Posts Tagged ‘sex theory’
Kristen & I answered Laura’s question on video this morning from Seattle … hopefully our colds don’t make us sound too weird.
Laura asks: “I am a kinky queer femme bottom/sub and have read your blog for a long time. The thing that strikes me most is how open you, and also Kristen, are about your explorations and your celebration of your gender and sexuality. I am only 23 but have known I was queer and a submissive since pre-adolescent years, and it feels like I will never be comfortable fully expressing myself or finding my voice except with my partners, because I still get ashamed/embarrassed about all of it sometimes, especially when I think about my family or straight and/or vanilla friends finding out. How did you overcome those feelings to be more open, if you ever had them?”
Following up Episode 1, “I Want to be Taken”, Kristen and I answered another question for y’all, this time about threesomes.
Raven asks, “Any advice for occasionally bringing in a third? While still maintaining full commitment to one another and with no one getting hurt?”
Hope it’s useful!
Queer Memoir: Butch/Stud Through the Years was fucking EPIC on Friday night, and I’m so honored and thrilled to have been there and to be a part of it. There was the story of the kid’s game “hide and go get it” in Kentucky! There was the revelation of belonging somewhere and that “here take a sticker” moment—”because even though you’re in New York City, you might still be isolated.” There were discussions about feminist topping! There was deep appreciation for butch friends and community and support! There was a fucking marriage proposal!
This is the piece I read, slightly updated from the December 2009 version, about reconciling the identities of feminist and butch top, and what it means to be a masculine person who is also dominant. It is relevant as ever and I still struggle with the intersection of these identities. I have a lot more to say about it, and reading this piece again made me think about what I’d add and what more there is to say, so I’m working on it. Meanwhile, here’s the text of what I read.
A few years ago, a girl I dated wanted me to slap her. To hit her face. She asked for it specifically, I still remember the conversation on the subway and the precise way that she looked over at me and said, I want you to hit me. Something big swelled in me and I wanted to, I wanted to feel the sting of impact on my palm and see her recoil, to do it again before she was ready, to push something so sensational onto her experience that she was jolted to the edges of her skin and had to feel, to feel herself, to feel me, to be fully present.
This girl and I had already done some other light percussion play, using my hand, or even a paddle, me hitting her ass and thighs, the fleshy parts that I couldn’t possibly do damage to beyond some light bruising. She liked it, we both did. It made sense to escalate, at the time, to something new; we were deepening both our romantic relationship – our trust in each other – and our power dynamic, and it was time to push a little, to see where we could go.
I was terrified. After she asked, after we talked about it extensively, I even tried, a few times, when we were in bed and she said, hit me, now, please, and I couldn’t, I’d bring my hand up and chicken out.
I was terrified of what it would mean for me, as a masculine person, as a butch, to be more dominating in bed. To like it. To like to cause someone pain. To like to cause a woman pain. To hit someone in the face. To hit a woman in the face, to sexualize that act and that power dynamic specifically.
I was paralyzed by that terror – I wanted to do it, the idea, the very thought of it, the discussions with her, turned me on, the girl I was dating wanted me to do it, but I couldn’t.
Beyond wanting to do it, this was the kind of sex act that was in the sex life I was dreaming of having. This was what haunted my fantasies and what I looked for in porn that I watched and erotica that I read. And I was on a very serious quest to figure out how to have the sex that I wanted. I’d just gotten out of a bed-death relationship. I was committed to studying sex hard, to figuring out: what I wanted, how to get what I wanted, how to build a relationship with that as an element, how to maintain something sane and hot over a long period of time. That’s precisely why I started Sugarbutch.
I now know that I’m a sadist, and a top. That means I like to dominate. And already there are conclusions being drawn by some of you out there who think well of course you like to dominate, you’re masculine, and that’s prescribed for you or in other words you misogynistic asshole, I already knew you were one of “those” butches who needs to make up for your inadequacies by dominating women. Because that’s what we think, isn’t it? Maybe not consciously, but a little bit, somewhere in our brains, we associate these particular identity alignments – butch equals masculine equals top equals dominating equals men’s prescribed gender role. We’re relieved when they line up how we think they will, or maybe we are challenged and uncomfortable – though perhaps in a stimulated way – when they misalign.
There’s something supposedly anti-feminist about wanting to dominate. There’s something in the feminist rhetoric which says we are all equal especially in bed, so that means I-do-you-you-do-me, or that means we have sex neither above nor below each other, and with no reproduced heteronormative misogynistic patriarchal power dynamic.
But I didn’t want that. I’d had that, with other girlfriends, but it didn’t keep things hot enough to sustain a relationship. And secretly, I wanted to top and control and hit and demean and humiliate and restrain and force and take.
Power dynamic theory—stick with me for just a paragraph here—has many similarities to gender theory. Like the gender identities of butch and femme are not reproductions but pastiche copies at best of prescribed societal gender roles, putting on and taking off power roles in power sex play is a pastiche reproduction of power in our lives, of which there are thousands of examples of interaction on a daily basis. And when we can put on and take off these roles intentionally, the act of adopting becomes further proof that the power positioning in our lives is not inherent, or “real,” or immobile, or prescribed, or “normal,” but part of a hierarchical society of social power that can be deconstructed. In that, we can more easily have more power and control in the beneficial ways, and less power and control in destructive ways, as we play with it and engage with it.
As in my experience with coming to a butch gender identity, when I finally came to a power identity that really deeply aligned with something inside me that just clicked and make sense, I felt like I was coming home to myself in a way I hadn’t experienced previously. Through my personality and tendencies and psychology I have my own set of quirks and workings and functions, and for whatever reason, it makes a lot of sense to me to let out some of my power and control issues in the bedroom by being dominating. It is deeply satisfying the way a glorious meal or a delicious book is satisfying, one of my life’s greatest pleasures. I’m not sure I understand why I like what I like, but what I like does not harm others, and is consensual, and I know myself well enough to accept what I like as what I like – and to let that be a simple truth.
How did this change for me? What happened between the time when I was terrified to slap a girl in the face and today, now, where I am fairly comfortable in my identity as a top, and even as a sadist, as someone who enjoys causing extreme sensation (aka hurting) someone else?
Little by little, I had lovers who pushed me, lovers who were more experienced as bottoms than I was as a top, lovers who wanted more from me and who could take more than I was able to give who made enough space for me to walk into a bigger version of myself and occupy it, try it on.
I did come to a reconciliation with my feminist self and my top self. Phrases like men should not hurt women or rather masculine people should not hurt feminine people, or even more broadly that people should not hit each other and violence is bad bad bad … I had accepted those phrases as Ultimate Truths, and I started to understand deeper the ways that sensation was not violence, and hitting was a way to be sparked into the present moment, to release whatever our musculature was holding onto, and to deepen trust between people and in a relationship.
I didn’t realize how little trust I had in others until I started playing deeper with BDSM. Because I would tell myself, it’s okay, she wants to do it, but then I would think, does she really? Maybe she wants to because I want to. Maybe she wants to because society tells her she should want to. Maybe she wants to for fucked-up reasons, like she thinks it’s okay for her to feel humiliated and less than me because of her own internalized misogyny … but that was me not trusting that what she said was true. That she wanted me to hit her face. And that was me, further controlling both myself, her, and our relationship, in unhealthy ways, because I didn’t trust her.
This was an issue of agency, in feminist terms – my not trusting my lover to communicate with me what she wanted, to explain to me how far I could go, and my not trusting that she would let me know if I was going too far or too hard, either with her physical communication or her words or both, was me not trusting in the agency of my lover. I have to trust that she will tell me, she will let me know, if I am going too far. And I have to listen, apologize, understand what I did, and trust that she will accept that it was an accident, a mistake, and that I’ll do whatever she needs to feel safe again.
When I started playing out my control issues in BDSM, in the bedroom, in sex play, the control issues I had in my relationships began to heal.
In learning my way into being a top, I had many, many conversations about consent and intention and communication, I talked to my lovers when things broke down or didn’t seem to work and I learned more about my own tendencies when things went well. I figured out that sometimes, it was really hard for me to be with someone who bottomed so well, and who I trusted so deeply, that I did harder, scarier, bigger things with them that took me even deeper into my topping and dominance and sadism and power, and sometimes that meant I needed to be comforted afterward, to be told I liked that, and that wasn’t too much, and you didn’t hurt me, and that was what I wanted and thank you. Hearing those things is always a relief.
(I give good aftercare too, of course. But top aftercare is less common in the BDSM world – we don’t frequently talk about the toll it takes for the dominant to dominate.)
I practiced, a lot, to be bold and trusting through my topping. I tried scary things and it turned out they weren’t so scary, they were in fact incredibly hot. I got to know myself, and I learned more about the things I wanted to play with, and I talked to smart people whose experiences were similar to what I was going through and who assured me it was possible to come out the other side of it a masculine, queer, butch, sadistic, feminist top.
Via email, Katy asks:
I will be going to my first BDSM convention next weekend … I have a question. I’m not particularly a fetishwear kinda guy… What would you wear? I feel like you and I have similar style and kinks.
I would probably wear jeans, a button down shirt, a tie, and nice shoes, because that tends to be what I wear. Definitely a belt, I never wear a button down shirt without a belt, I always think you need a belt if you’re going to be tucking in a shirt, and these days I wear a belt with everything, it makes the outfit seem much more pulled together.
Sometimes I fetish that up by wearing a bondage belt or wrist cuff, but generally a tie is enough. Oh, but if it were me, I would definitely get the right color hanky and flag according to the hanky code.
I’d say that you should wear what makes you feel most sexy and hot, not necessarily something fetish-y but something that makes you feel attractive and confident.
(If I was fancy, I’d do up an image for this outfit dooce-style, but I have to get some workshop prep done. Next time!)
My partner and I are new to strap-on sex. We both love the idea of blowjobs, but I have no idea how to go about it without feeling supremely stupid. Help please! Could Kristen maybe give her perspective on learning to do it well?
Here’s Kristen’s answer:
How to suck butch cock: some advice.
Here’s the thing about sucking silicone cock: you have to pretend it’s real and remember that it’s not, both at the same time.
1. Pretending it’s real. This is most important: you have someone’s cock in your mouth, and you need to take care of it. Treat it like the beautiful and powerful instrument that it is, regardless of whether it came from a factory. Start slow. Put your lips on the tip. Lick around the head. Lick all the way down one side. Put it in your mouth for a minute, then take it out and lick it again. Eventually, once your mouth produces more saliva, you can suck it in deeper. Look up at your partner so they can see that you like it, so they can see the pleasure you’re giving them, even if they can’t exactly feel it. Act like you know what you’re doing, whether you actually do (hello, grateful college boys you might have practiced on) or you’re making it up as you go along. Vary your speed: don’t just repeat the same movement over and over, unless your partner gets into it and wants that. (Face-fucking is great, once you’ve gotten the hang of a basic blowjob.) Watch porn: even the free crappy stuff on Youporn is helpful here, because you can see facial expressions and technique and just mimic that.
2. Remembering it’s not. You’re not going to get physical indicators that tell you you’re doing a good job. You won’t be able to feel it getting harder (or limper) in your mouth, you’re not going to be able to feel when your partner is close to coming, you’re not going to know if you’re using your teeth too much. You have to do that work yourself: listen to your partner’s breathing, pay attention to their muscle contractions/their hands on your head/gasps of pleasure. You have to do the work of making it the most amazing blowjob they’ve ever gotten, even if they can’t feel every movement of your tongue. But that’s the fun part: you can do pretty much whatever you want to make that happen.
What do you think? Got any other advice for how to give blow jobs that don’t make you feel supremely stupid?
do you have any ideas for what to do with lightly used sex toys and accessories? They don’t seem like the kind of thing you just sell at a yard sale! But it seems a shame to just chuck something so expensive and that someone else could get a lot of pleasure out of. If you don’t think it makes sense to give them away (and I mean give, I certainly don’t want to sell), is there a way to recycle them or otherwise dispose of them properly?
Yes, generally you’re right, people don’t want used sex toys, even if they can be sterilized. There are some—glass, metal, silicone—that I would say you can offer to good friends, or people you might think could handle a little use. Some leather/BDSM gear you might be able to swap or give away, but it depends on the condition. But if they’re very broken in (you know how silicone gets after it’s been used a bunch, it kind of starts disintegrating) I think it’d be best to recycle them.
The jelly plastic or other plastic insertables or vibrators … probably there’s nothing to do with them except recycle them.
There is a sextoyrecycling.com place, but it looks like it’s not legit. I haven’t been able to contact anyone from there to get confirmation that they are running.
I did hear from ScarletGirl.com, they have a sex toy recycling program that will give you $10 credit, but more importantly, they won’t end up in the landfill.
Dan Savage has recommended sending your old sex toys to representatives in states where sex toys aren’t legal, which I think is a good idea for activist purposes, but what happens after the politicians receive those toys? Probably they will end up in a landfill. So if your purpose is to be green moreso than to have some impromptu activism, you might want to just write a letter (or an email! Save paper) and send your sex toys off to be recycled.
Some of the sex bloggers who do a lot of toy reviews have set up the Toy Swap Network for toys that are not old, broken, worn-out, etc., but are new and that you just don’t want to keep around.
Any other recommendations for what to do with old sex toys? Perhaps Folsom East has some leather swap events, anybody know?
What was your first time strapping like? What advice do you have for strap-on virgins? My butch just placed the online order for her first cock, and I have no idea of what to expect.
Go slow. Use lots of lube. LOTS of lube. More than you think you might need, especially at first. It’s just a little messy, which is always better than having not enough. DON’T use silicone lube, as it’ll screw up your silicone toys.
Talk to each other, be as vocal as you can—even “ooh yeah ooh yeah” type of vocalizations will help give cues to each other about what feels good and what is not quite working.
Don’t be afraid to slow each other down or stop. It might just click and work and be amazing, but you also might want to just do it as something to try and to play with, at least for now, so don’t expect one or both of you to get off, especially not at first.
If you’re not used to penetration during sex, you might want to mess around with getting yourself off (or her getting you off, using her hands on your clit I mean) while she’s inside, but without much in-and-out motion, at least for now, while you’re getting used to the feeling of her cock.
The typical porn positions are the best, in my opinion, which is why they are so frequently used—missionary, and doggy style from behind (in various incarnations, like leaning over the bed, or with your head down on the bed instead of on all fours). In missionary, also try it with her sitting up on her knees, with her thighs under your thighs, that is often a really good angle.
Don’t be afraid to touch it, kiss it, lick it, suck it—that stuff can be really hot, though that can also be kind of delicate, so see how your girlfriend feels about it. Sometimes it seems to me, as the strap-on wearer, that I am expected to be the one who does all the action once I put it on, but my point is that you can do things, too. If you aren’t sure if she wants you to touch it (or kiss it or suck on it), ask. “Would you mind if I …” “Wow, I didn’t expect to want to … , but I do, please may I?”
Personally I think just about any sex act is all the more hot with someone saying what they are doing (or want to do), regardless of what it is. Maybe that’s me—I really love language.
Most women can’t come from penetration alone, which I assume the two of you know, but just a reminder that you both might want to start practicing touching your clit while she’s fucking you, either with your hand or, if she can reach comfortably, with hers. It takes some practice to be able to fuck with a cock and use your hand at the same time, but it’s possible! And worth figuring out how.
And from her side … it is possible to get off while strapped on, but that might take some time and practice. For me, I like the harness to be VERY tight, tighter than is all that comfortable around my hips, because I like to be able to feel every stroke against my cunt while I’m fucking. I like the stimulation of a one-strap (g-string style) harness better than a two-strap (jock strap style) harness, but that seems to be the minority opinion, so your milage may vary. She can try adding bullet vibes or butt plugs or the We-Vibe to increase stimulation, though I find those are more distracting than helpful. But if she really likes a vibration on her clit or something in her ass, that might be just the push she needs to be able to fuck and come.
Other than that, in my experience, to be able to come while strapped on, just following the sensation—when you find a spot that feels good, rub up on it, over and over, and see how far that can take you.
Consider anything you do in playing with it an experiment, and collect the data of that experiment. Did it work? Would it work better if one variable was different? Would you try it again? Or was it a complete fail and did not feel good? Gather the data and figure out what you like and don’t like, what was luke-warm and what you might try later if things were a little different.
Did I mention lube?
And … the first part of that question was, what was my first time strapping on like? Well, to be honest, my first time strapping on was to peg a guy, my boyfriend of about 5 years that I was with in high school. I bought a strap-on when we broke up, and I came out as a lesbian, and it was a tiny silicone thing that was very hard silicone and black and narrow. I do still have it, actually, I keep thinking it might be a good size for anal sex, but then again, now that I have the Spur why would I use a cock that was so hard?
We then went cock shopping together and bought a cock that was roughly the size and shape of his, which was what I pegged him with. It was fun enough to peg him, but it also made me realize that I was (really really for sure) a dyke and wasn’t that into it.
I did fuck my first girlfriend with a strap-on, but we were more of the I-do-you-you-do-me type of couple, so we took turns. It took quite a few more years before I felt like I had a cock that was mine—really not until I ended the relationship with my college girlfriend and started dating femmes exclusively. Which I have widely chronicled here!
It’s been a long journey to claiming my cock-centricity and cock confidence. Actually, I teach workshops on Cock Confidence now, in case you’d like to attend one—I’ll be doing it next at Good Vibrations in San Francisco in August.
Anything else y’all would recommend? Any other tips for first-time strap-on users?