journal entries

So Then There Was That Time I Left My Dick In the Laundry …

Folks who live outside of New York City, you might not quite understand this one, but here in this ridiculous metropolis, people rarely do their own laundry. That’s not actually true for me and Kristen, since we actually do have laundry facilities in our building (three of which have been broken for months, but that’s a different post), but at other apartments I’ve had, especially when I was working a full time job, it was about the same amount of money to do my own laundry at the laundromat three blocks away as it was to drop it off and pick it up, and the latter did not include three hours of my time or putting up with laundromat culture. So I dropped it off to have done.

That’s rare now. Probably less than half a dozen times in the four years I’ve lived at this apartment. But after the weekend at camp, and our week being completely packed, Kristen and I decided to drop our laundry off nearby and just get it done with.

When we went to pick it up yesterday, this happened:

Launderer: There was something plastic in there, I didn’t want to put it in the dryer.

Me: (Noticing my Pete packing undies tucked next to the plastic bag in the laundry basket) Uh, no problem.

Launderer: I just didn’t want to … Hurt it.

Me: (Kinda speechless, realizing it was more than just the undies) I’m sure it’s okay.

Kristen said, in the car on the way home, that I have frequently left cocks in my laundry basket, and she kind of likes that. Finding them in there. Clearly I’ve gotten too comfortable doing my own laundry, and need to go through it just a bit more carefully if I send it out.

It’s not that big a deal, and really I’m sure the person at the laundromat has had worse things show up in people’s laundry baskets, things I don’t even want to know about. And in some ways I bet this is almost explanable for her, that two lesbians come in and the “mannish” one leaves a soft packing dick in her clothes, because of course I want to “be the man.” I cringe at reinforcing that stereotype, and want to explain the more complexities of gender, but it’s almost, kind of, true.

Ah, the adventures of being butch in New York City never end.

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.

17 thoughts on “So Then There Was That Time I Left My Dick In the Laundry …”

  1. rexicon. says:

    i just snorted milk out of my nose. hilarious. i’m glad your launderer was, uh, professional about it.

  2. Kyle says:

    If I’d been drinking milk, I’d have snorted it out too… omg… too funny. “I didn’t want to… hurt it” — thank goodness, eh?

  3. KJ says:

    Seems like kind of an un-generous conclusion to draw about the launderer, who seems from your anecdote to have been quite thoughtful, even tender…

    1. Sinclair says:

      KJ – maybe it came across as more tender than it actually was, that wasn’t quite how I took it. She was kind, sure, so I don’t mean to be un-generous. Mostly it was business-like and awkward.

  4. Lesley Domnu says:

    OMG, I have so done this! The other day, my niece who lives with me, decided to be nice and do my laundry. Wrapped in the sheets that just came off the bed was the strap-on my partner and I just used the night before and in one of the pair of briefs was my packer. My niece came and so politely asked that I just make sure that the stuff in the basket were laundry room safe.

    I am still getting used to packing and all that as I am new to it. So of course made me even more self conscience.

  5. Is it wrong that I find this endearing?

    1. Sinclair says:

      Haha, no. Thanks BS :)

  6. alice says:

    haha omg this is amazingly awesome. I love that you so comfortable about it! i would be mortified :p

  7. cahun says:

    I’m with KJ. I’m often disturbed by how people in my genderqueer community handle the politics of labor. I was once involved in a discussion about how to “teach” service workers to use the gender proper honorific when serving you. Really! These people are at work! There is also often a tendency to engage in elaborate fantasies about what the workers who encounter you are thinking about your sex/gender. Is it possible that they are just trying to get through the day without, for example, nonconsenting contact with sex toys? I’m not at all sure why you didn’t apologize.

    1. Sinclair says:

      cahun: You’re right, I probably should have apologized. It was absolutely not my intention to have her come in contact with that. It wasn’t a sex toy, for the record, it was a packing cock that I’d left tucked into the underwear that have a little pouch, and I’m sure I just tossed them into the laundry basket without thinking about it. That was my thoughtlessness. I was so caught off-guard by the interaction that I didn’t think to apologize, but if it had been a pen or lipstick or something else I’d left in my pockets, I know it would have inconvenienced her to do her job, and certainly would have apologized.

      It’s extra hard to behave “appropriately” in these situations, I think, because there’s a level of shame, embarrassment, and mortification that comes along with these interactions. I’m sure I was blushing, and she was trying to get through the conversation with the minimal amount necessary.

      One of the reasons why the “politics of labor” are so hard within the genderqueer world is, I think, because it’s all those daily interactions with people in all kinds of services—workers, servers, laundry-doers, teachers, bus drivers, whatever—that so frequently causes my own pain around gender. The misunderstandings and confused looks aren’t overt bashings, but they are pinpricks that really add up. I know it’s more complicated than that, and the genderqueer folks who want to “educate” are most often white and college educated, discounting the class differences and hierarchies, and stomping privilege all over service.

      I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m sure that’s not what was happening here. It was a quick interaction, and I was humbled and nice about it. You’re right, I should have apologized, but mostly, it was just a funny little moment where we had to interact about something far more personal than our relationship accounted for.

  8. Aww Sinclair! While I get all of the stuff said above, I still think this story is so endearing. :)


  9. natasia says:

    Ooo who does your laundry? They sound discreet/professional. :-)

  10. Justa Notha says:


    I accidentally left my bra in one of those reusable shopping bags–and when the batter opened it up it flew out at her!

    I was mortified, but she laughed about it, thankfully!

  11. S. Elle says:

    I loved this. There’s something awkward and charming and ridiculous in these kinds of interactions, so very human, and funny all the same. Thanks for writing about it :)

  12. I loved how she didn’t want to *hurt it*, like it was real. Probably she didn’t mean it that way the way you describe her in the comments, but it sure sounds endearing to me. Cocks get hurt so easily. <3 Wonderful story.

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