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The Ideal Lover List

Wow.

I'm listening to 90s music (currently "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star) and going through my livejournal while piecing together a confessional entry on threesomes. Having had an amazing one this last weekend (which you'll hear more about later) I wanted to reflect on the experiences from my past, and what hurt me, and why. Revisiting my blog is usually an intense experience, so I expected to be taken aback by some of what I found, but this was particularly interesting: a list of what I wanted in a partner, circa 2008.

"Needs-
-accepts polyamory in my relationships
-accepts kinkiness (either is kinky or accepts me playing with others)
-queer friendly
-cat friendly
-intelligent (book smart or street smart, preferably a bit of both)
-enjoys sexuality in an open minded way
-not dependent on drugs to cope
-playful (likes to wear costumes, roleplay, be silly)
-creative/inspired
-utilizes safer sex practices/pro abortion
-emotionally self aware/deals with baggage/introspective
-financially stable
-accepting of paganism
-politically aware
-takes care of self and environment
-somewhat patient
-reliable

Wants-
-geeky
-kinky
-artistic/Burner
-always curious/critical thinker/asks "why?"
-enjoys travel
-reading > TV
-queer (or queer curious)
-enjoys various sexual expressions (3somes, gender play, exhibitionism, etc)
-not in a monotheistic religion
-good taste in music/movies"

This was written while I was in London, after years of men and women who had broken my heart into a million pieces and stomped them into dust. Thumbing through my Livejournal, I see the time I was dragged to a stranger's house for a threesome because my date wanted to fuck him and dealing with a spanking I didn't want because I wanted to be "cool". I see myself reassuring myself that this boy, who wandered all over California and couldn't commit to a phone call, much less me, really did like me, because he said so once. I see myself feeling uncomfortable with how delighted I was to have a lover who bought me dinner and surprised me with presents, because I didn't want my affection to be bought, but I did want to be recognized.

I can see that I had multiple relationships because none of them were present for me, not really, and so with 5 of them maybe I would have a full relationship. I've realized that the concept of dating multiple people because one person can't meet all your needs doesn't mean you should compartmentalize all those needs or that it's not ok to have higher standards for who you spend time with.

I think what I find most startling is that my tastes haven't changed that dramatically. In fact, strangely, I think the only thing I don't care for anymore is being a Burner, as I find other types of art/creation generally more satisfactory. And I think being queer is pretty important. But I'm really amazed that my current lovers fulfill most if not all of these things on my list. I guess I did end up deciding I'd rather be alone than with multiple people who made me feel lonely and didn't make me a priority.

I have uneasy feelings about the trend I see, my fear of being clingy but my lovers not being willing/able to commit to me, where I need reassurance constantly because I am afraid constantly. I see in my past partners vanishing for months at a time, and then reappearing to be offended that I was dating someone else while expecting me to embrace their new lovers. They often ran away with those new lovers, proving what I thought was poly for a long time was really serial monogamy. And god, no wonder group sex freaks me out, the number of times I woke up next to my boyfriend fucking someone else or was kicked out of bed so they could cuddle...! I think I need to try to heal that scarred history, but I'm not sure entirely how.

I've also noticed that I used to fall in love quickly, but fell out of love about as quickly. Does that say something for the stability of my relationships now, where the feelings were slow but have been pretty steady? I'm not sure, but it's interesting to look back and see how highly I valued feeling safe and secure within a relationship, and I've instead given up on the idea of a relationship providing security. (Ironically the song that started here was "Push" by Matchbox 20). I suspect not really letting myself lose control over my heart prevented me from falling too deeply in love. And here I am, falling ever deeper in love with every day, losing that white knuckle grip and letting myself be naked and raw and vulnerable and unstable. God, I worry about it being a terrible mistake, but I keep falling, because what else could I do?

I feel like it'll all be ok. The lovers I have now satisfy so many of my needs, just just as a compilation, but individually. I feel respected as well as loved, and heard, and that's all so important.

Haven't I felt like that before, though?

Categories: ah youth, anxiety, best of, boys, breakups, communication, compare/contrast, dating, fake it til you make it, love, love is a dog from hell, memories, mistakes were made

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Review: Cordless Magic Wand Courtesy of Maxiwand

"It's just like the original Hitachi Magic Wand, but more powerful and also cordless!" the glowing reviews exclaimed. "You can have all of the power and none of the need to be by a socket!"

I'll admit, I was suspicious. Many wand style vibrators have made such a claim and failed me in my moment of need. I've tried the LELO Smart Wand, the rechargeable Bodywand, the Wand Essentials version... I've given them all a shot, often more than one, but at the end of the day I come back to my corded, old standard Hitachi. I've felt them overheat against my clit, the motor rumbling in protest. I've had them spark, almost set my flat on fire, and die mid-wank. With the original design becoming harder and harder to find, it was time to find a substitute, the next generation if you will.

Luckily for me, Maxiwand sent me an email as if reading my mind. "Want to review a Magic Wand? We've run out of the originals, but could send you a cordless one", they said, and I jumped at the chance. I don't go to a lot of sex parties anymore, but I do travel, and being able to jerk off without worrying about which side of the bed has the closest outlet would be a luxury.

Not only does this beauty have 4 speeds instead of the 2 we had to work with before (high, and holy fuck my clit is numb), they go a bit lower and a little bit higher. Redhead Bedhead broke it down on her review:

Original Magic Wand: 1- 5000rpms ; 2- 6000rpms – Remember it had two speeds.
Rechargeable Magic Wand: 1- 2,700rpms; 2- 3,800rpms; 3- 5,400rpms; 4- 6,300rpms 

That's a nice change of pace, especially if you're like me and were worried that you were going to have to make do with a jackhammer soon enough. There's a little more flexibility, which is what I was hoping for when I originally hooked my original Hitachi into one of those dial doodads. Having this all in one, and without a cord to boot, is a serious plus. There's also the option of having pulsing patterns, but I don't really care for those. I was glad those choices were controlled by a different button and therefore could be entirely ignored.

There's a silicone head, which, thank FUCK! This means you can actually sterilize the head, which you couldn't before. Obviously, don't dunk the whole thing underwater or boil it, but you can bleach the silicone bit and then wipe that off to make it safe to use between partners or use toy cleaner. Simple.

That said, my one complaint about this vibrator is the buttons. I liked the simplicity of the switch on the old model- the press buttons on this one are easy to confuse when you're holding it to your junk. There were a couple of times I pressed the wrong button and found myself having to start over thanks to the pulsations.  I'm not super keen on the fact it shuts itself off after 20 minutes, either, but considering the issues I've had with overheating, and the fact this gets me off faster than the original, I can work with its shorter "staying power". You can also totally turn it back on and not let it rest, but I can imagine that being frustrating for some folks.

All in all, I found this to be completely comparable to the original Magic Wand for power, with additional perks like cordlessness and two more speeds. Do I recommend it? Absolutely! To be completely confident in my recommendation, I'd probably want to try it out on a couple more sets of junk, so, in the name of science, I'll get back to you on that front. ;) But at least on my genitals, the cordless Magic Wand is well worth the money and stands up to its reputation.

US and Canada readers, you can pick up the original Magic Wand if you want to stick to the classics, or try out the rechargeable cordless one over at Maxiwand!

OR if you're in the UK, check out UK Wand for an high-powered alternative that works in your high powered outlets (wish I had one of these when I lived out there, I blew out way too many outlets!) And if you're in Europe, the Euro Wand Massager is an alternative to the Hitachi magic wand and has 4 sites in various European languages:

http://eurowand.de    (German)
http://eurowand.fr     (French)

Thank you Maxiwand for offering me this product in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Categories: #wankwednesday, genitalia, review, silicone, toys, toys for boys, vibrator

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Perchance to Dream

"I can almost touch the soil beneath your whisper
I can almost feel the hopes you left behind
I can almost touch the soil beneath your whisper
I can almost feel the hopes you left behind
Words that fall like distant rain
Words that echo with your eyes"
-Nostalgia, Nitin Sawhney

I am haunted by some terrible dreams. I wake up from them like falling, my pillow sometimes wet with tears, sometimes with sweat. Sometimes I have been locked onto a hospital gurney and am waiting for the medics to come and drug me while I scream that I'm not crazy. Sometimes all my teeth have fallen out, and I am worried about how I'm going to afford the care. My dreams are filled with navigating bureaucracy, having emotional crises, and trying to balance my finances. I'm not always sure if it was, in fact, just a dream.

I wish I had dreams of flying like normal people do, but when I fly in dreams it is always an escape. I am frantically trying to learn how to control my flight so I don't crash and burn, or get captured, or something unspoken but dreaded in my gut. Even in my dreams I can't give up control, I still have the sinking feeling that there's things I need to do, that people are depending on me to behave correctly.

My family, I think, has the impression that I'm a wild child, partying it up a lot and generally reckless. Little do they know, really KNOW, how much of my time is spent carefully calculating next steps for myself, balancing my checkbook, or frozen in place on my bed because a wrong move could mean a total lack of stability. For all that I give the impression of being devil may care, I spend a lot of my time trying to overcome emotionally exhausting amounts of severe anxiety. I am so accustomed to sitting, feeling bile rise into my throat and my gut clenching tight, without any particular reason, that it's just part of daily life and not a medical concern anymore.

I am reasonably good at juggling responsibilities, and capable of survival under some pretty rough circumstances, but god, how I wish I could just let go sometimes. I wish I could give up all these feelings, all this compassion, all this heart pain I carry around. I long to have control taken from me, but am too wounded to give it up. I don't really know how to relax, even when asleep. I'm always doing something, always frantically trying to hold my shit together.

Last night I dreamed that my lover dumped me and got back together with an ex. I tried my damnedest to smile and be gracious, happy for them, even though I felt like I was being ripped apart by wolves on the inside. In the dream we lived in the same apartment complex, and seeing them together was unavoidable… so I spent much of my dream in my tiny studio, fixing the plumbing which kept bursting over and over again, a lump in my throat.

I didn’t cry in the dream but I woke up teary and sad. It was just a dream, I knew it was just a dream, and yet I still felt shaken and lost and abandoned. And it was hard to let it go. I FELT it, so strongly, the loss, the strain to feel compersion that someone I loved was happy, my own disappointment in myself for just not having the strength.

I feel so flooded with feelings. I want sleep to be restful but I don't know how to turn my brain off even then. Why does my subconscious feel the need to force me to confront such dark yet mundane fears every night, leaving me tossing and turning? It's frustrating, especially after a particularly heartwrenching night when I can't find myself capable of leaving my room because cobwebs of the night before are holding me back. I worry it impacts my relationships, that these horrible processing sessions lead me to miss ex lovers who were toxic, or to suspect current lovers who have done nothing wrong.

I don't have any stability in my life, not really. I suspect that's part of why I'm so haunted by the past and the possible futures... if I drop one plate, the impact on the rest of my life could be devastating. I am afraid, always, that sometime I'll misstep and everything will come crashing down. I want to cling to something, like a barnacle, while the floods of emotions crash around me- I could weather them then- but to cling to a person is codependent, and to cling to a job is absurd in this climate. I feel like I live my life as honestly and as vulnerably as I can, but sometimes I feel laid bare, still alive as ravens peck at my entrails. But I don't know how else to be.

So instead, I drift, both awake and asleep, unsettled, unprepared, ungrounded. I hope that one day I will find some safe space to curl up in, even just for a night, where my mind and heart can be at rest. Sometimes I just want to be loved, and love, and for it to be easy for a minute, for me not to feel like I have to fight or run. I wonder if I will feel lonely until I die, but then isn't that human existence?

I just want to trust and I worry that I may never really again.

It has been a day, and a lifetime, of too many feelings, and I am tired. I am afraid of being tired, of admitting my weariness, because being present is what I'm good at, being a place of stability for so many others is what I do, and to admit I feel lost is perhaps the dropping of that first plate.

But I want to lay this burden down. And I am falling asleep alone tonight, and wish I wasn't.

Categories: anxiety, dreams, fake it til you make it, not feeling well, personal, psychology, self care

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Misandry 4Eva: Kitty's Guide To A Man-Repelling Summer Wardrobe

With summer on the way, shorts come out of hiding, skirts get a bit shorter, and men seem a thousand times more entitled to catcall you for daring to be comfortable in the heat. So many magazines feel the need to weigh in on how to make yourself MORE attractive to men, but why would you want to, when they can't seem to STFU whenever you leave the house?

Well, don't worry, dear reader. Here's how can you tell them to fuck right off without ever saying a word:

Neon

In the wild, bright colours mean a lot of things, often like "warning", "toxic", and "touch me and die". The human world is no different- men apparently find themselves repelled by those fantastic 80s neons, so whether a more subtle look like neon makeup or accent pieces, or something blatant like a full on florescent romper, this palette is the one to choose for that initial "get the fuck away from me" statement.


Smokey Eye Makeup

I won't lie- Imperator Furiosa has made this look a must for an on-trend misandrist summer style. That full-on grease look not your cuppa? You can also get your Fury Road on with a smokey eye that incorporates some fetching chrome highlights which also stops bros in their dusty tracks. Witness this, assholes everywhere!

Oversized Sunglasses

Less of a makeup person? This eye-shielding look is for you. Without the possibility of eye contact, many dudes don't get even the entry point they desperately seek to have an excuse to bother you when you just want to listen to your music. Added bonus- oversized sunglasses allow you to roll your eyes as much as you'd like when you hear that guy on the train negging you and every other femme he sees.

Bold Florals

Flowers are some femme shit, at least according to mens magazines. And why do flowers come in a rainbow? To attract bees, the symbol of cooperative matriarchies everywhere. Let the fellas around you know that you're not here for them by sporting some bright blossoms.

Chunky Heels

Men hate chunky heels, probably because they hate the idea we can get away from them more easily when we wear them. So fuck that. Also, the chunkier the heels, the more spikes you can add to them so you can use your shoes as a bludgeoning weapon. Cute!


Bright and/or Dark Lipstick

Tell the men around you that you don't give a fuck if you leave a mark with a lipstick that refuses to sit down and play nice. Go for something sci fi with a metallic sheen, or go witchy with a dark matte. Bonus points if you add glitter, or the blood of your enemies.

Statement Necklaces

Actions speak louder than words, sure, but there is a step between telling a pushy manplainer off and macing him. A statement necklace, especially one with an actual statement on it, can speak volumes for you so you can go back to Neko Atsume or reading Janet Mock's bestseller or literally anything else other than listening to him.

Not Shaving

Nothing sends menfolk running to the hills like unrepentant body hair on women. Good! They should go live in the hills, by themselves, eating grubs. Get creative by bedazzling your softly fuzzy self, dye your pubes or underarms hairs, or, if you are bereft in the body hair department, consider DIY pit and pube merkins.



Extreme Hairstyles

Finally, how could we forget the terror that's inspired by any hair style other than soft, long, and down? Men have been afraid of hairspray as soon as they discovered that a lighter was all that was required to make the styling product into a flamethrower. Never mind that big hair can hide all sorts of things, like a switchblade or  a spare lippy, so take up space with hair that says "my milkshake is none of your damned business".

all of these styles have been labeled as things women should avoid because men dislike them, because of course when you wake up every morning all you think about is how to catch the attention of mediocre white men. I am not making this up.

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Categories: best of, body stuff, boys, feminism, femme, hair, inspiration, makeup, parody, psa

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Femme Solidarity is Subversive Shit

When I was a teenager, into my early twenties, most of my friends were boys. I dismissed or stifled socially coded feminine interests like fashion, makeup, cooking, dancing, processing emotions, practicing self care. I was more interested in sex, and metalwork, and urban exploration, and fighting. Girls were too soft, and bitchy, and I felt alienated among them. I wanted to DO things, not talk about them.

Now, when I look back, I think about how much I missed out on because of my internalized misogyny. Most of the people I spend time with now are women- in fact, now I can count my masculine-of-center friends on one hand, while my femme friends are numerous. If anything, it's a complete 180- most of the people I have close to me are femmes. I talk to my mother more often than my dad. I work with mostly femmes, I live with another woman, most of the groups on FB I interact with are femme-centric. Even my interest in metalwork is turning towards working with other women.

Sometimes I wonder what shifted. How did I go from being "one of the boys" to unapologetically femme focused?

I think it started when I started doing sex work activism. Being around a group of women doing activism to help marginalized women together was incredibly healing for me for a while. And then, I think it was underlined when I started doing consent activism, as I began to shy away from sex positivity into a more critical stance and began to unpack the various ways in which patriarchy affects consent, communication, and what we consider valuable. I began to realize all the unpaid emotional labour that I was expected to do, in order to cushion the lives of "well meaning", "feminist" men, who felt so BAD about their privilege and wanted to be reassured that they were "nice guys". I bristled every time a man spoke over me, or assumed I wanted to flirt with them, or that I was available to them.

And I started to notice just how often it happened.

Not just to me, though that was plenty overwhelming. It also happened to all the women I knew, whether it was a partner, a family member, a coworker, a friend. And I noticed how often any attempt to discuss how frustrating it was outside of a women-only space would be derailed into men protesting they weren't like that, and anyway what could they possibly be expected to do about it, masculinity was a rough gig too after all, didn't we feel for them?

This was particularly telling on Facebook. I can't even explain how often I say something out of frustration to my friends/acquaintances (mostly women, anymore) about banning men, and suddenly a man, sometimes not even a friend but a friend of a friend, will pop by to pipe up with "not all men!", like my declaring a ban on men on my Facebook wall will mean that all men will be summarily destroyed. Sadly, I don't have that kind of goddesslike power. Sorry to disappoint, y'all.

When this happened, I'd glance at the guy's timeline. So often, that man wasn't using his own space to talk to other men about toxic masculinity. He wasn't taking time out of his day to critique other men. Sometimes, even, he would defend his right to say "bitches are crazy" because he was a Good Feminist Guy and obviously it was a JOKE and geez why did everyone jump on him for expressing himself?

They never seemed to see the irony, that they were coming to MY playground, expecting me to engage in unpaid emotional labour on my own time for their Fee-Fees about masculinity, time they couldn't be bothered to make on their own.

I'm just fed up with that, to be honest. Being on guard 24/7 is a tiring way to exist. Being on call to play therapist, mother, lover and teacher is exhausting and draining and thankless. I witness so many amazing women, and femmes in particular, being expected to take on that emotional toil on such a regular basis, expected to caretake and educate and be compassionate and kind and always available. I have found when it's a community of femmes, it's great (mostly, though there's been issues about racism/classism/ableism/other isms in some groups). Ideally, we can all do that for each other, and have it done for us in turn. Talking to other femmes has been healing, validating, safe, comforting. I don't feel like I have to be constantly wary for That Guy the way I feel I have to be on guard in the general population. It's safer space.


The sad truth is, I cannot trust even the men I care about the most to necessarily be present for me emotionally the way I can trust the femmes in my life to be. It's not entirely their fault, sure- they're trained into having emotional voids and lack of self awareness. But this is a cold, cruel world, and we all need a lot of reassurance in it. I have found it's my femme pack who is there for me in times of sobbing hysterics or heartbroken uncertainty- there is almost always someone who is able to hold my hand and talk me through this panic attack or that nightmare or this other relationship trauma. Men, even the best men, try, but it doesn't occur to them to reach out or to comfort to the extent femmes can and will. As someone who gives a lot of that kind of love out, having people around me who return that love so readily is a precious resource.

The most difficult obstacle I've found myself coming against in the process of centering other femmes is the cultural training to see them as competition. I have been scared of other women, scared of feminine judgment of my body or my choices. But as I've been practicing reaching out, particularly to women I feel intimidated by, and expressing both ownership of what issues I bring to the table and my discomfort/impression, alongside a desire to get to know these women better rather than indulge these anxious feelings. And you know what? It's been amazing. Rather than being caught up in my fantasies of how these women think of me and being avoidant, we both create space to be vulnerable and to hear each other out, and in doing so, dismantle that notion of competitiveness between us. Becoming friends with my boyfriend's girlfriends/exes has been so incredibly healthy for me, as I unlearn some of my fear and jealousy to replace it with femme solidarity and support.

I'm finding more and more that my femme friends are my greatest allies. And that if eventually we do form a bunker banning all men... I think I could be pretty happy in there. Femme solidarity gives me life.

(Note- when I talk about femmes, I'm not just meaning cis women- some of the closest femmes to me are genderqueer. I differentiate sometimes between women and femmes, because they are not one and the same.And when I talk about men, or masculinity, I don't just mean cis men, though often, yes.)

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Categories: activism, anxiety, best of, boundaries, boys, community, feminism, femme, male privilege, musing

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The Uneasy Balance of Self Care VS Challenging Fear

I have a particularly uneasy relationship with food. Buying it, cooking it, remembering to eat it. I will go hungry for hours, sometimes days when the headweasels are particularly bad. I develop this dread of dealing with food that causes me to freeze and want to just sleep until the anxiety goes away.

I've always had some sort of weird tension around food, from what I can recall- when I was a child, I would break into the baking cabinet and binge on chocolate chips until I was sick. It's sort of funny, as back then, I was skinny as a rail- it was only when I started taking medication for depression and thus gained weight that I went from devouring everything in my path to picking at what was on my plate. I learned how to ignore my body for hours, and am still unlearning the damage, even while people scowl at me in restaurants for eating at all.

I feel like most people, when they need groceries, or want a snack, just pack up, go to the store, and buy what they want. None of the individual things are particularly difficult for me- making a list, driving, finding what I need, paying for it, unpacking. But because of all the the above trauma, when I need to go to the shop, I spend sometimes weeks persuading myself that I can do it. I put it off by buying takeout, and portioning it out for several days. I go through my pantry and eat random things that don't really go together in order to procrastinate going to the store. I find friends to go to dinner with.

With the advent of the internet, it's much easier than ever to get all sorts of things delivered, including the dreaded groceries. I did that for the first time today- had a stranger buy my groceries for me and bring them to my apartment so I didn't have to leave. And as I clicked the "order" button and was flooded with a sense of relief, I wondered- was I doing self care, or was I avoiding challenging myself and my fears? Was the fact that I am now more willing to pay extra for someone else to bring food to me actually making my anxiety around food and cooking worse?

I'm not sure. Sometimes it feels like a reward for doing something I find difficult, like finishing a hard piece or getting an unpleasant task done. But sometimes, it's simply because the idea of going into the fridge and figuring out what to cook is just that horrifying for me. While I appreciate that my partners cook for me, I don't want to be frozen in place forever on my own, only eating fruit and vegetables that require no more prep than rinsing them off.

I'm trying to give myself small challenges, like today I made guacamole, and also I made my own french fries from scratch. Nothing too complex, but quick and easy enough that I could make them and be eating food that came from my veg box and would end up going bad. I like the food I make, but I'm still exploring why I have so much panic about the process. I suspect that it comes in part from having multiple kitchens in my life that were difficult to maneuver or cook in, which often stood in the way of me taking care of my food needs. Now I have an open kitchen and the dishes are always done, so I'm very slowly becoming less tense around food prep.

In the meantime, as I slowly breathe through this, I'm trying not to feel guilty when I pay someone to do my grocery shopping for me. It feels so ridiculously privileged, but it's also the only way I'd eat sometimes. I struggle a lot with wondering if my mental health issues make me seem like a bougie bitch when really it's just that people terrify me, seemingly more and more so each year. I suspect the hardest part is going to be giving myself space to need that kind of task done for me, for a while, as I keep pushing forward in relearning how to be outgoing. The world doesn't feel very safe, and for now being in retreat makes sense... but it's not where I want to be forever.

How do you balance taking care of mental health issues with not wanting to give into the spirals that hold you back?

Categories: anxiety, balance, personal, psychology, reflection, self care, support

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Kiss the Cook: A Little Women Slashfic

I wrote this for a local event called SHIPWRECK - now that I know to add more sound effects and more buttsex, I think I can really bring it next time.

In the meantime, in honor of Mother's Day, here's a Hannah/Marmee slashfic. I'm sorry. Not really.

***

The girls were away at school, finally leaving Hannah and Marmee to a quiet day of keeping house. Hannah had spent much of the time in the kitchen, preparing vegetables for the evening’s stew, while Marmee had been discreetly watching the older woman’s arm muscles ripple as she rooted around the garden, lifted baskets and chopped parsnips and carrots. It had been many years since her husband had gone off to be a chaplain in the war, and Marmee was feeling restless. She had done her duty to God and Country by marrying and having children. What more could she want?

Yet she had these thoughts that came to her, often in the night… thoughts about her maid and companion, Hannah, and thoughts about her strong hands.

“Oh, come along, Marmee,” she scolded herself. Yet when she was sure she was alone, it was Hannah’s lips she imagined touching hers. Marmee sighed audibly thinking of those fantasies, only to find she was not alone.

“What ails you, marm?” said Hannah, peeling a potato while leaning against the doorway.

“Hannah! I was just… thinking, about raising these girls, and how hard it is to talk about the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ and being good when I struggle so much myself.”

Putting down the potato, Hannah came to Marmee and brushed a lock of hair from the young mother’s forehead. “You’re so good to them, you know,” she said reassuringly.

Marmee sank into Hannah’s strong arms. “I just need to be held, and to feel we will get through all this,” she cried. Those strong arms wrapped around her, holding her close when suddenly, they were kissing. Hannah’s lips pressed against Marmee’s, gentle yet firm.

“With all respect, marm, I think you need a little more focus on yourself and a little less on the rest of us,” Hannah said when the kiss had broken.

“Oh,” replied Marmee, her hand flying up to her lips in surprise. The kiss had been everything she had dreamed of. It had awakened a fire in her she had long thought dead.

As if reading her mind, Hannah parted her lover’s plump, hairy lips with calloused fingers to find her center of love. It was as hard as a diamond. “You spend so much time taking care of those girls, but who takes care of you?”

Marmee shuddered at the sensation. She could not remember how many years it had been since she had seen her husband, and even more since he had touched her like this. Had he ever touched her like this? “Oh Hannah,” she whispered, “what is it that you do with your hands? I have not felt anything like it..! But what if the girls return, what would they say?”

“They need never know, marm,” was the reply, as the fingers moved from circling Nature’s orifice to find Marmee quite wet and ready for anything. The musky scent of her excitation began to fill the small kitchen, leaving Hannah hungry for more. The older woman kissed Marmee’s neck and ear. She began to tell her exactly what was about to happen, leaving Marmee’s knees quite weak with anticipation.

“Oh! How indecent!” cried Marmee with a little gasp. “I oughtn’t to be doing these things! What would Aunt March think? Oh my!”

“I can stop, if you’d like,” answered Hannah with a teasing smile, hastening her frigging just a fraction.

“No, oh no, please,” moaned Marmee.

Hannah’s smile widened, and she went to her knees, pulling up the skirts and underskirts of her lover to find the lips to her cunt open and wanting. She covered Marmee’s thighs with burning kisses, getting closer and closer to her watertight furnace with her impassioned touch. With a small cry, Marmee pulled Hannah’s head to her, desperate for a more intimate exploration of her inner folds. The always obliging Hannah lapped at Marmee’s creamy cunt framed by soft brown fleece with her firm and knowing tongue. The action sent the young mother into a crisis. Moving out from underneath the skirts, Hannah kissed Marmee again, the taste of arousal hot on her lips.

“You have desires,” said Hannah, “and it may not be proper but it’s real. If you’ll let me, I’d like to satisfy a few of them, marm.”

“Call me Marmee, Hannah, oh please! And show me more of these delicious pleasures,” exclaimed Marmee, her eyes burning with lust.

Looking around the kitchen, Hannah locked eyes with Marmee and slowly slid a carrot into her mouth. “Well, to start, I can think of a better, warmer place for this”, she murmured, sliding one hand down and then under Marmee’s skirts to the now-wet fur underneath. The carrot slid across Marmee’s pink gash. Hannah switched between gentle slapping and slow, teasing strokes.

“Do you want this, Marmee?” murmured Hannah huskily.

“Oh yes,” moaned Marmee.

“Show me how much,” demanded Hannah. Glancing around for an available surface, Marmee hoisted herself upon the countertop. She lifted her skirts around her waist and spreading her legs lewdly. Parting her swollen labia lips, she let her fingers dip in and out of her entrance.

“So, so much, Hannah… it’s been so long… oh PLEASE,” Marmee begged.

Hannah teased her lover with the carrot for a moment longer, then thrust it into her waiting cunt. Marmee covered her mouth with her hand to try and quiet her whimpers, but they soon turned into a low cry. Grasping for the peeled potato, Hannah pushed it between Marmee’s flushed lips as a gag.

“Breathe,” Hannah commanded. Marmee inhaled shakily. Hannah came closer and whispered, lips delicately touching in her lover’s ear, “open for me, my sweetest angel, let me inside!” and Marmee groaned, convulsed, letting the carrot in deep and covering it and those calloused hands with her lady juices. Pulling the vegetable out to admire the glistening dew embracing it, Hannah locked eyes with Marmee, tasted it, and slowly slid it back inside. She became a spouting geyser as she spent under Hannah’s administrations.

Marmee, quite worn out, slid from the counter which was soaked with her fluids. “Oh Hannah, whatever shall we do now?” She blushed. “I’ve managed to christen our dinner with my excitement!”

Hannah just grinned and kissed her. “Don’t you worry about that, marm. No one will notice a thing. Now you scurry off and get back to your knitting instead of watching me work!”

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy all exclaimed they had never tasted a stew so delicious and clamoured for Hannah’s secret. But Hannah just smiled and never said a word.

Categories: smut

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What I Mean When I Say Vulnerability is Strength

“What happens when people open their hearts?"
"They get better.”
― Haruki MurakamiNorwegian Wood

I am a fearful person. That's hard for many to believe, as I work hard projecting a facade of confidence. I recognize that people look to me for advice and guidance, and I take that seriously in my push to improve my understanding of myself. I spend a lot of time challenging my fears and doing things that scare me, so you might think I'm relaxed or maybe daring... but I am actually internally clenched tight like a fist.

Actually, a fist is a really good metaphor, because I feel like it was through fisting I learned to be vulnerable. There's something about having someone's hand slowly slipping, finger by finger, into an orifice that reminds me how people want deep intimacy so quickly, but it takes time, and patience, and a lot of lube. If you try to push yourself too far, too fast, you can potentially hurt and/or traumatize yourself, so taking it slow is important.

I'm really impatient at times so taking it slow is hard for me. I want to learn all the things, experience all the feels,  get over all my hangups and I want to do it all right now. I have a tattoo that says "evolve or die", and I believe that through and through. Still, sometimes it might do me some good to take a step back, acknowledge what I've done, and feel safe for a minute.  I'm bad at recognizing my triumphs!

Thinking on it, I suspect that at least part of my desire to work on self improvement comes from a place of wanting to no longer feel vulnerable in those particular ways. Things like jealousy, helplessness, heartbreak, these are vulnerable spaces and there's no doubt in my mind that I hope if I learn to get over these things I won't hurt so much or so easily anymore. I hate the relationship anxieties I've developed, like laser security systems of PTSD that I can so easily trip over and trigger a panic attack.

Now, though, I'm teaching myself that it's ok to be scared. Vulnerability isn't just about me apologizing or stopping myself from defensiveness or putting myself out there in my art or my writing. It's also admitting that I feel jealous, or that I miss someone who was terrible for me. Vulnerability is complicated and living in my heartspace is so hard. I feel, though, that as I sit with my feelings, the muscle of my heart gets stronger. My suicidal feelings become lessened, because I don't feel the need to escape from them so badly. I can tell my lovers when I am hurting and they are present.

I guess this is more for my sake than yours, dear readers. But I am glad to be learning that I don't need to do some emotional alchemy for every nagging thought, for every doubt. That rolling that feeling around, getting to know it, being vulnerable with it, and then letting it go is ok. That I am, in fact, safe. That people mostly don't want to hurt me. My heart is tender, it's true, but most of the people I have chosen to surround myself with cherish that tenderness.

When I was in my early 20s, I thought vulnerability was weakness, that it opened me up to pain. I put up what I thought was armor to keep others out, but instead were walls trapping me in, and that caused me more pain than anything else. This is all very new to me, but I'm finding myself trusting others more, and holding onto suffering less. And I'm less scared of suffering, now.

I'm writing this to remind myself- it's ok. Be gentle with yourself, but keep your heart open for the good and the bad. You don't have to walk into situations that hurt, but you also don't have to hide from pain.

Categories: advice, anxiety, communication, intimacy, personal, psychology

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Learning Compassion the Hard Way

I feel like I need to offer a content warning for turning lemons into lemonade, or seeing the positive side of things, or whatever. I'm not normally such a ray of sunshine and I don't want y'all to be surprised or shocked by my sudden optimism.

Last week, I came out and found my car had been vandalized. There was a tag scratched into the trunk, and one of the tires had been made flat. Another tire was missing all of its lug nuts, meaning the tire was about to fall off.  There was a gold necklace wound around my windshield wiper blade, too, which if I hadn't seen it might have led to me scratching up my windshield pretty badly. It was unsettling, especially as the car wasn't parked far from my house. Even more unsettling was finding the keys used to scratch the car in our driveway... and discovering that it was done in broad daylight, by an adult man.

I didn't call the cops, because I live in a neighborhood that's being gentrified and the police seem to take any opportunity to shoot black people. If I'm honest, I feel like this sort of push back is to be expected - Oakland is the second fastest in the US when it comes to rising rents, and it's affecting a lot of marginalized people. Gentrification is a form of systematic violence, and I totally acknowledge that as a white cis person I contribute to that by having the access to pay even a bit more. I still felt pretty shaken, even if I understood the sentiment.

Today, I had to take my car in because one of my tires ended up being totally flat yesterday (even after AAA fixed it). When I went in, I discovered that all of my tires were rotting and close to falling apart! Had that guy not tried to take that damn tire off, I might not have realized how dire the situation was until I was driving on a freeway and a tire just exploded on me.  I'm supposed to go to Fort Bragg this upcoming weekend, and having my tires blow up on the way would be an incredibly stressful addition to the trip.

It was definitely one of those moments where I realized that sometimes super shitty things happen but they have an upside that you might be even more grateful for.  I know, kumbaya, right, but I think maybe I'm moving to a better space where it's easier for me to sit with difficult situations. I'm learning how to say "I'm scared or hurt and it sucks, how am I going to care for myself" rather than "how am I going to fight back" and that's a major lesson for me.

It was generally a difficult weekend filled with hard realizations and personal processing, but I'm trying to remind myself that these moments of intensity lead to better things- better relationships, better communication, better understanding of myself, better self care. Processing is one of my least favourite things to do but god, do I love the rewards of trust and intimacy when I do it. The vulnerability is scary each time and it's hard not to want to run away and withdraw or to lash out rather than say how I'm feeling openly and with love. Loving kindness is hard fucking work, but if I am to believe that people genuinely want to do better and not hurt each other, which I think generally is true, then even when I sometimes run up against people who are just assholes I can try to feel compassion rather than anger. It's definitely improved my relationships... even if I still want to overapologize for my emotional honesty.

"We're all wounded animals" is something I remind myself of a lot when I want to take a deep breath and feel loving kindness rather than irritation at someone's behaviour.  It's a hard thing to practice and I absolutely don't get it right all the time! But I'm glad to be moving towards a place of patience rather than constant fury. I just don't have the energy to hate more than about 5 people at any given time.  I still hold that anger is a super important and needed aspect to social justice and change, and I'll still use it as such. But I want it to be a reaction I choose, rather than my default. Iwant to direct that anger energy to punching up, not down.

Categories: activism, best of, communication, love, personal

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Info on the FemmeSpiration project!

So if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you might know that this weekend I had my first gallery opening last night!

SideQuest Gallery in Oakland is doing a Femme 4Ever show for the next month, and I was asked to be a part of it. I'm still fresh to photographing people, but I really wanting to use this as an opportunity to remind folks that femme is more than white, cis, curvy women, but a huge variety of folks. I also contributed to a femme zine by Sonya Mann which you can see here.

Many of my femme inspirations when I was young weren't white cis women, but androgynous dandies, genderfucking men, and people playing with drag in different ways. Yet I feel a lot of femme representation I've come across (anywhere except tumblr) can be pretty narrow. While masculinity seems to be fine for people to play with, femmeness is still kind of pushed aside, scorned, made fun of and made invisible.

I had hoped for it to be a 12 image project initially with femmes I adore like Mattie Brice, Toni Rocca, Virgie Tovar, Jetta Rae, and Cinnamon Maxxine, but it was a busy couple of months and hard to schedule. I still have my fingers crossed though, and I'm so grateful to the models I did get to photograph so far for sharing of themselves and their time! Once I've expanded this, my hope is to show it as a collection again, maybe even at the same gallery.

Each photo is displayed with a written statement from the model about what femme means to them. You can see the images and the statements at the end of this post.

The framed images are for sale and will be available for pickup after May 11th, when the show is over. They're $60 each - $12 goes to the gallery, $12 goes to me to cover the frames/printing, and the rest goes to the models as a thank you for their initially unpaid labour (they also got all the images from the shoot for their use). 8X10 signed prints will also be available for $10 each plus shipping and handling.

If you're interested in a framed image, please contact SideQuest Gallery at sidequestgallery@gmail.com.

Want a print? Email me at miss.kitty.stryker@gmail.com.

Are you femme identified, in the Bay, and want to be a part of this project? Also feel free to email me at the above address!

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Categories: activism, art, best of, community, definitions, don't tell me how to live, femme, identity, personal, photos, queer