taiWelcome! I’m Tai Scarlet Kulystin, the creatrix of Purveyor of Pleasure. I am a somatic sexuality educator, occultist, professional harlot, and gender & relationships coach. This blog is my personal exploration of gender, sexuality, spirituality, kink, and the pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

I identify as a queer fat genderqueer polyamorous switch and my pronouns are they/them or any neutral pronouns. I spend a lot of my time studying sacred sexuality, sacred kink, relationships, the body, queer theory, depth psychology, archetypes, mythology, erotic neurobiology, sexological bodywork, and so much more. I'm in a long-term live-in relationship with my partner Onyx, and I also have a few other relationships and lovers.
Read more about this site & me→



Femme Galaxy

In 2008 I started a femme-focused group blog. I wasn’t new to the world of blogging, but I was definitely new to blogging as a community. I’ve learned a lot since then, although I will be the first to admit I still have a lot to go, and at the beginning of the month I did a little bit of remodeling. What was once The Femme’s Guide is now Femme Galaxy, with a brand new name, new theme, some new writers on the way, and a few new post series ideas in the works it is almost like a whole new site. Almost.

The biggest thing that hasn’t changed is the focus: femmes and femmeininity. I always wanted it to be a community-focused site, but I wasn’t always aware of how to get that. Couple that with my own fluctuations with the identity of femme and my own gender confusion for the last few years and my motivation to work on the site went way downhill. For more on the low-down of why I changed the name and the things I hope to do with it check out the post I made when I officially re-launched the site and changed the name.

Explorations in Gender: Busting Out of the Box

On March 24th from 7-10pm I will be teaching my first public workshop. The title of the workshop is the title of this post, and I’m pretty damn excited about this. It’s being put on as part of the Living Love Revolution salon & workshop series run by the same woman as the Aphrodite Temple.

Here is the description:

Explorations in Gender: Busting Out of the Box
A Living Love Revolution Workshop with Scarlet Lotus
Gender isn’t limited to two categories but is a swirling galaxy of expressions and identities that is vast and individualistic, which also means it can be confusing. Join Gender Studies graduate Scarlet Lotus for a night of exploration and learning designed for people of all gender expressions and identities. It doesn’t matter if you have been transgressing gender norms for years or if you are comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth, either way there will be something here for you as long as you are interested in what gender is all about. We will explore new concepts of gender, go over terminology from the basic to the complex, talk about pronouns and how to approach people of non-normative genders, and learn tricks and tips for playing with our own gender in a way that is comfortable for us as individuals. We all have a gender, so why not learn to explore it!

If you are in Seattle and want to come down it is at the Sharma Center. No RSVP needed, but you can contact me for further information. I would love it if you would spread the word about this! Here are the social networking event pages: Facebook Event and FetLife Event.

Ever Changing

My life seems to be shifting in new directions all over the place, and with that comes the need for change in other areas. I have far too many things on my docket and I’ve mentioned before about needing to get organized, unfortunately I can’t seem to do that. It’s a common scenario, and I can blame the last week of non-accomplishment on my mother visiting and doing things with her, but even before that I wasn’t getting everything done that I wanted to.

It would be less of a big deal if I didn’t actually want to change. I’m trying to learn to focus with joy but I seem to not be prioritizing the way I would like to be. How does one get on top of this sort of thing?

On the flip side, I’m thinking about a new name for this blog. Something more androgynous, maybe, or something less identity based. I kind of like the idea of going back to The Feminist Fucktoy, except I’m having some weird feelings about the term feminist lately, mostly it’s connotations. While I think it’s important to reclaim a word I also don’t like the things carried out in the name of feminism that seem overtly non-feminist (in the way I understand it). There’s a longer post in there somewhere, and one I plan on writing… eventually.

What does that mean? The header might change, I might add another URL to the long list of ones that point to this blog, you’ll still be able to find me. My RSS feed will be the same. I just don’t know what I want to change it to. Cuntpet also has it’s draws, not to mention the added bonus of already having the domain, but I’m also currently and often in the mood to have someone call me Daddy, so that would be too limiting and narrow of a title. I want something that is all of me while also being flexible enough to incorporate new aspects as they develop, is that too much to ask? Well, yes.

In other words, don’t be surprised if you come to this blog one day only to discover it has moved to another domain, another phase in the blog complete, shifting in a new-yet-still-the-same direction, letting this blog evolve as I do. In some ways I’m tempted to start over, something new and different, shed this persona that is not separated from me in any way and do something more anonymous, more free. In others, I embrace the brand I’ve built up around myself and want to continue it. I just need a new phrase for this period.

04.14

2009

Sex 2.0 Conference – I'm Coming!

sex20

I’m so very excited! All the stars have aligned to send me to my very first sex-oriented conference Sex 2.0 which is all about “the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality.” I had enough mileage for a plane ticket to New York City where I will be staying with one of my sisters (both of whom live there).

Now I’m sure you’re going “wait, the image above says it’s in D.C. not NYC, what’s going on here?” or you’re not, but I’m going to address that question anyway: it was just way easier to get a flight to NYC than one to D.C. plus it means my trip can be longer than just a couple days so that I can hang out in NYC!

I’m flying over on the red-eye May 5th and arrive in NYC Wednesday May 6th around 7am. Then I have time in NYC until Friday at 10:30 when I’m bussing over with the amazing Mollena, the fabulous Essin’ Em and whoever else makes it onto the Friday NYC to D.C. sexbus! It’s going to be a blast!

Then, the conference, I’ll be staying in a hotel room with Domina Doll who I absolutely love and am very excited to be meeting for the first time! I’m meeting pretty much everyone going for the first time since this is my first conference, so I’m super excited. There will be lots of fun to be had on the 9th (Saturday) but also the night before, Saturday night, and Sunday morning. I’ll be tweeting while at the conference, no doubt, and posting about it once I return as well (or maybe on the bus back as it does have wifi), so look forward to that!

Once the conference stuff slows down I’ll be heading back to NYC on Sunday night to stay with my sister again, then I hope to make my way up to see my lovey Kat (also Kat of Kat and glen who Onyx and I went to England with last May) and Carnivalesq who live not too far away from each other. I’m not sure how or exactly when I’m going to do this yet, but I want to. I fly back home to Seattle on Wednesday.

It’ll be the first time that Onyx and I have really been apart since well before we moved, so it will be interesting in that respect as well. I’m going to have a lot to do so I’ll probably be able to stay busy enough to not think about it too much, but I’m sure we’ll miss each other terribly.

Who else is coming at to Sex 2.0? Any of you in NYC and want to meet up for coffee/drinks/whatnot while I’m there?

More About Sex 2.0

From the website:
Sex 2.0 will focus on the intersection of social media, feminism, and sexuality. How is social media enabling people to learn, grow, and connect sexually? How is sexual expression tied to social activism? Does the concept of transparency online offer new opportunities or present new roadblocks — or both? These questions, and many more, will be addressed within a safe, welcoming, sex-positive space.

You can still get a ticket at the discounted rate of $30 until April 16th, then it goes up to $40. They also may have some scholarships available for those poor folks like me.

For more information:
Sex 2.0 website
Google Group

The Sex 2.0 Google Group is where all the discussion and organizing of the event (and the events before and after) is happening.

For a great compilation of links regarding last year’s Sex 2.0 check out this post on Viviane’s Sex Carnival

Visible: A Femmethology – Virtual Tour Day

Cross-posted on The Femme’s Guide here.

Femme–an identity that has caused controversy, celebration and ridicule–is now the topic of a two-volume set from Homofactus Press and editor Jennifer Clare Burke titled Visible: A Femmethology. Femmethology calls the LGBTQI community on its own prejudice and celebrates the diversity of individual femmes. Award-winning authors, spoken-word artists, and totally new voices come together to challenge conventional ideas of how disability, class, nationality, race, aesthetics, sexual orientation, gender identity and body type intersect with each contributor’s concrete notion of femmedom. - from femmethology.com

This month of April marks something I’ve been waiting for quite some time: the Femmethology virtual blog tour! Today is lucky enough to be my day, and so I’m sharing some of my feelings and insights related to the Femmethology. Visit Daphne Gottlieb tomorrow for her day, and all the sites at the bottom of the post on their days.

First, a little about the Femmethology:
Visible: A Femmethology

Femmethology is essential—a roadmap of Femme Nation, an index, an anthropology, a manifesto, and a googleology. – Dorothy Allison

Visible: a Femmethology is a two-volume anthology of essays revolving around femme identity.

I’ve been discovering and embracing my multigendered identity lately, but in that multigendered identity there is a solidly femme identity as well, which these books helped me remember.

Not that I had forgotten my femme identity, I just had been focusing more consciously on my fagette identity than my femme because it was new and in a way easier to focus on because it’s more visible (though only slightly). The identities in no way are opposites, they are complimentary, but they are also different. Reading through the Femmethology in a way re-connected me with my femme identity.

The biggest benefit of the Femmethology, in my opinion, is that it helps remind us that we are not alone as femmes. While some of us have many femme friends and a wonderful support system the rest of us do not and we have to navigate the world without much reassurance and reminders that there are so many of us out there feeling the same things. This is one of the reasons I started The Femme’s Guide in the first place, to emphasize that there are many of us out there, and while we’re all different we are also all the same.

I was moved many times throughout the two volumes. There were authors I knew well or moderately well, from various avenues such as Sinclair Sexsmith, Sassafras Lowrey, and Tara Hardy. There were many other authors that I didn’t know anything about, but I was able to get to know something about them through their stories.

Many stories touched me to the core, rocked me, and left me dazed and contemplating my own stories and my own identities.

I feel that Visible: A Femmethology is not just a book or anthology meant to be read, though it certainly is that as well, it’s also a look into each of these femme’s lives and voices, an adventure into different types of femme-ininity and different experiences that all somehow are similar because of this identity we all embrace and inhabit. It shows the vastness of femme while also showing what unites us.

It screamed “you are not alone” to me right when I needed it.

From the Introduction to the anthology: “Femme means I won’t compromise on complexity. … Above all, my femme is not your femme, which is the good news. … Femme means my sexuality, my partner choices, my definitions and my gender presentation might not match your labels.”

You can order Volume 1 and Volume 2 through the fabulous Homofactus Press.

You can also hear Sinclair Sexsmith reading his Love Letter to Femmes!

Check out the blogs below on the associated dates to learn more about the Femmethology volumes:
4/1. Sugarbutch Chronicles
4/2. Ellie Lumpesse
4/3. Queer-o-mat
4/4. CyDy Blog
4/6. Catalina Loves
4/7. cross-post: The Femme’s Guide and Femme Fagette
4/8. Daphne Gottlieb
4/9. Bilerico Project
4/10. Screaming Lemur: Femme-inism and Other Things
4/13. The Femme Hinterland
4/14. Bochinche Bilingüe: Borderlands Writing and The Vagina Adventures
4/15. Dorothy Surrenders
4/16. Miss Avarice Speaks Her Mind
4/17. The Femme Show
4/19. Sexuality Happens
4/20. Queer Fat Femme
4/21. Sublimefemme Unbound
4/22. Tina-cious.com and Jess I Am (butch-femme couple day!)
4/23. FemmeIsMyGender
4/24. The Lesbian Lifestyle
4/25. Femme Fluff
4/26. Weldable Cookies
4/27. The Verbosery
4/28. A Consuming Desire and Creative Xicana
4/29. Queercents
4/30. en|Gender

11.11

2008

A Guilty Pleasure: 50s and 60s (Sexist) Movies


Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face

I have a secret (or not so secret?) love of old 50s and 60s movies with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, and so on. As much as I adore genderfucky practice there is something so lovely about watching Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire sing and dance in fabulous clothing (which happens to be what is on the television as I write this), or any of the various other very hetero very gender normative pairings that are mainstream movies from that era.

Why are some of my ‘comfort movies’ classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? With winning exchanges like “I can be smart when I want to, but most men don’t like it, except Gus.” “No, that much of a fool he isn’t.”

Granted, there are a few gender bending movies like Some Like It Hot and strong female characters in other movies as well, though inevitably they always end up wrong somehow and the men end up right. In Some Like It Hot there are some wonderfully amusing and genderfucking moments, though they happen on the part of Daphne/Gerald who is willing to dress up as a woman from the beginning, unlike Joe/sephine who only agrees to it after they witness a mob mass-murder.

Though I didn’t used to when I was younger, I now recognize the inherent sexism within most of these films, and instead of being upset about it I shrug and think “that’s the way it was.” I think that is necessary in some ways, however, since there’s no use getting mad over something that happened 50 years ago, and if the same themes or lines were in movies today I would definitely be upset about it. However, my complacency about the sexism and stereotypes portrayed is a little disturbing to me all the same.

Is my recognizing the inherent sexism the most important part of the equation? I can’t help but love movies from that era, partially because they have been my comfort movies for over ten years. It’s always nice to watch a movie with a happy ending, and these usually have them. While as I mentioned above there are usually some strong characters in the movies they are often somehow wrong or proved wrong throughout the course of the movie or they are not seen as sexual or love objects, such as the magazine owner in Funny Face who is obsessed with her career and says that she has no room for love.

I think part of my love of these movies, aside from the happy endings, is the fabulous clothes, hair, and make-up all the female leads always have. Even when they are “broke” as in How to Marry a Millionare or Some Like It Hot they are still femmed up to the nines with elegant dresses, furs, sequens, gorgeous shoes, perfect hair, etc. The men, as well, are elegantly dressed: suits and ties, fedoras, sleek and gorgeous clothing. The femme in me revels in the wonderful hair and makeup.

I’ve always loved the style of these movies, the classicly glamorous look that the starlets represent, the pin-up look that never seems to go completely out of style. I love that the women in the films are actually women-sized, as opposed to the stick figures we mostly see today. Lately I have been wanting to cut my hair, get some rollers, and start wearing it like a redheaded Marilyn Monroe.

In the end, I think what is really important is that we recobnize the sexism in these films when we watch them now, since they were made in times that were trying to portray heterosexist and gender normative ideas as the norm (not to say we don’t still have that now). We all know that the 50s and 60s were trying to portray an image of perfection and normalcy that is basically unattainable, and wasn’t attained even then, although people strived for it. The movies of that era are equally unattainable, like fairy tales or romance novels (minus the smut), but they sure are fun to watch.


Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes


Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

09.17

2008

Bitch Needs Your Help

I remember reading my mom’s copies Bitch magazine years ago while I was still living at home. I began reading it at a point in my life where my feminist nature was already deeply ingrained in me, although I wasn’t consciously aware of it. I don’t remember the year, but I do remember reading issue after issue, each one wonderful and eye-opening. I have never been subscribed to Bitch, although I don’t really know why, but there is usually an issue or two lying around mom’s house when I go back to visit (which I shall be doing this time next week).

Bitch needs to raise $40,000 by October 15th in order to produce the next issue of Bitch. As I’m sure many of you know, the economy is dramatically declining, and print magazines are no longer as popular as they once were anyway, so the combination is not a good one. They are a “nonprofit, reader-funded media organization” so they heavily rely on donations to produce the magazine.

You can read more about their plight and watch a video about it on their website. Every little bit helps, even $5 or $10, hell even $1 is one dollar closer to $40,000. I’m planning on donating what I can, and I encourage you all to do the same!

09.12

2008

Cisgender and Getting Rid of a "Safety Blanket"

Sinclair brought up a great point the other day in his post define: cisgender that I want to touch upon and explore. Now, I’ve had cisgender in my lexicon since I started this site, and have been in the process of reading the book Sinclair mentions in his post, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity for longer than that (though am currently starting it over now that I’m not in school and can devote more attention to it). Whipping Girl is also where I got the definitions of traditional vs. oppositional sexism used in my definition of femmeinism. Needless to say, I think it’s brilliant, and look forward to finishing it.

For those of you who have not read Sinclair’s post (though I highly encourage you to), here is a definition of cisgender: people whose gender aligns with the cultural expectations of their sex and who have only ever experienced their subconscious and physical sexes as being aligned (e.g. feminine female, masculine male). “The word has its origin in the Latin-derived prefix cis, meaning “on the same side” as in the cis-trans distinction in chemistry.”

Now, back to the point. I have used the term “bio-female” in my gender/sexuality/general description for quite some time, and quite purposefully. Ever since reading Sinclair’s post I have been questioning this, and as you may notice I have taken it out of my description on the sidebar and in my about page. I have done this for a number of reasons.

First, however, I would like to explain my initial reason for choosing the term bio-female when I have been fully aware of the terms cisgender and cissexual for quite some time. What I realize now I meant was assigned-female-at-birth, as opposed to cis-female, because I have never quite felt cis-female, my gender has always been a little (or a lot) queer. Not only am I not cis-female because of my femme identity, but then when other identities are taken into account they dispute this as well. While I often do appear to the casual observer to be cisgendered, there are also plenty of times when I do not.

Sinclair’s post got me wondering: why do I have that in there? Why does it matter what I was assigned at birth if I don’t believe in binary genders or sexes? What was the reason for me to include this in my own description? The only answer I came to was that I didn’t want my sex misinterpreted. When I realized this I mentally laughed at myself. I realized it was a safety blanket, my version of a blue-blanket, and something I didn’t need anymore (perhaps never needed).

Because of that realization as well as the realization of the incorrectness of the term “bio,” for as Sinclair put it “there’s nothing non-biological about trans folks,” I decided to take it out of my description. I simply don’t need it anymore. Obviously at one point I thought it was necessary, I felt threatened that I would be assumed for anything other than female. I say this with a little bit of shame, it was my own internal cissexism rearing it’s ugly head. Despite being a decidedly fierce trans supporter and advocate for years I am still subject to my internalized cissexism, but I’m working on it.

There were two distinct times I can think of where I was “mistaken” for a male queen. These were both many years ago during high school. Nowadays I would be rejoicing for such a reading of my sex and gender, but in those days I had not gone through much if any gender revelations and while I wasn’t disgusted or outraged I was confused and taken aback (mostly because my boobs were huge and in both instances I was wearing a low-cut top, in one instance a corset). I think my original adoption of “bio-female” was in part due to those instances.

I have more thoughts about the differences between femme and cis-female, but will have to save them for another time.

07.17

2008

Because That's What All Feminists Are Like

I’m going to add my definitions of femmeinist and fucktoy to the masthead shortly, and I pondering adding “femmeinist” to the Urban Dictionary, so, of course, I took a look at how feminist is defined in there.

At this point in my life I really should not have been surprised at the definitions which were posted, which basically call all feminists sexist, hypocritical, mean, man-haters, etc. all those wonderful negative stereotypes. I really should not have been saddened or surprised, or have thought that it might be any different.

At least the #2 entry reads:

someone who believes the radical notion that women are people.
if you believe that women and men should have equal rights, you are a feminist. there’s nothing “extreme” about it.

That’s something, right? I urge you all to go to the definition of feminist in the Urban Dictionary and vote for that entry and vote down all the other entries which perpetuate negative stereotypes. While, yes, there are those feminists out there, they are not the majority (at least, not in my experience), they are just the ones which get the most coverage.

*Sigh* So, look for my definitions of femmeinist and fucktoy on the new masthead, should be coming within the hour. Also, I may add femmeinist to the Urban Dictionary, but I wonder if people would bash it as well? I definitely will add my definition of fucktoy (on UD as both fucktoy and fuck toy) however, since the definitions there are all degrading. I’m definitely not using it in a degrading manner.

Also, as a note since I’m mentioning site changes as well, I recently added a weekly poll to the top left sidebar, as well as links to my various wishlists (Amazon, VibeReview, Eden Fantasys, JT’s Stockroom, and Extreme Restraints) on the right sidebar under the buttons to my various profiles on other sites. I also added a list of affiliate links on the left sidebar (such as VibeReview, Eden Fantasys, Babeland, JT’s Stockroom, Extreme Restraints, and Amazon) which look rather similar to the wishlist links, of course, as these are the sites I often frequent and also highly recommend. I will shortly add a paypal donate link, just in case anyone feels generous.

07.02

2008

My Concept of Femmeinism

As you may have noticed, I’ve changed the title yet again, though this time a minor change from “feminist” to “femmeinist.” Now, the difference is subtle, but I believe there is a big difference. Traditionally feminism has tried to lead women to more androgynous looks, and has really frowned upon femininity as just something which the patriarchy has thought up, a male fantasy, and not something that we should buy into.

As Julia Serano said in Whipping Girl “Even many feminists buy into traditionally sexist notions about femininity–that it is artificial, contrived, and frivolous; that it is a ruse that only serves the purpose of attracting and appeasing the desires of men… After all, as a concept, feminism is much like the ideas of “democracy” or “Christianity.” Each has a major tenet at its core, yet there are a seemingly infinite number of ways in which those beliefs are practiced. And just as some forms of democracy and Christianity are corrupt and hypocritical while others are more just and righteous we… must… forge a new type of feminism, one that understands that the only way for us to achieve true gender equity is to abolish both oppositional sexism* and traditional sexism.**”

Femmeinist thought, however, embraces femininity and femmeininity, and is working toward that new type of feminism (or, femmeinism). While currently gender politics is still working on abolishing oppositional sexism*, traditional sexism** still abounds. It is in the fact that in order to be “gender neutral” one must look masculine, there is nearly no way to be gender neutral while really taking on feminine characteristics. Femininity must be strong, otherwise it wouldn’t be that if someone is wearing make up or a skirt that seems to automatically negate any other masculine gendered performance.

Something I came across here via The Femme Show was a definition of what femme is, or can be: “[the femme is] a betrayer of legibility itself. Seemingly “normal,” she responds to “normal” expectations with a sucker punch– she occupies normality abnormally.” – Lisa Duan and Kathleen McHugh from “A Fem(me)inist Manifesto” This is why part of my idea of who can be femme or not does not have to do only with sexuality. Femme is not about who you sleep with, though it can be, but there are plenty of feminine lesbians who are not femme. Femme is about consciousness: a conscious genderfuck in the rouse of traditional femininity. Anyone who consciously takes on the role of femininity as a deviant identity can be femme. Though, I believe it is easier for those who are already outside of social norms, such as lesbians and bisexual women, to come to a queer femininity and embrace it.

Femme is not something that sneaks up on you (though, it can sneak up on you in some ways, but there must be a conscious awareness to it as well), there is a definite change that happens from feminine to femme, or butch to femme or butch to genderqueer to femme (as was, in some ways, my transition). There is a transition, as with any trans identity: female to femme, perhaps. There is a wonderful movie which I am dying to see (I’ve only seen the trailer for it) which is called FtF: Female to Femme (you can view the trailer here). It seems like a step in the right direction.

I have so much more to say about femme, so many more ideas, and I will have more posts on it in the near future. This is kind of a rough-draft. Expect more and deeper investigation.

* oppositional sexism – “The belief that female and male are rigid, mutually exclusive categories, each posessing a unique and nonoverlapping set of attributes, aptitudes, abilities, and desires.”
** traditional sexism – “The belief that maleness and masculinity are superior to femaleness and femininity.”