Bevin's Blog I'm blogging the relentless pursuit of my joy

2010-03-14

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the reluctant gourmet website, for interesting tips.

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

Lola Dean 9
Photo by Shameless Photography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4417128045_f891be98e6_o

2010-02-27

Femme Heartshare Brunch

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_4838.JPG
Lissa, my hostess!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2010-02-11

Winter is Style Phobic

Yesterday my Femme friend Rachel posted to FaceBook that she doesn’t understand how to dress for snow and solicited tips. Femme Family Madam of Beauty, Bryn, responded “Snow = Femmephobic”. An FF Butch ally complained about snow being butchphobic because of the giant duck-like snow boots she is forced to wear.

Let’s be real–winter is just plain stylephobic. It’s a lot harder to be cute in the cold, what with all of the layering and the arduous task of putting on coats, gloves, hats, and special shoes just to leave your house. I grew up in California and didn’t experience my first real winter until I was 21. A decade later I’m still not over the novelty and annoyance.

I have come up with some ideas as to how to inject style and sass into your winter blah blah blahs for not a lot of money.

1. Get an accessory that can transition the everyday into glamour.

Your coat and accouterments are the first thing everyone sees on you. It’s also the one outfit you’ll wear every single day. Making it a good one is important.

This year I found a great way to transition 3 late fall weight coats (or California winter coats) to be really stellar and glamorous outerwear: a $10 Old Navy khaki trench, a getting sort of crappy houndstooth coat I was thinking of giving away and a mid-range mod print black and white coat. I bought a vintage fur stole* for $20. It wasn’t in fabulous condition, so I felt totally fine stitching it up, closing it with a pin and throwing it over any one of those coats. Instaglamour!

IMG_3595.JPG
I wish I had a better shot of the coat but I think the Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha cameo totally makes up for it.

I also bought a really gorgeous pair of teal leather gloves for $10. They were GAP in origin (but I got them from Re/Dress). They really pop against any kind of neutral coat, they’re water proof, and they actually work to open Macy’s poop bags, which is not true of most gloves. I believe in good leather or leather-like gloves only if they are cheap because expensive gloves get lost.

I feel complicated about hats so I try to have a coat with a hood in late winter. I’ve been seeing girls wear really floppy beret style hats this winter, with their bangs able to show and still function as a hat. I like having big hair so it makes it hard to deal. I have earmuffs that wrap around the back of my bouffant.

I shop like a magpie so pretty much anything sparkly gets my attention. A sparkly scarf is my day to day in the deep winter. Glenn Marla here models a glittery ascot. I’ve seen many of my hippest queer friends layering their scarves this year–so even if it is a thin glittery overlay you can put more layers under them. One girl showed up to a gallery opening with I think at least 5 scarves around her neck.
Glenn & Me at Heavy

Nothing says “I’m bringing a little winter cheer to this bitch” like wearing bright accessories in the depths of February.

2. Become a Maple Chaser.

When you’re confused about what to wear in the winter, look to our Canadian cousins. If anyone knows how to dress for insanely cold weather, it’s people who live it 5 months of the year. I like to cruise my Facebook friends to see what the Canadian fatties are wearing and then pester them with questions about where stuff comes from.

A visiting Canadian walked into Re/Dress this winter wearing the most gorgeous full-length fuchsia down coat. She also had fuchsia hair. I see a lot of well-dressed folks at the store and it takes an especially foxy outfit to stick in my memory like that.

It was likely this coat from Lands’ End. It’s still not on sale, but it might be by the end of winter.

3. Get some bangin’ outerwear.

I scour all year long for good outerwear (this is how you can get stuff for cheap). I found my calf-length down coat at a Marshall’s last January on sale for $40 when I was in there looking for some impulsive-make-me-feel-better-cheap-lingerie to buy. A plus size new with tags calf-length down coat is hard enough to find, let alone for $40. It is always worth it to rifle through the coat section of those places.

Sometimes it is a good idea to splurge when the time is right. My friend Miasia bought this coat from an online Parisian retailer. It’s INSANELY gorgeous, warm, and she got it on sale. I forget where it’s from or how much she spent but I say worth it. It’s form fitting, flattering, unusual and wool.

IMG_3598.JPG

Even Macy gets some amazing outerwear for the coldest months. This waterproof for the snow pink lame’ and silver coat was $2, new with tags at the goodwill (originally from Target).
IMG_4771.JPG

4. These boots were made for walkin’ not fallin’.

I am a faller. I hate falling. I don’t understand people who don’t wear snow boots. They have treads and are waterproof and keep your feet warm. I think snow boots get a bad rap as being big crazy duck shoes. They don’t have to be sporty like that! Online footwear shopping is your friend for snow boots.

My first winter as a working girl, I had to travel to do closings, so I needed a pair of boots I could tromp around Manhattan in that went seamlessly with my work wardrobe. I found a pair of Lands’ End fleece boots that are completely black, inconspicuous and have lasted for 7 years. The lovely part I’ve found is that, since they are black, they work equally well with tights, leggings or work pants.

Right now I am in love with these stylish Fitzwell Lesley’s. They’re spendy, though.

On the other end of the spectrum, Deb, the owner of Re/Dress, introduced me to these totally cute boots.

64574244

I believe these are Tretorn Women’s Glad Rubber Boots. They’re about $48 and Deb reports very warm and keep her feet very dry!

Your boots do not have to sacrifice fashion for function!

5. Make the big reveal a good one!

As for the stuff underneath all of those layers, I like to wear polyester vintage dresses in the winter. They are extremely warm (nothing like a fabric that doesn’t breathe). I also tend to layer tights under leggings and wear wool socks. Because when wool gets wet, wool stays warm. (I learned the tights instead of long johns trick and wool socks bit from my winter camping training in Girl Scouts.) When you wear tights under your clothes it also doesn’t matter as much if they have runs or holes in them because they’re hidden.

When you dig your car out from 4 feet of snowdrift wearing tights and you fall in a snowbank, you dry off really quickly, where jeans will retain the freeze far longer. I’ve found this year’s crop of tights from Target and Avenue to have a good longevity.

I also like to put my scarf on right after I put on my perfume (just one neck spritz)** because when it comes off it retains a subtle whif of fragrance which is a really good olfactory seduction.

And no time is more of a special time for cleavage as the winter. Frankly, there’s just not as much and I like to do my best to defeat that.

I end this post with one of my favorite songs of the now (even though it’s a little old). It IS hard to be a girl in all seasons!!

*It was sold to Re/Dress by World Famous *BOB*, I bought it with store credit I got for trading in my white fur collar/muff/hat set that I never wore because it was too pristine. In turn, Australian burlesque performer Lillian Starr bought my set from Re/Dress. The beauty of resale!

**Always being mindful of people with scent sensitivities–that’s no joke! If you know someone who has one NEVER wear perfume around them. My mom is scent sensitive and perfume is like migraine-inducing kryptonite.

2010-01-05

Additions to the Queer Lexicography: Glamorous Life Edition

It’s time again for another Addition to the Queer Lexicography.

Sometimes I like to split elements of my night into “Glamorous” or “Unglamorous”. Tonight, for example, my old roommate Blaney came over and made me Fauxrizo tacos and we split a bottle of Pinot Noir. Having someone come to your house to cook for you? Decidedly glamorous. Taking a bath and finishing it off with a cream colored satin robe? Also glamorous (and a great investment, mine was $18 and I love it very much).

IMG_1997
Blaney and me at the Dyke March.

Unglamorous? The part where my cat, Bear, has developed this gooey eye thing today and continues to insist on pooping in front of my current roommate’s bedroom door.
Bear
Bear, unglamorous.

Loungerie. I blogged about this concept before, but now it has a word! (I forget who gave it to me.) Anything lingerie you buy that is really more for loungewear. Some lingerie is a little too… uncomfortable to be for lounging. But some is a nice long gown or a comfy chemise or a perfect cream colored satin robe and makes excellent loungerie.

Same Time Next Year: This is a term for someone with whom you have a standing arrangement for doing it about once a year. Works really well if you both attend the same yearly conference or event. It originates from this really awesome movie from the 70s of the same name. If you can sub into your mind when you watch it that it would work a lot more ethically if these people were just nonmonogamous or polyamorous, it helps to get through it. It also helps to get through it if you can overlook the Johnny Mathis theme song.

Oh but it is so very endearing and it’s such a sweeter and more tender way to say something than “fuck buddy”. The nice part about STNY is the little bits of romance and fun reconnection that set it apart from just friends who do it now and again. Anyway. I think it is just marvelous.

20Femme: I talked about this in my last post, but it’s worth an addition. This is the year of the Femme! Imagine all of the most admirable traits of the most awesome Femmes you know, and figure out a way to embody those traits yourself this year! There’s no stopping us now!!

And a twitter submission tonight. Via Sarah Dopp : Proposing “exacerpated” as a new hybrid word. Means: bitterly enamored.

Oh, I’ve been exacerpated. I probably am right now. “I’m so crushed out on that girl but her insecurity leaves me exacerpated. I just can’t do it to someone who isn’t into themselves.”

2009-12-31

New Year’s Revolutions

I looked at my cell phone and lamented to Taueret. “Why won’t [this person] go on a date with me?” She laughed.

“I forgot the part where you actually asked her out.”

“Yeah, but, well, what if she says no?” I wailed.

“Bevin, what were you saying about awkward?”

I laughed the deep kind of belly laugh you can only peel out when you’re being confronted with your own advice.

Bevin & AfroTitty
Me and Taueret in the Bloodhound Photography photo booth at my Queer Family Holiday Extravaganza.

She also reminded me that my two other active crushes right now are Lady GaGa (let’s be honest, it’s mostly an art crush) and a celebrity television chef who has not admitted her sexuality to Barbara Walters. Historically I’ve been attracted to chefs and workaholics. Watch hottie Blythe Beck talk to her cocktail waitress Robyn about “lubing up your pan with butter” and tell me you don’t have a complete heart on for her.

I decided that I am going to do something bold to start of Two Thousand and Femme, a year I intend to be one of focus, intentional learning, deep practice* with my podcast and media projects as well as developing my firm’s entertainment and real estate client base, and leaving room for a lot of unexpected magical moments. I like the idea of starting that year off with doing something bold and scary.

I challenge everyone out there to articulate your desire (to yourself or someone else) on New Year’s Day. Just one thing. Ask someone out on a date. Ask your longtime lover to try to the GBS** for the first time. Wear something sleeveless indoors if you’ve never done that before. Tell me about it!

Another part of my New Year’s Revolution*** plans was to learn 12 different ways to make kale, but it seems like my digestive system hates kale very much, so I may need to choose another dark leafy green like spinach.

It’s hard to actually make resolutions for a lot of people, because those set you up to fail. I am really goal-oriented and once I realized that my Revolutions have to actually be attainable, I have had some great success with my New Year’s Revolutions. The key is to make them intentional and realistic.

For more on alternatives to the typical “lose weight” idea see this amazing post by Deb at Re/Dress and this post by Golda at Body Love Wellness.

Femme Family
Happy New Year!

*I read about deep practice in the November issue of Oprah Magazine–the whole thing is here and it’s a really great read.
**Gay Butt Sex
***Thanks to Amanda, Femme Family Madam of Country Glam for that term.

2009-12-01

World AIDS Day & More on Medical Self-Advocacy

You know how weird it is to think that I have never known a world without AIDS? I remember growing up and it was new and scary, and with family friends in the LGBT community* I always knew about it in some way or another. It is weird to think about it now as having been around for almost three decades, which is actually a really long time.

When I was about five my single mom and I lived with two gay guy roommates. One of them was the only person I would let brush my hair because I had such a tender scalp. I was completely unaware of it at the time, but they both tested positive. I remember one of them moved away to live with his mom in Texas. I didn’t know at the time it was to be in hospice.

Bevin age 6
Me, age 6, in front of that house not long after Rob moved away. I need to get my mom to scan me some photos from that era.

Not everyone is touched by HIV or AIDS directly, but I think everyone can do their part to create awareness, know their HIV status and practice safe sex.

You know sometimes STD screenings don’t automatically include every STD? It’s frustrating because I go to a sort of run of the mill not homo GYN and I am sure I am one of the only unmarried and queer patients. I always have to give them a laundry list of what I want to be tested for.

Sometimes it is weird to put words to asking for an HIV test, but it’s really important! I know WAY too many people (myself included) who have been cheated on in the most heinous and unsafe of ways. It’s really important to trust no one but yourself when it comes to getting tested.

IMG_0721
Here’s a picture of me in an actual moment where I was unaware of the cheatin’ going on! Accompanied by Zoe, who had that fateful come to Jesus moment with me in a car on the way to the Paramus mall about confronting things.

I don’t ever want to think when I’m monogamous or whatever that there’s even a possibility my partner could have given me an STD but it’s real. Get tested, for everything, once a year. Think of how nice it will be to KNOW that your partner didn’t give you an STD that calendar year!**

Also I know way too many people who have died from ovarian cancer and other lady parts cancers. Get screened for cancer (as much as they can), too. The earlier HIV, cancers and other diseases are found, the easier they are to get treated.

This is also especially important for people who are not of normative bodies and genders. It’s really vulnerable to go to a doctor when you’re fat and are going to get the fat talk or when you are transgender and are going to get the [insert laundry list of fears, here]. Bring a friend who can be your advocate and hold your hand. It’s really important to get your bits checked no matter what kind of bits you have and how they line up with the outside.

Take it from someone whose routine trip to the GYN turned into a kerfuffle of mis[fat]diagnosiswhen a doctor is supposed to be treating you for something and launches into the fat talk you can politely tell them “I am not here to discuss my weight with you. I am here to discuss my bits, my HIV status and whether I am at risk for cancers.” I like to have a mantra to prepare ahead of time.

And, luckily, since that terrible trip to the GYN, I haven’t had a fat hating doctor. I am about to get health insurance again and the first thing I plan to do is get my bits checked, my blood drawn and my HIV status confirmed.

If you’re uninsured and lucky enough to be in a town with an LGBT clinic, you can sometimes get low or no cost HIV tests and other exams. Use the resources available to you to keep you safe and up to date about your status. Those resources weren’t there when our loved ones started getting sick, but they are there now.

Do something to revere their memories.

*My mom, who is now Lesbian identified and gay married, was in and out of the closet a couple of times while I was growing up.
**I can imagine the girl talk emails that ensue. “OMG y’all, I didn’t get an STD from my monogamous partner! Woo hoo!” Considering the amount of girl talk emails I have gotten that had a different result.

2009-11-25

Single in Sharp Relief

Thanksgiving is a really hard time of year for me. It is one of those holidays that puts into sharp relief how very single I am. I am happy with my life, I am making my life into the kind of life I want to be living and am extremely grateful that I’m not in an unhappy, unsatisfying and sad lesbian foot warming* kind of relationship.

However, when you were in a relationship (or 2 back to back relationships, in my case) where you were creating a family… Thanksgiving is just one of those family holidays where you feel extra weird when your day to day family doesn’t involve other people.

Just like Bad Fat Days, which happen to all fat activists and body loving fat people, being Single in Sharp Relief can be jarring even for the most ardently happy single person. But we already have all the coping mechanisms we need to get through it, just like Bad Fat Days.

The first thing I like to do is to be really grateful for the opportunities I have because I’m single. Thanksgiving is obviously an appropriate time of year for that, though I do a gratitude practice year round. Historically troublesome as it is, it is nice that Thanksgiving is a time when all the folks in the US are reminded to be grateful for what we have.**

*Holidays can be really stressful for couples and I get to enjoy the holidays in whatever way I decide to do them.
*I have a lot of self-reflection time.
*I get to think more critically about what I want out of my life and where I am going without worrying about compromise.
*I get to decide where I go on a Friday night without worrying about compromise.
*I get to flirt with any other single folks wherever I go.
*I get to save money or spend it on myself when I have it, rather than lots of money spent on couple gifts/activities.
*I don’t have to worry about the stresses of dealing with my partner’s people or family.
*I get to focus 100% on my family of choice and origin.
*I can have the high priority of travel without worrying about my partner not being able to come along or making those compromises.

Of course, that’s not to say I wouldn’t love to have a special someone in my life–I am a serious nester and do enjoy making the magic of a relationship. But I think the more you get involved in creating the magic of your single life you take a more critical eye to constructing a relationship that brings out the best in both of you, instead of defaulting to compulsory couplehood. Believe me, I was in two back to back partnerships for 5 years and both were big giant lesbian plunge situations. Nothing carefully constructed.

My BFF Rachael actually pointed out to me recently when I was talking about bad dates making you jaded that being jaded can be a good thing. “It makes your expectations for people’s behavior higher, which is good because you want to have a critical eye towards giving away your affections.”

So, in the meantime, it is nice to be in a place where I am excited about singlehood and focusing on the positive, even in the face of the Thanksgiving single stress.

As far as holiday plans I am in a unique place because my immediate family is very small (just my mom) and my extended family is scattered and only about medium size. I have spent my fair share of Thanksgivings and other holidays being another family’s 5th wheel or sidecar with my mom. Now I am a total free agent when it comes to compulsory holidays. Because it costs so much to travel and I always have had some sort of employment that requires my attention around the holidays, I’ve only been back home to the Bay Area for Christmas once in the last 7 years.

Being a free agent for the holidays is really exciting because I can figure out what I want to do and have creative community gatherings. This year I am really excited to share a Thanksgiving table with some of my favorite Brooklyn artists and have a turkey served from the glorious hands of Sarah Jenny wearing a vintage apron.

IMG_3528.JPG
L-R: Damien, Bryn, me and Sarah Jenny at the Original Plumbing release party in Brooklyn about a month ago. I should finish my review of the magazine.

*See Episode 6 of FemmeCast to learn about that phenomenon.

**Sometimes when you’re so stuck in your personal pity party, you need to reach out to your friends to help out. Big love to Kentucky Fried Woman and Ally for their help with this entry and reminding me why I am glad to be single even during Thanksgiving!

2009-11-04

Secret Single Behaviors

November 1 came and went without any fanfare from me, but I remembered yesterday that it was the two year anniversary of my sudden singlehood. It’s been an incredible journey and as painful and crazy as that time was, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. (If you want the backstory, wait for my forthcoming memoir or download Episode 2 of FemmeCast.)

In celebration of my singlehood, I’ve decided to share with you, gentle readers, some of my deepest Secret Single Behaviors. There was an episode of Sex and the City that talks about Secret Single Behaviors–those things that you do when you’re alone, because you’re single and you can get away with it.

The first one is that I often turn on QVC when I’m home alone (I have a roommate). Sure, sometimes I listen to music, but often it’s just nice to have the company. I love shopping and even though I’ve only ever bought two things from QVC in my entire life and I was engaged and shacked up at the time, I still really like their chatter. As a Femmecee, I have learned a lot about improv from the hosts on QVC.

Today’s Special Value is some sort of purse charm. I think if I were selling them I would talk about the safety factor–I know some people who have been assaulted while looking for their keys. It’s a good AND fashionable idea to have a little charm on your purse with a hook where your keys are in order to prevent the shuffle.

The second Secret Single Behavior I indulge in are meals that make no real sense and require no forward planning. I really like asparagus and I really like bacon. They are both easy to prepare. That’s probably my most common meal. Sometimes it’s broccoli or green beans. Sometimes I just have refried beans with taco sauce and cheese. Sometimes I am really scraping the barrel and use a stale piece of bread broiled with some cheese and a tomato.

This is in stark contrast to my last relationship, where we had all of these very planned out meals (planned a month ahead–we used the Saving Dinner 20 for the Freezer plan*) and leftovers for lunch the next day. Those days were nice, don’t get me wrong, I fondly recall Omaha steaks made on the grill. But getting to have meals that are entirely created from my own intuition and how I want to eat is really liberating, empowering and makes me feel really single.

The third Secret Single Behavior is what I call phone echo. Which is when I obsessively look at my phone as though I’m going to get a text, even though nothing’s coming through. In this day of text-based communication, people enact entire courtships via text and picture texts and whatnot. When I don’t have a sweetheart blowing up my phone, well, it seems like a cavern of emptiness where you can’t hear anything but an echo. Of course I get the occasional hilarious missive from a friend and the loving text reminders from my google calendar, but there’s nothing more single feeling than looking at a phone and having nothing there. And then obsessively looking again and again as though it will change.

My fourth Secret Single Behavior is probably more like Femme Realness, but I keep a self-help book for bathroom reading. It’s true. Ironically I haven’t gotten past chapter one of The Power of Focus for Women, but it’s in there for guests if they need it. I decided that magazines in the bathroom were too cluttered.

The last one I have is something I really hope I can maintain for the rest of my life. But when I go to bed, after a particularly good night out or night in, I lay there, look at the twinkly lights above my pink bed and smile in deep gratitude for the adventurous life I am blessed with.

John, if you’re out there reading this, thanks for dumping me. I’m the closest I’ve ever been to the life I’ve always wanted.

l_7a1dc8b6a2877d4e2bccb99c1195e4ed
That’s me at my Celebration of Personhood (as opposed to couplehood), which was the party I had on May 17, 2008 in lieu of my wedding.

*I heartily recommend it if you have a live-in family that eats together.

2009-10-13

Nobody Ever Died of Awkward: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Battling Insecurity and Asking People Out

A few months ago I was in Rachael’s king size bed fretting over sending a very forward propositional text message to someone I thought was foxy. “C’mon Bev, nobody ever died of awkward. Worst case scenario she’s flattered and says no.”

IMG_2266

I sent the message and the response I got was articulate, complimentary and offered a raincheck. Kelli Dunham, Butch Comic in Residence for FemmeCast asked if this person had taken classes on how to write text messages because it was so good.

But more than the response, I was really proud of myself for putting myself out there. Zoe beats it like a drum everytime I do something like this.

Half the reasons I’ve missed out on getting ass in my lifetime is by not articulating my desire. Insecurity, fear of rejection, fear of being made fun of… the list is endless. It’s hard to put yourself out there in a racist, homophobic, misogynist, binary gendered, anti-erotic, fatphobic, ableist, etc… society when you’re at one or many of those intersections of marginalized identities. Plainly stated, I’ve been a fat girl my whole life, shit from middle school runs deep and it’s hard to bounce back from significant early rejection.

Out of that insecurity can come a bevy of reasons to psych yourself out of propositioning someone.

After that moment I incorporated “Nobody ever died of awkward” into my regular on stage repetoire. As any of you who have seen me femmecee can attest, I am a fan of encouraging my audience to interact after the show or during intermissions. I often give out pick-up lines, conversation starters and ways for people to connect. I love matchmaking.

At the Zombie Queer Cabaret this weekend someone said I was easy and I said, “I’m not easy, I’m just straightforward.” When I’m attracted to someone it can often inspire in me my old shyness. In fact, one of the signs that I’m really into someone I’ve just met is if I have a hard time looking them in the eye (though I am working on getting over that). The shyness is really just insecurity. The fastest way to get through that shyness, for me, is to just be direct.

I still have to go through the same cycle of insecurity I always have when I proposition someone, but now I can psych myself up about it way faster than I ever could before. I’m talking a matter of hours versus days, weeks or months. In college it would take me weeks to work up the courage to ask someone to hang out as a friend-that-might-lead-to-more. Now I might let a passing interest develop into a crush for as long as a month, but there’s a certain moment of annoyance I reach when I am getting mixed signals from someone and I just want to cut to the chase.

When I ask someone out I always use the term “date”. I encourage you to do that, too. My friend Megan Beene used to complain about the “Lesbian Not-Date” syndrome where you’re hanging out with someone and you’re not sure if it was/is a date.

IMG_0738

I like to make sure it’s clear what my intentions are. I also often tell them that my intention is “casual” or “proper” date.*

Even if you’re not asking someone out and just expressing interest, it is really great to be direct. One of the greatest examples I’ve experienced was really more of a gesture than the words themselves, but this really hot butch I’d been trying to make contact with for 2 weeks came up to me in the dark, put her hand on the small of my back as she walked by and said something in my ear along the lines of me being a really attractive woman. And then she walked away. I don’t even remember what she said but it was really clear.

The best part about having a move like that is that no matter how nervous you are, you’ll never actually seem that nervous in person. Trust.

Another thing I always do when I ask people out is to be complimentary and to not give them the reason to reject your offer. If they want to turn you down, they can, but let them be the ones to come up with the excuse.

An example is “Georgine, I’ve found our long talks about homo fashion really intriguing and would love to continue the conversation. Would you like to go out on a date with me? I am thinking a casual walk along the Christopher Street pier where we can see the fashions of the gay youth of today followed by a coffee at the one remaining West Village gay coffee house.” Instead of all of that followed by “Unless you’re busy. It’s really okay, you know, if you’re busy. Or if you don’t want to. Or if you want to just be friends.” If they want to be friends they can propose that with their proper response to you.

I tend to also be really cutesy with my date requests and use a little schtick. A friend of mine uses rhyming, which is particularly adorable. I like to think putting some personality in the date request makes it all the more flattering, and that is what a date request should ultimately be.

Rachael’s flirting philosophy is “It is never a bad time to make people feel good about themselves.” I think this absolutely applies to asking people out.** I have also found that the fastest way for me to get over a crush is to be rejected by them. And, really, how can you be into someone who doesn’t think you’re fabulous enough to date?

It’s comical how many of my friends I once asked out or who once asked me out. In every one of those cases it was clear within a few months that it was way better that we chose the friend route.

The awkwardness lasts as long as you let it, and I purposefully act like nothing is wrong until nothing really is wrong anymore. It’s best to just try to be normal.

What I love about having gotten a lot of practice asking people out in the last couple of years is that now it comes much more naturally. I met this hot girl last month and after flirting with her a few times in the evening as I was bidding her adieu and we exchanged numbers I told her straight up “If you’re interested in asking me on a date I would love that.” (Sometimes the butches like to do the asking.)

The important part is that you see your success as battling your insecurity and putting yourself out there, rather than what the reaction of the other person happens to be. You’ll always be successful when you push yourself to grow.

Today on Twitter, Shit My Dad Says tweeted “That woman was sexy…Out of your league? Son. Let women figure out why they won’t screw you, don’t do it for them.”

So the next time you are getting an attack of insecurity about a crush, or you aren’t sure whether you should ask someone out, stop thinking and start texting/emailing/calling/talking and do it. Let them make the decision whether they will go out with you. You won’t die of awkward if they say no.

*I’m going into much greater detail about this in the episode of FemmeCast I’m editing right now, on courtship.

For me a casual date would involve a meandering hang out, a variety of outside activities, watching a movie at home, having cupcakes together. Something easy and cheap. I often prefer casual dates because I lead such a fast-paced life, what I’m looking for in a potential dating person/girlfriend is really someone who its easy and fun to be around. Casual dates help to tell you that.

A proper date is something more traditional. A performance and drinks, dinner and a movie, just dinner. Some of the best dates I’ve been on involved an activity that told me more about what the person was passionate about and had a sweet and small souvenir.

**Of course, this is NOT the case for those who are monogamous or you are otherwise ethically barred from dating, like your friend’s recent ex or some such close queer connection. Let ethics not insecurity slow you down!

2009-09-18

Additions to the Queer Lexicography: Ages and Dating and PR

There’s been a trend amongst my friends lately to date ten years up or ten years down. My friend Heather told me once, her voice dramatically raspy like an aged actress, holding a drink and wobbling a little bit with the truthiness of alcohol, “You gotta get ’em before or after they’re in the thick of their shit. 29 year olds are weighted down with issues.”

IMG_3096

I have to say I’ve found some seduction in that idea. When my fiance and I broke up I was a little obsessed with finding a 39 year old butch divorcee. My theory was that it took the end of at least one significant adult forever releationship to season someone enough that they could do it better the second time. Also, I had a couple of friends at the time who were dating 39 year olds and they seemed like breaths of fresh air compared to the crop of 28 year old scoundrels I had been dealing with.

Of course, it’s not that simple. A year later it turned out at least one of those 39 year olds was a super powered douchebag and I never should have looked to her for any sort of relationship idealizing.

However, I will say age and experience are an important factor in how compatible someone is with you and what kind of match you’re looking for. But now there’s a new crop of Queer Lexicography to explain the big giant age difference!

A Tiny is someone who is in their barely twenties.* Tinies can be great. They are someone you can be really tender with because of their stark vulnerability in contrast to your older jadedness. They can be really fun to corrupt. They can also help you not take things so seriously. Tinies sometimes have more active sex drives. They can make you feel really old when they don’t understand your Jem and the Holograms references.

Because they are tiny they are fresh faced and full of energy, and you can train them to suit. Basically it’s like you want to enjoy them and be the hot older woman who teaches them things. When a tiny doesn’t act right you have to understand that this is your opportunity to not only help the tiny but also help the community. Pay it forward, if you will. I’ve had a few lovers who definitely benefitted from prior experience with someone much older. I got to reap those benefits, too!

Someone who is in their barely twenties is probably much less likely to be the marriage and kids kind of forever dater the way same age people are. That’s a nice relief and a lot less pressure. More emphasis on dating for the fun of it and less on the dating with expectations.

Of course, like with all relationships, you have to be careful with your Tiny. You don’t want to ruin them and make them jaded like you are.

Being someone’s Tiny is great. Instead of dating someone else in their barely twenties where you’re just sort of fumbling through things with a soundtrack of Sarah McLachlin and don’t know any better between the two of you, someone shows you the ropes of how to be in and communicate in and have fun in the queer community.

Being someone’s Decade Down, is sort of like a Tiny, except you’re not in your barely twenties and have some life experience, have done the Saturn Return and thus have a lowered tolerance for bullshit. You can be the young one in their friend crowd, who is fun and full of energy and wants to go out dancing more than once a month. Your Decade Up is your connection to a certain part of queer history that you didn’t live but maybe read about in Michelle Tea novels. They can teach you more tricks in the sack because hopefully they’re more experienced. They are over being the wandering panty chaser and want to settle down a little bit. Maybe.

Experience always trumps age. But unless you’re a crazy overachiever or chronically unable to learn from your mistakes, age makes a difference in how you relate to people and life. I’ve also learned that just because someone is older it doesn’t mean they are automatically good in bed, but that is true more often than it is not.

You shouldn’t mess up a good thing by getting bogged down with age stuff. Heather likes to say “Who fucking cares? Shut up you’re ruining everything.”

IMG_3089

In other words, age, like other relationship differences, is sexy and fun to play with when appropriate. Like zodiac signs. But there’s no way to say just because someone is a Scorpio they are definitely going to fuck you over, though it’s quite possible.**

I got another addition emailed to me by Mira Bellwether the other day that I’ve already rolled into my Queer Lexicography.

Pussy Response: PR

This is a term my friends and I have been using for a while now, frequently or usually abbreviated to PR, especially in polite company, and for the sake of coding (and abbreves.) The appeal of Pussy Response to me is that it describes an active process/state of being that belongs to the person who expresses it, rather than a passive state of being or one that is done to someone (“she makes me wet.”) The latter is sometimes accurate, but I like having a term that puts things in terms of my desire rather than what someone else is up to. PR also doesn’t necessarily rely on wetness to gauge sexual response or arousal, but it can be part of the whole pussy response experience. We also talk about PR campaigns, and PR can be an exclamation like “Hot!” that focuses on what the speaker’s body is doing rather than stating something about the object of desire.

Examples:

“The bartender at that place gives me total PR!”

“Did you see her arms? PR!”

“I have such PR for that boy.”

“You look amazing tonight, you’re sending me on a PR campaign!”
“Oh really? Well, you’re going to feel my PR all over your face as soon as I get you home.”

I’ve also heard tell of at least one butch using the modified “CR” for cock response, but the association with consciousness-raising makes me slightly uneasy.

I, on the other hand, love consciousness raising, so CR will work around me. Thanks for the addition Mira!! The deviled egg hair fascinator you made me is creating a PR campaign in the queer fat femme community.

IMG_2841

*Sugar plums, let’s keep it 18 and over, always.
**That’s a shout out to my good friend who shall remain nameless. USE YOUR WORDS to break up with people, not the ignore button on your iphone!!

2009-08-18

Girl You Look Expensive: Alysia Angel

This is a continuation of my series Girl You Look Expensive! (Read the whole back story and intention behind the post here.) I was super excited to see the ever sweet & swoonworthy Scream Club (beware the flashy flashy gifs at the link) perform a hyped up remix of this song last week.

Meet my charming and gorgeous friend, Alysia Angel:

alysiafullbody1

The details on my outfit in the photo are:
dress xxl target $12
shoes vintage sling back 70’s “mushrooms” .99 value village
polka dot scarf .99 value village
white tiled reversible bag (gold on the other side) $2 goodwill
teal bracelet 0.00 found in a free box

And a brief and wonderful sample of her writing, on Femmes and Class:

    Dimes to diamonds

I have a closet of carefully selected vintage dresses, the waistbands torn out and
re-sewn to add inches to accommodate the roundness of my body, the
hemlines raised to accommodate the shortness of my stature, the plunging
necklines that free up the girls, putting them on a very huge display. I love
thinking about those sweet little fancy soldiers, lined up in a walk in closet,
in RGB color scheme. My head swims, dazzled by the teals, pinks,
reds, the wrong way for fat people but oh so right for me stripes,
eensy weensy polka dots, mandarin collars, tiny little white buttons,
cap sleeves, op art prints and the joy of putting these dresses on my
body. I love the shimmery feeling of a $5 vintage dress. Femme to me is
sexuality, vulnerability, strength, deliberate bold fashion and power.

Femme and fashion feels like a released Papilionoidea,
glittery and sharp, flowing from my clothes like honey.

In 20 years I haven’t changed a thing about my approach to buying
nearly everything second hand, making it my own, reinventing what
personal style means. I have dedicated myself to fashion without ever
looking to magazines or books for help. I have dedicated my body to be
a canvass, a color palette, a target for material. I am a slave to a
“perfect” dress, a perfect pink shell top, a kitschy vintage pin, a
large and gorgeous clutch, a hot pair of heels, an accordion skirt in
an interesting color. My eyes are on alert, always scanning, trained
on certain fabrics, prints, colors, and size. My fashion is a divining
rod for beauty, personal and to be shared. My sexuality and my fashion
are forever entangled like eyelashes on the first girl I loved in high
school. The one I fucked in her water bed, silent, sleek, and secret,
still the sweetest kisses of my entire life.

Her words are syrupy remnants at the bottom of delicious desserts you’ve long ago finished and can’t wait to enjoy again morphed into a gorgeous string of song.

If you want more (and I’ve been reading her Live Journal for awhile–you definitely want more) she’s selling this really stunning chapbook for only $15. Hand made from cover to cover. Even if you’re not a big reader, this stunning piece of art will look amazing on your coffee table or as a gift to a close friend. But chances are you’ll pick it up and never be able to put it down. She’s that good.

bookscan

$1.50 for shipping in the US, $3 outside the US. This book is a first of a series of 5 books. You can make payments via paypal to alysia.angel at gmail dot com.

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.

IMG_2407
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.'”

fistyandvag
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.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress