Happy 4th Anniversary, Sugarbutch!

Today, April 29th 2010, marks the fourth anniversary of beginning Sugarbutch! I’ve been going at this site nearly daily for four years straight, and it’s the first anniversary where I am not working at another job; Sugarbutch is my full-time job.

This past year, I’ve written 231 posts, received 2,798 comments, added one category for a total of 37, and added 1,267 tags. I’m kind of tag-happy these days. They’re a sort of footnote.

I’ve also started writing many other places, including the Radical Masculinity column at Carnal Nation, my Mr. Sexsmith’s Other Girlfriend column on New York City for Eden Fantasys’s magazine Sex Is, and I even had a piece over on After Ellen this past week. I’ve started a reading series, with Cheryl B., called Sideshow! The Queer Literary Carnival, and I’ve been teaching workshops and classes more frequently. I’m keeping track of all of those things over on MrSexsmith.com, rather than here, so if you’re interested in where I’m performing or where else my work is appearing, subscribe to that RSS feed. I’ve also started keeping media (video, audio, and photographs, mostly) over on my mrsexsmith.Tumblr.com, which has freed up this space a little more for in-depth writing.

I have some more projects in the works for the near future! Stay tuned.

I have always reflected back on this very first post when I do these anniversary posts, and as many of you are new readers these days, here’s an excerpt from my very first post, bed death, standard variety:

What I’m trying to say is this: I’m not getting the sex that I want. No, scratch that: I’m not getting the sex that I need. My basic human needs, basic woman needs, basic self needs, include sex. If asked, I would say at least three times a week, though I can be a little flexible about that. I understand, having had some experience as a couple, that that can’t always happen. But I also know that it can, and does, when both people make the effort.

I’ve been with my girlfriend for three years. We met in college, in a Men & Masculinity class. It took another couple of quarters for us to get together; we had a slow start, easing into each other and into a relationship, which was wonderful. One of the great things about our relationship is how well we have been able to keep our autonomy – we never became one of those couples that you never see without the other person, we aren’t joined at the hip, we don’t constantly speak in first-person-plural. Of course, the greatest strength is often the greatest weakness, and in our case, the intimacy has fallen out of our relationship almost entirely.

We haven’t had sex in … longer than I care to admit. And in the last two years we have probably had sex five times. I stopped counting the days between.

I’m surprised at how clear that is, when I look back at it. It feels like such a murky, confused time, but I lay it out so clearly: I’m not getting the sex I need. I still believe sex is a basic human need, perhaps not for survival on the food-water-shelter level, but on the hierarchy of needs scale, certainly. It is something we need in order to feel psychologically safe, protected, comforted. Well, maybe saying “sex” is too broad. We don’t actually all need sex. I need sex, I need hot dirty queer kinky sex, but perhaps you need pretty music playing candles lit sex. Perhaps you are totally satisfied with the once-a-month quickie. Perhaps you’re asexual, and need companionship, partnership, friendship, intimacy in other ways.

That post is under password protection now, as is most of the things about my exes and personal life. If you want the password, join the (very very rarely occasional) mailing list, and it’ll be sent to you when you confirm your subscription.

The traditional gift for the fourth anniversary is fruit, flowers, and books, or, I’m told, the modern equivalent is electrical appliances. Umwhat? People don’t need fruit, flowers, or books anymore? Those seem way more important than electrical appliances. I mean, I like the next tech gadget as much as anybody (though I think I’ll buy stock instead of the iPad, even though I’m really coveting it currently), but it’s almost summer! I can’t wait for strawberry shortcake.

On Sugarbutch’s second anniversary, I reflected on where this blog started and began the tradition of “ask me anything,” which I did last year also. So, in the spirit of keeping up with traditions, let’s do it again: Got a question for me? Ask me anything. You can ask anything, from personal details about my life that you’ve always wondered, to questions about advice for sex toys or your relationship, to philosophical musings on identity, gender, or sexuality theory.

Read back on some of the former “ask me anything” questions, and add your own in the comments. What do you want to know? I’ll answer as many as I can.

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.

24 thoughts on “Happy 4th Anniversary, Sugarbutch!”

  1. a. says:

    Congrats on 4 years!

    And here's to hot dirty queer candles-lit riotgrrl-music-playing sex. I mean… ;-)

  2. Happy Anniversary!! This place made me love my gender and I thank you for that. I will always be a fan.

  3. Bond says:

    Happy blog birthday!

    My question: How do you relate or not relate to stone identity? To what extent do you ID/not ID as stone and how do you feel about that? Maybe you've written about this here before and I missed it… I've had a big process going from not stone to stone-ish to stone, and I'm curious about how other butches feel.

  4. Cold Comfort says:

    Hi Sinclair, happy blog birthday!

    My question is, how do you reconcile your feminism with your sadism and desire to (gulp) hurt women? (In a completely consensual manner, of course)

  5. That's a great question, very close to what I was going to ask( since I struggle with it every day with the added weight of being a white male )

    My question is more on the philosophical/political side of things.

    Do you feel that, as I am a male, it is exploitative for me to enjoy queer porn so much?

    Porn is filled with many different dynamics, and it is within it's nature to exploit the 'exoticism' of anyone who appears in it. We've seen this a thousand times, especially with Asian-American women ( forced to play up an exaggerated stereotype in order to get work ), and I wonder if I myself am guilty of such a thing. Queer porn is this amazing, foreign thing to me. I love it dearly. And I understand that, as far as the exploitation from the production side goes, it is nearly nonexistant, but I worry.

    I'm always on the road to improving myself and trying to further myself from the patriarchy, and this question has kind of been tickling my brain as of late.

    And, since we're on the subject: Favorite porn star? Like, if you're given the chance to have one night of just no holds barred fuck, who are you choosing?

  6. My very dear Sinclair. I'm with Green Eyed Girl. You made me realize that it was okay to be femme. You may not realize it, but you took care of me in a way as I was coming out to the world as queer and coming out tto myself as femme. By your writing, our conversations, the confidence I've witnessed in you, and unimaginable bravery you display when you open yourself to vulnerability, you took the lead, held the lamp ahead of me (ahead of many!) as I, as we all traversed the murky path to wholeness. I know you are still doing that for others. You are vigilant in adding oil and raising the wick of your lamp so it can shine brighter reach further, and light the way for more and more. My hope is that you also are receiving more than enough emotional support, spiritual nourishment and renewing energy to propel you safely into this new, uncharted terrain.

    I'm interested to know how you feel your masculinity and your perceptions of masculinity have changed over the time that you have been writing here, and by this name.

    You are precious to me. Take care of your own wellbeing above all.

    Miss Avarice

    J's girl

  7. vanessa says:

    Happy Birthday!! I can tell you that, as a recent Sugarbutch follower, I’m totally hooked, find it all very informative and a lot of it extremely HOTT!! I can’t stop recommending it to my friends! :) Congrats! xx

  8. Sami says:

    Happy blog birthday =)

    I tried to join the mailing list, but got a “Page not found” error. Help?

  9. J-Femme says:

    Congratulations on 4 years! i think I've been a reader for most of them and that feels like a real privilege.

    I'm excited for the question invite. Some things I've wondered about…

    I enjoy the way you discuss radical masculinity quite a bit. One of the gazilion things I enjoy about butch and femme identities is the possibility of challenging notions of what "attractive" masculinity and femininity look like. From some of your posts I think i've made an assumption that most of the women you date tend to be conventionally attractive/ attractive by dominant culture's standards of beauty (i.e. not fat, not particularly full figured, Eurocentric features etc…). So my first question (as I try to challenge myself when I make assumptions) is–is that accurate. And if it is, is that something you interrogate within yourself–as part of redefining masculinity (or the social concept that one way to prove your masculinity (in dominant culture) is to have a (conventualy) hot chick on your arm)?

    That question seemed a lot longer than I intended for it to be :) So here's a quick one. You blog under a pseudonym, but you do post pictures on your website. Etiquette wise, if you are in a queer setting and someone recognizes you from your pictures or blog are you comfortable with being approached?

    Thank you for all that you've shared over the years!

  10. G says:

    re: electrical appliances as modern 4th Anniversary gifts. maybe naughty battery operated toys count? ;)

  11. Dora says:

    When you were a teenager, how did you feel about your body?

    Can you tell a story about coming out as gay to friends or family members when you were younger?

    Did you ever go to summer camp?

  12. Happy 4 years! I’m a recent reader and I do appreciate your perspective on queer sexuality (esp those articles about Constance McMillian).

    Here’s a couple of questions for you:

    a) I often find myself at a loss when trying to slot myself into the femme-butch dichotomy – I don’t feel like I can identify with either. Yet I can’t really pass for androgynous (come on, boobs). so much of what I see in the queer world, in person and online, frames itself around being butch or femme and I feel left out. Is there a movement of queer people who *don’t* align themselves with butch or femme?

    b) Some practical advice now…so there’s this girl. :D She’s a friend of a friend and there’s possibly something brewing there. (She knows I’m interested in her, she’s intrigued, hasn’t promised anything yet but would like to get to know me better). She’s overseas at the moment and won’t be back in my neighbourhood till August, baaaaaah.
    We’ve been chatting over Facebook and I’d like to send her some subtly flirty messages. Nothing too obvious or creepy, but what can I say that won’t either lose the flirtiness (I found that even when I explicitly say something meant to be flirtatious it gets read as normal!) or freak her out? Any ideas?

  13. Sophia says:

    I love your blog. When I see that you have posted – particularly a personal or erotic post, I am very very happy to drink my morning coffee and read. Your nuanced yet clear approach to life and your relationship has often helped me to understand what is going on in my life and relationship. I am a very big fan. Thank you for writing!

    Now for my question. I'm in a relationship with someone I love deeply. She has been very accepting of my interest in experimenting with S/m and my explorations of my identity as a submissive. The only problem is that she's not drawn to power play in the same way that I am – and submitting loses some of its charm when you're instructing your partner to dominate you. My question is, what are some tools/techniques that help someone to "try on" a dominant persona? We've experimented with spanking and bondage, but a large part of the turn-on for me is the psychological aspects of humiliation and punishment – something that can't be simulated through physical play alone. So how can I help her to get into the right mindset? I think that she could make an excellent dom, but I don't think she quite is confident in her own power and, possibly because she is less drawn to it than I am, she is less motivated to develop these skills. I know many people end up looking elsewhere to have these needs satisfied, but we are not quite ready to take that step. So how would you advise a new, and perhaps, reluctant dom to become more comfortable with her power?

  14. Tuesday says:

    Hello, and happy birthday! I kind of know you from flickr.. but I love this blog of yours too, and just want to say thank you for your continual energy that you put into it. It's informative, sexy, and inspiring.

    I'm completely femme and work in a very straight environment. A few of my co-workers know that I'm gay, but I haven't come out to all of them, and I've been at this work place for a year. I don't usually hide my sexuality, but it's been extremely hard for me to relax with it at this workplace. I hate that, and my partner is somewhat hurt that I haven't been open about it and talked about her. I want to be able to do so, and I want to be strong in myself and come out with it. Any ideas on how to do it? The longer I wait the more awkward it is.

    Thanks much,


  15. femme in butch cloth says:

    Happy 4!

    My question: given that you think & write so much about sex, do you dream about sex? What are your sex dreams like? Do you get ideas for awake sex from dream sex? &c…

    Keep on rockin!

  16. Jenny says:

    I tried to join your monthly mailing list but got a *404 page not found error*.

    1. Sinclair says:

      Sorry about that Jenny—I'm still ironing out the bugs. It *does* actually work if you add your name to the form, the "you've been added" forms just aren't displaying, yet, for some reason. Working on it!

  17. LW says:

    Hey – I tried to comment on the password protection entry, but it seems to be locked or something. It doesn't seem that there's any option to leave a comment on the entry any longer.

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