May 072013
 
Eclair Bandersnatch mural at Center for Sex & Culture

Eclair Bandersnatch mural at Center for Sex & Culture

As some of you may know, I was born on May 9, and this year, I’m thrilled to tell you exactly what I want for my birthday!

The Center for Sex & Culture (CSC) in San Francisco, founded by Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence, is a non-profit archive, library and community space for preserving and sharing information and artifacts of sexual identity, sexual products, and sexual ideas. It is a VITAL resource for sex-positive communities. CSC accepts donations year round, but May 9 is a special day. May 9, 2013 is the first national Give OUT Day for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community. Give OUT Day is a new national initiative that aims to mobilize thousands of individual donors on a single day across the country to give in support of the LGBTQ nonprofit community. It is a chance for LGBTQ groups large and small, to work across the wide range of issues and activities that matter to the LGBTQ community from sports to policy change, families to the arts. It is a chance for members of the LGBTQ community and our many allies to stand up and show our support for our community together on one day. In addition, The Horizon Foundation (The Bay Area’s LGBT Community Foundation) is sponsoring a challenge (The “Bay Area Leaderboard Prize”): It will award prize grants ($5,000, $2,500 and $1,000) to the top three small Bay Area non-profit organizations with the greatest number of unique donors at the end of Give OUT Day on Thursday, May 9. That’s right, it’s not about how much money they raise, it’s about how many people they can get to donate in one day, which means that any amount helps, even $5, but you’ve got to do it Thursday, May 9. Go to the Center for Sex and Culture Donation Page on Razoo and donate there (it’s important to use this link since they are tracking all the donations through it). You can even go beforehand and schedule your donation for May 9 by choosing “On a Giving Day” from the drop down menu. I am encouraging you to celebrate my birthday, support the important work of the Center and get more bang for your buck while you do it. Isn’t that appropriate?

Here is more information about The Center for Sex and Culture in Carol’s own words:

In 1994 my partner Robert and I (I’m author and sexologist Carol Queen, PhD) were visiting our friend Betty Dodson, sometimes known as “the Mother of Masturbation,” in her NY home. Why didn’t she bring her fabulous Bodysex workshop to the Bay Area? we asked. There wasn’t an appropriate venue there, she said. And then she said the words that begin the story of The Center for Sex & Culture: “You kids should start a place.”

Betty was right! Between us, we had connections in many sexuality-related communities. We both have doctorates in sexology; I worked at the legendary Good Vibrations and wrote for Spectator magazine, which had evolved from the old Berkeley Barb; I wrote stories and essays for zines and anthologies too, and was working on my first book, Exhibitionism for the Shy; we traveled around the US teaching, speaking, and meeting people from many sexual worlds, and were ourselves comfortable participants in many of these; and we’d both been directors at SF Sex Info. Together, we could relate and identify with much of the range of sexuality.

It took over 5 years of talking up the idea, but at last an angel donor helped us get over the fence: We corresponded with the IRS, got our non-profit status, and began looking for a space. Interns and donated materials came our way even before we had a room to house them. When we did get a place, we invited every sexually interested person over 18 to be part of it: as member, performer, teacher, patron, life-long learner. Academics and journalists began to visit to use our library and inspect our collections. Librarians descended on us, helping us to organize the many books and journals we’d amassed. (We believe we now have the largest publicly-accessibly sex library in the country — maybe the world!)

We host sex ed classes, and also cultural events. I deeply feel that, in the absence of good sex ed in the US, many of us learn about sex and develop our attitudes about sexuality via culture, and we want to participate fully in that discussion. We also support culture-making: through writing classes for sex workers; our award-winning Erotic Reading Circle; burlesque and dance classes; and our annual Nude Aid artmaking day. We also support community-based organizations, from BDSM/leather, to sex worker support groups, to the unique safer sex strategies of the SF Jacks. Our collections include Buzz Bense’s HIV/AIDS poster collection (these will hang in our gallery in Nov./Dec. 2013), materials from Pat Califia and Larry Townsend, a full run of On Our Backs magazine, Scarlot Harlot’s searchable database of sex worker interviews, and so much more.

We are all-volunteer, a labor of love and community for everyone involved. The next wave of core staff — a new librarian, a gallerist, archivists, and each year’s group of interns — came to us because of the cultural impacts of our collections; they are making them increasingly organized and accessible, and helping turn CSC into a venue for erotic artists who have few other places to exhibit their work.

We dream of publishing books, thus helping more non-Bay Area people join the conversation; and also want to put many of our events online, so we are even more a global community sex center than a local one. In the meantime, we hope you will visit us when you come to San Francisco! And thank you so very much for reading about our history and supporting us. Any donation helps us keep our doors open and take care of the materials our community has entrusted to us.

Wishing you pleasure and all the sex information you need!

—Carol, Robert, Dina, Marlene, Dorian, Anissa LibraryVixen, Tess, & the rest of your friends at the Center for Sex & Culture

Apr 252013
 

Ask Tristan logo
How can gender identity affect a sexual experience or a sexual relationship (even mentally)? How can we avoid gender identity becoming a point of contestation? We are both doms.
If you are trans* or your gender identity is complex, non-normative, fluid, genderqueer, or your body doesn’t entirely reflect your gender expression, it can absolutely affect your sexual experiences and relationships. As you begin to figure out your gender identity (knowing of course that it’s still not fixed and can change), share as much of that information as you can with your partner. This includes your relationship to your body, your preferred words for your body parts, how you want to be touched, and your sexual boundaries. Communicate with your partner about words that feel authentic and sexy in relation to your body and certain sex acts—words like dick, cock, cunt, pussy, as well as “fucking” or “making love”—can be loaded for people, no matter what their gender identity is, so ask your partner what words they use in regards to their own body and then respect those choices. It’s also helpful to stick to gender-neutral adjectives instead of nouns (hard, tight, wet, open, etc.). Your gender identity should not be a “point of contestation” between the two of you. The more comfortable you are with your gender identity, and the more you can talk about it with your partner, the more likely they are to understand it. Gender identity with regard to sexuality and sexual dynamics can vary for everyone, not just trans* and genderqueer people. For example, a straight man may want to be dominated and treated like a bad girl by his female partner, a lesbian may like to imagine she’s a straight man who’s seducing another man for the first time. We often get turned on by gender and sexual dynamics that don’t match our everyday gender on the street. Even when people aren’t explicitly roleplaying, there’s a certain energy dynamic that goes into the act itself that connects to our gender identity. Make a list of what gender identities you connect to in the bedroom (and which ones you don’t), share it with your partner, then have them do the same thing and find where you overlap and connect.
Recommended: Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality and Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation

Apr 252013
 

photo(2)
I gave my Sexploration lecture at Bucknell University on Tuesday April 23, and there was a huge crowd. I often do anonymous questions at college events where students write their questions on notecards and everyone has to write something, even if it’s “no question.” The anonymity gives folks the freedom to ask their most pressing questions. I only had time to answer about 60% of the questions, so I’m answering the rest here. I’ve combined some questions that are on the same topic.

Is it weird that I want sex all the time even though I’m a virgin?
No. It’s common to have sexual desires regardless of your sexual experience. Remember what I said about the problematic concept of virginity? I encourage you to define sex as broadly as you want and not buy into the cultural construction of virginity.
Recommended: The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

How often do most people masturbate?
It varies wildly from person to person, and how often just one person masturbates can vary depending on their energy level, desire, stress, opportunity, etc. There are some interesting stats you can check out. In general, I don’t think masturbation is ever a bad thing. Everyone should have a sexual relationship with themselves, and it’s a great way to figure out what you like.

I masturbate so much it’s turned into a chore; any tips for spicing it up?
Masturbation shouldn’t be a chore! But people can get into a repetitive rut. Don’t think of it merely as a quick way to get off, think of it as a date with yourself. Try changing positions, experimenting with new stimulation techniques, adding lube and a toy to the mix.

How long does it take to give a guy a blow job?
There is no set amount of time that it takes anyone to do anything sexual. If you’re giving the blow job, take charge of the situation and do it for as long as it feels good, for as long as you want to. If you get tired or overwhelmed, switch to using your hand or doing something else.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio

How long should a guy last during a blow job?
I hate to repeat myself, but: there is no set amount of time. Depending on the guy, the stimulation of oral sex could bring him to orgasm slowly, quickly, or not at all. Blow jobs do it for some people and not for others.

How nutritious is semen and how can I convince my girlfriend to swallow?
Semen has little to no nutritional value because you don’t ingest all that much of it. You don’t want to convince anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. You can share your desire with her and tell her why it turns you on, but ultimately, it’s her choice to swallow or not, and you’ve got to respect it. Also, swallowing semen is a riskier practice in terms of safer sex than not swallowing, and I am a fan of condoms for blow jobs.

How do you improve oral sex?
Since you didn’t specify, I’m going to make some statements that apply to all kinds of oral sex (cunnilingus, fellatio, and analingus), then give you some particulars. Enthusiasm, focus, tenacity, and paying attention to your partner’s body language are all good qualities to have when giving oral sex. Use your fingers and hands along with your mouth. For cunnilingus, experiment with different techniques using your lips, mouth, and tongue, and ask your partner to tell you what she likes (if she doesn’t know, explore and ask her to alert you when you’ve stumbled on something great). For fellatio, concentrate on the head and the sensitive frenulum on its underside (remember our anatomy lesson); experiment by applying different amounts of pressure with your mouth along the head and shaft. For analingus, use your tongue and lips to get into the folds of the sensitive anus.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 1: Cunnilingus, The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio, and The Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio

I don’t think I enjoy sex at all. The picture of the vagina (in your presentation) made me squirm, and I have one. What can I do to be comfortable and enjoy the experience when my partner wants to have it?
First, this is a question I can’t answer with a pithy one minute (or three sentence) response. It was a line drawing, but an explicit one, of a vulva, and we are not used to looking at those images on the big screen or in public, so it can make some people uncomfortable for a number of reasons. But you said you don’t enjoy sex at all. Could you be asexual? If you have sexual desire, then it’s a matter of getting comfortable with your body and with sex. Do you masturbate? It all begins there, so I’d start with establishing a sexual relationship with yourself before you address sex with a partner.
Recommended: Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving

What is the best way to have sex in a long distance relationship?
I assume you mean when you and your partner are apart? Use technology to keep you connected. Dirty text messages, naughty instant messages, steamy emails, and Skype with mutual masturbation. I caution you against sending naked or sex pictures to each other, however, since we’ve seen all the trouble that can cause.

Got any good positions?
Each position has its pros and cons, and experimentation is key. If you like Missionary, try Flying Missionary where the person on their back puts their feet on their partner’s chest. If you like Cowgirl, try Froggie where the person on top balances on their feet. If you like Doggie Style, try Tailgate, where the receiver lies on their stomach and the penetrator then lies directly on top of them.

Do you have tips for using a toy to stimulate the G-spot?
Pick a curved toy like Pure Wand, and always aim the curve toward the front of the person’s body. Many G-spots respond to deliberate, firm pressure rather than gentle stroking, so don’t be afraid to apply pressure—just make sure your partner is aroused and ready before you do.
Recommended: The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation and The Big Book of Sex Toys

Does size matter?
The easy answer is no. People are way too wrapped up in penis size, when most folks want a compassionate, responsive lover more than a particular size. But I don’t want to deny that everyone has different tastes and turn ons, and some people do like penetration with big stuff. But that’s why God created dildos.

How do I get a vibrator and which kind do I get?
If possible, visit a sex-positive store like The Smitten Kitten, Good Vibrations, or Babeland. When you shop in person at stores like these, the toys are out of their packages, so you can see and feel them, feel the vibration, hear how quiet or loud they are, plus you benefit from the advice of experienced sex educators who work there. If that’s not possible, try one of their websites; they all have detailed product information and customer reviews.
Recommended: The Big Book of Sex Toys

I’m a girl. Do I need to shave my pubic hair before I have sex?
Your pubic hair is your business! It’s a matter of personal taste, just like how you cut and style your other hair. Some people let it grow, others trim it back, and others wax or shave some or all of it off.

As a female, how do you know if you’ve had an orgasm?
I want to say, “Oh you’ll know!” but I want to be more specific. Some of the physiological responses include: a feeling of release; muscle contractions of the uterus, vagina, and sphincter muscles; other muscle contractions and muscle tension throughout the body; involuntary muscle responses that cause you to make strange faces; and cramping of hands and feet. Talking to your peers about what their orgasms feel like is a great way to open up a conversation and hear from real people about their experiences.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Female Orgasms and The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime

How long does it take a woman to climax?
There is no set amount of time, and I hesitate to even say there is an average amount of time. Women often put pressure on themselves about this (I hear all the time “It takes me a really long time,” or “It takes too long”). Concentrate on what’s going on and how it feels, and don’t think about the clock and how you measure up to it.

Do you have any suggestions for mixing things up during sex?
Lube. Sex toys. Role play. Analingus. New positions. Porn. Do anything except intercourse. Mutual masturbation.
Recommended: What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

Do you poop when you have anal sex? How do you have “clean” anal sex?
When you have a bowel movement, feces stored in the colon pass through the rectum, down into the anal canal, and out the anus. The colon is the storage area, and the rectum and anal canal are pathways. If you have good bowel habits and plenty of fiber in your diet, then there should be very little fecal matter in the rectum and anal canal. When you play with fingers, a toy, or a penis, you’re not going beyond the rectum. Go to the bathroom before anal play. In addition, take a warm, soapy shower or bath before anal sex to make sure your genitals are clean. You can even slide a soapy finger into your anus. Always use the most mild soap you can—either a castile or pure glycerine. A trip to the bathroom and a shower will go a long way toward you having relatively clean anal penetration. I say “relatively clean” because I want you to be realistic. There are no guarantees in life, and some amount of fecal matter may be present in someone’s rectum. If you want to go the extra step to make sure you’re totally cleaned out, you can give yourself an enema beforehand.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

How safe is anal sex and how do I avoid anal fissures?
I always recommend that people use safer sex barriers if they are not currently tested and in a sexually monogamous relationship. You can transmit most sexually-transmitted infections (including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HPV, genital warts, herpes, and HIV) through unprotected anal sex, especially penis/ass intercourse. In addition, as I said in my presentation, the ass is made of delicate, sensitive tissue which is susceptible to small tears or anal fissures. The best way to protect against them: use gloves to make your fingers butt-friendly, use plenty of lube, focus on warm up and don’t rush penetration, and, as the receiver, listen to your body.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

Is it inappropriate to go up to someone and say, “Wanna fuck? Right here, right now?” (I’m female.)
I like people being direct about what they want. I appreciate shameless assertion of your desires. So I don’t think it’s inappropriate to speak your desires in the right context with potential lovers. But, that said, there are repercussions for women who speak openly about their sexual desire, so you’ve got to take those into account, knowing that reactions to your honesty will be mixed (see next question).

How can I, as a woman, express wanting to have sex without looking like a slut?
Just do it. Own it. Don’t let anyone shame you for your sexual desires, experience, or consensual behavior. And don’t shame other women for theirs. Don’t buy into our society’s double standards that applaud men for their sexual prowess and punish women for the very same behavior. (Easier said than done, I know.)
Recommended: He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

How do we as a society combat false sex information like the “What Not To Do Guide to BDSM,” aka Fifty Shades of Grey?
You’re right, Fifty Shades of Grey is not an instruction manual, it’s a romance novel with some kink thrown in. But lots of people have read it and it’s opened up conversations about kinky sex, which is ultimately a good thing for society. If a friend mentions reading it or being inspired by it, be ready to let them know that it’s not a how-to and have recommendations for other resources that give solid information about BDSM.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction

I am really into bondage. How do I bring it up to a casual hookup without being scary and intense?
It’s all in the way you present it. Be direct and put it out there (“I want to tie you up” or “It would turn me on if you tied me up”) and make it clear that it’s a suggestion that your partner is welcome to embrace or turn down. If they agree, be prepared to give them information about safety before you start and always use a safeword.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

How does a girl approach the idea of being a dominant with a guy?
Talk about roleplaying fantasies and see what kinds of scenarios you each come up with. Suggest some scenes where you play a dominant role and see what he says. Context is everything.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Why do I have rape fantasies? It feels problematic.
Our fantasies often do not reflect our politics. Rape fantasies can be about exploring submission, masochism, surrender, objectification, control, and a slew of other dynamics. Although “rape” is the hot-button word in this question, the operative word here is fantasy. It’s a fantasy where you create the script, imagine the details, call the shots, and know how it ends—which is an entirely different thing than actual rape.
Recommended: Toybag Guide to Playing With Taboo and Mollena Williams’ two chapters in The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Any advice for a woman who wants to peg her man? Techniques, a particular toy, a particular position?
Pegging is strap-on anal sex where the woman is the giver and the man the receiver, and it can open up a whole new world of erotic exploration for couples. Great anal sex is all about the warm up. You’ve got to take your time, relish each sensation, and tease your partner into a frenzy before any serious penetration begins. As for toys, I love the Mistress dildo by Vixen Creations and any harness made by Aslan Leather.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and The Expert Guide to Pegging

What are your thoughts on tantra, sexual ecstasy and spirituality?
That’s a big question on a big topic. More and more people are getting interested in sacred sexuality, the intersection of sex and spirituality, sex magic, and Tantric sex. I want to refer you to two of the best, most accessible books on the subject: Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life.

How do you feel about porn, which often portrays false or fantastical situations? How realistic is porn? Is it misleading?
Well, it depends on the porn! Much of mainstream pornography portrays a fantasy and a performance, so there’s a lot of athletic positions, high energy and high libido, heightened reactions to stimulation, and earth shaking orgasms (both real and performed). You don’t often get to see honest communication, awkward moves, enough warm up before intercourse, a focus on other kinds of sex besides intercourse, partners being shy or quiet, stopping and starting, and much more. I like to portray more realistic sexual scenes in my films, where people verbally negotiate, ask for what they want, use lube and sex toys, focus on activities that turn them on rather than a “script” of how sex should unfold, get into positions that feel good for them, and allow enough arousal time and stimulation to allow female performers to have real orgasms. There are lots of feminists who make porn, and you may want to check out their films as well as films featuring real couples including Make Love Not Porn.
Recommended: The Feminist Porn Book

How can gender identity affect a sexual experience or a sexual relationship (even mentally)? How can we avoid gender identity becoming a point of contestation? We are both doms.
This question requires a longer answer, so I gave it its own Ask Tristan post.

 

 

 

 

Jan 152013
 

Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica
I am so thrilled to announce the release of the audio book version of my Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica. It’s available on Amazon and Audible (you can even listen to a sample at Audible). First, I am just excited that the audio book market has really exploded recently, and audio book versions of several of my books have already been produced, including Best Lesbian Erotica 2007, Best Lesbian Erotica 2009, Best of the Best Lesbian Erotica, Hot Lesbian Erotica, and Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships (and coming soon: Down and Dirty Sex Secrets!). I think erotica books make especially good material for audio (of course) and queer erotica is where I got my start so it’s close to my heart. But what makes this one extra special is that I co-produced and narrated it! That’s right, here’s your chance to hear more than 7 hours of me talking dirty to you, reading smutty stories by folks like S. Bear Bergman, Toni Amato, D. Alexandria, Peggy Munson, Sinclair Sexsmith, Elaine Miller, Amie M. Evans, Alison Smith, and more. You’ll hear tales of the new femme in town and the butch pastry chef, the cop who passes as a guy and picks up straight girls at hip hop clubs, porn-watching butches who can’t keep their hands off each other, a sexy game of hide and seek in the woods, what happens when a femme trolls the personals for a date, one girl’s revenge on sweet-talking butches, a threesome with a power couple, girl-on-girl lipstick smearing, poetic public sex and some particularly incendiary roleplay. The stories are filled with dominant Daddies, butches with swagger, fierce femmes, strippers and sex workers, longtime lovers, femme tops, and plenty more. I promise you: it’s a good time! My producer and engineer on this project is a superstar in his own right: Dylan Keefe. Dylan is part of the team of geniuses who work on public radio show Radiolab and the bass player for Marcy Playground, an awesome 90s band famous for the song “Sex and Candy.” Dylan and I had so much fun in the studio together recording this, and we hope to collaborate on more projects together. I hope you’ll check it out, tell your friends, and enjoy this porn for your ears!

Nov 282012
 

Dr. Meg Barker comes to Sex Out Loud this Friday to discuss her new book, Rewriting the Rules, which addresses our current climate saturated with contradictory love advice. They examine both the old and new rules of relating and questions how useful they might be to managing our relationships today. Then Tristan interviews queer storyteller, author, and educator Sassafras Lowrey about hir novel, Roving Pack, set in an underground world of homeless queer teens. Lowrey will discuss the process of writing the book, responses from the community, as well as give a sneak peek to hir next collection, Leather Ever After, an anthology of kinky fairy tales. Tune in this Friday, November 30th at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT and find out all the ways to listen here!

Dr. Meg Barker is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and a therapist specialising in sexual and relationship issues. Meg has published books on relationships (Understanding Non-monogamies, Routledge), sexuality (Safe, Sane & Consensual, Palgrave MacMillan), and counselling (Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy, Sage) and is co-editor of the journal Psychology & Sexuality. Meg runs many public and professional events about sex and relationships (e.g. Critical Sexology, Sense about Sex, BiReCon), as well as providing training for the UK College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists. Meg was first author of The Bisexuality Report about bisexual experience in the UK (www.biuk.org). Meg’s most recent book Rewriting the Rules (Routledge) tackles the common ‘rules’ around love and sex that people often feel they must adhere to (www.rewriting-the-rules.com).

Sassafras Lowrey is an internationally award-winning storyteller, author, artist, and educator. Sassafras is the editor of the two time American Library Association honored, and Lambda Literary Finalist Kicked Out anthology (www.KickedOutAnthology.com) which brought together the voices of current and former homeless LGBTQ youth. Hir prose has been included in numerous anthologies and magazines recently ze received an Honorable Mention from the 2011 Astrea Lesbian Writers Fund. and Sassafras regularly lectures and facilitates LGBTQ storytelling workshops at colleges and conferences across the country. Hir debute novel Roving Pack (www.RovingPack.com) will be released October 2012, and ze is currently editing Leather Ever After an anthology of BDSM fairy tale retellings to be released by Ravenous Romance. Sassafras lives in Brooklyn with hir family. To learn more about Sassafras and hir work, visit www.SassafrasLowrey.com

 

Oct 072012
 

 

[Attention folks near NYC! This Friday, October 12th, 2012, there will be a book release party for Roving Pack at Bluestockings. Details after the review. ]

Roving Pack, the debut novel of writer Sassafras Lowrey, follows a year in the life of Click, a trans kid in Portland navigating the meaning of family, love, longing, and belonging within circles of queer homeless and transient youth. The novel gives voice to a sea of characters that ring so true and familiar to those heard in our queer lives , but are so rarely depicted on LGBT pages. Click’s story begins with a heartbreak and keeps them coming; we follow along in the search to find a stable home for Click’s pack made up of daddies, boys, dogs, cats, and rats (with an occasional femme*) that come and go from Click’s life with the blazing hot intensity that often accompanies our exploration of new adult desires. Click’s sexual desires are honestly depicted by Lowrey in way that is deeply validating – this book fiercely shows the hotness, the complications, and the everyday details of leather and BDSM, as well as transitioning and genderqueer living – but the similarly complicated desires of home and loyalty are the main focus of Click’s story. Every moment is an opportunity for a character to disappoint or surprise both us and Click.

Roving Pack is told in the first-person by Click, with a blend of public online journals, inner friend filters, and the private diary. For those of us who came through the early-adopter Livejournal years, this book is like being included on EVERY filter, and seeing as much in the public face Click presented for the sake of loyalty as you do the private pains of difficult love. This intimate voice pulls you immediately inside the vividly depicted communities of trans and queer youth in Portland and the book soon becomes a compulsive read that quietly devastates you all the way to the end. Immediately upon turning the final page, I missed Click. I still want to hit refresh on my browser to see if another post will appear. And while steeped in contemporary culture and online narrative styles, the novel also reminded me of the smart and ragged intensity of Sarah Schulman’s early novels about dykes and fags in 90s NYC. There’s a universality to Click’s desire to belong, as well as the wish for home and looking for it within the faces of our queer loved ones who are supposed to understand us more than any one else in the world. There is also a shared devastation in those moments when our new queer families let us down. Roving Pack is an emotionally difficult read at times, but I couldn’t turn away from Click, nor from Lowrey’s elegantly rough and direct storytelling. Ze’s writing pairs the passion and authenticity of Click’s voice with sharp observations and strong narrative momentum.

*This book is for every member of the pack, though femmes be warned, Click and various other characters are very butch- and fag-centric, so there are occasionally some opinionated moments of ignorance. While they made me wince, they also felt true to the characters and the community.

~~~~~

Please join us at the official NYC release event for “Roving Pack” to celebrate the publication of this highly anticipated debut novel by Sassafras Lowrey (editor of Kicked Out)

OCTOBER 12, 2012
Bluestockings Bookstore – 172 Allen St. NYC
7pm

 

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A. Raymond Johnson is a writer, shiatsuist, DJ, and karaoke aficionado. He received his MFA in Fiction from Antioch University in Los Angeles and has been awarded writing residencies at Ragdale and Millay Colony for his novels-in-progress. He has blogged since 2000, including at Out Magazine’s Popnography and I Fry Mine In Butter. His short story “Tammy Faye” is part of the upcoming book, The Collection (Topside Press, 2012).

 

Aug 032012
 

Hey, Portland … are you ready?  Cinekink is back in town for a hot, one-night stand! (And if you’re in LA or Chicago, they’re coming to visit you in October and November, see below for dates.)

Sunday, August 5 – 7:00 pm
KINK & KINSHIP
A collection of works that celebrate and explore the special sense of community our kinks tend to engender. Program includes:
The Transexual Dominatrix
So Pomo
Lenny Waller Memorial
Sisterhood of the Sash: International Ms Leather at 25
High: A Black Party Symphony

Glenda Rider of IMsL will be on hand after the screening for a Q&A, raffling off a signed poster commemorating the organization’s annual event!

Sunday, August 5 – 9:00 PM
BEST OF CINEKINK/2012
A special screening of award-winning shorts deemed the year’s best from CineKink, “the kinky film festival!”
The Transexual Dominatrix
Baldguy (Skallamann)
Pedal to Pleasure (from Portland filmmaker Poppy Cox!!)
What Makes Us Queer
Smut Capital of America
Craigslist Dating
Tooshie Smooshie
A Day in the Country

LOCATION:
Clinton Street Theater
2522 SE Clinton Street
Portland, OR
http://clintonsttheater.com/

ADMISSION:
Admission is $8 door/$6 advance per screening, $12 door/$10 advance for both; 18 and over only.

TICKETS:
http://cinekinkpdx12.eventbrite.com/

INFO
For more information and the full program line-up, visit http://cinekink.com/programs-and-events/tour/pdx

SPONSORS:
National tour sponsors for CineKink/2012 include Crystal Delights, KinkyMedical.net, Leather Archives & Museum, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and njoy. Local sponsors include Darklady Productions, Portland Leather Association, PQ Monthly and She Bop.

CineKink: PDX is presented in conjunction with Oregon Leather Pride, which runs August 3-12, 2012.
http://www.oregonleatherpride.org/

Save the dates and stay tuned for more details on these upcoming appearances!

**CineKink: Los Angeles
October 12-13

**CineKink: Chicago
November 16-17

If you’d like to bring CineKink to your event – or know of a festival or theatre that might want to host us – we’re still booking/confirming dates for our 2012 tour! Just send an email to cinekink2012 (at) cinekink (dot) com to inquire.

Also look for an announcement of our CineKink NYC/2013 dates AND call for entries… coming soon!

Jul 262012
 

  • Glorified Love Letters wrote a review (aka a love letter) to Ultimate Guide for Kink and Sinclair Sexsmith featured the book in Lambda Literary’s Cliterotica 2012, a quarterly lesbian erotica review roundup.
Jul 252012
 

CALL FOR ENTRIES
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival

Deadline: September 5, 2012
Festival:
November 8-11, 2012  (San Francisco, USA)

INFO:www.sftff.org

The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) seeks entries for its 2012 Festival  (deadline September 5). The Festival will take place at CounterPulse in San Francisco, November 8-11, 2012.

SFTFF accepts narrative, documentary, experimental, animated films and music videos. All work should be created by transgender/gender variant people. All work submitted must be 20 minutes or under. Please only submit one film.

The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival was founded in 1997 as North America’s first transgender film festival. We exhibit groundbreaking, provocative, outrageous, courageous, moving and innovative works that show the complexity of lives lived on the transgender spectrum. The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival is co-presented by Fresh Meat Productions.

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: September 5, 2011
Early submissions are encouraged.
There is no entry fee.

FORMAT
Please send your submissions on DVD only (North American format).
Please note: If your film is accepted, you may be asked to send us your film in Quicktime format.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR FILM

  1. Download and complete the Entry Form and print a copy.
  2. Send your Entry Form and one copy of your work (DVD only) to:

SF Transgender Film Festival
c/o Fresh Meat Productions
P.O. Box 460670
San Francisco, CA
94146-0670
USA

  1. Email a 300-dpi (high resolution) JPG image for your film to sftransfilm@gmail.com.
  2. We will email you notification when your submission has been received.

GUIDELINES

  1. Please include all required materials when submitting your entry – don’t forget to email us a JPG for press purposes (All work must be 20 minutes or less! No exceptions).
  2. We cannot return any submitted materials.
  3. We will notify you if your work is accepted by September 10th.
  4. Once a film is submitted, it may not be withdrawn for any reason.
  5. For questions or more information, contact: sftransfilm@gmail.com.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
The Festival will take place at CounterPulse in San Francisco, November 8-11. For venue, program and schedule information, visit our Calendar page in September. In the meantime, Join our email list to receive updates.

For more information on how to submit your film, please visit our Submissions Page.

Jul 162012
 

This Friday, July 20th, on Sex Out Loud, I’m happy to welcome educator, filmmaker, and pop culture icon Buck Angel. We’ll discuss changing representations of trans male sexuality, including the making of his docu-porn Sexing the Transman and its success on the film festival circuit. Buck will also discuss the upcoming sequel, Sexing the Transman 2, due later this month and his transition from being an adult film star to a speaker and educator. I will also get a chance to talk to Tobi Hill-Meyer, a filmmaker currently working on Doing It Again, an erotic documentary about trans women’s sexuality that weaves together explicit scenes and interviews with trans women and their partners.

Buck Angel

As a visionary filmmaker, activist, educator and lecturer, Buck Angel launched Buck Angel Entertainment as a vehicle to produce multi media projects that will motivate viewers to think outside the box. Buck Angel’s message of empowerment through self-acceptance and being sexually comfortable in your own skin has struck a passionate chord with folks all over the world. Since Buck coined “it’s not what’s between your legs that defines your gender!”, the phrase has become an anthem for people everywhere who have been inspired by this message of self acceptance. Buck has been featured in nearly every imaginable international media outlet: television, radio, web, and print. Buck Angel made history when he received the prestigious award from Adult Video News (AVN) for Transsexual Performer of the Year in 2007 for his groundbreaking work in the adult entertainment industry. Buck has received international recognition and continues to be a huge box office hit in numerous markets.

Tobi Hill-Meyer

In 2010 Tobi Hill-Meyer made her film making debut, winning an Award for Emerging Filmmaker of the year and being named #3 in Velvet Park Media’s list of the 25 Most Significant Queer Women of 2010. She is a multiracial trans woman with a long history of working with feminist and LGBTQ organizations on a local, state, and federal level, having served on several boards and offering support as a strategic consultant. Since receiving her degree in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies, Tobi has turned her focus to media analysis and productions. She is a founding member and major contributor to the media collective, Handbasket Productions. Handbasket Productions is a radical, oppression aware media collective focusing on queer culture, trans experience and sex positivity. Spanning non-fiction, fiction, and fantasy genres, we use books zines, film, music and other art to cover a variety of topics including sex work, polyamory, racism and queerspawn experience.