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

2015-09-21

Femme on Femme, Art and Inspiration: A conversation with GAYmous!

I wrote about the awesomeness that is GAYmous a year ago, when they released their first video (Let’s Pretend We Don’t Have) Feelings. Since then, they’ve released a new self-titled EP and we’re blessed with their newest video, Femme on Femme!

FOF_Bed-1-jpgPizza Cupcake (left) and FX Boi (right).

If poppy new wave and contemporary radically inclusive queer politics had twin babies and they came out as a spandex clad fat genderqueer femme and an LHB (stands for Long Hair Butch), that’s GAYmous. GAYmous‘ sound is reminiscent of all of the magic I loved in the 80s. Do you like You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive? Or What Have I Done to Deserve This by Pet Shop Boys? Or Venus by Bananarama? You should give GAYmous a try!

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Femme on Femme is important fat, queer art that gives us representations of fat queer femmes, including femmes of lots of gender presentations including genderqueerdo femmes, femmes of different abilities and racial diversity that is missing in a lot of media representations of queers. Its also full of crystals, glitter, bondage, great outfits (shout out to Size Queen Clothing), pizza tattoos, a queer porn star I recognized from Trouble Films, lingerie, garters, witchcraft, and the Collective Tarot. And an LHB on keyboards and servicing with popcorn and standing to the side while a femme coven does a cake bondage ritual.

I’ve written extensively about Femme on Femme action before and am super excited to see it come alive on screen in this fun and beautiful way!


Queer synth pop duo GAYmous takes you to the magical femme disco witch sex coven of your dreams as singer Pizza Cupcake seduces a sexy new witch recruit with spells, choreographed dances, and kinky rituals.

I took the opportunity to interview the genius duo about art, values and fat queer utopia.

What are your values as a band/queer artists?

Pizza Cupcake: GAYmous values unabashed queerness. We also want to create music and visuals where (gender) queer and fat people can feel seen and celebrated. We also worship at the altar of the synthesizer.

FX Boi: We want to make music that is political, sexy, and embodying. Something that opens up a dance floor. That makes people feel good, feel heard, feel sexy, and music that is very specifically queer.

What inspires you to make art?

Pizza Cupcake: I studied classical music for most of my life and even went to undergrad for vocal performance. I loved the drama of operatic singing but something was missing. I felt like I couldn’t be myself and there wasn’t space for a gender weird fat kinky queer femme in classical music. Starting GAYmous was a happy accident and I will be forever grateful to FX Boi for getting me out of my choir boy shell. It was so liberating collaborating to write original songs instead of singing German Lieder by an old dead white guy.

These days I am inspired by my friends, lovers, and community. I love taking an inside joke and turning it into a kinky queer vocabulary lesson for the masses. I was certainly inspired by your Queer Lexicon posts on your blog. I think I’m always creating art for younger me, a fat, closeted, suburban homo who was hungry for any representation.

FX Boi: I’ve been writing songs since I was 12. To me, it’s just a part of my life, always has been. It’s actually a bit of a compulsion. When I was a young rural queer, it was definitely my lifeline. I felt really isolated and would spend hours behind closed doors writing songs and attempting to create a multitrack recorder with two tape decks because I wanted to write many parts, not just vocals and guitar. Let me tell you, some of these songs were downright terrible, but they were all exercises and therapy for me. I’ve been in bands and done solo music all my life – indie rock bands, metal bands, math rock, punk bands, and now electronic music for the past decade or so after I fell in love with synthesizers and realized my palette could expand from a 5-piece rock band to an infinite number of sounds, shapes, textures and moods.

In reference to GAYmous, it’s about creating queer-specific pop music, by queers, for queers and creating spaces at shows that are specifically for queer people and queerdos. In my own solo project, Sapphic Lasers, I write songs about all sorts of things – alternative masculinities, radical butch-femme love songs, kink, celestial bodies, interrogating whiteness, being a small town country boi and jaded romantic at heart, etc.

gaymousfanartFan art from the GAYmous Facebook Page by Anna Archie Bongiovanni!

How do you carve out time to make art?

Pizza Cupcake: I’m a Gemini so I naturally get super excited about projects and then leave them all half done in tiny piles. I’ve been trying to curb this tendency my whole life and GAYmous has helped me figure out time management like a boss. I’m constantly jotting down ideas in a journal, leaving voice memos on my phone, and humming to myself. A lot of these ideas get crystallized together so I make band practice after my day job a priority. I’m also a big fan of those artist way type activities like morning pages to get all my ideas out.

FX Boi: I’m an Aries, which means I have a lot of gusto and energy. I’m very busy and time-challenged, but I make sure to make “art dates” with myself where I will work on editing, songwriting, creating. I also have found that I don’t feel balanced or healthy without carving out this time. Sometimes I squeeze in an hour or so of songwriting in between things (which often makes me late) or I dedicate a whole night or afternoon to working on things. A lot of songwriting actually happens in my head. Melodies or ideas will come to me and I’ll record them walking down the street into my phone and often get weird looks. My ridiculously talented friend, Nomy Lamm, and I actually compared voice notes on our phone once – it turns out she does the same thing! We thought it might be fun to trade phones and finish writing each other’s songs or do a compilation of these funny, fragmented voice notes. Writing GAYmous songs is usually pretty fun and seamless and collaborative with Pizza Cupcake. Whereas I often get more stuck on songs I’m writing for myself. Sometimes I just chew on a song I’m working on in my mind for a while and take it in different directions.

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What would be your idea of utopia?

Pizza Cupcake: No one ever says the phrase “good fatty” and the only trolls live under bridges. Touring internationally is cheap and easy. All the gym bros have gone missing. Dating scarcity feels doesn’t exist. Everything good feels abundant. Breakfast tacos are found everywhere not just in Texas. Femmes reign supreme. All plus size clothing is cute.

FX Boi: Capitalism, white supremacy, ableism, patriarchy, queerphobia, transphobia, fatphobia, classism, etc. comes crashing down; we destroy all clocks and use their remains to make art projects and have tons of “leisure” time to work on our passions, grow things, cook things, eat things, love people, fuck, lounge, swim, explore, feel sun on our cheeks, lay in grass, try new things, read, sleep, make things, collaborate. It’s like one, big long, eternal queer potluck/skillshare/sex and pool party. And everyone brings stuff like mac n cheese and cookies instead of kale salad. Oh and utopia has no bosses. Except #femmebosses.

gaymousepPlease throw dollars at this amazing queer band and buy their EP!!

2011-10-17

GAY SEX WEEK: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Finding People to Have Gay Sex With You

Hi friends and welcome to NATIONAL QUEERFATFEMME.COM GAY SEX WEEK, where each day this week I am going to talk about GAY SEX to increase LGBT presence in the media. I thought that the first thing I would address about was how to find other people to have gay sex with you.

Conveniently, this solicited advice question landed in my inbox a couple of weeks ago. I offer some solid tips to you, dear readers, and some direct advice to someone who has a specific desire.

Dear Bevin,

I’m not sure who else to come to with this and you seem like the kind of person who doesn’t mind listening- so here’s my problem, I don’t know where to meet femmes that are into other femmes. I’m a cisgendered female and I present in a very feminine way and that also happens to be what I’m attracted to, but ever since I came out, I’ve dated butch identified women because that’s what I thought I had to do. I don’t want to do that anymore, I’m twenty five now and I want to be with someone that I’m actually attracted to.

My problem is finding them. All the femmes I meet either say really offensive things right off the bat (a big red flag for me is women who say, “if I wanted to date someone that looked like a man, I would just date a man”) or prefer to be with non femme identified people. Where are all the femmes that are into other femmes (and are also not racist/sexist/homophobic/mean and are body positive feminists)? They must be out there, right? Where do I meet them? Should I lower my standards?

I realize you’re not an advice column, so thank you for listening. Your blog is wonderful, it’s guided me through some serious issues and I will forever appreciate your willingness to be a voice in the dark.

Thanks,

NO FOFA FOR ME

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Femme on Femme! Miss Mary Wanna gropes Fancy Feast. Both will be performing on November 10th at Rebel Cupcake’s Cat Party! All photos by Nogga Schwartz for Rebel Cupcake.

Dear NO FOFA FOR ME:

Thank you for the compliment about my blog! I love being a voice in the dark for folks. Or a voice in the glitter for other folks. I have every confidence you are going to get laid. Sometimes it really seems like you are a Femme wandering the desert wanting a glass of water to drink with nothing but mirages on the horizon but just like that (imagine a swishy gay snap) everything will change for you.

GETTING LAID TIP THE FIRST: Do It Yourself
This is a little bit of a trick answer, because before you do anything about finding a sex partner it really helps to be having an enriching solo sex life. Light candles, take yourself out on dates, take a bath, woo yourself. Be physically experimental. I’ll admit to often defaulting to being a lazy masturbator, but I think nothing attracts someone to you like the glowy glowy aura of having good orgasms on your own. During my “walking through the desert” times anytime I go out if I’m doing myself right I have more fun in the world and get more flirts.

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GETTING LAID TIP THE SECOND: Name Your Desire
You are already doing something right, which is you’ve found and named a desire. There is nothing in the GAY SEX handbook that says you only get to have sex with certain other kinds of gays. Femmes don’t have to just have sex with Butches, just like the sports dykes don’t have to just stay isolated to their own kind and lesbians who look like Justin Bieber don’t just have to have sex with pop star lookalikes. The queer umbrella is pretty magical in that way, folks who run in my circles have sex with all kinds of different gender presentations and preferred gender pronouns, cisborn or not.*

I know this is not true of all gay circles, what with gender and sex policing. Gender and sex policing makes it harder for other folks to get laid! That makes me sad. When it comes to sex I think the more the merrier. I want all of my fellow gay comrades to be getting as laid as possible.

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That said, I think the climate for how accepted Femme on Femme Action (FOFA) is changes from queer group to group. I believe really firmly in being the change you want to see in your community. Be really vocal about your desire, tell your friends you like Femmes. Most people want to help you get laid. I have a really specific kind of pairing I like to partake in (Femme/Fag**), I articulated it to a bunch of folks while I was walking through that desert, listened to that Stevie Nicks song “Leather and Lace” a lot and then it sort of happened for me. I didn’t do these things specifically to get laid but just to honor my desire (see below), and I think it happened for me because I articulated my desire and then let go of the results.

GETTING LAID TIP THE THIRD: Honor Your Desires
Another thing I want to make clear is you should never lower your standards. Being a picky identified person myself, I know that not lowering my standards means a lot of sex-free months between sweethearts, walking through that desert longer than usual. My mind is my erogenous zone and when I don’t like someone that much personally/politically I just lose my wood for them entirely. But it also means I am never spending time with folks just for the sake of getting laid. (Hence the importance of item one above.)

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Katie (center) wrote on PrettyQueer.com about how she is not that into sex. I think everyone should get as laid as they want, not everyone likes to have sex and I believe the right 10 minute person is out there for her who will do it to her while she watches Real Housewives.

GETTING LAID TIP THE FOURTH: Get Your Friends to Help
I think it is good karma to help other people get laid. It’s like this feedback loop of if everyone is getting laid I’m going to get laid, too, eventually. I am a natural matchmaker and keep my eyes and ears peeled for folks I know who are single. So tell all your friends what you’re looking for and eventually someone will know someone.

It is also super important to let folks know your relationship status! I always ask people’s friends if they are available. Lots of people are in open relationship situations. I think that if you have a Free Ass Pass or are Monogamish or PolyOneWay the onus is on you to let your friends know so they can help you get laid and help their other available friends zero in on you.

I also believe in starting your own community groups to create affinity. I am sure there are lots of other body positive, anti-racist queer folks near you hankering just as much as you are to find community and get dates. Whether you want to sleep with them is variable, but I find if you make friends with someone with politics that match up with yours they likely have friends who have similar politics and can introduce you. Community organizing is a great way to meet folks. I wrote up a blog post about starting a community organizing group.

I mean, do community organizing because you’re passionate about something not because you want to get dates (we’re not living in a sitcom–I can easily imagine Neil Patrick Harris’ character on How I Met Your Mother doing this) but if you’re genuinely pursuing your paths and your desires you will meet folks and have more dates.

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GETTING LAID TIP THE FIFTH: Rejection is Expected
Rejection is a practice. Nobody ever died of awkward. Anytime you are pursuing getting dates or laid it is going to involve rejection. The more you get rejected the easier it becomes and besides, why waste your time coveting someone who is not able to see how awesome and succulent you are?

GETTING LAID TIP THE SIXTH: Turn Getting Laid Into a Hobby
In the spirit of getting your friends to help, I asked a friend of mine who is getting very laid right now to send me some tips about how to get laid. They told me that getting laid was their main hobby, which is why they were so successful.

A) To improve your odds, go where the action is. Find out where like minded people who share your interest will be and show up.*** If you want sexual connection, go to a sex positive environment like a sex/play party or sex education event. Once there, talk to folks about what you are interested in and be open to learning if this is a new experience for you.

B) Persistence pays off so be prepared to show up more than once. Any kind of connection with folks is a combination of repeated presence over time and community requires participation. Find the groups or events that you feel drawn to and become a regular so people can get to know you and what you have to offer and vice versa. For the biggest bang for your buck, volunteer!

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Kit Yan!

C) Be open minded about your own desires. There’s a fine line between knowing what you want and going after it, and being too focused on a specific thing that might not exist exactly the way you envision it. Your best bet is to be curious about meeting people where they are and seeing how that resonates with you. Be open to being surprised so you can see what is actually being offered even if it doesn’t perfectly match your expectations.

D) Practice safer sex. Protect yourself and your community with pride. Know your boundaries of what is safe for you and learn how to communicate that to potential partners. This includes being able to say no to people who might be using substances that would impair their judgement. You want a hot and joyful connection that both (or all!) of you will remember with no regrets.

Sex is part of your lifelong journey of self expression. Since it’s the part with orgasms, it can be worth a little effort to step outside of your comfort zone and into something new and exciting. Enjoy the ride!

I hope this list helps you all find folks to have lots of GAY SEX with in celebration of NATIONAL QUEERFATFEMME.COM GAY SEX WEEK!

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*My favorite PGP is Majestic’s “gutteral moan.”

**I’m attracted to lots of different folks, including Femmes, but Femme/Fag (no matter the gender looks and acts like a Fag) tends to be my most common pairing and is oddly specific. Also, lots of folks say “[That person] is a Fag” to me a lot as though that should discourage me from pursuing it. But lots of queer folks do it a lot of different kinds of queer folks, including Muppet Femmes like me.

***Also, no matter your attempts to get laid, it is really important to show up for causes and parties and local businesses that are important to you. Your participation is important, your dollars matter and your community will shrivel up without your support. Don’t stop going to parties assuming they will always be there, keep shopping at your local store that caters to you and supports your community first.

2009-07-17

On Femme Dates, Femme on Femme Action and Cultivating Both

In reference to my previous post Additions to the Queer Lexicography: Dry Spell Edition, I received a comment that stated they thought calling a date between two Femmes was exclusionary of Femme on Femme Action (FOFA). In fact, Mae says my term Femme Date is heterosexualism and “it seems to imply that anything between two Femmes is platonic and just friends”.

Mae! I have to respectfully and indignantly disagree with you! If you read my definition of Femme Date, I say “In this context I mean it as a platonic event that is ultimately constructed as a romantic date is, but without the bumbling, attraction questions or all of the other baggage of a regular date. It’s specifically designed for Femme bonding time.” Femme Dates are all about not being romantic dates. NOT TO THE EXCLUSION OF FEMMES DATING.

Here’s the thing–if two Femmes go on a romantic date, it’s called a DATE. Just like if a Butch and a Butch go on a romantic date, or a Genderqueer and a Femme or whatever. Two Femmes going on a date is a date that, of course, increases the FOFA (god that’s such a great acronym) in the world, and, according to Cherry Poppins, when two Femmes do it they produce glitter that comes out of nowhere. It happened to her and her ladyfriend and they were very thrilled.

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Cherry Poppins commented on this photo, “Bevin, what I really ♥ about this picture: it’s like Southern high femme realness (fancy frocks + Lone Stars + cute shoes + camp chairs).”

I think titles give something an air of importance. What I mean by giving Femme Date a special term, is because making time where we treat our friends with the same special devotion and attention we lavish on our romantic dates, it honors our commitments to them and honors our common identities (here, Femme, but you could easily do it with fat friends, trans friends, Femme friends over forty, etc…) and how special it is to have a friend who you see across from the table who embodies what makes up you. Who can really SEE you. I want to give at least the same amount of attention to a Femme Date that I do on a date with someone I might want to do it to.

Recently I’ve had my nose buried in Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities*, and I’m being all meta, quoting Ulrika quoting Clover Cuthroat, who is talking about her BFF Vagina Jenkins.

“About [Vagina Jenkins], you in return wrote: ‘Even thought there is an age gap between [Vagina Jenkins] and me, we’ve such similar lived experience, it’s like I’ve known her all my life. Because we both grew up black, poor, fat and awkward, we know what it’s like to be invisible aside from our sexual orientation. She encourages me to take up more space and exaggerate my beauty. We understand each other’s past and present and love each other for it.'”

Vagina says about Clover:

“‘I love her like the sibling I never had and always wanted. My childhood girlfriends understood my socio-economic background, my college girlfriend from the Black Student Union understood my racial politics and my queer girlfriends understood my sexuality stuff. I love those friends for the gifts they’ve given over the years. But Clover is the one person who gets it all without explaining any of it.'”

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Clover to the left and Vagina to the right. You should book Vagina Jenkins at your venue, she’s phenomenal, sexy, sparkly and really down to earth.

I will admit to tearing up a little bit when I read that essay. There’s something so special about creating friendships with people who really see you, understand you and bring out the best in you that just gets me to that spot in my heart where Beaches and other BFF movies from the 80s settled in. Plus, I have that in my life, with quite a few people. And I do sacred rituals like Femme Dates with Zoe, Femme bonding trash tv time with Chris, and long weekends with Rachael in order to make sure that my Femme relationships are cultivated with the same intentionality as my romantic relationships.

I want to also make it clear that just because I make a lot of noise about dating Butches or folks on the transmasculine spectrum, it doesn’t mean I exclusively date them. Quite the contrary, before I dated my ex of 3 years Seth (Genderqueer), I exclusively dated femmes. They weren’t femme identified necessarily, but definitely gendernormative and very feminine presenting. A couple of them would go on to become quite butch** but most of them are still just as girly.

What I struggle with now, as a Femme community leader, is the fact that so often I’ll make a new friend and default to Femme friendship because it’s really complicated. Femme bonding is so special and distinct, and as a leader I don’t want to screw things up for people, you know? Also, I am very wary of power dynamics and the complications of queer ethics. I had a crush on a Femme recently and it really spun out my tires because I was weighing all the measures of whether it would disturb community building or power dynamics too much to try to date her instead of just being friends and working together. Some of the ways in which I’ve figured out how to determine whether to default to Femme friendship is to find out right off the bat if they do date Femmes, have considered it or are open to it. I also try to make sure people know that about me. I’ll tell you my Femme type (which is oddly specific, as are my types of the transmasculine variety) if you ask nicely.

So, anyway, Mae, I’m interested to know your tips and tricks for a Femme dating Femmes. How do you meet girls and not default to friendship? How do you ask them out and make sure they’re clear it’s a date-date and not a lesbian not-date? Do you date Femmes who perform Femme in the same way you do, or do you go for a different kind of Femme?

*A book by Ulrika Dahl & Del Lagrace Volcano that just came out in the US. We celebrated the East Coast launch in Atlanta last weekend. Holy crap was that fun! I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s so lovely and wonderful to read and see images of all of this Femme lusciousness. If you can’t buy it from your local feminist bookstore, if you click on the link to Amazon right here I will make some pennies towards the costs of producing FemmeCast, which is totally unfunded and a lot more than you’d think.

**Hot damn is my first girlfriend a really good looking genderqueer now, but she was also hot when she had long blonde hair. At the time I was embarassingly clueless.

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