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

2017-04-25

FAT SEX WEEK XXL Table of Contents

I knew going into Fat Sex Week XXL it would be longer than a regular week. I’ve learned as part of my body liberation that even though the world is not built for someone who is a size 22/24 that I still deserve to take up as much space as I need.* And the same is true for my art projects that are called a “week” but really more like “two and a half weeks.” FAT SEX WEEK XXL sounds way better than FAT SEX TWO AND A HALF WEEKS OR SO XXL. Thanks for indulging my artistic liberties.

Photo of me wearing lingerie as part of my performance art dessert piece about Mariah Carey’s lingerie lifestyle as applied to social justice. It was at a Shabbat dinner I produced on Inauguration Day with workshops and speakers about activist resilience in the face of the new regime. Photo by Rachel Crowl.

I really wanted to include more about Fat Gay Butt Sex, so for the Table of Contents I’m interspersing short videos and pictures of my friend Shane Shane who is ultra talented, funny and sings beautiful dance songs about Gay Butt Sex. Most of these videos aren’t about Fat Gay Butt Sex but they made me laugh, and they are all safe for work.


Here’s what we covered during FAT SEX WEEK XXL:

I introduced y’all to Fancy Feast, an incredibly talented fat burlesque performer who has a documentary about her speaking to fat sexuality and life as a fat woman in the burlesque world.

I had Femme Sex Chat with Sparklez, a Black Trans Woman with a fabulous perspective on sex, sexuality, online dating and drops Foucault in conversation. She’s a total dreamboat.

We discussed the new book Curvy Girl Sex with six people who talk about why it is so awesome to have 101 positions specifically designed to make sex more accessible to fat folks (and all kinds of other folks).

Shane Shane performing at my Mariah Carey Rebel Cupcake in NYC April 2013. Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Rebel Cupcake.

Fat FTMs reviewed the new Buck Off masturbation toy!

An excerpt from the forthcoming Rope Bottoming Book for Curvy Rope Bottoms.

A Queer Couple reflects on their nude Adipositivity shoot.

I interviewed a fat, femme, queer, non-binary stripper, Cinnamon Maxxine about self care, stripping and asking for help.

My friend Katy and I came up with six ways to reclaim your Fat Upper Pubic Area (FUPA), because everyone deserves to love their whole body!

Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

So that’s Fat Sex Week XXL! If you find anything new in the world of Fat Sex you think I should cover in a future post, leave me a comment here or shoot me an email at queerfatfemme at gmail dot com!

Shane Shane gets sexy with ergonomics:

*You, too! You deserve all the space you need. The world is not built for the actual human diversity that exists, and this is true for size and all of the other ways in which people are different. Reclaiming space is hard but super worthwhile practice to help your body remember that it is just fine as it is.

Do you think you might be gay? Watch this:

2017-04-17

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: 6 Tips for Reclaiming FUPA, The Fat Upper Pubic Area

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

Two weeks ago I hit the moving jackpot. My partner wanted to send me away during the two day packing and moving process of our home and my friend Katy was in town for a work event (the Victoria Beckham for Target launch party). Katy invited me to come chill in her pet friendly hotel so Biscuit Reynolds, Macy and I joined her. I loved hanging with Katy, as always, and I learned two things of note: Harper Beckham is very cute and the term FUPA.

FUPA stands for Fat Upper Pubic Area. I never knew this was a thing anyone cared about. I had noticed that fat people often have fat pubic mons and I have always thought it was cute! When I was on April Flores’ radio show a couple of weeks ago we were talking about why Fat Sex is so awesome and I instantly thought about how fat pussies are so cute!

Katy, like many of us, had to work really hard to reclaim loving her body, a journey she’s still on. She had to specifically focus on her FUPA to make it a source of pride and not insecurity.

“I had all these milestones with my body. I went sleeveless for the first time, that was a big deal. I took photos of my back fat naked. I finally wore sandals for the first time because I was previously so insecure about my big feet, I didn’t want to expose them.

“My leggings got shorter, my dresses started to reveal skin more and more as I learned to accept and love my body.”

The FUPA was difficult. If you google the term, you’ll see it is usually used derogatorily. It’s not gender specific, all types of bodies can have a FUPA.

Self portrait of FUPA by Katy.

The internet likes to come for Chris Christie and Donald Drumpf about their FUPA. I would like to state for the record that body love is for every person. I think it’s body shaming and lazy activism to target Chris Christie for his weight or Donald Drumpf for his “tiny hands.” There are literally hundreds if not thousands of things to critique both of those people for and targeting the body parts of people you dislike is counter to what body liberation activism is about. It perpetuates body negativity and fat shaming.

People’s insecurity about their FUPA sometimes goes to a place of wanting to get surgery. “When your crotch isn’t how you think it should be it is a disabling amount of preoccupation. I have a D cup for a pubic mons,” Katy reveals.

People who have penises and a FUPA might lose up to an inch of usable length, which is another sort of genitalia difficulty. Just like all other benign human body diversity, genitals come in all shapes, sizes and mechanics.

Like me, Katy was a late bloomer, but she took loving her body and owning her sexuality into her own hands. Katy has a really great Tumblr that’s focused on reclaiming her body and celebrating her sexuality. Lots of nude photos and plenty of FUPA reclamation content!

Here are some ideas I brainstormed with Katy to reclaim your FUPA if you’re insecure about it, or just to celebrate it if you’re already down with your Fat Upper Pubic Area.

1. Photos!

You’ll notice throughout Katy’s body love journey on her blog that she uses naked photos as a means of reclaiming her body and normalizing it for her and her followers. I started learning how to look myself in the eye in a mirror and loved how I looked by surrounding myself with photos of me and my loved ones. Because I already loved those people, that feeling of love would amplify for my own image. This was before Tumblr, Instagram and blogging (actually even before camera phones and digital cameras) so I just used actual printed pictures and put them up around my law school dorm room.

Katy makes art to reclaim her FUPA.

2. Tattoos!

I started getting tattooed as a way to decorate my body how I wanted it. I always wanted to have them work as whole when I’m naked, so it wasn’t so much about my fat body as my fat decorated body. I’m not suggesting you tattoo your pubic mons unless you want to, more like decorating your body to look how you want to curate it.

Katy says, “I got more tattoos to celebrate the small victories of loving my skin. The cool thing about a tattoo is the process makes me love myself. It connects me to my body and can pull me out of depression and remind me I’m alive in my skin.”

3. Genitaljazzling!

What if you decorated your mons? I know sometimes that involves shaving which isn’t comfortable or the right choice for a lot of people, but it is really cute to put glitter, rhinestones, temporary tattoos, or just draw on your FUPA!

4. Extended Worship!

If you have a lover, sometimes extended foreplay where you incorporate yoni/genital area massage, or other forms of worship can help you feel like you are more comfortable in your skin. Says Katy, “Something happens in sex for me where my girlfriend focusing on my pussy as the thing to be worshipped and reminds me that the skin in and around my pussy, including my FUPA, is filled with nerves.”

5. Cannabis!

Katy highly endorses using edible cannabis to relax for sex. “As a sexual assault survivor it is very helpful for me to get out of my head and get more into my body.”

I can also vouch for certain kinds of edibles (I prefer a sativa edible that brings a joy vibration) helping me to drop into my body better. I don’t do it when I teach aerobics! But, sometimes when I am a student, I like to take a tiny bit of edible to get a body high while I’m doing dance aerobics because it helps me relax into my body and get out of my head more. I haven’t successfully done it for sex, I get too distracted, but I am looking forward to experimenting more and exploring what Ashley Manta the CannaSexual has to recommend.

6. Flagging FUPA Pride!

Katy makes these adorable bracelets that have words and acronyms on them. “It’s hard sometimes, especially as a Femme, to let everyone know what you’re down with. I love passive, decorative forms as a means of communicating something about your body that is uncomfortable for you. I made one that had PTSD on it so that i could talk to someone in a certain setting by communicating without having to use my words.”

I hope this post helps reclaim FUPA for anyone out there who is unfamiliar with the term or has insecurities about their Fat Upper Pubic Area. I want to leave on this great quote from Katy about her body love journey.

“Past Katy, present Katy and future Katy are making moves. Even if I can’t see them today as my own healing, every micro step I take is progress.”

2017-04-14

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: Interview with Cinnamon Maxxine

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

When I say stripper if you bring to mind a White, cisgender, feminine presenting and seemingly straight thin woman, there’s so much more to the world available for you. Just like people, excellent strippers come in all shapes, sizes and presentations. If you are a regular consumer of stripping entertainment and you assume most of the people performing in the club are straight and they are cisgender, you haven’t read my blog long enough. Gender doesn’t have anything to do with your perception of a person’s presentation. It is a personal choice that requires an ask. (And a whole lot of queer folks are strippers.)

It’s the White Capitalist Heteropatriarchy that is keeping strip clubs so homogenous. And sadly, the Unionized strip club in San Francisco, The Lusty Lady, is no longer. But there are still lots of strippers of all different shapes and sizes out there, performing their hearts out for the audiences lucky enough to see them, even if they don’t perform in clubs. (And if you know about clubs that have size diverse strippers please leave a comment!)

I saw Cinnamon Maxxine perform last summer at the Desiree Alliance conference and they were magnificent. Seriously, one of the best strip performances I had ever seen and I’ve produced a lot of shows. There’s a magic and charisma a person has on stage when they are really enjoying it and know how to engage their audiences. I wanted to interview Cinnamon for Fat Sex Week to find out more about their stripping performance, and self care.

Photo of Cinnamon from my friend Amanda Arkansassy‘s project Femme Space. Read Cinnamon’s statement to go along with this piece at the Femme Space website.

The basics: What’s your pronoun?

They/Them

What was the conversation about sex like in your family and community growing up? How do you think it’s helped or harmed you becoming your authentic self?

We didn’t talk about sex growing up. My mom didn’t really offer up those conversations readily. When it came time for sex ed in school, my mom wouldn’t sign the forms. So the next time sex ed came around, I went to my dad and it took a little convincing, but he signed it.
I feel like the lack of openness around sex only led to me feeling really shy, scared, and self conscious in my own private sex life. Yes, I’ve done porn, yes I’ve done sex work, but that’s all performative and it’s very different than what sex is like in one personal life.

How did you get started stripping, porn performing and doing sex work? How has it evolved for you?

I started stripping because I needed a job. I also figured it would be fun. I figured I would be able to perform a little bit and that was appealing to me. I got hired at the Lusty Lady and loved it. From there I met other sex workers and got involved in other types of work. Once you’re in, it’s easy to find ways into other types of sex work.

I started doing other sex work in 2008 and porn in 2009. When I started escorting, I kind of just jumped in and went for it. Then from there I started doing private parties and events. That turned out to be my jam. I love private parties and events. I have the most fun doing that type of work and I’m not terrible at it and I also make money. It’s a win win win.

I’ve continued to do events and private parties, however, I haven’t really done any escorting for a few years because I was really burned out and my mental health couldn’t take it anymore. I always figured I would get back to it eventually, but right now, I’m taking a break for as long as I need.

In your bio for the Desiree Alliance conference after party show you said that stripping is the thing you love to do most. What is it about stripping that brings so much joy for you?

I think I love the performance aspect for sure. I also enjoy having a crowd to perform for. Performing while fat and black is really empowering for me as well. I’m also incredibly shy normally, but being the center of attention for anywhere from 5 mins to a few hrs is really amazing.

What are some numbers you have in your repertoire in case anyone out there books shows or special events?

The acts I get most requested is the one that’s a little more performance artsy where I hand out love notes to the audience and the act where I pull pearls out of my pussy.

Cinnamon you once told me your ritual before you perform in a stripping competition, would you share it with my readers?

LOL, I don’t get to do this much anymore because I’m far more broke and I kind of miss it.
But it went like this:
I’d wake up and spend an hr or so planning my day and figuring out everything I needed for the competition or work event. Usually my first stop was the wig shop, followed by picking up an outfit. Sometimes if I had a little extra money, I’d go to Foxy Lady on Mission st, otherwise I’d hit up this random clubwear store, I think it was near 18th and Mission. If I couldn’t find anything there, I’d stop by Fabric Outlet and get material to make my own outfit. After Fabric Outlet, I’d treat myself to lunch, then get my nails done, then pick up some jewelry, then head home. This literally took most of the day. These things are all pretty time consuming and I was also taking public transit.

What has the process of coming out as gender non-conforming has been like for you?

I think I’ve always just been where I’m at in any given moment about my gender. And those around me, excluding my bio family, kind of always just accepted me where I was at. I don’t think that any formal coming out was necessary. I also didn’t have any words for what I was feeling gender wise. When I started working at the Lusty, I was meeting new people and through that I was able to find some words for what I was experiencing.

But the biggest hurdle wasn’t necessarily coming out, but finding words to even do that.

Can you share the affirmation you do every morning?

I’ve had a lot of those! Right now, I’m telling myself Something my grandmother always used to say, “ Everyone is just doing the best they can.” Which I don’t always believe, but it helps sometimes.

A sign from the Desiree Alliance protest, an annual part of the conference where folks attending march in protest with signs. The attendees are current and former sex workers, businesses that work with sex workers, direct service organizations, sex worker’s rights organizations, policy makers and creators, and academics who study sex work make up the diverse conference. The next conference is in 2018.

What is your self care practice?

I love video games, hamburgers, bacon, mac n cheese, and making art stuff. I’m also learning how to speak up for myself. I’ve had a really hard time doing that in the past and it’s really taken a toll on my mental health. It’s not a fun part of self care, it’s been really hard, but it’s really made a difference in my life and how much I respect myself.

You are a person who is really great at asking for the help you need. Are there any tips you can give to folks about how to feel more confident asking for help?

I don’t feel confident! I’m always really scared about asking for help. However, I know it’s really hard, but just do it. It’s so much easier said than done to literally just ask for help, but you have to. Talk about it with some close friends or family first if you feel like that might help. You can sort some thoughts and figure out what kind of help is going to be most, well, helpful, and then put that out there to the universe. I often use Facebook, but you don’t have to.

What are some of your fat sex tips? Favorite sex toy?
I love sex with other fat people. I really enjoy grabbing other people’s fat.
My favorite sex toy was my Hitachi, but it was stolen some years ago and I haven’t been able to replace it.

Links to current projects and links to how to paypal/venmo to support you.

I use Venmo and that’s the best way to throw me money just for existing.
Cinnamon Maxxine / @CinnaMaxx on venmo

I also have a Patreon that, however, I don’t post that often, but I do still appreciate patrons and followers.

I’ve also been raising money to save toward an RV because I’ve been homeless off and on so much in the last several years. I feel like an RV is my best bet in my current situation for some sort of housing stability. I’ll be putting up the link to that fundraiser on my Facebook. You can follow me on Facebook.

Thanks so much for contributing to Fat Sex Week, Cinnamon!

2017-04-12

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: A Queer Couple Reflects on Their Nude Adipositivity Photo Shoot

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

I love the Adipositivity Project! Photographer Substantia Jones has been tirelessly taking gorgeous art nudes of fat bodies for over a decade. As Jenna says below, seeing naked fat bodies helps normalize body diversity and is a gateway for fat acceptance.

Photo (of me!) by Substantia Jones. From the Adipositivity.com website: The Adipositivity Project aims to promote the acceptance of benign human size variation and encourage discussion of body politics, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that’s normally unseen.

I love this project and have so loved my collaborations with Substantia. I really value shooting with photographers multiple times over the course of years. It’s so fun to develop as artists and continue to check in.

When I shot with Substantia in LA last summer I did my first with my partner for the annual Valentines Day series. (You can dig around the Adipositivity website to find it!) A series intended to show that fat people are totally worthy of love, it always gets a lot of media attention. Substantia said that she suspects that most couples get busy after their shoot and it got me curious about the experience of a fat couple in the Valentines series.

Jenna and Sam were kind enough to answer my questions in honor of Fat Sex Week XXL!

What was the process behind your decision to pose for Adipositivity?

Sam: I had found Adipositivity before I met Jenna, and was already a fan. I got a bit starry eyed when Jenna mentioned she knew Substantia online. We joked for a bit that she should pose at some point, and the joking got a little more serious. I thought Jenna would make a great model, so I was all in favor. Then Substantia posted a call for couples, and we decided to jump in with both feet.

Jenna: Sexy pictures of other fat people set me on my body love journey. Among these pictures, I came across Adipositivity. Seeing Substantia’s work meant a lot to me, especially since her work included fat people just being. For me, being visible is part of my activism and of course someday dreamed for posing for Substantia. Then the day came when she was looking for couples for her VDay series. It was fairly soon and we made our schedule work so we could go to NYC and do it. Most of me couldn’t believe I was going to do it, but I knew it was something I had to do. Letting other people know that fat love, fat bodies are important and valued and beautiful. I did have a moment of “I won’t be able to be president if I’m naked on the internet”.

Jenna and Sam for Adipositivity! Photo by Substantia Jones.

How did you feel after the shoot? After the photos were released?

Sam: The shoot was honestly one of the most positive body-related experiences of my life. We had so much fun doing the shoot and hanging out with Substantia, that it was really just kind of a high for a couple days. The photos actually being online, though….that was both exciting and little anxiety inducing.

I don’t know if other communities talk about this, but for public speakers in the LGBTQ community we have a concept of “oversharing” – this feeling when you’ve talked about very personal things in front of strangers, and you’re left feeling kind of vulnerable and drained afterwards. For me, I had to learn my boundaries around this, and also to accept that this was cost of my activism. In a way, I felt the same way about our Adipositivity pictures. I felt a little overexposed and vulnerable, but I was aware that I was going to feel that way, and I was okay with it. I felt the change we were helping make in the world was worth the cost.
Primarily, though, it was thrilling. I was so excited to be an Adiposer, and to see which pictures were picked up for which sites. It was also really fun when someone who knew us would send us a link and ask “is that you??????”. We enjoyed the experience so much we did it again the following year!

Jenna: Substantia made us feel awesome. We read over her information she provided before the shoot and we kind of just paced around until she got there. Once she was there, it was really easy to get naked. I felt awesome after the shoot, never really knowing how I got to this place in my life where I was naked and proud. After the photos were released it was just so neat to see us through Substantia’s eyes. How she posed us, how we looked at each other and how my body looked. I saw the stretch marks and lumps and my hangy breasts but thought it looked great and I was so happy that I didn’t spend hours going over my imperfections. I was just really
content with all the photos and loved seeing our love translated into images.

This question is specifically for Sam. You included a rare model statement with your photo for this year’s Adipositivity Valentine’s Day series. Will you tell me more about how you feel at home in your body after taking T and how this has interacted with your feelings about your size?

Photo by Substantia Jones.

Sam: Being fat with a female body I think was particularly difficult for my dysphoria. A fat female body is especially soft and curvy – something I love in my partners, but it was the opposite of what I wanted my own body to be. Taking T helped a lot with that – I’m still soft, but I have firmer muscle underneath, and my fat has shifted on my body to a more male distribution. So, it was easier to not hate my body so much, when it looked at least somewhat closer to what was in my head.

Being fat has been both a blessing and a curse in terms of passing. I still have fat rolls, and those can still be perceived as a feminine shape. When I had breasts, they were large and difficult to conceal. I had (and still have) quite an ample ass. Those things combined really made it difficult to pass consistently, even after I’d been on T for quite a long time. However, being physically larger has always seemed to make people think I was stronger and tougher than I was really was, and definitely made it so I was challenged by transphobes less often than my slighter brothers.

When I think of myself in relation to body positivity, I definitely think of it in terms of both my physical transition, and my lifelong struggle with my size. My gender dysphoria was so much easier to deal with, honestly. Even though I transitioned quite a while ago (twenty years as of last month), there was a pretty clear path for how to change my body to match my mind. There were definitely difficulties, of course, but it was pretty easy to see how I could “fix” the problem. Learning to be comfortable in my fat body, in a fat phobic society, has been a much more difficult challenge. There is so much internalized crap around size that’s reinforced every day. The body positivity community provides some help here, but I find it so heavily tilted towards the feminine (with good reason, of course, women bear the brunt of our fat phobic soceity) that it’s not really as much of a support system as I could use. Online, at least, I find the most comfort in the gay bear community. There is something very powerful in seeing men who look much like myself being viewed as sexual objects of desire.

As what I would affectionately call a “Fat on Fat” couple, do you have any fat sex tips for my readers?

Jenna: I really like being naked as much as I can. That has really helped me feel comfortable in my body and Sam compliments and loves on me all the time about it. It’s nice to hear that and know he is so attracted to me.

Sam: I think it starts outside the bedroom. We both have baggage when it comes to our
bodies, so it’s not always easy to climb into bed and feel instantly sexy. Having Jenna make sexy comments about my body in passing does a lot towards making me feel like she actually likes my body, and makes me feel safer when the clothes come off.
I also think our queerness and openness around sex itself helps a LOT, as does our acceptance of ourselves as fat. We don’t have as many preconceived notions about what constitutes sex, and that makes us more willing to experiment with what works for us, and to be honest about what doesn’t work. Sometimes we have to change an angle, or move a fat roll out of the way, or whatever. We laugh if we feel silly, and then get back into it.

Photo by Substantia Jones.

How do you keep the spark alive in a committed relationship?

Jenna: I think accepting our sex life as it is has kept the spark alive. It may sound strange, but not worrying if we still love each other because we haven’t had sex in a month has really been affirming for me. We achieve intimacy in so many other ways that I feel really fulfilled in my life with Sam.

Sam: Like Jenna said, intimacy seems to be very important for us. We probably don’t have actual sex as often as other couples, to be honest, but we are always very intimate with each other. We’re always touching each other, kissing, holding hands. That seems to be very satisfying for both of us in a way that only sex achieved in past relationships. Not that we don’t enjoy a good sexy romp, but I don’t think we *need* it nearly as much, because we always feel connected.

Substantia works so hard to keep this self-funded project going! Consider buying prints for your home (both helping to normalize body diversity and supporting fat art)!

2017-04-11

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: Curvy Rope Bottoming

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

I know so many people for whom kink and BDSM have been their gateways to body acceptance. I’ve been to lots of parties and seen rope suspension, whether for art or kink (or both!) and there is definitely an overwhelming amount of suspension that privileges young, thin, White bodies.

Evie Vane is an author whose forthcoming book, Better Bondage for Every Body, excerpted below, seeks to provide the support needed to diversify the rope bottoming scene.

For folks who don’t know, rope bottoming is the experience of being tied up. When you’re doing the tying, you’re the rope top! Not everyone who rope bottoms is a bottom all the time and likewise with topping.

Below are several excerpts from the chapter “For Curvy Rope Bottoms” in Better Bondage for Every Body (out in May).

The photos of fat rope bottoms in suspension in the book are really beautiful.

***

As deviant as the rope world is, its public face often seems to share mainstream views about body image. Just look at FetLife’s Kinky & Popular page, all the rope groups on Facebook, bondage photos published in magazines and books…more often than not, the rope bottoms are thin, young, very flexible women—in other words, not representative of the majority of rope bottoms, who have a wide range of body types, whose ages run the gamut, and who include men and transgender people.

This is not to judge thin, young, bendy women, by the way, who deserve to be who they are without being shamed or judged, just like everyone else… This book is one small effort that I hope will take root and grow until every rope bottom sees their beauty.

Model: Terri F.
Bondage by Zetsu Nawa and Demonsix
Photos by Retrotie
Hair and makeup by Anastasia Panagiotidis

***

Bri Burning offers this: “The biggest challenge I’ve faced being a rope bottom is the doubt of tops—whether that be doubt in my body and what it can do, or insecurities in their own skills.” That last part brings up another part of the challenge: incorrect assumptions about the limitations and capabilities of larger bodies. “I’m a very curvy woman who is extremely flexible,” Bri continues. “[But] most people assume that I can’t stay in stress positions for long or can’t bend a certain way.”

Let’s be clear: Flexibility is not related to size. Curvy bottoms run the gamut from having very limited flexibility to having very high flexibility, the same way noncurvy rope bottoms
do. (See Chapter 12 on ties for limited range of motion if you fall into the former category.) As Starberry says, “There may be some things I can’t do, but those are my limitations and not necessarily due to weight.”

***

“An educated top is your biggest ally,” Kurious says. “Ask the questions…‘Have you ever tied up a big [person]? What do you do differently with someone my size versus someone that is half my weight?…Will you be prepared to catch me if I am falling?’”

If you just can’t find an educated top, consider creating
one! Do your own research and educate your partner. Learn together. “There are always workarounds to an uncomfortable tie,” WyldOrchi_soumi says. “My top has added wraps or changed the point of the primary pull, and it has made all the difference. Also, a good wrap clearing or cleaning can make a huge difference when you have a lot of fleshiness under those wraps. Hurts like a bitch in the moment but is worth the extra minutes I can hold the tie.”

Model: Terri F.
Bondage by Zetsu Nawa and Demonsix
Photos by Retrotie
Hair and makeup by Anastasia Panagiotidis

***
Learning how to tie and even self-suspend can be helpful as well. “Self-tying has helped me the most physically and mentally to rope bottom,” thisgirl_m says. “I’ve gained knowledge about the technicalities of the ties that allows me to judge the safety of the ties I am in. I have learned my body’s ‘normal’ in rope so I able to tell if something is causing me harm.” Gnethys adds, “If someone tells you you’re too fat to fly, nothing will shut them up faster than self-suspending in front of them.”

***
If you are wildly intrigued by rope bottoming, here are some great resources:

If you’re interested in topping for the first time, start with the Topping Book. Likewise, if you’ve never bottomed, start with the Bottoming Book.

Evie Vane’s previous book, The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up, is available now.

Better Bondage for Every Body
is coming out in May. Sign up on Evie’s email list to find out when you can get it!

Here’s Evie’s YouTube channel with rope bottoming videos.

Remember, all bodies are worthy of love/sex/rope bondage exactly as they are!

2017-04-07

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: Fat FTMs Review the New Buck Off Sex Toy

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

My pal Buck Angel created a sex toy specifically for trans men! I thought Fat Sex Week XXL was a great opportunity to find out from my Fat FTM friends if the stroker works for all bodies.

From the website: The Buck-OFF™ – The official Buck Angel® stroker is the first product designed specifically for transmen to engage in stroking fun. Every man loves to stroke, but not every man is the same. We engineered this using Buck’s vision for how the product should feel and fit. Buck has a mission to help transmen become comfortable with their bodies, and the Buck-OFF is an exceptional product for achieving this. Made with Perfect Fit’s ultra-soft SilaSkin™ the Buck-OFF is so pleasurable to touch it is addictive. This is Buck’s signature toy sized for the transman who has started transition. As Buck says “Loving your new body is what it’s all about.”

My friend Dari said, “Buck-OFF is the only toy, since my growth through testosterone, that took me to the edge and let me keep going and prolong my orgasm without becoming too sensitive to touch.”

At our Epic Seder last year we did an interactive play and Dari had the role of a guard. Such a hunk!

Another, anonymous friend, got a free Buck-OFF to review for Fat Sex Week XXL. Here’s what he had to say:

If you haven’t yet heard of it, the Buck-OFF is a sex toy designed by Buck Angel and specifically marketed to transmen. It’s a small, 3” or so sleeve made of a proprietary material called Silaskin- very soft and velvety to the touch. The inside of the sleeve is ribbed and its closed-end design enables suction when the user strokes.

Inside of the stroker.

I enjoyed the Buck-OFF very much. It took some experimenting to figure out what felt best and how to manipulate it properly, but the basic premise is pretty straightforward. Depending on the person, this could be a quick and easy go-to toy when you want to get off fast, or it could be more of a session toy when you want to take your time. For me, it took some time to find my way to the finish but it felt pretty damn good along the way.

A word on size. While a pre-T guy with larger-than-average genitals could find this product useful, the Buck-OFF is definitely designed for guys taking testosterone as growth is really necessary for the mechanics to work. The more growth you have, the better this will feel. I also found it helpful to get hard before using it as it made it easier to get a good “fit.”

Outside of the stroker.

Speaking of fit, I did find it a challenge to maintain the suction as consistently as I would have liked. If you have a larger mons pubis, you may have to work a little harder to find and keep the proper positioning. This was not insurmountable, just something to keep in mind if you have this body feature.

Other reviewers have indicated that lube is optional, but I would highly recommend using a few drops of a water-based lubricant inside the sleeve. It definitely helps with suction and also helps avoid potentially unpleasant friction in your most sensitive areas.

At a price point of $29.95, I think the Buck-OFF is a good value. Depending on vigor and frequency of use, I could see it wearing out over time but nothing good lasts forever.

I happily endorse the Buck-OFF and will definitely be adding it to my repertoire.

*****

Another friend (P) reached out to me on Facebook to give me feedback as a self-identified fat kinky FTM. He said that he had trouble using it as a stroker because of his fat being centered around the belly. (For those of you who don’t know, not all fat bodies are identical! We all carry fat in different places and the experience of someone with fat thighs vs a fat belly are different, even though they might wear the same exact size!) Because of the belly fat it was harder to reach the spot because the Buck-OFF is small.

However, because he’s a sex proclaimed kinky pervert, his intrepid exploration lead to these hacks. “Take a nipple pump cylinder (also used as a clit pump). Put the stroker over it inside out. Add lube. Now it is reachable and lil guy can fit inside it.” I think this is a call for Buck to design the Buck-OFF fleshlight, with a big handle like the Fleshlights built for different size genitalia.

The second hack my friend P had was the turn the whole stroker inside out (textured side out) and put it over a hitachi magic wand. It apparently is very pleasurable. It’s always nice to have some back-up ways to use a sex toy.

Word on the street is that Buck is in development on a new stroker for folks who have not taken T!

I hope these reviews are helpful!

2017-04-04

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: Six People Tell You Why Curvy Girl Sex Is Awesome

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

There’s a new book on the market called Curvy Girl Sex: 101 Body-Positive Positions to Empower Your Sex Life. Written by Elle Chase, it’s a huge collection of sex positions to help empower your sex life.

April Flores Pin-Up magic is all over this book. Photo by Nick Holmes.

Let’s first talk about why this is important–fat people are taught that we’re not fuckable. All oppressed people are taught to not take up space and that we should be as invisible as possible. When we try so hard to not take up space it’s actually very physically and psychologically disempowering.* In a society that doesn’t see fat bodies as valuable and the porn that celebrates diverse body size is considered fetish, most fat folks have to go through a ton of self work to empower ourselves enough to thoroughly enjoy sex.

There’s a lot of scaffolding that goes in to feeling free and embodied enough for body oppressed people to have an orgasm, it’s wonderful when work that centers fat pleasure arrives on the scene to help!

Curvy Girl Sex has so much to offer for folks of all sexualities, genders and sizes to improve their sex lives! I decided to interview a sampling of folks about what they loved about the book.

Photo by Nick Holmes.

I’ll go first! It serves as a gorgeous coffee table book full of hot pin-up photos of April Flores. An award-winning trailblazing sex performer; she’s my favorite porn star. She won the very first BBW award at the mainstream porn awards that they ever gave out, then won it again. She is overtly political, not just being a sexy fat woman in porn but also doing it with an empowering message to her fans. I was on her radio show (that links to a porn radio station website) for Fat Sex Week last week and we talked for an hour about fat sex, body positivity and having your best life. We had radio phone callers! One of them identified as Sub Matt. I’m now friends** with April Flores and in real life she’s totally fun, smart and great to hang out with.

This was literally the first thing I thought when I saw the cover of Curvy Girl Sex, “April Flores is the exact right choice for this cover. A Queer, Fat, Latina history making sex performer.” I think everyone loves a coffee table book of pin-ups and maybe it should be a book of fat sex positions with April Flores as the pin-up?

I have had a sex positive household for my entire adult life, so we have had Curvy Girl Sex out in the living room while I’ve been working on Fat Sex Week and it’s been a great conversation starter.

From a design standpoint, it’s a beautiful book in a bright yellow that would look great as a pop of color, too.

World-renowned Sexpert Tristan Taormino loves the key guide in Curvy Girl Sex. “I have a bad back and I can tell at a glance which positions are the ones I should be sure to try.”

Here’s an excerpt from the book that shows how the key guide is used for each position. The keys include suitable for pregnant women, strap-on friendly, easier on the back, easier on the knees, etc… I love that each illustration for the key images is a plump body.

My partner Dara said that Curvy Girl Sex is smart and a great example of intersectionality.

The author of the book, Elle Chase: “I think what makes this book most valuable is that it can be used for ANY body, not just ‘curvy.’ The positions are terrific for people with mobility issues, people who have chronic pain, people of all gender identities and even average sized folks. It’s an all-purpose, permission giving positions book for anyone with a body, with or without body-image issues.”

My friend Dari said he loved that the book has a whole section on car sex! Car sex is hard in a fat body it’s helpful to know that Elle figured that out.

Author Elle Chase, photo by Nick Holmes.

From the book: “Stop the negative thoughts by focusing on what’s happening in the moment and on what kind of pleasure you can or are giving your partner, then revel in your ability to be present and in your pleasure at the same time as your partner—that’s no small feat!”

Click here to check out a pdf of the Whoopie Pie position the page that excerpt is from.

The Yoni massage on page 151 is really optimum foreplay for my friend Katy. She’s a fat sex blogger and we spent a lot of time during our hang out talking about this book. “As a fat woman who has been sexually abused I have a weird connection to my pussy. I have to actively envision it being pleasured. Yoni massage is actually what I need to feel that skin and remember these nerve endings because due to trauma I had to so actively choose to ignore, forget and disconnect from them. I really like that inclusion because that’s new to me and empowering!”

Katy can also vouch for the Slip N Slide position on Page 123 being very satisfying.

We both agree the book is missing an essay or something from April Flores! I asked her what she thinks is the most valuable thing about this book and she said the representation for fat women! Look through the sex book section at your local feminist sex toy store and the percentage of women of size is nothing like the actual percentage of larger bodies in the population. Our sexuality matters and our representation matters!

Photo by Nick Holmes.

Consider grabbing a copy of Curvy Girl Sex to help you empower your sex life!

*I do a whole aerobics number for Fat Kid Dance Party about teaching people physical ways of embodying the idea of taking up space and healing by taking up space! 7:30PM on Thursdays at EVERYBODY in Los Angeles.
**My friend H. Alan Scott says in Hollywood being “Friends” with someone means they are in your phone and you can text them right now.

PS: I am soliciting a volunteer to transcribe the video in my previous post with Sparklez to make it more accessible–if you’re available shoot me an email QueerFatFemme at Gmail!

2017-03-31

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: Femme Sex Chat with Catiriana Reyes AKA Miss Sparklez

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

Y’all I had such a great conversation with my friend Miss Sparklez today for Fat Sex Week XXL! It feels so good to chat with other Queer Femmes about sex and dating, I find it a really comforting feeling of sharing perspectives and being seen and understood. Sparklez is a brilliant, talented babe. A scholar, a DJ, a Soprano opera singer and a bottom. She’s an out trans woman, queer identified, into leather but not the leather scene, of African descent and originally from Kentucky.

We talked about the leather community feeling masculine and binary, dating on OK Cupid, why telling someone they are a BBW isn’t the best line for picking up someone, and rejection resilience.

She dropped a Foucault concept during our chat and I started weeping for joy, just because I love when folks sweep from sex chat to academia and back again. Michel Foucault is a famous social theorist and philosopher that most folks know from college courses. He was also a queer man who POTSA (Passed On To Something Awesome) in one of the first wave of AIDS-related deaths.

We also learned shower douche 101. “Poop doesn’t live in your anus, it only passes through.” Learn more about identity, sex and sexuality with Sparklez!

Sparklez says in our interview, “Trans women are worth more dead than alive. We have more bio power dead than alive.” Let’s change this and amplify the voices of Black Trans Women! It starts with listening to their perspective (like this interview!) and it moves to giving opportunities for work, housing and community organizing that respects and center their needs and experiences.

I’m posting this on Trans Day of Visibility, which is a great opportunity for folks who are not of trans experience to act in solidarity with gender non conforming and trans folks. Here’s a great thing you can do to be in solidarity with folks: literally never assume someone’s pronouns.

“To be able to self select what your identity is confirming your truth to power… When someone else does that it’s taking away your power.”

Asking someone what pronoun they prefer (especially if you think you know based on looking) is a great way to make the world a little more survivable for trans folks. And if/when you screw up pronouns genuinely apologizing and working to get better. Maybe it feels awkward but you, as an ally, absorbing a little awkward to make the world easier to navigate and helping people who struggle with a lot more oppression than you do feel more at ease is a great way to repair the world.

Thanks so much to Sparklez for our fabulous interview!

Find DJ Sparklez on Mix Cloud (I love listening to mixes while I work!)

She spins at Do You Like Disco last Thursday of the month at Metropolitan Bar in Brooklyn.

Find Sparklez on Vimeo.

2017-03-30

FAT SEX WEEK XXL: Meet Fancy Feast Who Made Fat Sex Into a Career

Welcome one and all (who are knowingly entering into this adult-themed conversation)! This is Fat Sex Week XXL, the second edition of QueerFatFemme.com Fat Sex Week where I explore many facets of fat sex. Named for Magic Mike XXL, which was even better than the first Magic Mike, I’m hoping this edition is louder and fatter than ever before! Check this tag for all of the posts!

Rebel Cupcake was a monthly body positive queer dance party and cabaret in Brooklyn I produced. It was at a divey club/bar called Sugarland with the triple threat of sound system, lights and a stage and it was all mine one night a month. I think that a performance sets an energetic stage for a specific experience; I wanted to produce empowering acts that made people feel good about being weirdos. I began every night with an hour or so of 90s R&B and Riot Grrrl music for mingling, then had a brief stage show, then cleared the chairs for a dance party. The shows were about 15 minutes but some nights were longer, like the staged reading of the beauty shop scene from Steel Magnolias. I booked burlesque, Bearlesque, butchlesque, drag queens/kings/gender performers, live music, belly dance, poetry (only knock your socks off great poetry, it was a nightclub), fire performance, readings and whatever else I found in the realm of body positive/weirdo positive/queer and fat performance realm.

Fancy Feast fit right in with the unicorns.

I used to have to hustle every single month to book a stage kitten. I was always relying on the kindness of last minute serendipity. Somehow I would find someone who willing to wear a cute outfit and be on stage picking up clothes from the previous performers in exchange for drink tickets. Fancy Feast walked into Re/Dress, the vintage plus size and resale clothing boutique I worked at, she said she had taken a burlesque class at the New York School of Burlesque (it’s a real thing) and she volunteered to stage kitten if I ever needed one. It was as though the Goddess heard my plea to get someone consistently available to fill this role and here she was.

“We fear not being beautiful.”

After a couple of months and a theme that would work for her (I curated the show themes very thoughtfully) I gave her a slot. She was great, but what was even better was watching her develop as a performer over time. Fancy Feast works really hard and she’s very smart, she thinks things through. She’s always improving. She also has a lot of fun on stage and she owns her body. That, to me, is ultimate sexy right there. It literally doesn’t matter what your body looks like, to me it is how you embody yourself fully that makes you hot on stage.

On being fat on stage: “I walk in the fat one and I get to choose how I walk out.” Photo by David Byrd.

Fancy has flown to the top since her glitter beginnings at Rebel Cupcake. She’s been Miss Coney Island (which is a big deal in New York City and a perfect title for her) and is well-recognized. And now there’s a documentary about her!!!

If you are interested in hearing a smart woman talk about owning her body, performing erotic dance, selling sex toys, living a very realistic NYC performance artist life, subverting beauty standards, and finding a place to express yourself while being weird or exaggerated, you should watch this documentary.

On performing to a not body positive crowd: “I don’t want to walk into a room and know everyone is going to agree with me.” Photo by Ellen Stagg.

Or if you want to be inspired as an artist by another artist’s practice, watch this documentary.

Or if you just want to watch a hot fat woman take her clothes off a lot, watch this documentary.

Glitter spank at Rebel Cupcake, photo by Kelsey Dickey.

Maybe a little bit of all of those things? Leon Chase made this amazing one hour film about what it’s like to be a fat burlesque artist and sex educator, but from the very one of a kind perspective of Fancy Feast.

Fancy Feast also often said yes to other random gigs I had. Go-go dancing at my off-shoot dance party (no performance) Yes Ma’am. Here I am with co-founders and co-producers DJ Average Jo and Nicky Cutler and Fancy Feast is working it even though we were in an art gallery and didn’t know what exactly to use as a go-go box.

I make a brief appearance as Bevin Branlandingham of Rebel Cupcake (major points for spelling my name correctly, Leon). He chose the exact right photos and video clip for Rebel Cupcake. Me in a “Yes Fats Yes Femmes” glitter tank top of my own creation in a still shot with Fancy Feast, and a video of me recreating a gif of a Glitter Spank I saw on Tumblr. Using Fancy Feast’s ass.

Kate Bornstein & her amazing partner Barbara Carellas performed at my Rebel Cupcake second anniversary party. Fancy Feast, as Stage Kitten, was called upon to hold Auntie Kate’s umbrella. Sometimes volunteering has its own glamour! (I’m similarly briefly in a documentary about Kate Bornstein, while introducing her and Barbara at Rebel Cupcake. That documentary is also quite incredible.) Photo by Nogga Schwartz.

People who feel weird among other folks will identify strongly with Fancy Feast. For her and me being weird is a really beautiful thing. You know, being the swan among the ducks, looking for other swans. It just feels so good to me to watch someone on TV (well, chromecasted from youtube) who is reflecting what I believe about all bodies being valuable. About sex being a normal part of human communication that should not be shamed. That glitter is a really important part of self expression.

“Ugly is not the worst thing you can be. Being boring is. Be ugly, not boring.”

Fancy Feast is more than 100% of the time working to advance fat sex, at least by being a fat presence in multiple facets of the sex industry. I felt like it was remarkably appropriate to kick off Fat Sex Week XXL celebrating this incredible documentary. Grab some popcorn and watch it!

Follow Fancy on Twitter @fancyburlyq on Instagram @fancyfeastburlesque and find her on Facebook as Fancy Feast!

2014-02-13

My Second Session of Relationship Coaching with the Lesbian Love Guru

This is the second entry in a series about my experience Relationship Coaching with Christine Dunn-Cunningham, the Lesbian Love Guru. Follow the lesbian love guru tag on the blog to catch all the entries!

My not-yet girlfriend and I had our second session of relationship coaching the week after we began. Christine suggested we continue our coaching separately. It’s counterintuitive to how I pictured this coaching would occur; I imagined we’d both be together on skype with Christine, but instead we each take thirty minute separate calls with her. Since we tend to be together when it happens, the other hangs out in the living room with music playing.

Being out of earshot enables real talk with Christine about what’s happening. Often if you explained a problem in your relationship to a third party, you would use really different language than if you were together. I find it a relief not to think about Dara’s feelings when I’m explaining something. I feel like I can get right to the solution without spending extra time sugar coating an issue.
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Prior to the second session we had each filled out intake forms for coaching and sent them to her as well as one another. The intake form reinforces Christine’s confidentiality agreement.

The issue of confidentiality is paramount to this [coaching] relationship. My understanding is that nothing in this [coaching] relationship is to be discussed outside of our conversations. There are times when references to others may be helpful, however I would not ever mention a name or person that would lead someone to infer the discussion was about you as a client.

The rest of the intake forms were about our future visioning, setting out goals and what we think is limiting us. I liked that we shared them with each other because sometimes it’s good to see what the your sweetie is expressing in terms of goals for an ideal love life and how they see their future. What if your big goals are really incompatible? That’s important to talk about!

In my one-on-one session with Christine we focused on what was going on for me at that moment. This had a little less to do with my relationship and more to do with how I was feeling with my own time management. One of my goals this year is to get more structured about how I use my time. I am also really worried about caregiver fatigue because Dara has breast cancer and I’m her primary caregiver. Time management is important because I need to make sure I prioritize my self-care, which is easy to let fall by the wayside when you’re only dealing with things that are “bleeding.”

20140213_124617At her first chemo appointment, as the awesome nurse Erin at Sloan-Kettering was “pushing” the first dose of chemo poison, Dara sang Alice Cooper’s “Poison.” I would have gone with Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” which might do more to explain our communication issues than anything else.

Even though caregiving isn’t all that taxing (yet), it is a lot of time. After her surgeries was a lot of letting her rest and heal while I took on the lion’s share of the housework. Making sure we’re eating whole, healthy foods is another thing I’ve taken on 90% of the time. Her cancer diet is pretty restrictive, which means most of what I make is from scratch. Add to that we both work to only eat humane meats, which requires special trips to the butcher. I feel extremely grateful for my work from home lifestyle because when I plan well I can be cooking while working. But my time management can really use some improvement so that the planning part of that intention actually happens!

20140212_203059I highly suggest this infinitely customizable pizza casserole recipe, passed along to me by my dear friend JLV.

Christine suggested a Tony Robbins tool called “Rapid Planning,” which helps to ensure what you’re doing is in line with your priorities. I’ve begun implementing it in stages and so far it is helping me be mindful of my priorities. Just because something is urgent (bleeding) doesn’t mean it’s important and I need to remember that.

She also taught me a grounding exercise. When I got on the phone I told her I was feeling really spazzy and she did a meditation with me that was really quick and powerful. She’s offering an MP3 of the grounding meditation on her website for free if you click the link. I love a guided meditation and am totally keeping this on my phone for when I need a 30 second reminder that I’m right here, right now, one with the universe.

Dara and I usually talk about our sessions afterward–highlights and tools. She got a tool to work on for homework about how she responds to my emotions. I have really Big Feelings sometimes* and my face is a billboard–I usually don’t want to express myself right away but I can’t help it! Often what I feel immediately isn’t what I feel ultimately once I’ve had time to digest my reaction. My emotional reactions have historically been very difficult for Dara to handle, as she hates disappointing me or hurting my feelings. This has been difficult for many of my past loves.

20140213_111246I thought it was important to wear something cute to chemo.

Christine suggested a tool she calls “Holding the Bucket” where Dara doesn’t actually have to do anything but witness and recognize my feelings. She doesn’t need to take them on or feel bad for hurting me. I actually love this tool because it gives me a chance to have my Big Feelings and later apply the tools I have to respond instead of react and engage in my process without worrying about her reaction.

“Holding the Bucket” helped Dara prepare for a difficult conversation she wanted to have with me that we did some more work on getting geared up for during our third session. Dara said it helped her see that she didn’t have to take my feelings so personally, since they were about me and my process not necessarily about Dara.

Dara also told me she had been triggered by something that happened between us the night before this session. It was a relief to be able to talk to someone who was such an impartial party and a great listener.

I am really enjoying my experience working on my relationship with Christine’s help. I was pleasantly surprised at how skilled she is at working with folks on an individual level. She works with singles, couples and poly permutations. Experiencing how she is able to guide me one-on-one, though it’s centered on things coming up in my relationship, definitely enforces how awesome she is with singles looking to break down their limitations on finding and experiencing the love relationships they want.

20140213_111246

Christine offers a limited number of free introductory thirty minute calls every month. Twelve of you signed up last month. If you want to try her out, click here and sign-up! You’ll get to know Christine and find out if she’s a good fit for you, as a single, couple or poly permutation! (Even though she’s a “Lesbian” Love Guru she actually works with all gendered folks on all parts of the gender and sexuality continuums.)

*In my natal chart I have a Scorpio Moon.

2014-01-23

I Got Back Together with My Ex and Started Relationship Coaching with the Lesbian Love Guru

This is the first entry in a series about my experience with Relationship Coaching with Christine Dunn-Cunningham, the Lesbian Love Guru. Follow the lesbian love guru tag on the blog to catch all the entries!

In November of 2012 I started dating someone who I thought was just going to be a friend with benefits. That turned into a super deep connection I wasn’t expecting. Neither of us did. I went with it and we fell into a “thing” we were calling “keeping company,” a delightfully old fashioned term she picked up from her uncle’s description of his courtship of her aunt thirty plus years ago. We had a lot of fun together but ran into a lot of static around a few areas, including communication. It took me until months after it ended to realize that how disparate our semantics often were. She would be saying one thing, using the same words I would use, but mean something completely differently than I was understanding. Like we’re both calling something an apple but really I mean a peach.

8868390850_f762dea0b1_oLast May. Photo by Grace Chu.

Things ended at the end of March when the fact that she didn’t want to be in a relationship, and hadn’t wanted to be in one in the first place, meant we needed to break-up. In our first iteration, things were just always so hard for us together emotionally, and when you don’t want to be in a relationship you don’t want to do the work to be together. She was also preparing for an epic, possibly forever, road trip. Selling all of her possessions, getting some part time consulting she could do remotely, and staying with loved ones a few weeks at a time. A life in an RV I’ve been visioning for a long time, a tiny version of which I took in 2011, but she was going solo.

I had thought we could eventually transition to long distance in some way, and we fell back into an “ambiguous” relationship status within three weeks of breaking up. Eventually that fell apart, too, she left town and I thought I’d never talk to her again. By the end of that ambiguous period I had my own reasons for not wanting to be in a relationship with her. Our mutual frustration lapsed into a long period of radio silence.

I recognized that the grief I was feeling about the break-up was incommensurate with the loss. I started doing some spiritual work through the help of Katie at Empowering Astrology. She helped me cut emotional cords and end what she described as a karmic cycle Dara and I were in.

Cut to October, when we had a pretty organic reconnection. She was back in NYC for a couple of weeks and we met-up and made peace. I thought maybe we could try “benefits without friends,” as a way to just focus on what always worked with us. (Sex.) I could slot her into my life the way a few treasured friends have; when we’re in the same town we sleep together if our relationship statuses allow for it and the rest of the time we’re just casual friends that text every now and again. This was a mildly complicated idea for me because I knew I was still in love with her I just couldn’t be in a relationship with her.

8867777135_1606770681_bPhoto by Grace Chu.

Life threw us a giant curve ball because when Dara was in town she happened to visit her GYN for her annual exam and they found a lump. She was diagnosed with breast cancer after she had gone back to LA (where she was at the time) from her NYC visit. (She’s been video blogging her experience with cancer.)

What does it mean when your ex gets diagnosed with breast cancer? I didn’t know. I knew I was still in love with her, that had never changed. I knew I didn’t want her to be my girlfriend because I’m really dedicated to loving unconditionally and to want her to be my girlfriend would mean I would require her to change… and I didn’t want to do that. So I resolved myself to just be there for her as much as I could be. “Open heart and good boundaries,” became my mantra. A witchy friend even prescribed a tincture of Ocitillo which I serendipitously found in a South Brooklyn apothecary.

We hung out when she got back to NYC to start treatment. It was really great and really easy. We hung out again. And then another time. The quality of conversation, the ease at which we were able to tread topics that would have been hard or hurty before was surprising. I was able to do the things that I liked to do to support her–cooking nourishing meals, being sweet to her, giving massages. As well as encouraging her to relax and do self-care, two things she is now learning how to do post-diagnosis that she’s never prioritized before. The ways in which I thought I needed her to change kind of melted away, and somehow I was different, too.

I was a little confused. I mean, when does your ex become your lover again? She has breast cancer and sex is life affirming. And all the in between moments were so magical. I kept telling my friends I felt like Dara and I were in a different dimension.

There was other stuff, too. I kind of thought I could be there for her but there’s no way she could show up for me, having cancer. And then my December 2013 took hold, three friends passed away in the span of two weeks and the week before Christmas I unexpectedly and quickly had to put my beloved cat ALF to sleep just six months after his brother Bear passed. And through it all Dara was a champion–supporting me, handling logistics, making sure I could bring Macy with me to the vet when I had to rush ALF to the kitty ER for his final moment. After my fiance and I broke up I swore I wouldn’t get serious about someone again until we had gone through a crisis together. Being with Dara in this iteration feels like we’re running a gauntlet–except we’re laughing, holding hands and getting through it in this hopeful and happy way I never knew was possible. Like if we can be this good in a crisis how nice will life be when we can just work and travel together?

1497957_10201768063297968_397615989_oAfter her first lumpectomy surgery (she had to go back in for a reexcision lumpectomy two and a half weeks later) I was in the recovery room with her and we made a game about how silly of a photo we could create with found hospital objects. Together we conceived her Rudolph look.

With the heady mix of old intimacy and new relationship energy, I suggested we might want to get relationship coaching. In fact, neither of us is willing to call each other “girlfriend” yet because we want to eliminate fears of slipping back into old communication patterns and the stuff that was so hard before. It hasn’t happened yet, we’ve done a great job of communicating through rough spots; often we just stop a conversation that feels like it could get sticky and awkwardly back out of it. But it could happen, and a professional might help us set the kind of foundation we never had before.

Enter Christine Dunn-Cunningham, the Lesbian Love Guru, who I met over the summer. I was thinking of working with her as a single person who wanted to open myself up to finding the future Mx. Branlandingham. When Dara and I were starting to become a “thing” again, I read some of the Lesbian Love Guru blog entries (full of incredible tips) and this one about High Quality Quality Time totally helped me. In the entry she suggested having a conversation where you figure out which activities create the deepest sense of connection between both of you. So I had that conversation with Dara one day cuddled up in bed. Thinking about what I needed in a connected moment helped me ask for that the next time we were both having a rough day. (The connected activity for me was praying together, by the way.)

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Hanging out in this week’s blizzard.

The success I had with applying the tips from the blog entry definitely told me that Christine would make a great coach for us. And there’s a huge difference from following advice in a blog and working directly with someone to create a program for you. That’s why I love coaching!

We corresponded via email and she offered me one of her free introductory sessions.

I talked to her on the phone during the session and she explained that her coaching can take different forms. Sometimes she works just with one of the people in a relationship, who then takes the work back and applies it to the relationship. Sometimes she works with both partners separately and sometimes she works with them together. I had originally envisioned the two of us on Skype with Christine building capacity for our communication, but she said she would want to start with a session where the two of us spoke to her on our own to get our perspectives.

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Christine also has experience coaching folks in polyamory, which was great for us because some of our stickiness is around establishing a foundation where we can create some kind of non-monogamy or polyamory that works for both of us. I’ve never successfully done non-monogamy in a primary relationship and Dara has been practicing polyamory for twenty years.

Even though she’s called the “lesbian” love guru, Christine actually coaches folks of all genders, on the trans spectrum and some straight couples. Because at the end of the day, relationships are relationships.

During the first session where we each spoke separately, Christine asked us for each of our versions of our first iteration, what areas of growth we wanted in our relationship and what we were hoping for out of coaching. Dara remarked afterward that she felt “heard” about our first iteration for the first time ever. Christine is really easy to talk to and is great at asking the right questions to open you up.

I’m excited to work with Christine moving forward. I’ll be blogging about the experience so stay tuned!

Christine is offering a limited number of free introductory sessions to readers of my blog (with folks later in the game on a waiting list). The first session is great–it’s a great way to see if she’s a match for what you want. Again, Christine works with established couples and single folks and people of all genders and sexualities (even though the landing page is geared towards women specifically). She’s really great and in that introductory call you’ll walk away with tangible stuff you can apply to your life to help you open yourself up to a great relationship.

Also, this week Christine and I were both featured in the Happy Healthy Lesbian Telesummit. Hopefully you got to catch our interviews when they were released, but if you missed them you can download them as a package (along with a slew of other great interviews about money, nutrition, love, travel, healing and body love). Click here to view more details

2013-12-13

Femme Stocking Stuffer: New York Toy Collective’s new Mason

This is a post I meant to include in Femme Sex Week that got a little thwarted waiting for some interviews to come in. So in the meantime let’s just call this the BEST FEMME STOCKING STUFFER EVER in all of the myriad of entendres that can be.

A little warning that the content of this post is sexually explicit because I talk about sex and so it is NSFW if your work doesn’t like photos of sex toys. (They’re still life, not being used but still, does your boss need to see a photo of a huge hot pink cock?)


I did a photo shoot for the NYTC with a bunch of awesome folks including Tuck Mayo, Majda Fagdaddy, Ericka Hart. Here’s a fun behind the scenes video that involves me juggling dildos.

I first met the women behind the New York Toy Collective at a Dia De Los Muertos party I attended in 2012. They were vending their wares at a table and the opportunity to touch and feel the Shilo (their first design) and compare it to the Vixskin was sale enough–it’s so much softer and more pliant yet still sturdy.

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The Shilo in some of their fun colors.

The Shilo is a pack and play, which means you can pack with it in your pants (either while wearing a harness or just shoving it in a pair of tight underpants or panties) and then the idea is you can functionally use it to fuck someone. Lots of people pack with different things that make them have different relationships to their gender and sexuality, but it is a lot easier to pack with a softer dick than with a typical hard dildo. I learned this the hard way (badum-bum) when I was a drag king performer packing with a hard dick and it fell out of my bell bottoms during a group number to a disco song. I was 22 and I was mortified.

As a size queen I initially saw the Shilo and thought my appetite would need it to have more length and girth to be fun for me. But after hanging with them a few times and them vending at my parties, my lover at the time and I decided to give it a try and she bought it (using my friends and family discount, sometimes it pays in discounts on sex toys to be a party promoter).

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Optional balls with little bullet vibe.

I was shocked at how awesome it was, as I have low expectations for pack n play cocks. Not only was the Shilo fun for foreplay, doing all the things one might do with a pack n play, it was really easy to use and when she would take it off and just use her hand to fuck me with the Shilo, the bulbous head was amazing for g spot stimulation. A+.

Skip to this summer, when I run unto Chelsea and Parker and they have a new model that’s less phallic and comes in hot pink. Like the brightest hot pink I’ve ever seen a dildo come in. I was thrilled. They also knew I’d be excited to learn about their new model, the Mason, slated to be released late Fall, that was bigger than the Shilo. I begged them to make the Mason in the hot pink because it would make it the perfect packing cock for Femmes and swishy dandies who prefer to have bright colors than flesh tones.

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So pink and magical!

I do want to give a shout out to the range of four flesh tones available for the cocks at New York Toy Collective. That is awesome for folks who like a cock that maybe coordinates with their flesh. But I prefer to have a cock that coordinates with my flamboyance!

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The Mason.

I got a review copy of the Mason and I am so stoked about it! It’s 25% longer than the Shilo and the length really helps me because when one is fat and one has sex there is more flesh between you and your partner (for example, bellies take up space!) so having a longer dick when you’re using a harness is easier in that. The bulbous head is still awesome on my gspot.

I also have appreciated the bendiness of the Mason for the, um, fuckee being on top position. Because it bends with my body (when I use it with my current sex roster I’m getting done–it’s just the way my sex life is right now) I find it doesn’t fall out the way other, harder dicks tend to. It’s easier to insert, too!

If you have a Femme in your life you want to buy for, may I suggest this highly awesome sex toy to stuff their stocking? Or just put it on your wish list. Or buy it in a flesh tone for someone who isn’t into hot pink.

This is a super high quality investment piece kind of cock that is fun for play and for packing. It’s very worth it. The Shilo is $149 and the Mason is $159. Optional balls.

This month, the New York Toy Collective is offering a special promotion, the details of which are below. I’ve used these nipple clamp bells and they’re really fun!

The show us your bells promotion is our first social media campaign
(ever) so we’re really excited. It started when we came across these
jingle bell nipple clamps. Literally bells on nipple clamps in red,
green, blue and purple, and we thought on we need these, everyone
needs these. This year we are giving away hundreds of pairs of holiday
bell nipple clamps with the purchase of our products. We’re asking
people to send us (tweet, instagram, fb, tumblr) a picture of
themselves with the nipple clamp. It can be a picture of an earlobe,
cat, water bottle whatever you want just so long as there is no nudity
and it includes the clamp. Each week in December one winner will be
chosen to get $100 gift card at the sex shop of their choice. For a
complete list of the shops you can visit our site, it is basically any
shop that carries our products in the USA or Canada. Additionally,
we’re trying to keep it as open as possible so like any legit
promotion no purchase is necessary, you can use any nipple clamp
you’ve got just send us a picture and you’ll be entered to win. Don’t
own any nipple clamps, a wooden clothes is an affordable and
accessible alternative.

The offer is valid when you buy online or at retail.

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I love the New York Toy Collective because it’s queer woman owned-and-operated, small business and totally awesome. It is an honor to get to work with them and they make really incredible products. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

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I’m fundraising to support my website and the drive is running until the goal is met. So if you’re able to support the site I appreciate any and all donations. There are some amazing prizes up for grabs including a chapter from my forthcoming memoir full of dyke drama, crushes, flirting, fat politics and femme community organizing at the $50 level.

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