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

2015-01-02

Queer and Body Positive Calendars for 2015

I cannot believe it’s already 2015. Where does the time go? I’ve been lost in a holiday/birthday/travel time vortex and I’m scratching my head about being 36 already and have so much I want to get done this year!

What better way to set goals and mark time than with a calendar that acknowledges queer bodies and lots of different bodies! I think it is incredibly powerful self-love to surround yourself with images of hot queer and fat folks who have diverse bodies. Sensitizing yourself to queer and fat bodies that look like yours and the people you love is an important part of loving yourself and/or being a good fat/queer ally.

Like my 2014 Queer Fat Femme gift guide, I am not being compensated for these listings, I just want to get folks connected to great artists and support queer and body positive projects!

Q-were Calendar
I’m really excited about the Q-were project. I met Patience, the photographer, this summer and got to look through the 2013 and 2014 calendars and I was like daaaaang these are basically hot queer stroke books. I loved it. And I was doubly, maybe even triply, thrilled to find out my queer fat femme pal Rahjah is the centerfold for 2015!! Buy the calendar for $25 and support queer body positive diverse art!
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Q-were Instagram
Q-were Website
Link to buy the 2015 Calendar on Etsy

Queer Porn Star Calendar
Another hot queer, sex positive, body positive calendar is the Queer Porn Star Calendar. Included in the spread are April Flores, Courtney Trouble and Chelsea Poe, three of my favorite queer porn stars and really awesome people. (I had brunch with April Flores recently and she’s so wonderful.) I absolutely love what Courtney is doing with their queer porn femmepire at Trouble Films and the amplification of authentic and fun queer sex. If I had been able to see queer porn like what Trouble Films puts out when I was a baby queer it would have changed my life.

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chelsea-poe-1bTake a minute to sign Chelsea’s petition to ask mainstream porn sites to cease using the term shemale.

Link to buy the 2015 Queer Porn Star Calendar
The Trouble Films Porn Empire

Adipositivity Calendar
The Adipositivity project is a fat acceptance project that goes back several years. “Part fat, part feminism, part fuck you.” Substantia Jones is still clicking away, preserving bigger and better images of fat bodies. The calendar is $19.99 and supports this great art collection of fat bodies.
The Adipositivity Project: The 2015 Adipositivity Calendar is here! &emdash;
Link to the Adipositivity project
Buy the 2015 calendar

Pudge PDX Calendar
I did a little googling to make sure I wasn’t missing any body positive calendars and found the Pudge PDX plus size pin-up calendar! Queer heartthrob Melody Awesomazing is seen in the below photo (far left) as a lumberjack! “Pudge PDX’s body positive calendar includes 13 months with lunar cycles and wacky holidays. Fawn over these fancy folks while staying up to speed with your schedule!”

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Buy the calendar for $25!
Link to Pudge PDX

2013-11-14

Mix Festival in NYC Now through November 17th

You know how sometimes you ask the Universe to make your life magical beyond your wildest dreams and you have an evening that is clearly the answer to that?

You know how sometimes the most incredibly transformative things are, by their very nature, completely temporary?

Last night I found myself awash in unexpected magic when I headed to the Mix Festival. I went to a panel discussion about Race and the Colonial Impulse (which was also amazing) and Mix was the official after party so I figured I’d head there and get free admission. I never realized Mix was free if you didn’t go to the screenings! You can just wander in an experience the Mix Factory and all of its glory.

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Me, Avory Agony, Cristy Road being photographed by Tinker Coalescing of The Think Theater Queer Photography.

Mix is in its 26th year! I kept sending up prayers of thanks to my queer ancestors for making this whole shebang possible and wonder how it has stayed so underground?

I walked into the venue and it was so enormous–it looks like nothing on the outside and inside there are countless huge art installations. My friend Rachael Shannon’s amazing Brestival Vestibules are there, a huge dinosaur bone looking thing, several lounges full of pillows, and rooms and rooms of interactive, light-filled, video incorporating work so vast that in four hours I barely scratched the surface.

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I called this exhibit the “Erin Markey Room.”

The screening room is off to the side and is minor compared to the elaborate, mystical experience of immersion in art. It’s also teeming with so many of my favorite people. I got to catch-up with a lot of friends in an environment much more conducive to real conversation than a nightclub. In a white carpeted, textiled room with a projection of an old movie playing overhead I was in a circle with Avory Agony, Cristy Road, DJ Sissy Slap, Caitlin Q and a bunch of other new to me queers and I wished I could take a photo of it and send it to myself in middle school just to let her know that it was all going to be okay and the people who bullied me would never know the kind of deep connection and magic that was in store for me.

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In a lounge with my friend Sabina, an amazing punk queer from Sweden from Crush & Create Zine.

Two main highlights for me (but there were about a million):

A room filled with what look like mirrors upon which are several different projections of an artist dressed in different costumes. Each mirror (there are six) has a distinct frame and visual and I realized that everyone is drawn to different ones and I think it might have to do with that person’s gender! Like a Myer’s Briggs for gender test or something. I was drawn primarily to the one that looked like the artist was inside Valentine’s Day–reds, pinks, glitter, doilies and the one that was all gold, gold glitter, what looked like coins, very regal. I thought it looked like a casino advertisement for another planet. Avory was drawn to the green pony and the ice queen. I could have stood inside that room forever.

The Meat Truck–an installation in a U-Haul truck that harkens back to the cruising days of the 70s and 80s where men would find opened trucks to fuck in just wherever. The hanging photos of men cruising are so lifelike and I genuinely hope someone does something, um, performative in the “Mom’s Attic” part of that uUaul.

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The Meat Truck was so mystical, sexual, queer historical and hilarious that I was convinced (and told everyone within ear shot) I was going to meet my future wife in that truck.

There’s also dancing and DJs throughout the night. Last night DJ Precolumbian was on fire!!

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I have tickets to the closing night screening of Valencia: The Movies (hello, the NYC premier of my favorite book turned into a series of short films made by many of my favorite people including Courtney Trouble and Silas Howard). I really hope I get to go back a bunch of times before it closes. I’m so grateful to be in the present moment with all of this and appreciating what I have while it’s here.

If you think you want to go to the Mix Festival do not hesitate to go!!!

If you miss Mix Festival it happens every year around the same time and I can say after last night it is absolutely worth putting on your NYC travel bucket list.

Information from the press release:

DATES: November 12-17, 2013
LOCATION: 521 Third Avenue, Brooklyn
(between 12th & 13th Streets, in Gowanus)

SUBWAY: F,G, R to 4th Ave-9th Street

Complete program information and schedule available online at www.mixnyc.org

● $13 for regular film screenings

● $20 for opening & closing night events

● Free admission to films for youth (21 and under) and PWAs

Free public admission to all installations & performances

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2013-10-21

FEMME SEX WEEK: Excerpt from my Memoir for International Fisting Day

After the success of FAT SEX WEEK and GAY SEX WEEK it only made sense to round out the trifecta with FEMME SEX WEEK. Check out the tag to see all of the entries in this topic and check back soon for more amazing Femme sex talk!

It’s International Fisting Day, an online celebration created by queer porn mogul and star Courtney Trouble and queer porn star Jiz Lee to bring awareness to an important sex act that uses the whole hand!

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Jacqueline, Me, Miss Mary Wanna and Courtney Trouble in a cab.

It may seem kind of flippant to have a whole day dedicated to fisting, but it’s actually born of the struggles Courtney has had as a pornographer getting distribution for films that involve fisting. Even though it’s a really common sex act, especially amongst queers, it is maligned in a list of potentially “obsene” and therefore possibly illegal sex acts. You can read more about fisting in pornography and Courtney’s activism around distribution of films in her State of the Fist address.

In terms of my contribution to the Fisting Day lexicon, I want to provide an excerpt from my memoir. It’s not yet published (I am very close to finishing the first draft and am looking for a publisher) but fisting featured prominently in a few stories I tell in the book and I spent a lot of time figuring out how to communicate the mechanics of fisting in this excerpt. Enjoy!


We were making out until the beach combing trucks came. With that heady mix of chemistry and alcohol, I knew with every fiber of my being that I wanted to sleep with her.

When we got back to my place I was really glad I had prepared for my date.

We were rolling around on the bed, getting sand everywhere and she basically said “None for me, thanks,” with regards to receiving any fucking, because she had her period. Our clothes came off quickly and at some point she had her (relatively small) hand inside me but I couldn’t really feel anything. I asked how many fingers she was using and she said, “One…”

I laughed. I always laugh a lot in bed. Sex is silly! There are so many weird things to talk about.
“You can start with three.” Picking up her free hand I said, “Um, your hands can probably fist me.” I didn’t use the term Size Queen with Jen Small but I was definitely thinking it. And I certainly don’t have any shame being one. Some bodies are built to pass a child and the pursuit of pleasure can accommodate a lot with enough patience and lube.

Jen Small did some more fumbling and I started laughing again. My hands flew up to my mouth and I tried to stifle my laughter. “I’m not laughing at you! I’m laughing at me!” I tried to reassure her as my laughing continued. Jen Small wasn’t very insecure and she seemed to understand.

I explained, “I was assuming you know how to fist someone. Have you ever done that before?” I realized, at twenty five, she might not have fisted anyone. I certainly hadn’t had any fisting on the giving or receiving end by twenty five.

Valentine by Damien Luxe
Image by Damien Luxe. Read about the history and intent behind this piece here.

She shook her head no. I did a thirty second fisting demonstration for her. Using my left hand as a prop vaginal opening, connecting my thumb and forefinger making a circle. I shaped my right hand into a duck bill “fist,” with the top of the bill my four fingers and the bottom of the bill my thumb placed in the center, scrunching the whole situation as thin as possible and inserted my duck billed hand into the left hand circle, twisting it to fit.

If I were doing this demonstration for a friend I would also include some tips for maneuvering the fist to graze the g-spot as it is working its way in, positions that work best for accommodating something bigger than your vagina is used to, and probably end the demonstration with a fist insertion/jazz hands flourish. But I didn’t finish my demonstration with any of these bells and whistles because I was anxious to get Jen Small’s hand back in there.

I had also never been in the position of sleeping with someone with less experience than I had and wanted to ensure she was at ease. I always want to make sure the folks I sleep with feel safe being their authentic selves in bed. So instead of the jazz hands flourish I said, “But you don’t have to do it if you are uncomfortable!”

“No, I really want to!” she said. And she did.

P.S. I also found this post on my tumblr for folks with long nails who want to fist people!

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I have more fun things to include in FEMME SEX WEEK coming up this week and next. If you’d like to read a longer excerpt from my memoir, I’m giving away a whole chapter (it’s lots of dyke drama and fat politics) at the $50 level for my fundraiser to support QueerFatFemme.com.

2013-09-17

What to Do in NYC as a Tourist!

One of the questions I am asked most often is “I’m coming to NYC, what should I do?” The answer to that is so vast. This is New York City! What do you want to do? What do you want to eat? We have that!

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I’ve been meaning to write-up a blog series for a long time about what I love to do in NYC on the tourist tip and I had the occasion to have the BEST Manhattan tourist day on Saturday when none other than Courtney Trouble (NSFW link) and Miss Mary Wanna were in town. We met up for brunch at Jacqueline’s house first (she served two kinds of pork because she knows how to treat this Femme right) and then piled in a cab to go to St. Mark’s Place, one of my favorite streets in the East Village. It’s got great shopping, coffee, and an adorable park. It’s close to Alphabet City where the musical Rent takes place.

So much of New York City is nostalgia–remember when St. Mark’s Place used to be where all the artists lived? Well, it did. I’ve read books about how cool the Lower East Side of NYC was in the 90s. But it’s still pretty cute and there are a few punk vestiges left over like Trash and Vaudeville and a ton of vintage shops. Plus it’s just a cool place to walk around to get the feeling you’re in NYC.

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One block north is my very favorite store in the city, Fabulous Fanny’s. If you wear glasses or sunglasses it is a must-visit in NYC. When we were planning our day I was like, “Yes to St. Mark’s because you need to go to Fabulous Fanny’s!” I took my mom and Grandmother here when they were visiting a month ago. Mom bought three pairs of amazing, unique glasses.

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Fabulous Fanny’s stocks lots of brand new vintage replicas and never worn actual vintage glasses. Even better, they rhinestone some of them. All of the glasses I’ve owned for the past eight years came from there and I get compliments all the time. It helps if you go in knowing what you’re looking for, they can lead you right to it in their drawers upon drawers of stock, or just play around with your friends and find the frames that work for you.

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They also have tons of vintage clothing and accessories!

They don’t fill prescriptions but they have cards for cheap places in Chinatown who will do it for fifty bucks. Not bad!

We got coffee at Mudspot, which is an indie place I love that has a walk-up counter for MUD coffee (or you can sit down for brunch). Their striking orange logo! I just discovered that they have ALMOND MILK available which is rare and rules. As someone who is highly sensitive to both soy and dairy I am stuck drinking black decaf coffee all the time unless a coffee place has almond or coconut milk.

The Femme crew headed over to Tompkin’s Square park to peep the little dog run! It’s so fun to watch other people’s dogs play. It’s also hilarious that all four of us have tiny dogs at home and we were out on the town… looking at tiny dogs.

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We had to drop Miss Mary Wanna off at the Mega Bus stop so she could head home to Philly. Taking the subway is always far cheaper in NYC, but if you’ve got three or four people splitting a cab that’s sometimes a recipe for quicker is better and not that expensive. It’s $2.50 a person each ride on the Subway if you don’t get an unlimited ticket. (I’m constantly doing the math on that, though I’m a monthly ticket rider person so I definitely will try to subway if I can. (When I sold my car I promised myself I would always have an unlimited metrocard so I could feel freedom to go anywhere.) Here’s the MTA breakdown on pay per ride metrocard vs. unlimited, for your trip planning purposes.

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We had the cab drop us at Columbus Circle because we wanted to show Courtney a bit of Central Park. Central Park is massive–there are a ton of entrances and it’s a very long walk if you want to try to see more than a little bit of it at a time. There are some amazing rock slabs near the Columbus Circle entrance. We stopped at the Whole Foods for snacks on our way in.

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Courtney did it up real NYC tourist style and got a pretzel from a street vendor. (Living in Philly ruined me for pretzels anywhere else, though.)

We filmed an episode of the Lesbian Tea Basket while sipping tea/coffee/soup and looking at the moon over Manhattan. Absolutely delightful! I generally steer clear of parks after dark unless I’m in a group for safety reasons, so it was nice to have company to get a little nature plus skyscraper action.

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The next stop we had was a rooftop bar, so we looked up a place online near where we were. It’s on the roof of a hotel, the Ava Lounge! The bar had pretty standard NYC prices on the cocktails and a decent tiny nosh menu. We were chilly up there but the view was fantastic.

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Here’s a secret, most fancy hotels in NYC have really amazing lobbies you can casually enter and look at!

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Little known fact about me is that I am obsessed with aquariums and will stop to gaze at a tank no matter where I find it.

It was almost Courtney’s birthday so we stopped for chocolate at one of my favorite cheesy date places in NYC. Seriously, I had a great date here once, you kind of can’t beat chocolate fondue for two. Max Brenner’s is right on Union Square, so we hit another great tourist spot without hardly trying. (Also, another park with a Whole Foods next to it.) It’s impossible to get a table on a weekend at Max Brenner’s, so we opted to get some DIY truffle boxes at their store and head to a street cart to get some snacks before the bar.

I love Max Brenner! Smells amazing & vats of chocolate!
Giant vats of chocolate!!

We then retreated back to Brooklyn to hang out at a sometimes queer bar One Last Shag that happened to have a new queer party called Be Cute. I like outdoor backyard parties (like Wham Bam) so this was fun. Lots of cuties, actually, but mostly we were focused on just being loud Femmes having a good time outdoors!

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We found none other than Nicolette Mason at One Last Shag!

Basically, this was the perfect NYC day! Someday soon I’ll come up with a list of other NYC spots I think people should know about!

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I’m raising money to sustain the site! If you’ve found QueerFatFemme.com helpful or relevant to your life, would you please consider donating? There are lots of great prizes!

2013-03-04

Big Changes for Rebel Cupcake / March 7 Move to Lower East Side / March 16th Yes Ma’am at the Mansion

First of all, both of the Rebel Cupcakes I produced in February got some great press. Check out the Time Out New York gallery from the NO PANTS NO PROBLEM Rebel Cupcake collaboration on February 14.

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Courtney Trouble was a dream to work with and is such a dedicated and talented artist. I’m so impressed by her Femmepire! Go buy all her porn!

Check out the QueerPorn.TV write-up and gallery of photos (NSFW link) from our special Courtney Trouble / QPTV collaboration on February 28th!

I spend a fair amount of my time working on creating body positive queer nightlife. I have been doing queer production work in cities since 2001 and had sort of given up on it when I moved to NYC in 2004 because it was so rough getting venues. Getting venues is still one of the hardest things about throwing events, but, like all things, experience and connections have really helped to move it forward. So is knowing how to embrace change and knowing when to catalyze it.

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Though I may appear to be just a Plus Size Party Girl, for readers of my blog you know I put a lot more thought and intention into everything I create. I’ve been producing Rebel Cupcake for almost three years (she turns 3 on May 6th, International No Diet Day) and I really love Sugarland in Williamsburg. It’s somehow both a nightclub and a dive bar, but better than that it’s wheelchair accessible and has a lot of nooks and crannies.

I’ve been hearing for years that Thursdays are hard for people and Williamsburg is hard to get to since the only train it’s on is the L train. This is why, when I was thinking about adding a second dance party, I insisted it be on a Saturday and somewhere in Central Brooklyn. (It was for these reasons that I started my new party baby, Yes Ma’am, in Prospect Heights, though now we’re moving to a bigger venue in a mansion on the Crown Heights/Bed Stuy border–more info below.)

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From the third Rebel Cupcake, July 2010! (We’re now on the thirty seventh!)

As with a lot of monthly parties, Rebel Cupcake has been flagging in the last few months. Not so much that a lot of people noticed, and there have been some special events that have off-set the flagging, but I could definitely see a downturn in the attendance. These two fancy residential buildings went up on either side of Sugarland, closing off the amazing outdoor smoking deck. The management changed at the bar, which was fine but then all the personnel changed, too. Then our resident DJ Bryan Black, who was such a great fit for the party, moved on, and nothing gelled yet for a replacement. I knew something needed to happen to shake up the energy for Rebel Cupcake to have her sparkle shine the brightest.

I did a lot of soul searching about it. Rebel Cupcake is like church to me. Queer performance and creating body positive/flamboyant space are both very important to me. We do a lot of woo, though mostly we just have a roaring, magical time together. One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten was that someone felt like Rebel Cupcake was the one dance party that they felt like they could be their most authentic self. That is exactly what I work to create.

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This was our first anniversary party in May, 2011. Photo by Amos Mac.

I’ve been spending some time getting to know the producer behind another queer party promoting machine, Boy Wonder Events, and we really have complimentary energy and skill sets. Emily is a genius at DJ curation and pulls a really eclectic queer crowd that is yet not that overlapping with my crowds. (I went to Hot Rabbit a couple of weeks ago and did three laps around the very packed club and found no one I recognized from my parties.) Maybe it’s because Boy Wonder is mostly in Manhattan, but it did make me think that if I got to keep the cabaret aspect of Rebel Cupcake that was so important to me and collaborate on all the other details with someone else it would breathe new life into the party.

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Me and Emily, photo by Kelsey Dickey for Rebel Cupcake.

So, Rebel Cupcake is shacking up with Sweet Fox, the Boy Wonder Events’ Thursday party. First Thursdays of the month at Lit Lounge, a performance space in a sultry basement on the Lower East Side. Accessible by three different train lines (the 6, F, and L) and it all starts on this Thursday, March 7th.

Like all great domestic merges, we bring different things to the table. Sweet Fox brings some awesome drink specials ($5 Bud/BL, $5 Foxhounds, $10 Beer + Whiskey Shot, Late Night Happy Hour 130-230am), great DJs, and Rebel Cupcake brings the flamboyant performance and cupcakes. We’re compromising on the go-gos and alternating our house photographers (from the talented Gizelle Peters to the equally talented Kelsey Dickey).

This month’s theme is UHaul (appropriate and very gay, no?) and I really hope the Rebel Cupcake regulars will welcome these changes and bring the magical energy from our island in Williamsburg out to the East Village!

REBEL CUPCAKE / SWEET FOX: UHAUL

Thursday March 7th

10PM-4AM

$5 / $7 after midnight

At the legendary LIT LOUNGE: 93 2ND AVE @ 6th Street, Manhattan, NY
(F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Astor Place, N or R to 8th St, L to 1st or 3rd Ave)

REBEL CUPCAKE: a flamboyant dance party for all shapes & flavors! WINNER of Go Magazine Awards for Best Emcee (Bevin) and Most Eclectic Crowd!

And SWEET FOX, the Lower East Side queer dance party with flamboyant go-gos and a dreamy basement performance space. We’re celebrating all things UHAUL !!

Performers:
Molly Equality Dykeman
The dykiest performer I could think of for the UHaul show! She’s so hilarious. Photo by Anya Garrett.
*Molly Equality Dykeman
Security Guard at a public school by day, Poet and Comedienne by night

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Photo by Courtney Trouble.
*Fancy Feast
Our in-house Stage Kitten brings Burlesque!

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*DJ LADYLYKE (Stiletto) & DJ MITCH FERRINO (Monster/Hot Rabbit) spin dance beats all night to keep you moving!!

Find the rest of the info on the Rebel Cupcake page. Pre-cruising on the Facebook event.

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As if one big change wasn’t enough, Yes Ma’am is moving to a bigger location! We love our art gallery in Prospect Heights and will be doing some special events in the Summer at that space, but we’re stoked to get into this historic mansion on the Bed Stuy/Crown Heights border!

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Me and Nicky (co-producer) and Hana (in the corset) who runs our door for Yes Ma’am. Photo by Courtney Trouble.

DJ Average Jo will be spinning at the landing of this amazing staircase! We’ll have a dedicated dancing room, a dedicated room for chatting and drinking and who knows what will happen with the middle room.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Yes Ma’am.

Come on out Saturday, March 16th!

10PM-3AM Dancing * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our texty texty list)
CASH BAR
375 Stuyvesant Ave @ Decatur, Brooklyn, NY
Bed Stuy/Crown Heights border (2 blocks from Utica Ave A/C train)

More info on the Yes Ma’am page and on our Facebook event!

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Yes Ma’am.

2013-02-25

QueerPorn.TV Takeover of Rebel Cupcake Thursday, Feb 28th

My life has a really remarkable way of falling into place. Recall my review of Lesbian Curves that kicked off FAT SEX WEEK… Well, Courtney Trouble, the head Femme in charge of Lesbian Curves and the Femmepire of TROUBLEfilms, is coming to NYC! And we were all, “Let’s throw a party together!” Making a party baby is always a fun and amazing thing to do with out of town collaborators (the NO PANTS NO PROBLEM Rebel Cupcake on V-Day was epic).

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That’s Courtney on top there.

Courtney has a porn site called QueerPorn.TV with some great ethics & intentions (see their manifesta!), so we’re doing a whole QPTV takeover of Rebel Cupcake. Her co-producer (and one of the QueerPorn.TV stars) Tina Horn will be in the VIP lounge, along with Billy Castro, another NYC-based star of QPTV.

Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 * New York, NY
Bevin Branlandingham, Courtney Trouble & QueerPorn.TV present…
QueerPorn.TV Rebel Cupcake Takeover!
10PM-2AM Dancing * $5
Late night dancing til 4a
Sugarland: 221 N. 9th Street, L to Bedford

Prizes from QueerPorn.TV and infamous Queer Porn Powerhouse, TROUBLEfilms! And copies of the Feminist Porn Book from the Feminist Press!

NSFW Photo booth Photos by Courtney Trouble!

Sexy go-gos of all shapes and sizes!

Meet your favorite QPTV stars and enjoy drink specials from Sugarland!

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Tina Horn

In our VIP Lounge: Billy Castro & Tina Horn from QPTV!

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Billy Castro

Suggested dress: Slutty and/or shiny!

Projected QPTV films!

DJ Scott Goodz! Spinning Divas, Top 40, 90s, R&B make out jams, Riot Grrrl and more.

Stage kittens/gogos/raffle mamas: Holly Amory & Fancy Feast

Accessibility notes: The stage area and bar are wheelchair accessible. Coming into the venue is a little narrow but there are no stairs to enter or to get to the main seating area for the show. Lots of street parking available. (Please let me know if you need any accommodations!)

2013-02-19

FAT SEX WEEK: Interview with Queer Porn Star Sophia St. James

After the success of GAY SEX WEEK on my blog in October 2011, I decided to produce FAT SEX WEEK to celebrate sex for all bodies. This is especially inspired to counteract all of the media about sex around Valentine’s Day that’s all heteronormative/couplehood-oriented/body hegemonic. It’s a week of body liberation and sex and it’s going to be really fun! Check out all of the FAT SEX WEEK magic!

(All the photos in this post are Safe For Work as long as fat girls in lingerie are safe for your work. Fair warning.)

Sophia St. James is a Portland-based sex educator, queer porn star and burlesque performer among many other things. I was poking around her website after seeing her in Lesbian Curves and thought she would be a great addition to FAT SEX WEEK. Please imagine my interview being conducted Queer Oprah style, in two fat-friendly chairs, accompanied by cups of tea.

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Sophia St. James photo by Raise Your Fist Productions.

BEVIN: How did you begin performing in porn?

SOPHIA: It’s kind of funny. I ended up slipping off my porch and breaking my elbow and knee. So I was bed bound for weeks and was surfing the net constantly. Somehow I came across an article about Syd Blakovich and Madison Young. The article had mentioned ‘queer porn’ and I asked my partner, “Have you ever heard of queer porn?”. She told me she hadn’t and I immediately began my hunt for this ‘queer porn’. As soon as I learned about it, I applied to be a model with Courtney Trouble, Marie Beatty, and Crash Pad Series. And I guess the rest is history…

BEVIN: What is your experience being a person of color and size in the porn industry? Does it help or hinder getting roles?

SOPHIA: I find queer porn and mainstream porn to be two different worlds. In mainstream porn, I am seen as a plumper or BBW, ebony or urban. In queer porn, I am just me. I don’t mind being labeled because I am ebony and I am of size, but I am also a hell of a lot more than that and in queer porn the other parts of me are valued as well. I have said this many times, porn is the only industry that can get away with being sizist, racist, classist, homophobic, ablest, and bigoted. However, if you surround yourself with empowered, fierce people it’s not a problem. In mainstream, I am not small enough to be in ‘regular’ porn and I am not big enough to be in most BBW porns. But in queer porn, I am accept for my style, beauty, and sex appeal. I have not experienced direct negativity from being in porn when it comes to my size or ethnicity, but I have experienced indirect negativity as well as seeing my friends and others deal with it. My goal is to make my own queer fierce femme realness genre versus trying to fit in with one. I also enjoy being able to educate my heterosexual cis gendered male fans about what queer is and how sexy it can be.

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Sophia St. James photo by BV Imagery.

BEVIN: How about as a person of color and size in the burlesque community? Do you have any advice about people of size and/or color who want to start performing in porn or burlesque?

SOPHIA: The burlesque community as a whole can be very similar to porn. With the movement of feminist and queer burlesque, there is a lot more acceptance of plus sized performers. I find each major city has it’s hidden gem of a community that produced radical, sex positive, body positive burlesque. Those are the gems to look for. I would suggest to anyone wanting to perform burlesque that is of size or a person of color to find these areas. The queer performance scene is very welcoming to all sized bodies and skin colors.

BEVIN: What is your body love story–did you always love it or did you need to love it? Did BDSM help you become more comfortable?

SOPHIA: I have always been comfortable in my skin. I mean, there were times I questioned myself and how my body looked, but for the most part I have always been happy with my appearance. No matter the size I am, I know I am still fierce and am able to do what I need to do in order to be happy. And believe it or not, when I was a size 9/10 I had more issue with my body size than I do now at a size 20/22. I remember trying to fit in with the other girls in school. I had a very womanly shape as a teenager (big boobs, small waist, big hips.booty) and that was not a normal thing at where I went to school. I felt like I was fat and need to lose weight. Not to mention I was in the pageant and model circuit, but that’s an entirely different topic. At my size now, I am happy and I am fit. I just recently decided to start exercising more. Not to lose weight, but to increase my stamina and flexibility. BDSM can be a great self confidence builder. BDSM is centered all around power dynamics. It is also about community. The depth of community you are involved in is up to you, but I find that kink and leather families can be some of the strongest bonds made. They help lift you up when you need and family members ‘have your back’ when you need it.

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Sophia St. James photo by Maxwell Lander.

BEVIN: As a sex educator, you have a lot to teach folks about sex! What’s one thing that people (at any size but especially fat folks) can do to feel more comfortable having sex in their bodies?

SOPHIA: I think the most important thing would be to stop comparing yourself to societal standards of what sex appeal means. This means don’t try to fit into someone elses box of what sexy is. Rub your fat. Touch your fat. Caress your fat. Let your lover(s) kiss and worship your body for the sex pot that you are. Know that it is all a part of you and that makes you the most beautiful YOU that you could be. Allow yourself to accept the love and lust others have for you and know that you are sexy no matter what!

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Sophia St. James photo by Maxwell Lander.

Sophia is launching her official education site in March (www.professorsophia.com) and will be launching a queer kink/BDSM site at the beginning of April (www.thedeviantspectrum.com), so stay tuned for both of that. Sophia is also producing Hedonistic Decadence, a queer strip night, on March 8th in Portland. You can find it on Facebook and Tumblr! I love their mission, “Bringing sexy, radical, sex positive, body positive, gender inclusive, queer erotic performance to the community.” Thanks Sophia!

Stay tuned for more FAT SEX WEEK tomorrow! (Clearly FAT SEX WEEK is too big for just one week…)

2013-02-11

FAT SEX WEEK: Courtney Trouble’s New Porn “Lesbian Curves”

After the success of GAY SEX WEEK on my blog in October 2011, I decided to produce FAT SEX WEEK to celebrate sex for all bodies. This is especially inspired to counteract all of the media about sex around Valentine’s Day that’s all heteronormative/couplehood-oriented/body hegemonic. It’s a week of body liberation and sex and it’s going to be really fun! Check out all of the FAT SEX WEEK magic!

(All the photos in this post are Safe For Work as long as fat girls in lingerie are safe for your work. Fair warning.)

The best thing in the world to launch FAT SEX WEEK here at QueerFatFemme.com is a review of a totally QUEER FAT FEMME ON FEMME porn! Lesbian Curves was just released by that bombshell Courtney Trouble from her indie body positive porn production company TROUBLEfilms.

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This is hot babe Courtney Trouble wearing an outfit of lingerie I wrote in my porn review notes “Need to find those underwear and buy them.” Femme reviewer realness.

I have long admired and appreciated Courtney Trouble’s porn femmepire. She says in her blog, “My audience may be smaller than most, but knowing that my art is on track with a larger scheme of the adult industry makes me feel like I’m working towards a goal of normalizing, representing, and respectfully erotizing what may seem like a ‘fetish’ or a minority in mainstream sexual ideals.” This is exactly in line with why I think sexual content in identity work is so important–it is really powerful to own our sexual liberation and represent it in a way that is both sexy and honest. I love Courtney’s art!

On to the review! Courtney sent me a review DVD of Lesbian Curves and I watched it a little differently than I usually watch porn, which is usually picking and choosing scenes based on my mood. This time I went beginning to end, on the couch like a movie, and we even went into the special features the next day!

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Betty Blac. All of the stars of Lesbian Curves are hardcore babes.

Here is Courtney’s summary of Lesbian Curves:

Sultry body worship, sensuous kissing, playful taunting, sex toys, chemistry, and hard core lesbian fucking are what make Lesbian Curves the genre-busting adult film you’ve been craving. This full length feature is full of luscious skin, bodacious bodies and intense orgasms, brought to you by the fiercest femmes in porn, soaking wet and thirsty for passionate, curvaceous, gritty, real lesbian sex.

Starring Courtney Trouble, Kelly Shibari, Betty Blac, Sophia St James, Sandy Bottoms, Kitty Stryker, Peppermint Fatty, and Eden Alexander and shot in full HD.

I really adored that the cast is size diverse throughout the range of “fat” sizes–from inbetweenie on up. Check out the cast photos here (NOT safe for work). It’s also racially diverse, including a scene that is just two queer women of color.

It’s clear that the porn performers have real chemistry. Especially the scene between Kelly Shibari and Betty Blac. I had a long conversation while watching it about whether or not they were a couple in real life.

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The music is good, especially during the first partner scene. It’s almost like someone was DJing the porn. I like it when porn music actually flows well. It’s also luxuriously edited. There aren’t a lot of story lines in this movie except the scene between Kitty Stryker and Eden Alexander.

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There were no safe for work photos of Kitty Stryker from the press kit so I borrowed this from Kitty herself. She has two-toned hair and cute glasses in the movie. I had a long conversation during her scene about how to get Kitty to make out with me.

Sophia St. James has been a favorite of mine for a long time, ever since I saw her in Bordello (another amazing work by TROUBLEfilms). She has a great scene with Peppermint Fatty that involves a juicy strap-on. I’m interviewing Sophia later this week as part of FAT SEX WEEK.

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I’m pretty sure no nipples makes it safe for work.

A lot of the scenes are best described as “Sweet and hot.” There’s a deep tenderness and body appreciation between the performers. Not a lot of kink involved in the movie, which is a little bit of a bummer because, to be frank, a lot of those sweet asses could have used a vigorous spanking and/or some good biting. (Just saying. Kitty Stryker, call me.)

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I never consider time wasted watching porn if I learned a sex technique I can fold into my repertoire. Courtney does this thing in her scene where she holds her tits together and has her scene partner suck both nipples at once. This is not easily accomplished in real life but is fun to try!

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Watching porn that represents people whose bodies look like yours and who are doing sex the way you like to do sex is incredibly self-affirming. I thought that the intro to the video, where a fat girl (Courtney) is engaged in some serious self-loving body worship, was extremely powerful from an artistic and embodied point of view. And also just totally hot.

It can be hard to find porn that represents your body or how you like to do sex, which is why it is so crucial to support indie porn makers like Courtney and TROUBLEfilms (which has a pretty incredible queer, race, gender and size diaspora).

Lesbian Curves is $28 on dvd (which includes lots of extras, that I enjoyed greatly). You can download to own Lesbian Curves for $26.

I was talking to my friend Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasina in my kitchen the other day about Lesbian Curves and she said, “Were there queer fat femmes getting tied up? That’s what I want to see!” And we went on to basically write the sequel, Lesbian Curves Two: Femme on Femme Action and it involves a scene where LLPS whips someone while they recite the Femme Shark Manifesto. Courtney, if you want me and Leah to help you vision this we’re happy to get coffee.

A copy of Lesbian Curves is the perfect present for your lover, partner, bestie, future sexcapade for Valentine’s Day! Also, you can give the gift of a QueerPorn gift certificate from Courtney’s website!

Stay tuned for the next installment of FAT SEX WEEK tomorrow!

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