in these communities. I learned a lot.
I’d prefer to go to more classes, and I’m looking forward to being more of a participant at Northern Exposure this coming weekend than I will be working. I hope to have some fun, learn some things, and have lots of conversations about what it’s like to be kinky in Alaska.
I’ve got lots more things to say about Sarha and how she won (she won!) on an excellent platform about outreach to leather in little towns and not just big cities, how she excited (and kinda scared) everyone with her black bear fur lined chaps (where do you think leather comes from, folks?) and how it felt to have my Alaskan identity coming together with my queer and kink identities, too. I could talk about the MC and how unimpressed I was with her racist jokes (just because you “make fun of everybody” does not exclude you from racism). I could talk about the beautiful redhead who had a pet girl on a leash with her all weekend, and a new friendship and relationship that has bloomed from a distance. But this post is already 1600 words long, and it’s time to go to bed, even though it’s 10:44pm and the sky is still light.
It’s going to be even lighter in Anchorage. I’m really looking forward to soaking up all the midnight sun I possibly can.
(Official conference photos by Rich Trove, thanks Rich!, except for the instagram ones taken by me.)
Well, hi. I’m in Seattle tonight, but it’s the last night here before rife and I and his puppy begin the five-day drive to my hometown in southeast Alaska.
It’s been an incredible journey so far. Though the drive from San Francisco to Seattle could be feasibly done in a (long) day, I took my time and leisurely drove through Oregon, watching the ground change from brown & tan grass and green trees to green grass and evergreen trees. Forest green, I think they call that color.
pit stop in southern Oregon
faery sanctuary at Wolf Creek, Oregon
Black Butte, next to Mt Shasta, Oregon
I had this illusion like I would still be able to write stories and follow up on things while I was on the road. Um, so that has not really happened yet. Which means I haven’t sent a) the dirty story that I promised when you donated some $$, or b) the information about the internship position for Sugarbutch for the summer. Sorry about that. I promise they are coming, and will magically appear in your inbox at just precisely the right moment (for those of you who asked about those things). Sometimes reality checks are fantastic, and I’m observing my behavior and the reality of the situation a lot, trying to take it in and realize what I am actually capable of. I’ll be honest, I miss spending a significant chunk of time each day at my desk, at a computer, but I’m also very glad to be outside, exploring, interacting, adventuring.
Portland tour! Stumptown & Voodoo Donuts (Joe had to get the pink donut)
Mt Rainier national park
Seattle. (Exhale. Nowhere else feels quite like home the way Seattle does.)
Greenlake, one of my favorite Seattle parks | Polaris Leather Family crest, who so graciously put us up this entire week | sunset from the Edmonds-Kingston ferry when we made a quick jaunt over to the Olympic penninsula
Seattle forest view from a dog park
Shilshole Marina | boy on the friend’s boat | the Chittenden locks, where the man-made ship canal connects the lakes to the sound
At the poetry benefit show for Tara Hardy, which blew me away. She has been one of my great life mentors, and she’s recently developed a pretty severe auto-immune disorder (among, it seems, some other things). The community rally to support her has been huge, and I just happened to be in town when a community fundraising show was going on.
Fremont (Center of the Universe) | University of Washington! the dog in the quad & the broken obelisk
Coyote Grace at the Triple Door in Seattle. If you aren’t listening to their music (and you’re a fan of smart queer poetic folk-country), you are missing out.
Rife and I mapped out the drive between here and southeast Alaska this morning, and I think it’s going to take about five days, but we’ll be stopping at some beautiful places, including Takhini Hot Springs near Whitehorse, YT, which used to be a family vacation for me as a kid and which I haven’t visited for probably twenty years. It’s such a beautiful drive and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Rockies and the continental divide and the mountains and forests of my childhood.
I ran into a friend tonight (I run into a lot of people here) who asked what I was up to, and I said I was on my way home, mentioned that my dad died last year and that my mom was about to retire and his estate still needs a lot of work to settle, and that in addition to the help I can offer, I’m going through a big transition (breakup, move across the country) and sorting through “stuff” and making order out of chaos sounds so healing right now. I still seek and need integration time. That’s the purpose of this.
And while I still feel like that is just out of reach, it’s been incredible to spend a week in Seattle, to visit my godson and my favorite people and old and new friends, to go around to many of my old haunts, to introduce my boy to my people and my many Seattle reference points, and to just feel the earth here for a while. My parents both went to my alma matter, too, and spent many years here … I’m just so comfortable here. Which, to be honest, is part of why I left—I liked it so much, but it was the first place I really landed after leaving home, isn’t there some better place out there for me? Turns out, after criss-cross traveling this country for the last four years, there’s not really. Sure, many other cities are wonderful, but this one still calls me.
I have SO many more thoughts and things to write about, I have been scribbling like crazy in my notebook about posts and outlines and theories to flesh out. Still working on the follow through, the preparation it takes to hit that “publish” button.
But for now, tonight, it’s time to call it a day and get some rest before putting the car in drive and aiming north.
For more shots not published here, check out mrsexsmith on Instagram & follow along in my adventures.
Please forward widely!
Announcing … Beauty and the BUTCH: A 2013 BUTCH Voices Benefit
BUTCH Voices in conjunction with Lily Divine Productions and the Center for Sex Positive Culture invites you to indulge in an evening of deliciously BUTCH revelry, hot performances and choose-your-own play party adventures.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
7pm – doors open – socializing, raffle ticket sales, negotiations for later adventures
8pm – Lily Divine Productions presents a thrilling show of tantalizing teases from queers of all genders!
9:30/10pm til 2am – BUTCH Voices and the Center for Sex Positive Culture present one amazing queer play party
Get your tickets in advance at http://beautyandthebutchseattle.eventbrite.com/
Price for admission is $25. We will be offering a discount to attendees of LDP/Debauchery at $20.
At the Center for Sex Positive Culture (Main Space)
1602 15th Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98119
Open call for raffle items and date auction candidates – send information to Joe@BUTCHVoices.com
Details about the play party from the CSPC:
Want to have sex? Want to do bondage? Want to hang out and socialize? Want to spank or beat on someone? Want to poke someone with needles? Come on in and have some fun and support a good cause! Dungeon equipment as well as all of the side rooms and the back room will be open for play. Be forewarned, depending on play styles of attendees, it may be loud.
There will be a Men’s-only event in the adjacent Annex & Raw spaces, but the Main Space will be open to queers of all genders and orientations. If it is allowed here at the CSPC, it is allowed at this party!
All proceeds from this Benefit will support the 2013 BUTCH Voices Conference (taking place August 15-18, 2013 in Oakland).
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.
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.
You are invited to … A night of DIRTY QUEER SEX!
Featuring readers from the SAY PLEASE: LESBIAN BDSM EROTICA anthology released by Cleis Press in April 2012, and many special guests! Performers include Miss Indigo Blue, Amy Butcher, BB Rydell, Lydia Swartz, & Elaina Ellis. Hosted by Sinclair Sexsmith, writer of the Sugarbutch Chronicles and editor of Say Please & Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.
In Say Please, Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of queer kink—tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place—and held there firmly. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want! Come hear authors from the book read their stories and celebrate the release of this kinky queer collection.
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.
ABOUT THE READERS:
Miss Indigo Blue is reigning queen of burlesque, Miss Exotic World 2011, and a Comic Queen of the New Burlesque Dancer, Teacher and Strip-Tease Artiste. Miss Indigo has performed across the globe, is a three-time award-winner at the annual Miss Exotic World competition, and currently holds the First Runner Up title from the Jenny Lee Tassel Twirling. Miss Indigo founded BurlyQ Queer Cabaret in 2002, which now has outcroppings in New York and London. Miss Indigo currently performs as a soloist *and* with the Emerald City All-Stars and the Atomic Bombshells, to be one of the most sought-after performers in the Northwest. Miss Indigo Blue is also the President and Chief Twirling Officer of TwirlyGirl.net, creating exquisite pasties for discriminating nipples, and the founder and Headmistress of the Academy of Burlesque in Seattle. She has teaches Tassel Twirling and Teasing techniques in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Seattle. Miss Indigo Blue is based in Seattle, WA. http://www.missindigoblue.com/
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 will be published in 2012. Find her at amybutcher.com
Elaina M. Ellis is a poet, based in Seattle. In January 2010, she quit her day job. She full-time writes to worship, to recover, to seduce, to fight back, to play, to confess, and to make messes. http://www.elainaellis.com/
BB Rydell promotes queer visibility, expression and grass roots community building through writing, filmmaking and performance. This native New Yorker co-produces “Seattle Spit,” Seattle’s longest running monthly queer spoken word event, and is a member of the Producers Collective, an intentional artist and producer community that values social justice, camp, and diversity. BB is published in Tales of Travelrotica: Volume 2 and Penetalia, and has two self-published zines.
Lydia Swartz is a flaneur, novelist, pornographer, poet, performer, & hardcore introvert. She crafts idiosyncratic interactive pieces & lurks near mics toting grocery bags bulging with props. She was on the 2011 Seattle Erotic Arts Festival Literary Arts Jury & only wanked 3 times. In vanilla life, she is a propaganda minister for safety net health care. She lives with her wife of 12 years & a fucking menagerie.
Butcher & I are teaching an embodiment workshop in Seattle this week particularly geared toward kinksters. It’s a great introduction to some of the embodied sexuality and sacred sexuality work that I’ve done with the Body Electric School for many years, and plus it’s just a fascinating experiment. Perhaps I’ll see you there?
Photo by Shilo McCabe (but we’re not actually as serious or mean as we look)
Owning Your Birthday Suit: Embodiment for Kinksters, Freaks, and Other Sexual Mathletes
with Sugarbutch & Butcher
The Center for Sex Positive Culture Annex
1602 15th Ave W., Seattle, WA
RSVP on Facebook
Kinky, poly, leather, sex-positive, and other outlaw folks often find it easy to explore sex, but it might still be 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. These exercises are clothes-on and touch optional. 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.