journal entries

Is That 6″ On Your Arm, Or Are You Just … ?

It arrived! My “Prom Is So Gay” tee shirt from Just Like Jesse James. I feel a little weird wearing it, I feel the need to explain the use of “gay” pejoratively around people I don’t know especially. But I did wear it to The Bulldyke Chronicles (and pimp it when I read a quick poem), and it seemed like the audience understood that it is a reference to Candace McMillan.

And while I’m taking photographs, here’s a shot that caught my new tattoo in it too. It’s a 6″ ruler, positioned 2″ from my palm which means I can measure things to 8″ when I place my palm flat against something. I’ve been thinking about this one for a long time (it even made an appearance in a poem from last year, which was one of three I read at Bulldyke Chronicles).

It’s actually a lot straighter than how it appears in this photo. One could even say it’s the straightest thing about me (ha ha). It is, as I’ve been calling it, an artist’s rendition of a ruler, so it’s not 100% accurate or straight, but it is damn close. Close enough for anything I’d need to measure, certainly. I don’t need to count the picas.

There are a lot of layers of meaning to this, not the least of which is that I’m a graphic designer. Any other guesses as to what it just possibly might symbolize?

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

6 thoughts on “Is That 6″ On Your Arm, Or Are You Just … ?”

  1. Hmm, possibly that fisting trumps penis size every time?

  2. mc says:

    I think you've written about it in the past – that you always have 8 inches with you no matter the *ahem* circumstances? And if it was you who wrote it, then god, I feel like such a stalker now.

  3. oh, how lovely!

    …the shirt and the tattoo (and i kind of appreciate the discomfort that came with the shirt, too). i love the simplicity of that tattoo (actually, it's something i quite like about the shirt too…), and your description of it as an "artist's rendition of a ruler"

    it recalls my favorite bit of what may be my favorite piece of yours:

    “You might want to tattoo a ruler onto your arm, so you will always know what comes after five.”

  4. Sinclair says:

    haha I love all of those! yeah that's basically what I was thinking. always have 8" with me, fisting trumps size, measure how far inside I can reach.

    and also that I can measure heels at any given moment now. sometimes I'm like "oh I like those 4-inchers" and other people say "those aren't 4-inchers" and now I can say oh ho ho, I'm pretty sure they are. (and probably be proven wrong.)

    I actually got the tattoo the day I took a spiritual vow, and I knew it was THE right time since I felt suddenly like I was on a path, a very particular path that is almost linear, progressing from one thing to the next. it's a rare place to be in my life, since most of the time I'm on the road less traveled (so to speak) and creating my own path; to be told what comes after 5 is a new phenomenon. and comforting, I like it.

    thanks for reminding me of that piece, Lady Brett—I forgot it was mentioned in there too. I tagged Tachycardia also with the "ruler tattoo" tag.

  5. Just from a tattoo collector/lover standpoint, that is a cool, unique design! Mine are Sailor Jerry-old school-type tats. Their only underlying meaning is that I used to have a lot more disposable income by which to display my fondness for pinups. And BTW, when I saw the title, I tho't you were maybe reviewing something that straps on to the arm – !

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