Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2016-04-06

Incredibly Delicious Supplements Delivered Via Raw Honey Made By Awesome People

Some of you may remember that Dara did this huge organizing project in 2012. She quit her day job, lived off savings and ran a global initiative aimed at building peace. She met a lot of really great folks doing that work and it has been such a pleasure for me to meet and interact with them.

At her NYC going away party I hung out with Zak for the first time. Zak’s a really great guy–positive energy radiates from him and he’s really just the kind of person who elevates your mood when you’re around. He’s an entrepreneur and I knew his work with the Ring Thing because Dara had sold them in partnership with Good 4 Me with a school non-profit she was consulting with. I have had a Ring Thing on my phone ever since Dara was selling them and I cannot endorse it enough as a wildly useful phone accessory–a kickstand, hook, handle and many more things in one. I use it many times a day.

darazakDara and Zak at her going away party at Chelsea Piers.

So here’s Zak, this great dude I’ve only just met whose work already has been an intimately helpful part of my life, and he says that he and his business partners at Good For Me Lifestyle have a new product they are unveiling. He literally whips out a box of superfoods to let me taste. A whole fleet of superfoods infused in delicious raw honey.

“Hell yes I would like to try those,” I said.

While everyone else in Dara’s NYC party went on to the karaoke bar, Zak and I sat down for some one on one time talking superfood honeys.

They enable you to take all of the superfood stuff you know (and probably some you don’t know) and get it into your life easier. It’s ideal when you have time to plan a biodiverse menu for yourself and your family full of superfood plant products.

honeyvariety

But there are times when you’re busy, traveling, sick, whatever and you don’t have capacity for that. These supplements handle that, or just add to your already super spectacular menu.

Since they’re infused into honey you can just grab a tiny spoonful (maybe 1/2 teaspoon or so) and eat it. Or you add it to hot water to make a delicious beverage. They can be added to food really easily and the new butter infusions are fabulous to cook with.

Zak gave me a flight of honeys to try and they were a Goddesssend during our cross country road trip. I served them in microwaved sweet potatoes or gluten-free peanut butter sandwiches when I made us dinner in hotel rooms, we used them as supplements, and they were really great when our bodies were weary or sick from travel. Dara’s a cancer survivor and we take making sure we eat well pretty seriously.

Here are all of the flavors you can choose from:

Energize Me–a delicious chocolate flavor is actually all naturally occurring from the superfoods, Organic Cacao Beans, Organic Bee Pollen and Organic Maca Root. It’s great for a pick me up and focus. I’ve never used it in lieu of caffeine I really just think it’s delicious and throw it on oatmeal a lot.

honey

Heal Me–the answer to my complete inability to ever actually make the anti-inflammatory powerhouse golden milk. Instead of doing all of that cooking I just grab the superfood and enjoy the tumeric, black pepper (activates the absorption of tumeric), and cinnamon. I use anti-inflammatories to help with my chronic digestive disorder as well as keeping me from getting sick. The Good 4 Me Lifestyle literature espouses these further benefits: treating migraines, menstrual pain, upset stomach, detoxing and more. I think it is delicious and also great as a baste for chicken, tea, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.

Love Me is their blend of Cayenne, Ginger and Goji Berry. All are great at healing when you feel sick or under the weather. Also great for heart health, treating migraines, allergies and more. It’s spicy, I really like it!

Savor Me is better than pesto, in my opinion. Moringa, Himalayan Rock Salt and Basil Leaf
are anti-inflammatory, improve your immune system, restores cell pH and lots of other benefits. Zak suggested putting it on pasta and he was right!

Not on the website now is Fuel Me, their supplement that includes protein powder that Dara and I really ran through as a meal supplement when we didn’t have time to eat big meals while on the road. I hear you can special order it!

These things are delicious. They sell out regularly at farmer’s markets. This is the kind of thing where someone is giving you a tester and you’re like, “Oh yes this is amazing sign me up.”

buttervariety

All of their supplements are sold in month supplies, $45 (on sale for $40 right now) for four jars. The jars are infinitely reusable, too, I love them for storage. You can get one flavor or a variety pack.

While on our road trip we stopped at Jordan’s house to say a quick hello while leaving New Orleans. Jordan, like Zak, was also totally charismatic, genuine, high vibration sweet guy. He made us organic sprouted brown rice crispie treats using the Heal Me butter, which is a perfect road treat. We got to see the home where Semaj (the other third of the trio of awesome folks behind Good 4 Me Lifestyle) makes the superfood supplements.

jordansemajJordan and Semaj are also wildly talented musicians and their album the Zenn project (named after their adorable daughter Zenn, who is on the cover of the album) is fabulous!

I feel pretty strongly that everything carries energy and these are great people making great products. I seek to operate at the vibration they are! Seriously!

As someone who has started a small product-based business, I know how hard you have to work and how much you have to believe in what you do. Zak, Jordan and Semaj are working hard to get healing to people and these are fabulous products I am excited to support. (P.S. I always say when a post is sponsored, and this one is not. I’ve used and enjoyed this stuff immensely and want to support this great small business!)

If the superfood honeys or butters sound great to you, give them a chance you will not be disappointed!

Keep up with Good For Me Lifestyle on Instagram!

2012-08-23

Re-Entry Nacho Bites

Oh gentle readers. As you know I was away in the woods for two weeks, on an epic road trip to Michigan and back, then I threw Rebel Cupcake (joyfully joined by so many of my friends en route home from Michigan and en route to Baltimore), then I hopped a bus to Baltimore to join the Femme Conference already in progress. I have been on a queer magical utopia high for three weeks and I am having to make adjustments in order to come down from it and get back into my pretty magical day-to-day life.

IMG_3497.JPG
At the Femme Conference being unintentionally matchy-matchy with Emma because they picked my outfit that morning.

“Re-entry” as it is called in our circle, “decompression” as it is called in other circles, is really rough. Returning to the “default world” is hard. I used to be the kind of summer camp attendee who cried on the bus coming home (I no longer cry on the way home). I’m a comfortable Earth sign, change can be hard. So I usually build some time into my life for re-entry that usually involves a lot of downtime, watching a series on dvd or something and a shame spiral about cleaning and unpacking. I never know what it is going to take. I also work from home which means I am working to catch-up on being away but also doing the downtime/shame spiral. I’m a mess.

This year I decided to get really decadent when I had a lot of Feelings I didn’t know what to do with and make myself Nacho Bites from scratch. I love tiny food a lot, enjoy a small plates lifestyle even though it’s totally impractical as a bachelorette. Anyone in my immediate circle has heard me proselytizing about Nacho Bites this summer. It’s made by Hot Pockets and is an appetizer in the grocery freezer section and I think has queso, ground beef and salsa. I have been meaning to make them myself with ingredients I liked more that felt less processed and I decided to get into it yesterday.

It took over two hours to prep and then more time to clean-up but I thought it was totally worth it. I usually turn on some kind of inspirational noise (like a talk, sermon or interview) and it’s very meditative. I also felt really grounded and in my space afterward, having felt so odd and not quite at home at home until then.

So, here’s how I cobbled together my Nacho Bites and I am interested to know if folks have better/different/faster dumpling assembly methods than my sort of figure it out on the fly methods. I always love when my favorite bloggers share recipes so here goes.

Ingredients:

Tortilla Dough
(I followed this recipe)
3 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or lard
about 1 1/4 cups warm water

Homemade Queso
(I followed this recipe–I just didn’t feel like doing the Velveeta version though it is infinitely faster)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 small onion, diced
1 Serrano chile, diced
2 jalapeños, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1(4-ounce) can RO*TEL (or any can of diced tomatoes with green chiles)
3 cups shredded cheese, cheddar and Jack varieties recommended
1/4 cup sour cream

Nacho Bites Innards
1 recipe Tortilla Dough (or 15 tortilla dough rounds)
1 recipe Homemade Queso (or like 1 1/2 cups of your favorite Queso)
2/3 pounds of ground meat prepared with spice OR some kind of taco seasoning
Try: Soy Chorizo from Trader Joe’s (my fav), chorizo the regular kind, ground turkey/beef/chicken (I think the poultry sucks up the taco seasoning well, maybe even some carnitas if you’re getting fancy
1 diced jalepeno
1 diced tomato
(You could easily sub about 1/2 cup of salsa but since my queso was very involved I skipped the queso)
1/3 bunch diced fresh cilantro
(I suppose cilantro averse could forego it but I am very very very pro cilantro)
Small handful of scallions if your CSA is overabundant with them like mine is.

Prepare the tortilla dough and pull apart fifteen little globs of it, about an inch and a half each round. Set them out to rise a little.

IMG_3509.JPG

Prepare the queso. Take a long time because it takes a long time and be really mindful of the roux. I had to throw in some corn starch toward the end. I also only had buttermilk but whatever. I wish it was a little spicier, so I’ll add more chili next time.

IMG_3508.JPG
The queso is so flavorful.

Prepare the meat by cooking it all the way through. Also, if you prepare it with taco seasoning, cook all the water out so there are very little juices left.

Dice up the rest of your ingredients and set aside in little bowls or plates or whatever and prepare to make dumplings!

IMG_3507.JPG

At this point pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and put the cookie sheet in there to pre-heat as well.

IMG_3510.JPG
The cilantro is really so beautiful.

I flattened out each ball of tortilla dough and assembled them like little mini tacos, being sure not to overfill. Putting a spoonful of meat, then a generous drizzle of queso, a couple dices of jalepeno and tomato and a little sprinkle of cilantro. Then I bundled them together. Traditional Nacho Bites have a pyramid shape and I tried making that, which was most effective.

IMG_3511.JPG
I accidentally overfilled one batch of them so I’ve learned from that.

Then take the heated cookie sheet out of the oven (be careful, obvs) and lightly grease it with a little olive oil misto action or some butter, and transfer your dumpling babies to the cookie sheet. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Then pull out and let sit a couple of minutes. Enjoy!

IMG_3512.JPG
My dumpling assembly skills continue to need work.

2012-02-10

Guest Post: How I Learned to Eat Greens by Blyth

Filed under: Fat Femme Foodie,Guest Post — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bevin @ 11:55 am

One of the benefits of living with a good friend is that sometimes I come home from work and through no effort of my own my pals are hanging around in my kitchen. Wednesday night I had the most amazing experience with Heather, where she popped out a pile of bok choy and we sauteed it up. I have never eaten bok choy (or cooked it) to my knowledge and she taught me how to make it. It was amazing! Great food for wild ponies like us.

The experience of learning how to make the bok choy from one of my close friends reminded me of an amazing piece I had read just that very day. I related to it from a very deep level–raised by a single mom just barely above poverty level and often relying on fast and instant foods for lack of time, and growing up in a fat body. It is so honest, so beautiful and I am so grateful to Blyth for allowing me to share it with you below. I think food justice and healing our relationships with food starts when we are very honest about our her/his/theirstories and come together to discuss them. And when we share our resources and knowledge base to enjoy new and different ways of eating.

IMG_1020.JPG
This is the spread made by queer hands for Heather’s birthday party. The drink we called the “Punani Sunrise” which somehow had to do with my tendency to date/sleep with people from California. It is champagne, vodka, grapefruit juice, a squeeze of lime and some mint. Quite refreshing. Those pigs in a blanket were hand rolled by me and cooked in bacon fat.

How I Learned to Eat Greens
by Blyth

Most of my time in my mother’s house was spent eating something quickly over the sink, changing my clothes or maybe sleeping. From age 11 on I made it a point to be in a house with my mother as little as possible. To say I left home would imply that home was something steady. When the truth is that home had always been in transition, so it was not a place I could leave, it was something that traveled with me. Most nights I stayed with a friend or alone at my Grandparents. Andrea’s mother fed me more frequently then my own. Most of the time food was not expected anyway.

When I was in college I went home with my freshman year roommate for a holiday and embarrassed myself by starting to eat the lavish meal her mother prepared for us while I leaned against their kitchen cupboard. She looked at me with confusion, and maybe a little sadness, and said, “Would you like to sit at the table?”. It was the first time I noticed my inclination to eat standing. It ensured that there was little room for feigned intimacy and my ability to walk away was always close at hand.

Nobody taught me to eat. Nobody told me that people should share a table or chew slowly. Not that vegetables could come from somewhere besides a can or that bread could be made fresh. I was 15 when I walked into a friends kitchen and saw a pot of potatoes boiling on the stove. I asked her what she was making and her response shocked me, mashed potatoes. It never occurred to me that mashed potatoes could be made from anything besides pale flakes in a brown box. I remember the surprise registering in every limb of me and the humiliation of not thinking of that sooner.

I grew up working class. We went to pick up our welfare check and food stamps on the first of each month. Food stamps back when they still came in small booklets of play money. Some booklets were worth $10, some $20, some maybe even $50. And each booklet had an assortment of $5 or $1 ‘bills’ inside it. Though really I only remember the $1 bills. The ones that always tore too noisily from the binding at the end of the month when you were searching desolated packets for just 10 measly slips of paper. There was no way to be quiet or quick about it. And you weren’t allowed to rip them out ahead of time because they wanted to make sure you weren’t selling them or giving them away. They had to be torn from the packet in front of the cashier, which also meant in front of everybody else in your small Ohio town.

Shame and eating for a poor fat girl is a layered thing. There was the shame of being hungry, of feeling watched every time I put something to my mouth. And there was also the shame that had to be endured just to get the food in the first place. People make a lot of assumptions about poor folks on welfare. Like we’re all just taking a vacation on the system. Somehow my large body seemed to prove that point. So all of a sudden I was not just deciding on food for my ten year old self, I was also trying to guess at what would please every tax payer around me so that they wouldn’t think I was ungrateful. So I could earn the right to eat at all.

My eating and access to food seemed to always be negated by my weight. Even though I ate much less than anyone I knew and much less frequently. In reality we rarely if ever had the food we needed throughout the month. Most of the times because the food stamps ran out, but some of the times because neither my mother or I could face going to the grocery store to buy any.

When we did have food we ate Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper if it was a special occasion, shit-on-a-shingle (which is ground beef, salt, and flour over a slice of white bread), pasta with Prego sauce, discount cereal and whatever my Mom happened to bring home from the deli counter she worked at. Vegetables were canned corn or green beans. Every now and then someone would decide that we should eat healthier and frozen broccoli would get thrown into the mix for a while. Of course these meals always changed depending on where we were in the month and whether we could actually buy food at all.

After lots of work/saving/borrowing/ass-kissing, I left for college when I was 17. And when I got there I found I could camouflage my broke roots with politics. All of a sudden I wasn’t poor, I was anti-capitalist. I learned where to dumpster dive for food and got most of my toiletries from the trash at the CVS where I worked. Any extra food I got was from the $1 store or purchased for me by a friend with too many points on their college meal plan. And I didn’t stand out because my friends (who I was shocked to learn weren’t actually broke) were digging for dumpstered donuts right along side me. All of a sudden this was a value system. It was something to be proud of.

In my junior year of college I started dating a woman. It was my first queer relationship and I was so into her I could hardly stand it. She was sexy and nerdy and political. She grew up in Connecticut with parents who were still together, who loved her dearly, and who had taught her the importance of balanced meals. In an effort to woo her I invited her over to my place for dinner. Angel hair pasta from the dollar store, flavored with a dash of vegetable oil and a heavy pour of Adobo seasoning. It was classy. Nothing came from a trash can, it was angel hair pasta instead of regular old spaghetti, and I might have even stolen some of my housemates olive oil to use instead of vegetable. She wasn’t impressed, though she never told me that. She asked me later if I ate like that all the time. I told her no, sometimes it’s not so fancy. I remember that not being the answer she expected. We talked in length about food. Where we got it, what we learned about it, what we liked about it. She told me she wanted to be a farmer and was fascinated by nutrition. And I don’t remember feeling ashamed. Which is really a credit to her and how she framed things.

She was good at slipping things underneath the radar. She once asked if she could make me my lunch, since she was concerned that I didn’t eat frequently enough. I told her she was sweet to worry but I could feed myself. She tried to argue the point but my pride ballooned bigger and bigger. However, over the next few months it happened more and more frequently that her quest to try and cook a new vegetable left her with way too much food. And of course she needed my help eating it cause her fridge was too small for storage and she didn’t want it to go to waste. So I would cross the campus from class and sit down to a lunch of brown rice, sweet potatoes and kale. Had I not been so deeply infatuated with her I probably would have never put any of it in my mouth. As it was, I smothered nearly everything in ketchup until she banned it all together. She told me I could only put it on potato products like french fries or tater tots and she rolled her eyes at me when I pointed out that sweet potatoes were actually in the potato family.

These lunches were her way of feeding me, nourishing me, and side stepping my ego which was wrapped in a desperate need to fend for myself. She taught me how to boil rice and what vinegars tasted good. She introduced me to leafy greens and showed me how to let a vegetables flavor shine through instead of being smashed by seasoning. She sauteed chard, reminded me to drink water and managed to make squash a dessert. She would casually comment about how inexpensive rice and beans were and how kale was only 79cents a bunch. She set a table for us and I ate those meals seated, plates spread out on a small dorm room table. Of course I knew what she was doing, though my pride and perhaps my shock wouldn’t let me say anything at the time. But she was teaching me how to eat. How to receive love. She was showing me what it was like to be cared for. It was overwhelming. And so desperately simple.

Now, years later, I live in San Francisco and find myself among many others who have the privilege of choosing their food. At the moment I’m a lapsed vegan who does her best to avoid the gluten and cheese that wreak havoc on her body. I eat remarkably slowly. It is something friends and lovers comment on, though I hardly notice it. The perfect bite has become a prayer, a gesture of gratitude. It is a reminder to separate shame and sustenance. It is a reminder to appreciate not only the food on my fork but also the space and safety required to enjoy it.

Cupcake
Blyth is a babe. Read her blog!

2011-03-15

Magical Smoothies

{Also, stuff I’ve been up to lately}

I have given up on caffeine and refined sugar again (after a happy Fall/early winter free of both and physically feeling great) and other than being ever so tired I’m doing okay. I’m sleeping a lot right now. Curse the late winter blah blah blahs and the traitor daylight savings sun that makes it seem like it should be a lot warmer than it really is!

194331_1919058897688_1278502657_32379776_5706820_o.jpg
My BFF Rachael came to visit from the sunny Southland of Hotlanta. We ate pizza and I met her fabulous and charming beau at long last.

Smoothies are really helping this time, the natural sugar pep is waking me up and ever so tasty. To this end I’ve started concocting smoothies from basic ingredients around. I just made this one up and was super happy about it.

1 banana
handful of frozen peach slices
handful of frozen mango cubes
handful of spinach borrowed from roommate
Enough Trader Joe’s reduced calorie pink lemonade to cover 2/3 of the stuff in the blender
Just a touch of cream
1 packet of lemon-lime emergen-c

It is tart, sweet and smooth. Emergen-C is also helping me to get some energy and not feel so run down and caffeine desperate.

When I went to California, I squealed at the plethora of Jamba Juices. I grew up in the Bay Area, smoothies were always a thing but they started really catching on when I was an undergrad at UC Davis. I was seriously bummed when I moved to Philly and they weren’t as easy to find.

183140_10150146635615535_704455534_8380503_1158564_n.jpg
I attended Mackenzi’s “Come As You Were” 90s party and two of the other party goers were dressed like women I’ve slept with.

A decade later Jamba has joined me out here but they’re all in Manhattan and I rarely leave Brooklyn. Nearly daily on my mid-Winter trip to California I availed myself of the joy of the convenient locations and quick pick-me-ups that made my epic social plans possible.

I decided I was going to start using my awesome blender (leftover from previous tenants, specifically designed for margaritas) to make smoothies and cast about for recommendations for “boosts” like those freebies you get from the Jamba. I’ve had a few suggestions. I’m considering Greens+, a generic whey protein powder, or spirulina. But before I drop a bunch of cash on supplements I want to research more and talk to my doctor.

190344_10150432952680137_852155136_17651957_6620056_n.jpg
I produced an all queer 20 minute retelling of the Outsiders. I also narrated it with Heather who was the director.

The one drawback of being all smoothiecore in the dead of Winter is that it lowers my body temperature. I drank one at work one day and wondered why my teeth were suddenly chattering and it took awhile and a hot tea chaser to feel normal again. I run pretty cold.

That said I am excited to learn all of these new smoothie recipes out there. Soaking cashews overnight is my next adventure.

197453_10150432950305137_852155136_17651938_8077706_n.jpg
I also worked on my taxes for my accountant. Do you have self-employment income? Do you have assets of any kind? Get an accountant.* I’ve been with mine for longer than any other relationship I’ve had, more than hair dressers, pets, or girlfriends. He’s awesome and totally worth the trip back to Philly. Instead of a photo of me stressing out over spreadsheets and drinking tons of hot chocolate last week, here’s another hipster photo of the queer Outsiders. Promise better photos as soon as Nogga posts them!

*I suggest getting one via recommendation from a friend.

2010-03-14

Get Some South in Yo’ Mouth!: Lola Dean’s Time-Tested Tips for the Ultimate Blow Job Performance

Happy Steak & Blow Job Day! Here at Queer Fat Femme I decided to delay my celebration until Steak & Blow Job Day (Observed) and in the meantime I have made today an academic study brushing up on blow job skills and steak preparation.

This is a good steak primer, from Jen, a friend on Facebook.

Good steak is pan-seared. The trick is to pat it off with paper towel, etc., to get it as dry as possible before it hits the pan. That way, it will crust nicely on the outside and retain the juices inside. And don’t overcook it – steak MUST BE medium rare.

Also, let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Check out the reluctant gourmet website, for interesting tips.

I asked my friend Lola Dean, who won an audience favorite award in a recent blow job competition in a certain legendary Park Slope basement, to provide her tips for S & BJ Day.

Lola Dean 9
Photo by Shameless Photography.

From the flat lands of the Southern Delta, Lola Dean comes to NYC with sassy, white-trashy spirit. Typically found around the queer performance spaces of New York as a burlesque artist with a sultry stage repertoire, she now steps offstage and into the bedroom to provide these erotic tips on giving your sweetie a sensual and special blow job performance.

If you’re thinking of giving your lover(s) the royal treatment on “Steak and Blow Job Day,” I would encourage you to brush up on your oral service skills to make the holiday special and unforgettable. A full belly can only be complemented by a great blow job, so take your task seriously, and your sweetheart(s) will sing your praises…quite literally. Many of us (but certainly not all) queer femmes service our lover(s)’ not-so-permanent cocks (i.e. dildos and toys), and while this is my specialty, I think these tips can be applied across the board for all body types and genders. First, remember this is a performance, so show us what you got! You are front and center, so pull all the stops, and dazzle your sweetheart by following these three tips:

1. Take it slow. Unless of course, your sweetie likes it quick and dirty! But generally speaking, you want to take your time and make a show for your sweetie. Prolonging the act builds excitement, which will intensify the orgasm. Jumping the gun by putting the entire cock in your mouth too soon can spoil the build up. If it helps, sing a song in your head and set “benchmarks” for the verses and choruses. For example, you can sing through Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and promise to only make it halfway down the shaft by the time she leaves her heart and hand on the dance floor. Just don’t get too caught up in the song that you forget to focus on your lover’s pleasure!

2. Spice it up. This is perhaps, my favorite cock-sucking tip, because it leaves room for creativity, fantasy, and personal preference. The key to spicing up a blow job is being adventurous. For all you femmes and fags, swipe on your favorite shade of lipstick and open wide. The smeared lipstick on both your sweetie’s cock and your lips makes for great visuals and an erotic opportunity for gender expression. I encourage you to also consider role-plays and how a blow job scene can be used to enhance the play. Does your lover have a penchant for boss-secretary fantasies? Set up an “executive chair” and get on those knees! The possibilities are limitless, so let your imagination run wild, and your sweetie will be grateful.

3. Take special care. The third tip is quite possibly, the hardest to master, as it takes attention to detail and more than a little imagination. Taking special care of your lover during a blow job involves performing the service as if every inch of the cock has special and sensitive nerve endings, and every motion and touch can be felt by your lover. Ok, I know I know… you’re eyeing your silicone cock with suspicion right about now. After all, it’s not real, right? Nonsense! Reality lives inside our own erotic imaginations. Flick your tongue on the sensitive soft “skin” underneath the head. Kiss the tip with slow passion and care. If you want to test your gag reflexes, hold the base and slide the entire shaft in until your throat muscles inevitably protest. And I promise your sweetie’s toes will curl. Taking special care lets your lover(s) know you are thinking of their pleasure both physically and emotionally.

And, lastly, there’s nothing hotter than showing your lover(s) that you care about their sexual health and safety, so adorn the cock with a condom and/or play with toys that can be sterilized. And just like your favorite Babeland-bought, mint-flavored condoms, one size does not fit all in the blow job tip department. Experiment with these suggestions, talk to your lover(s) about their bodies and desires, and above all have fun! Share your thoughts and additional tips in the comments, and let the sexy blow job knowledge spread far and wide!

Catch Lola Dean with Bevin & The Baconettes at this month’s That’s My Jam Party! Sure to be magical!

4417128045_f891be98e6_o

2010-02-27

Femme Heartshare Brunch

We came up with the idea of having a Femme Heartshare Brunch for Femme Family last summer, and finally had our first one in early January. It was electrifying, emotional and left me with a ton to think about. Our topic that time was Femme Competition/Femme Mutual Aid and was facilitated by me and Damien as Co-Head Madams with assistance from Sophie, Madam of Strategy.

The format we took was to have a pot luck brunch, a no latecomers policy, and opened it to Self-identified Femmes and Femme Questioning folks. I highly recommend doing this in your town! We got some new people who hadn’t been to a Femme Family event before and it was really a heartwarming and great way to meet people and learn about ourselves and our identities.

Last weekend I had the good fortune to return to Minneapolis for the first time in a few years. My Brooklynite friend Lissa lives there now for an internship (she’s going to be a queer femme pastor!) and plotted to gather some of the rad Twin Cities Femmes together for a brunch at her place.

I am working on an episode of FemmeCast about Femmes and Body Hair so I suggested a roundtable discussion.

What resulted was this amazing spread of food and some of the greatest conversation and heartsharing I’ve had in awhile.

IMG_4838.JPG
Lissa, my hostess!

IMG_4839.JPG
As Jna walked in she said “Don’t judge me for the size of this bottle.” From a size queen, the only judgment about this bottle can be a good judgment.

IMG_4840.JPG
Femmes don’t fuck around about brunch!!

IMG_4849.JPG
Femmes also don’t fuck around about shoes.

IMG_4852.JPG
IMG_4851.JPG
IMG_4853.JPG
IMG_4854.JPG

I had such a blast! After our discussion and food and copious coffee, I felt energized, enlightened, and had a deeper understanding of myself. Femme Heartshare brunches are my favorite way to do Femme community building.

Thanks Twin Cities Femme Mafia for your amazing hospitality, magic and warmth!!

At some point soon I’ll post links to the questions I used for Body Hair, and I know I have the outline for the Femme Competition/Femme Mutual Aid brunch in the bottom of an old purse but I can’t find it. I’ll share it on the Femme Family website when it surfaces!

2009-12-07

No Bacon Left Behind

On October 11, 2009, I competed for the title of Miss Lez 2009. The pageant, founded by the legendary Murray Hill, is “a wildly provocative, insane, jaw-dropping alternative beauty pageant for queer womyn that blows the lid off of ‘gender representation’ and shines the spotlight on New York’s underground queer scene.” It was an honor to represent my favorite clothing store as Miss Re/Dress NYC. It was also really fun to use my art and my extensive wardrobe (I didn’t buy a single new outfit for the pageant) to express myself in this unusual performance art format.

Since the contest I have received numerous accolades for my performance and requests for the written version of my pageant platform. I don’t like to disappoint, and thus I present unto you, gentle readers, my pageant entry.

PLATFORM:

Each contestant was asked to come out on stage and deliver a short platform after showing off their outfit to the audience. My platform was well-rehearsed and proceeded as follows:

“My name is Bevin Branlandingham. My platform is No Bacon Left Behind. Bacon, like queers, comes in a myriad of forms. You have your standard pork bacon, middle of the road turkey bacon, and bacon from that magical Vegan paradise known as Morningstar Farms. Bacon is the symbol of our national queer meal, which is brunch, where we come together to nurse our hangovers as a community. If selected as Miss Lez 2009, I will ensure that No Bacon is Left Behind.”

It was my intention to be campy and to express my value for creating inclusive community.

I wore a satin Marilyn Monroe Dress with a bacon applique and a small bacon hair bling.

Fw:No bacon left behind
10423_574549700812_18101189_34278709_3040877_n
4027464763_53be87aed0_b.jpg
(Last photo by Syd London)

SWIMSUIT

Swimsuit was the most nerve wracking part of the competition for me and Contestant #2 (we discussed this backstage), Becca Blackwell. I was coached by World Famous *BOB*, who gave me her official endorsement for Miss Lez. Having a schtick made it much easier to be on stage in a bathing suit.

I came out in a red cover up with sparkly eyelash fur that looks great under stage lights. During the first pass I took it off to reveal my swimsuit, a black with white polka dots one piece halter with red piping.
4028379270_e8e94291df_b.jpg
10423_574549760692_18101189_34278721_7735988_n.jpg
First photo by Syd London

*BOB* said I should make sure I have matching cunty heels and purse. I chose a black patent leather clutch with black and white polka dot lip detailing from the Beth Ditto collection. I rolled deep in the Queer Fat Femme culture for my entry as Miss Re/Dress.

10423_574549775662_18101189_34278724_2694274_n

As a seasoned burlesque performer, *BOB* told me that she believes that every woman on stage in a swimsuit should eat something. To tie everything into my platform, I reached into my clutch and pulled out a piece of very crispy (and very tasty) bacon, and ate it on stage. The crowd went wild.

7430_155448593748_524523748_2674672_3895998_n.jpg

INTERVIEW

Backstage before the pageant I was practicing questions with my team of pageant moms, the Baconettes. I began every answer with “I’m glad you asked me that question, [insert name here]”. I learned a lot of good pageant tricks from watching Toddlers & Tiaras and Drop Dead Gorgeous. I changed again, this time into a red cotton wrap dress. I figured if I flubbed my question at least my cleavage would be a distraction.

4030577023_4fdab28df2_b.jpg
Photo by Syd London

Linda Simpson was the judge who gave me my question. She asked me if selected Miss Lez, if I would pose nude. I was genuinely glad she asked me that question!

10423_574549870472_18101189_34278742_3526629_n
10423_574549860492_18101189_34278740_2514734_n

I answered that I was already planning to pose nude for Fat Bottom Boudoir and that I was using those images for my forthcoming Fat and Queer Erotica Anthology. The working title is “Better than Cupcakes: Queer Fat Femmes Kiss and Tell” and that the idea was born because I was tired of not seeing any genuine body or gender diversity on the covers of all of the standard Lesbian erotica anthologies.

I’ll also have you know that I have completed my promise and posed nude for the very first time in front of Molly’s camera. Whether I’ll publish the finished work will be determined when I see the proofs.

TALENT

I had an interesting time determining what my talent should be. I do a lot of performance, comedy, humorious essays, burlesque, drag kinging… However, I am most excited about Femmeceeing. So I did a short game show on stage. I narrated it by telling the audience that I was multi-talented, and my first talent was Femmeceeing. I then introduced my Baconettes.

4007856502_1ae0b45536_o
Photo by Syd London

My outfit was a red wiggle dress and my very favorite boots in the whole world, red patent leather with white leather gussets. (I had them custom made from a pair of boots I got on ebay, total cost was about $60 for the shoemaker and the boots together.)

I then told the audience that a talent of mine was being surrounded by hot femmes, which is true.

The Baconettes were Black Amethyst, Lola Dean and AfroTitty. All fresh bottoms on the burlesque scene. I really couldn’t have held it together as well as I did backstage without their femmetourage support!

Each held a box with a number on it. I had a bacon spinner in my hands made by my drag dad Johnny Kingpin, who also made the bacon pieces worn in my hair, on my clothes and on each of the Baconettes.

8332_157276098748_524523748_2686544_6200388_n.jpg

I invited up an audience member to spin the wheel to tell their fortune.

It landed on Box 2 and the corresponding Baconette (Lola Dean) approached with the box. She opened it to reveal to the audience a box full of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing. I made those from scratch (another talent).

I then took one of the cupcakes and put it in my cleavage for Anne (I mean, my totally random audience member) to eat. The crowd went wild!

4030729495_d972c13fa1_b.jpg
Photo by Syd London

I sent Anne back into the audience with a box of cupcakes for her to share with her section of the crowd.

4031483950_350d35983f_o.jpg
Photo by Syd London

Murray Hill had told us before the pageant that there were no rules and we were allowed to bribe the judges. I sent the remaining two Baconettes over to give them some cupcakes and cleavage.

10423_574549915382_18101189_34278751_2024514_n

I also bribed Murray with a polyester tie (one of his passions) from Re/Dress.
4030642717_84f8e99ded_o

EVENING WEAR

The last section was evening wear. I went with another red dress, this one a floor length lingerie dress with a sheer back for the reveal aspect. I also upgraded my bacon hair bling to a bigger hairpiece.

4007864444_30ffe0f51c_b(2)
Photo by Syd London

The majority of my evening was spent backstage. It is a really fast paced show and we had 5 outfit changes. Since I was contestant #1, I never got to go outside the stage door to see what the other contestants did, but I hear everyone was absolutely fabulous. It was really fun to get to know the other performers and hang out backstage.
misslez4

Fw:The lineup
L-R: Miss Butch Mamas: KS Stevens, Miss This is Burlesque: Helen Pontani, Miss Choice Cunts: Sarah Jenny, Mx. That’s My Jam: Becca Blackwell, and me, Miss Re/Dress: Bevin Branlandingham.

After a long intermission, the judges’ results were announced.
4035287655_98809fe5fa_o

I was second runner up. That means if Miss Lez (Miss Butch Mamas) or the first runner up are unable or unwilling to fulfill their duties as Miss Lez, I will totally step in. My goal for competing was not to win, though, it was to be unforgettable. Considering all of the press for the show mentioned my platform, I think I did just that.

4007102799_24d9b3a0a1_o
Photo by Syd London

I was consoled by the fact that everyone performed really well, and apparently all of the contestants’ scores were apart by just one point.

Brian, my interview coach and Gay Boy BFF has charged me with becoming the Clay Aiken of Miss Lez.

My whole No Bacon Left Behind platform is really all about inclusivity and creating space in the queer community for the myriad of forms that queer comes in–just like bacon manifests in all different forms on our brunch tables. Undeterred by my loss, I will carry on my mission as Miss Re/Dress NYC. I styled a photo booth at a Brooklyn queer dance party (That’s My Jam), encouraging people to get flamboyant and do a little hipster cross-dressing. And this week I am producing Maxi Craft, a free community craft fair, giving many queer vendors the opportunity to sell their stuff. I’ll continue to do more community building using the title of Miss Re/Dress, and expressing my love for bacon every chance I get.

IMG_1312
In the That’s My Jam Photobooth by Bloodhound Photography

2009-08-18

Turning Rage into Productivity

When I get enraged about stuff, especially frustrations with dating and the like, I take my rage and channel it into productive things. Usually my community building work, my writing or performance. I got the greatest email this morning from my friend Jessie Dress.

Have you seen this PETA ad? It’s everywhere right now.* Chris’ little sister, who is a vegan and a fat ally, took her rage to PETA and instead of getting a nuanced response from them, just got some fat hating “Fat people WOULD feel better and be more healthy if they ate vegetarian.” Not actually acknowledging any biodiversity or anything that makes bodies different. Fat=death to PETA. Also, let’s not forget how completely misogynistic they are, and constantly striving to exploit women to “sell” veganism.

Okay, I couldn’t start off this post without a rant. I tried.

Anyway, so Jessie’s email to me, in the line of taking your rage and doing something productive with it:

Dear Bevin,

So today I was having a fucking shitty ass morning at work, and every time I went to facebook to try and escape my work and life drama, I kept seeing that fucking shitty PETA ad. It was pissing me off, and I decided to make some improvements. I posted it on FB, but also wanted to send it along to you because well, we were talking about Arts & Crafts and I thought you might appreciate.

hope your ‘danna planning is going well! Let me know when you have them finished, bc I’d for sure like to grab one of each!**

xoxo

jessiedress

Here it is! It makes me have so much joy!

fatpostivePETA

*As a side note, I want to point out that I was at my fattest when I was a vegetarian. And when I was vegan, guess what, I was still fat!! For me meat is something I crave. I feel healthiest when I can get a good balance of meat, veggies and fruit. And as an animal lover I feel really good about making ethical, local choices regarding meat and feel grateful and lucky there are a lot of small grocers that carry that kind of meat nearby.
**Jessie has been kindly walking me through doing DIY screens and what what for FemmeCast merch.

2009-05-26

What’s the Fattest thing you’ve done today?

Right now I’m on Gaycation with my Bestie Rachael (The founder of Femme Mafia International and FemmeCast’s Sexpert), which basically means I get a cheap flight to Atlanta and come live down here for a few days, going to parties and living life cheaper than in the Big Apple. Plus I love the South with a great passion.

One of the nicest things about Atlanta is that socializing is fundamentally different. I find in NYC we’re all so busy and it takes so long to get from one part of one borough to another that we tend to meet one another at events and restaurants instead of loafing around in our apartments being casual and relaxed. Plus our apartments are pretty small. In Atlanta they have big houses that cost less to rent per month than my 2 bedroom apartment.

IMG_9255
Me, Rachael and our friend Angela during a dirty south bar crawl (through all the dirtiest gay bars in Atlanta).

Since I don’t have TV at my house, I binge on BS tv when I’m gaycationing with Rachael, cozied up in her king size bed. Last time I was here she introduced me to the Real Housewives of Atlanta*. This time I discovered the magic of the BBC documentary Should I Smoke Dope? It is hysterical watching this reporter get high for thirty days and try to record it for posterity. “I don’t want to eat the crisps but then I wake up and I’ve had four bags and a chocolate cake!”

Part of the joy of not watching TV regularly is not being exposed to commercials, and especially diet commercials. I have now seen this new Weight Watchers ad campaign** about Hunger as a cute fuzzy monster plush doll. It’s as though Hunger is a Muppet. He even tap dances like he’s on a vaudeville stage.

The concept of the commercials is that these women (and only women) ignore/defeat their Hunger, despite the fact that he’s hella cute and chilling in the vending machine at work. However, I think Hunger is totally awesome and I want to take him with me everywhere and make sure he gets chorizo when he needs it.

weight-watchers-commercial

I introduced the concept of the fattest thing you did all day in FemmeCast episode 3.5. In brief, last summer Glenn Marla came up with the brilliant idea that fat people (and fat allies) should start cataloging the fattest thing they do every day***. It’s a great way to train yourself to relearn fat as a good, positive and fun thing instead of the mean, crappy word it usually is. I also like to use humor to gain some power/control over oppression and it’s fun to joke about oppression with your other fat and fat ally friends.

The fattest thing I did today was try to go into a Weight Watchers (clinic? meeting space? storefront? what are they called in strip malls?) so that I could see if they had Hunger plush dolls. They did, but they weren’t open, sadly. I totally want to have one to bring with me to restaurants and take photos with, doing lots of creative things with Hunger. And also maybe have one with a squeaker inside for Macy, my Shih Tzu, to play with.

Not that I’m saying hunger is a good thing, I’m just much more likely to want to have fun with it in order to make fun of the diet industry. I think instead of trying to fight hunger, you should try listening to your body and what kind of information your hunger is giving you. And let it give you a good show when it is tap dancing.

*My favorite quote from that series is “Have you ever seen such beautiful feet on a man? I am fifty years old, have you EVER seen such beautiful feet on a man??” That series is delightful.

**I also really like the F-Word write-up about the Hunger campaign and Janeane Garafalo’s schilling WW.

***This also works with other identities. To celebrate queer femme identity, I like to have all of the Femme Family Madams do a go around before each meeting answering the question “What’s the Femmest thing you’ve done today?” Today Madam of Southern Glam, Amanda, tweeted “femmest thing i did today: use a power sander on my newly purchased antique makeup vanity.” That’s my favorite answer so far.

2009-05-07

International No Diet Day!

I finally have the internet again! I’m in my new place, greatly relieved to be reunited with my stuff, have my Muppet Pets settled in and be slowly but surely creating a space that is the sort of sanctuary I haven’t had in quite some time!

Yesterday was International No Diet Day. I had a sort of social hiatus during my move so that I could focus on the things that needed to get done and was relieved to celebrate the end of that and the beginning of a fabulous summer outdoor season with a BBQ at my friends’ Deb and Anne’s place. They have a gorgeous backyard which is perfect for parties.

We’ve been having an insane amount of rain in Brooklyn, but it stopped for the afternoon–just long enough to enjoy the BBQ and the company.

IMG_1128
My look was a little bit Serial Mom. I’m loving my collared cotton wrap dresses these days. Also featured are Bryn and Taueret. Taureret is raising money for her Fierce, Fat and Fly for Queers for Economic Justice amazing race adventure.

IMG_1139
We celebrated bodies in all of their forms, but mostly just by being together and goofing off. This is Loren offering me a ticket to the Gun Show.

Golda of Body Love Wellness posted a great list of 16 Reasons Not to Diet for INDD and joined us for the festivities. The picture I got of her wasn’t great, so I won’t post it. But imagine her among these lovelies.
IMG_1156

IMG_1142
My friend Eden in a vintage, flowing frock.

IMG_1149
Deb’s fabulous slip dress layering. Over jeans with a comfy sweater. An important reminder that you can easily keep wearing slip dresses and lingerie in all sorts of weather!

Muse brought 30 gourmet cupcakes, which I delightfully distributed to our crowd of about 25-30 folks.
IMG_1145

This BBQ was a great example of my favorite kind of activism. A fun, easygoing celebration of people, bodies, and friendship with the addition of cupcakes, chicken wings and champagne punch.

What did you do for INDD?

2009-01-05

Medical Self-Advocacy for Queer Fat Femmes

There is so much to say about Queer Fat Femmes and medical self-advocacy. In honor of Lesbian Health Bloggy Such A Day or whatever (thanks to Sinclair for bringing it to my attention and for the gorgeous masthead up above my entries), I am going to relate a little story and some free advice.

In early 2007, right after the passing of one of my heroes, Heather MacAllister, from ovarian cancer, I had my Heather MacAllister Memorial Gyno Appointment. This is the missive sent out from her loved ones by her side at her death:

Heather’s last wish for you, what she wants for us all, is to love each other, and to love ourselves. To take care of our minds and bodies, without fail and against all odds. And to know, beyond doubt, that we are all beautiful, amazing beings. Never forget. This is what she lived for. Take care of yourselves, you beautiful beings.

I felt it was imperative to look after my health and to take steps to prevent the stuff I was able to prevent. Despite being covered by insurance for the duration of my twenties, I hadn’t seen a gyno since grad school, mostly because I was really lazy about finding one who I felt safe with.

I did some research and made an appointment. The doctor was fairly nice and the process was streamlined, but I was a bit taken aback that she started up with the fat stuff* immediately. In fact, this was a new tactic. “You are fat, I think you might have a wheat allergy and I am going to run a blood test.” And almost immediately blood was drawn and I said meekly Uh, can you also do a full STD screening? That’s why I’m here, too. You know, gyno health.

Two weeks later I got the dreaded phone call from the gyno office requiring me to come in for a follow-up (and another $50 co-pay). She looked at me gravely. “It says here you are allergic to wheat and corn. You need to stop eating those immediately and start losing weight. You might have a heart attack.” And she actually said to me, “You have such a pretty face, you’ll look so gorgeous if you lose weight.” I was in tears and thinking God, are you my mom circa 1994?

I demanded a copy of the results so that I could bring them to my fairly fat positive primary care physician and show to one of my besties, Kelli Dunham, stand-up comic and published nurse.

My PCP recommended I get a second opinion from a gastroenterologist. Since this was the American health system in the Hateful Bush Economy (TM), this all took place over the course of months, since it took forever to get appointments and cost me $50 a pop.

The gastroenterologist did an upper endoscopy, a colonoscopy and another full blood work-up. In the meantime, I gave up wheat and corn and later dairy. Seriously, it is extremely hard to eat without wheat or corn, as corn is in pretty much everything, especially gluten free stuff. I remember declaring to my besties When they tell me to give up bacon I’m just going to go for a diet of supplements.

To top it off, the last part of this eight month ordeal occurred while my fiance and I were breaking up. Imagine being told “Hey, I think we need to move apart for awhile on account of my intense depression” the day before you have to have a colonoscopy. I was wheeled into the operating room wracked with sobs because of the whole “emergency number” question.

But, the great news is that I am not allergic to wheat, corn or dairy! That gyno was a quack and I am totally glad I advocated for myself and got that second expensive opinion. And it turned out my gastroenterologist is in the same office suite as another gynocologist. While I was waiting for my many appointments, I read the complimentary cards from her clients and I decided to do my next year’s gyno screening with her.

I was really glad I did. I had to ask them to do a full STD screening and they seemed surprised–I was a 29 year old sexually active lesbian and they didn’t seem to jump right to the conclusion that it meant I should be screened.** Despite that, I still felt cared for and my weight was not an issue.

I published Episode 4 of FemmeCast about the concept of Health at Every Size, which really addresses fat people and the consequences of un-fat positive diagnoses. I’m sure we’ll come back to it again in future episodes.

Fat phobia from medical professionals can itself be a health hazard in that it inhibits fat people from seeking out routine and other medical care that they need.  All people, regardless of size, shape, age, race, class, gender, ability or sexual orientation deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in a health care setting and to have their health care needs addressed in ways that make them feel safe and comfortable and not attacked for who they are.

The day that I found out that the wheat and corn allergies were misdiagnosed, I had a tasting fleet of beers, a cupcake and really hot rebound sex. I think Heather would be proud.

*Typically this involves a medical professional saying “OMG YOU ARE FAT YOU ARE GOING TO DIE ONE DAY ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR FAT.” I will note that almost every doctor I have encountered who told me that said “Otherwise you are in perfect health.”
**Dude, always always ask your health providers to screen you, just to be safe.

Powered by WordPress