Trigger warning for sexy bits:

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Bird song, bus motor, traffic.

What am I to do? Everything I taste reminds me of your cunt.

Phantom scent that catches me around a corner, imagining your press into me as I lean against a wall.

I hear you in my ears,

husky whispering dirty while you touch me, crying out as you come.

–When the only sound is bird song, bus motor, traffic:

dust, settling in the heat.

-RD

 

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“It’s like my queerness didn’t work right until I transitioned–I had all these relationships with women that fell flat, missed the mark, were utter and unforgivable disasters–and the only common denominator was me.”

“but you like women, though?”

“I *love* women. But I couldn’t have functional relationships with them, they were too raw, too dense, too much hurt with not enough honesty.”

“…“

“every other woman that I fell for turned up straight anyways–and that says something right there, too. It was like they didn’t see me. But maybe I didn’t fully see myself, either.”

“…cis men, tho. I just can’t–”

“oh, I know. Me too, now. It was easier, tho. It felt like the fit was at least a bit closer. I was still always devouring queer lit and culture. But I had to transition to truly find my place as a queer person, that helix-universe-glittercloud.”

trigger warning for BDSM, sex. take care of yourself!

 

I dreamt about you this morning. Up until recently, you were the kindest man in my life. You are doe-eyed blue, or were, and I imagine you still this way—tangled in rope, clothes cut to ribbons, skin flushed and belly arched to late afternoon. What love I had for you, and have for you still. Not a staying kind of love, as time has revealed. A ravishing love, an appreciation of your great healing powers, your gentleness, your virtuousness. It surprised me that you were angry when I broke your heart. You weathered so many of my storms that year, early 20s piss-drunk and punching concrete, talking about suicide though my whole life was ahead of me, is still ahead of me, tho I feel the ways are closing in.

Sometimes the way that I moved on and away from you makes me feel guilty, like I sucked dry from you what I needed and cast off the rest. You were a nurturer, a nourisher. Then I think of my own hands, the way  they pulled and taught your flesh, broken open to make it more whole, and I remember that I too am nurturer, nourisher, my hands those blades of the tiller that make planting possible.

I like best this thing: breaking open bodies to connection after long dry spells, letting them back to the sexual self, hand in hand from the far-off dissociation of despair and isolation. I feel like I need someone to do this for me now, and there is no-one I can trust enough with this most precious thing.

Up here, I have these mental polaroids of the things we did together, the rites I enacted with you, worship of your benign athletic flesh. You submitted to me, and it was a grace.

yes please!

09/04/2012

via here. the only things i have to add are: leave room for yes and for no. and ask. and look for the answer. and let yourself say yes and no, too.

When sex becomes a production or performance that is when it loses its value.

Be mutual. Be loud. Be clumsy.

Make noises, be quiet, and make a mess.

Bite, scratch, push, pull, hold, thrust.

Remove pressure from the moment. Love the moment. Embrace it.

Enjoy your body; enjoy your partners’ body.

Produce sweat, be natural, entice your senses, give into pleasure.

Bump heads, miss when you kiss, laugh when it happens.

Speak words, speak with your body, speak to their soul.

Touch their skin, kiss their goose bumps, and play with their hair.

Scream, beg, whimper, sigh, let your toes curl, lose yourself.

Chase your breath; keep the lights on, watch their eyes when they explode.

Forget worrying about extra skin, sizes of parts and things that are meaningless.

Save the expectations, take each second as it comes.

Smear your make up, mess up your hair, rid your masculinity, and lose your ego.

Detonate together, collapse together, and melt into each other.

 

cut-off jeans

07/03/2012

My body is dangerous. My cunt could snap shut at any moment like a guillotine and take your four fingers off at the knuckle, without warning. All i’d have to say for myself would be a giggle, a burp and a whistle scoped thru my open hands. Holler back, what?

I like the work required to attain my orgasms, when we do it like this. It requires me to make myself a little bit vulnerable, even, to fit you to me. There’s always that directorial aspect–yesyesyes, up, deeper, come on. RIGHT THERE, right there, right there. Don’t stop.

No really, don’t stop. There’s more coming. And you may have to switch hands to get to it, I know. But truly, I do not give a fuck if your wrist is sore in the morning–I want all of it tonite. No, scratch that because it’s already morning, and I want my eggs scrambled, but not fertilized–I want to imagine your fist jostling my ovaries with spasms of pleasure.

oh OH OH OH FUCK! There is a well that springs when i least expect it, soaking to the crotch of my bicycle saddle and revealing that I am indeed, freshly fucked, and that the pleasure is fine. all mine. Bruised perineum, beestung lips, rosy cheeks, slippery thighs, cut-off jeans.

I am not ashamed, couldn’t even be shamed if I tried–just this once, twice, moremoremore.

Trigger warning for slutshaming and radscum. ’nuff said!

Recently I volunteered to perform at a Take Back the Night rally. A friend had invited me to a feminist book club that also includes an online presence on Facebook, and someone associated with TBTN had put up a call for performers. I’ve been thinking for a few years about wanting to create space specifically for survivors of violence to share our stories and let go of some of the shame that (for me, at least) sometimes accompanies surviving violence, and so I responded to the call with a few pieces. One of the organizers responded enthusiastically and said they’d be glad to have me perform, and gosh, it was really useful to have my pieces ahead of time for the ASL interpreters. ASL interpreters! I have been performing as a hearing person for over 10 years at this point, and I have never performed with an ASL interpreter, so I was excited by the chance.

Take Back the Night has its roots in the mid-1970s second wave feminist movement, as a direct action protest against sexual violence against women. At the same time that these actions were taking place, a woman-led effort to do away with pornography was also taking hold and became closely linked with TBTN. The era of the so-called Feminist Sex Wars is of particular interest to me as a feminist, a pervert*, and a trans person. Several of my favorite writers (Dorothy Allison, Gayle Rubin, and Pat Califia among them) have written fairly extensively about this era and the various witch hunts that ensued, from the exclusion of masculine-identified people from the women’s movement (Leslie Feinburg writes about this in Stone Butch Blues) to the rise of a pro-censorship and anti-pornography faction called Women Against Pornography (WAP), the vilification of the practice of BDSM and beyond.

To be honest with you, I knew all of this history when I volunteered to perform at the rally. But I also thought to myself, “RD, it’s 2012! We’re in [liberal West Coast port city]! We’re known for our sex-positivity! Besides, this rally is supposed to be about survivors, not about political analysis.” Well. I guess I was wrong.

The first speaker to take the mic was the college president, who seemed genuinely glad to be there and said that he “look[s] forward to the day we no longer have to have these rallies, because there is no more violence!” Unrealistic, maybe, but okay. Hopeful. I like hopeful.

Pass the mic, next speaker. My blood ran cold when they said that they were with WAP. It is 2012, right? I found myself frantically checking my wrist and looking around me to see if I was having a nightmare as the tirade was launched. The speech was fairly long and it felt a bit flailing, to be honest, but it certainly riled up the crowd. The first piece of rhetoric that I can recall was “If you can’t imagine pornography without sex, you’re fucked!” My friend W., who was also present, tells me that she noticed people wandering the room beforehand with stickers with the same troubling quotation on it, but I didn’t see or hear it until that moment. What?! As if fucked is the worst thing we could be? I like getting fucked. And I bet I’m not the only one in the audience who does. Next up was the tokenization of queers. The speaker continued, repeatedly checking “LGBT people,” seemingly without actually understanding that hey, we’re right over here, and we can speak for ourselves! It’s hard sometimes when being tokenized to not stand up and start yelling You don’t speak for me! in one’s big voice, but I held my ground. And then they came for the kinky ones, and began deriding “torture porn,” and spoke of being in tears upon seeing the bruises on models’ bodies. As an occasional sex worker and a person who likes bruises, likes bruising others–after all, it is the consent that makes all the difference, this was the last straw. I got up and left in an absolute quaking rage.

I don’t disagree that a significant amount of pornography is exploitive and symptomatic of a violent, misogynist society (not to mention racist, sexist, ableist, etc…class, we remember the terms kyriarchy and kyriarchical, right?) , but it’s just that, a symptom. Trying to do away with a symptom without getting to the root of the illness is simplistic, foolish, and likely to do more harm than good (Comstock Act, anyone?). I felt like the speaker was denying people their agency while making sweeping generalizations about “men” and “women” as somehow homogeneous groups, with men playing the part of the aggressor and women playing the part of the victim. This tactic denies peoples’ agency and erases people who live outside that binarism, and that’s just to start with. W. talks much more about why the arguments used were problematic here.

Overall, I was incredibly frustrated and disgusted. I spent a large portion of the day thinking about and discussing this happening with various friends who frequently act as support to me. I had really hoped to share part of my story as a survivor with others as a part of the healing process of removing shame from those experiences by bringing some of mine out into the open, telling our truths in a safe place, but it turns out the safe place was anything but safe.

Did I deserve to be sexually assaulted if I had had kinky sex with my abuser? Did my father assault me because he could see my perversion before even I knew about it? Are my experiences with violence still important/valid as a masculine-identified person? There are a lot of victim-blaming and slut-shaming narratives that start pounding in my temples when I’m feeling shitty, and I didn’t really need to hear those again. I’ve spent a lot of time in therapy and a lot of time doing personal healing work for myself to put those questions down like an insurrection, so to speak. I know the answers to them now. But this event made them pop up and it’s gonna feel like whack-a-mole for a few days with the bad brain voice, I think. Ugh.

Anyhow. I think I’d like to organize a speak-out about sexual violence. No politicking about banning pornography or slutshaming about sexual preference allowed. It’s the consent makes all the difference.

ps. this was pretty much all I could think all day: 1982 called and it wants its shitty second-wave analysis back. just sayin’!

yeh, it’ll probably make you cry, too:

On my fourth date with Andrew, the confessional moment came between sips of red wine and the casual, cautious touching of my elbow. We were two people trying each other on for size, and the fact that I’d written an essay about my deformed body didn’t automatically mean I don’t fit. Andrew couldn’t have known what it felt like to hear a man say he’d read my essay and see him stay — and not only stay, but ask me out again. For me, he was the antidote to the trauma of Ely. Dating is traumatic enough without worrying that your date will lash out at you for disappointing him. To have my body taken off the table as a deal breaker was an unspeakably amazing thing. It meant that if Andrew and I don’t end up together, it won’t be because I’m not perfect but because we have no chemistry or I don’t know enough about art or he doesn’t get my sense of humor or because it just doesn’t. It will be for any of the reasons people sometimes just don’t work out. And that matters. For me it matters the absolute most.

from here.

the stalled van

05/16/2012

free-write about sex, PTSD, relationships.

this morning i watched a minivan stall in the middle of a busy arterial at rush hour after stopping abruptly to avoid a cyclist riding thru a crosswalk. i feel like this a lot lately, the stalled van in rush hour traffic.

P. is hard to bring into front and center focus sometimes, instead he installs himself at the sides of rooms, a tall, quite presence, warm and now almost-familiar shape. i am not so good at being present in those rooms. i find myself made nervous by his calm quietude, like i should be doing something every minute we spend together to appease him, or else i will be a disappointment to the date we have been looking forwards to for a week or few. my anxiety feels misplaced most of the time. if i slow down to look at him he nearly always looks pleased simply to be sharing my company. he is a person of few words, but physically fairly expressive, particularly of pleasure.

on our most recent date we met in the late afternoon. ordinarily i attempt not to stack dates on top of one another, but sometimes schedules collude against this guideline (i frequently don’t see either of my steadies for a couple of weeks) and so i had a date with J. the night before. when i fail to stagger my dates i have to make at least a few hours somewhere to decompress, balance NRE (New Relationship Energy for you more monogamish folks) and my own needs (cooking, cleaning, practicing, writing, etc) against the staidness of P and i’s longer term sexual friendship. we are lovers but not partners. he is married to his partner of around a decade, and sometimes we double date with her and her other lover(s). our dalliances often involve bikes, the passion we most have in common (tho nearby are combining these exploits with good food and beer), although when my inflammation stuff precludes cycling we fall back on quiet working-on-stuff/reading time. i hate thinking of how many dates i’ve had to cancel or plans altered to accommodate my sick body and overwrought brain: stress-cold after stress-cold, bouts of inflammation brought on by continual overextension and anxiety, trips i have missed to cope with self-blame and grief. often now, i stutter and stop at any kind of sexual encounter, even kissing, especially when i can feel his eagerness immediately–suddenly i will realize i can’t feel anything below my waist, or uncertain of whether i will be able to have sex ‘to completion’ this time (what does that even mean?!), or my body hurts too much to be in it but i get so embarrassed of having to say that aloud–especially after i’ve had to reschedule and re-plan dates for weeks to even make it in the same room as him physically. my desire is doused by my inability to exist in the same room as P., faithful and kind creature who seems to only want the best for all parties, swallows his disappointment over and over again, even when i imagine it must vex his patience.

i am a van stuck in the middle of an intersection, stalled just before slamming into a cyclist. the cyclist waves me on but my hands are shaking too much to turn the key in the ignition properly, the engine sputters and sputters before finally spluttering to life. i roll on, disappointed at being given so much that i can not take. it’s like being starving at a banquet but with one’s jaw wired shut. i know he’d touch me, if i could tell him how. has. he has. will again? that’s the question, always, not just with him but anyone i date.

okay, but. so i have this plan: the next time the van stalls in the middle of the intersection, i’m gonna get out of the van and take a walk around the block. i don’t need to get thru that intersection until i’m ready, and it’s okay to take another route entirely. my sexuality is not really beholden to anyone, no matter how fucking tolerant they have been of my trauma shit and other quirks. my gender socialization is such that i am like the fight-or-flight hostess, constantly hustling to immediately alleviate conflicts where other peoples’ needs aren’t being met. but i lose track of my own.

what do i want? what do i need? simple questions, but i don’t trust anyone anymore, don’t trust myself. will i ever stop chastising myself for the way things ended with A.? will i ever stop being angry? not at her–just at what happened, how. shit with the manarchist, leaving ~e (goddammit, that was two fucking years ago!), so on. it’s like there’s a backlog of processing, and now all these new things are happening. and i’m tired of being strung out on processing relationships–i want to do the work of my life, writing, playing music, go back to school without getting distracted by emotional turbulence. i keep thinking that maybe polyamory is too much for me, especially the way i’ve done it in the past. no new dates policy is painful at times, but it also feels so fucking wise. i like the way that the relationships i’m in right now are taking shape. furthermore, i like the way that my friendships are deepening, as well.

i guess i need to take more walks, to start with. HORFFF.

trigger warning for transphobia and racism, both external/internalized, as well as some mention of sexual assault/rape/shitty community responses to harm.
let me tell you this: i fucking hate talking with cis people about gender some times. i hate having to bring it up. i hate having to say ‘actually, i’m going by this name now,’ or explain what i mean when i correct someone about pronouns. when i correct a cisgendered friend/acquaintance about pronoun useage, it’s often not even in relation to myself, but in relation to other trans/genderqueer folx. i hate having to go ‘it’s okay’ when someone fucks up. i hate having to swallow it when someone excuses their actions and uses a transperson’s previous name to excuse it (like: “well, i’ve known them since they were ___, it’s hard for me.” REALLY?).
i love and hate getting tokenized, getting called out for certain discussions about gender and pronouns on…yes, Facebook. i feel like the token mixed race trans/genderqueer person for some of my old friends, and sometimes it’s okay but sometimes it gets tiring. Y’ALL I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF. most people get that, i think?
i hate that R, a person i used to regard like a brother still refuses to use my preferred pronouns and regularly calls me by the wrong name, and that i only feel brave enough to call him out when i’ve had a beer or two. last time i called him out i just left after he said “i’ve just been waiting for you to decide.” what?! preferences are allowed to change, yo, but also–i decided years ago about pronouns, dude. fucking get with it or get out of my life.
i hate that that doesn’t even feel possible, because i’d have to not attend things (like brunch at W/S’s, the neighborhood bar we both frequent, etc) in order to avoid him. and he’s friends with many of my friends now, in part because i introduced him to those people, including my former partner. i suppose he is an easier friend to have and to keep–i expect accountability from my friendships and other relationships, which seems to be a continual breaking point of late.
i hate postulating if my cisgendered sweetheart of 6+ months has not introduced me to his family (who he is incredibly close to) because of my gender presentation or because it is painful/hard/stressful/etc enough that his father is approaching the end of his life. i hate imagining in my head how to talk to him about it, how to ask–is it selfish to want to meet the people who raised the person you adore? i want to offer to fly under the radar in that situation, but i also know how i look–i may pass for cis sometimes, but i sure don’t pass for “not queer,” have never been able to.
i hate that the only people i’ve seen/heard talking about Cece Mcdonald are other trans/genderqueer/queer people. i hate feeling like i should be talking more about her plight and the plight of other transwomen of color in the PIC, in the streets, and not feeling like i have the words, and feeling like i should, should, should. i feel like living in the position of privilege that i do, it is my responsibility to speak out and talk about how this stuff happens every day (because it does, and it is so fucking messed up), but i am still formulating how to talk about it. can this picture (I DARE YOU NOT TO CRY) be the start**?
i hate the way that i get itchy when a fellow rad feminist/fellow latin@ who i respect/admire is talking about how “we need solidarity with other women” and includes me in her broad gesture, calls me by the wrong pronouns. it feels as if me being honest and open about my gender identity is being forced as one that somehow undermines my feminism. it doesn’t, no matter how many times i worry (hey internalized shit!) that it does.i hate that i didn’t speak up. i hate that i didn’t speak up.
i hate the way that i feel beholden to lovers who have been able to “see” and understand (sometimes) my gender. i hate the compromises i have made at times in order to be with people with whom i did not feel invisible or washed over. i hate the parts of my identity that i let them make invisible or made invisible in order to be with them.
i hate having to use a different name at work, it feels schizophrenic and i am constantly terrified i will use the wrong name for myself, or that my co-worker who is friends with another (trans) friend of mine will ask me about name/gender stuff, either when we are alone or in front of someone. i hate worrying about trying to get a job using my preferred name.
i hate worrying about being policed by cis/trans people for “not being trans enough” in some way–clothes, behaviors, transition choices, “outness”, “passing”, etc.
i hate binding. i hate the awkwardness of struggling in and out of my binder. i hate that it is the most comfortable i have felt with my body since i…i can not remember when.
i hate being terrified that if i choose some type of medical transition (if i can even find a way to access that…?) that my lover will be too alienated to continue dating me.
i hate being scared that if i continue my transition i will lose more friends. i am so scared i will lose my mother, who is my only parent, and the only bio-family member i really keep in touch with, or know at all, these days.
i hate being scared i will turn out to be like my father, or that i already am.
i hate that if i decide to become a parent, my child(ren) could be taken away from me by the state because of my gender/sexuality.
i hate that some of my white friends make light of my chosen name (it’s spanish) because they think anything mexican/other-than-white is hilarious, for some inexplicable reason. i hate not being comfortable enough to speak up about this.
i hate that (most of) my white friends can not pronounce my name correctly and that i have to shorten it or anglicize it. i hate that i anglicize it even when i’m talking to other spanish speakers, because being mixed race with passing privilege makes me feel like i will get accused of “not being Mexican enough” to use my own fucking name. i hate that even ___ feels too assimilated, “not brown enough.” i hate my longing for other latin@s, as if there were some sameness about us all (das racist!) or something. i hate not feeling like i can touch that stuff because my family is so far away and because my experience is as a pretty assimilated latin@. i hate that even if i did find my bio-family they might not accept me because of my gender/queerness.
i hate feeling like i have so much internalized misogyny that it’s may be a long time before i can date women again.
i hate feeling erased when i date cis-dudes. i hate the way they are so unaware of their fucking privilege. i hate being slutshamed. i hate having to rebuild my life/sexuality/ideas of consent after being assaulted–again. i hate that i have survived more than one sexual assault, and that no one can ever guarantee me i will not be raped/assaulted again, and that the odds are in favor that it will happen again. i hate that i had some of the best sex i have ever had with the person who assaulted me. i hate that asking for what i want makes me feel so vulnerable that i rarely (esp. these days) feel comfortable asking for what i need to get me off fully, if ever. or can even get to that place, mentally/physically/emotionally, so that it’s even possible.
i hate that i question my own identity, that i am trans as a result of my trauma history, that i have internalized femaleness = unsafeness so hard that i have decided i am not. smells like bullshit to me.
i hate that ~e has not called me back or given any indication that he received my message–it feels like he is choosing to side with the person who assaulted me, and it is fucking unbelievable…but i guess i should get used to it? i feel like my friendships have fractured to “before the assault” and “after the assault”. i used to think i had so much support, but actually starting to ask for support after that giving that devastating survivor support workshop earlier this year (which made me realize how much i had needed and not asked for/received/etc) has also forced me to come to terms with how false that is. people care, but they don’t know how to support or they can’t because they receive so little support for their shit. dammit.
i hate the way that these things make my stomach hurt and my back/shoulders ache. i hate the way that i feel like crying or pounding my fists, but i’m at work and can’t do any of those things.

i hate not feeling like there is anyone i can talk to* because i know everyone else is dealing with stuff like this or other stuff.
i hate being silent, but i feel like words are not enough.

*there are people i can talk to, i guess? but all our plates=SO FULL right now, and not necessarily in groovy ways.

**OH, DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO CECE IS? do your reading, class: http://supportcece.wordpress.com/

signal boosting

05/03/2012

excerpt from How to make love to a Trans Person, by Gabe Moses

Get rid of the old words altogether.
Make up new words.
Call it a click or a ditto.
Call it the sound he makes
When you brush your hand against it through his jeans,
When you can hear his heart knocking on the back of his teeth
And every cell in his body is breathing.
Make the arch of her back a language
Name the hollows of each of her vertebrae
When they catch pools of sweat
Like rainwater in a row of paper cups
Align your teeth with this alphabet of her spine
So every word is weighted with the salt of her.

read the rest here.