Purveyor of Pleasure

Delving into my humanity and the joys and pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

Tag: gender fluidity (Page 2 of 3)

Butch/Femme (HNT)

This week’s HNT was Marla’s idea. We’ve been doing a lot of gender play since she got here in many different forms, and that combined with my newly cut hair, walking through this park a couple days ago and wanting to take pictures in front of the waterfalls, and the dress she’s wearing (which I was wearing yesterday) all gave her the idea for these shots.

I set up and took the pictures with my tripod and little camera remote (so handy!).

We got a little naughty in the park, it’s rare I’m on the other side of the skirt and I took full advantage of the fact she wasn’t wearing panties. Luckily there weren’t too many people around. You can see a hint of that in a couple of the pictures below.

Click any picture for a larger version of the same.

First a little of me…

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One of her…

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Then a little of us…

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Check out Marla’s HNT for some of the same and some different photos!

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

Black Burlesque (HNT)

I received the Regard Indiscret Set from Babeland and since I reviewed it on Tuesday I thought the images from using it would be perfect for Half-Nekkid Thursday.

The contents of the set: black round hat tin containing black leather tasseled pasties, black feather boa, pearl belt/necklace, and three small round candles.

You can watch my video review of the Regard Indiscret Set here on Wanton Lotus. I’m also giving a set away to one lucky commenter on my review. Go over there to enter.

I conveniently had a black mesh skirt with a black boa-like trim on the bottom which worked perfectly with the rest of the set. Under the skirt is my black ruffled panties. You can also see most of my tattoos in these pictures as well.

I love all of them, but I think I love the first one most. It may be my favorite picture of myself at the moment. What do you think?

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Finding Harmony in My Gender Fluidity

There are so many ways to play with and express gender and gender deviance, from subtle to in-your-face and everywhere in between. What I’ve been trying to figure out in the last few weeks is how to reconcile my femme and fagette identities into a conceivable whole. I’m often not sure it’s even possible, but I’m trying at least.

I was asked not too long ago on FetLife “how do you find the harmony of being both without being confused or feel like you’re betraying one half of yourself at the expense of expressing the other?”

Part of my response:
“Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for that question. I do often feel confused or like I am betraying parts of myself, but I can only realize that there is almost no way to not feel that way and in realizing try not to feel that betrayal. It’s difficult to almost never have my own gender perceived or acknowledged by those around me. I think that is one of the worst things about being gender-fluid, or any sort of multigendered, that it’s difficult or nearly impossible to get validation from others on your gender because there’s not an easy way to express gender fluidity, if it can be expressed at all in all it’s vastness. Since people want to categorize everyone they meet and since we are conditioned to view gender as binary it’s difficult to exist outside of that binary in the gender galaxy at large.”

My issue with this moves beyond being multigendered into the fact that not only am I multigendered but that due to my appearance I’m easily read by the outside world as cisgendered. It’s similar to femme invisibility, though the issue is gender invisibility rather than queer invisibility. While femme is a large part of my gender identity it is not all of it.

Femme gender and queerness is what is invisible, what people have trouble seeing or what people gloss over. Because my primary gender presentation is femme I have the same issues but with the added fagette twist. This isn’t to say that my invisibility is more than that of femmes because it’s not, it’s just a slightly different kind of the same invisibility.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m involved with a cisgendered male. I’m used to people not seeing my queerness especially when we’re together, and I’m used to people not seeing my fagette side because it can also look very femme.

It’s human nature to look for recognition in others, and look for others like you. Even while I’m used to people not seeing these things in me that doesn’t mean I still don’t want them to. I am slowly coming to embrace the fact that it doesn’t matter as much what other people see as long as I know how I feel and am being me to the best of my ability. It’s difficult, but it’s something I’m trying to do.

A few butches on twitter were talking about cross-dressing a while ago, I know Kyle and Sinclair were among them and don’t remember who else, but they said that when asked if they cross-dress daily they would say no because cross-dressing to them would be wearing a skirt. I began to question my own cross-dressing, and part of me thinks I do cross-dress daily.

I think clothes for me are cross-dressing, clothes for me are drag. Sometimes I think I’ve just internalized pomo rhetoric to the extent that I really don’t feel like I have an inherent draw to some gender or another. I know that even though all gender is drag that doesn’t mean that people don’t have a pull to some sort of gender expression or another. I do have a pull to gender expression, but I don’t know what gender expression is pulling me to it.

I wear skirts. I don’t wear pants. Honestly, I don’t wear pants because they are confining and uncomfortable. Although I can’t say that has nothing to do with the meaning of pants in our society since that is so ingrained in us and I’m sure it’s still ingrained in me, but I can say that my conscious reasoning behind it doesn’t have to do with that.

My only issue with skirt wearing is that it’s difficult to be androgynous in a skirt. Or, let me rephrase: it’s difficult to be perceived as androgynous in a skirt. If I were male in a skirt that would be clear, but female in a skirt seems to be perceived as nothing but feminine. Since cutting my hair short I’ve gotten a few more double-takes, a few more curious looks, but I’m generally dismissed as a short-haired girl regardless of how much I try to play with my femme fagette expression.

There are nights I feel more like a femme and nights I feel more like a fagette, and nights where I’m not sure what the fuck I am. The only harmony I can find is by overanalyzing, exploring, and allowing myself and my gender to grow and evolve.

Recently I’ve been thinking about and exploring the idea of packing. Somehow packing has come up quite a bit in the last few weeks, both in the form of reviews (both Holden and Erin Leone have reviewed packies recently) and pictures (Kyle shared some with us for HNT). I’d been thinking about packing in a peripheral way before these all came out, but they definitely brought it to the forefront for me.

I just recently received Silky in the mail, just yesterday actually. A almost flesh-colored cock that has a bendable spine in the middle enabling the user to bend it to any shape the six inches of shaft can bend to. I enjoy making it S shaped and such just to see how well it bends. Because Silky is so bendable it’s also great for hard packing (as opposed to soft packing). One of the main reasons I got Silky is to see how it works for packing.

I packed with Silky for a while last night, though I did it just around the house. It was unusual, but I definitely liked it. The thing about packing isn’t about wanting to have a penis, at least not for me and not for the people I’ve talked about packing with, it’s more of a focal point for gendered energy. It was a reminder more than anything else, something to draw my attention and to bring my consciousness to my gender.

While I was packing I was wearing a dress. My Silky was not really noticeable under the dress at all, unless I sat cross-legged and the dress draped over Silky, but even when that happened it wouldn’t have been apparent unless one was looking for it. It isn’t meant to be obvious, though, and just the fact that I’m packing under a skirt is genderfucky enough for me. The glaring gender “contradiction” is where I thrive. It’s where I find my harmony, even if no one else knows about it.

Protected: My Gender and Language Limitations, Or: A Big Miscommunication

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Rolling Around My Brain

A few quick thoughts tonight. I feel like I have so much to write about and so much to do lately that I’m not really getting anything done, which irritates me. More posts to come!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote lately, from PoMoSexuals “Identity Sedition and Pornography” by Pat Califia p. 88 emphasis mine:

Just to set the record straight: I am a female-bodied person who writes about every kind of person I can imagine. Although I briefly contemplated sex reassignment when I was much younger, I decided that would not resolve my gender conflicts. I’m never sure if I have a gender dysphoria or species dysphoria. I often try to explain that I’m really a starfish trapped in a human body and I’m very new to your planet. Or that in fact I am a woman trapped in a man’s body, which really confuses other people but makes sense to me.

It’s fitting where I feel I fit, where I’ve felt for a while. The drag queen masculine femininity that I cling to, the femme fagette in me that is starting to come out even more. I’ve found a better way to express it lately I think, which is making me indescribably joyful, and I’m discovering more about it too, which makes me even more happy.

Onyx and I went into Babeland tonight and looked around. I pointed out toys I wanted, toys that are (hopefully) coming to me soon, and things like that. I had my first encounter with Mr. Bendy while looking at dildos and soft packs and he’s seriously lustable! I kind of (very much) want one, great for packing and playing, which I like.

I’m toying with the idea of packing more often, but as I primarily wear skirts and dresses I would need a soft pack or a cock like Mr. Bendy that will stay bent.

The other thoughts rolling around my brain is that Femmeinist Fucktoy isn’t resonating with me as much as it used to. It went down when I discovered my switchness however long ago, as fucktoy is a very bottom-centric term, and it’s gone down again now that fagette is a larger part of my identity as well.

I also don’t talk as much about feminist-oriented things as I thought I would when I started this blog. Granted, I do believe that talking about gender and sexuality is a feminist act, but that’s not quite the same as being a feminist blog.

My point in bringing this up is that I’m pondering changing the name, and therefore also the URL of the blog. It’s easyish to transition to another URL and name, but what I’m thinking of changing it to is Femme Fagette.

In talking with Onyx about this he mentioned that naming the blog after an identity might not be the best thing to do, as my identities tend to fluctuate rapidly. While I agree with that I feel like this identity will stay around for a while, but I don’t really know that for sure. Thoughts?

Femme Fagette (HNT)

Yes, yes, it’s not Thursday anymore, but, I don’t subscribe to your limiting ideas of the days it’s acceptable to post a Half Nekkid Thursday post, so I’m posting mine on Friday! Plus, I’ve been moving and I wasn’t really online much at all yesterday, so cut me some slack!

Okay, well, now that that’s out of the way… I’m not sure what possessed me, maybe it’s just being in a new city and thirsting for change of any type that I can get my hands on, or maybe it’s just time that I let my long hair go, I’m not sure, but I cut my hair the other day.

I’ve been changing it a lot lately, as you may or may not have noticed. Not too long ago it was bright red and past my shoulders, and when I wasn’t finding any jobs in SLC I decided to get it to a slightly more normal color.

Shortly after that I decided to cut it to a little above my chin, which is where it remained until Tuesday night when I cut it myself, and then Wednesday I had it professionally trimmed/styled.

It’s been shorter than this before (amusingly enough that picture was also taken in Seattle). I’ve shaved my head before as well, and I used kept it about this length, or anywhere from one to three inches, for many years. A few years ago I decided to start growing it out, and watched it fall to chin-length, shoulder-length, and, finally, past my shoulders.

Maybe it’s something about the Pacific Northwest that makes me want short hair, I don’t know, but something made me desire short hair, and specifically to be able to do my hair up into a fauxhawk.

I wanted a cut that I could have look femme if I chose or put up in a fauxhawk or otherwise spike or slick to be boi-ish or fagette-ish. So that’s what I did. I decided that fauxhawk + lipstick = fagette (though that’s one of infinite combinations, of course).

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New Year's Eve HNT

For the HNT this week we’re supposed to choose our favorite HNT from the year. I’ve done 18 since I started participating in Half-Nekkid Thursdays back at the end of July. I can’t just decide on one, so I’m going to show a few that I particularly loved.

Scarlet Seductions

My first HNT that I think captures a lot about me within it. Original post here.

Baby Dyke

A picture of me from way back in 2002. Short hair, corset, my trademark leopard print coat. Kind of a wonderful way of looking back at my past for me, and one of my favorite photographs of me as well. Original post here.

Bare

A little sexy, a little exposed, a little femme. What else is there to say? Original post here.

Fabulous
HNT Fabulous Fishnets   HNT Fabulous Leopard Coat
Other somewhat “quintessential me” pictures. This is kind of how I see me: fishnets, scarlet corset, leopard print coat. All me. Original post here.

Review: PoMoSexuals- Challenging Assumptions about Gender and Sexuality

PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality is an anthology of essays edited by Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel that is essentially a smack in the face to traditional and even some non-traditional ideas of gender and sexuality. It refutes any idea of any sort of binary along either of those lines.

Through reading the essays the reader gets multiple examples of people who don’t fit into the neat little boxes that both queer and het society tries to push them into. Because there are so many, one right after the other, each building on the next and each becoming more strange, more queer, more PoMo than the last, there is no way to deny that these people are not just flukes.

For me, I found some soulmates in this book. I found people struggling with the same ideas I do and asking the same questions I’ve been asking for years: where do I fit in if I’m sort of this and sort of that and everything and nothing? How do I navigate these gender and sexuality galaxies if I can’t pin myself down and comprehend where everything in me is coming from?

The essays in some cases are roads of self-discovery, showing just a glimpse of what one goes through when one box is not an option, and what is possible when you embrace not fitting in. Other essays were dissecting specific ideas or impulses that the authors had which were somehow out of their comfort zone, such as a gay man wanting to fuck a woman, how males and females can interact outside of a heterosexual paradigm, how a female can be a woman stuck in a man’s body, and various other pomo genders and sexualities.

If you’ve ever not fit into the boxes the world gives us, which is just about everyone in my experience, I would say you need to read this book. Even if you don’t identify directly with those in the stories it will blow your mind and make you reorganize your thinking about the way that gender and sexuality work. It will help you recognize that you are not alone, there are others like you who can’t fit into the boxes.

Even if you know that already, because I certainly did know that there were others who feel like I do going into it, you will still get a sense of camaraderie of validation that while you are unique in your own gender and sexuality expression there may be others who are just as or more fucked up than you are. And I mean fucked up in a good way, of course. ;)

Identity Musings – Part 3

A follow-up post to Identity Musings – Part 1 and – Part 2, I highly recommend you reading those two first.

For a long time I wondered if I was just trying to make up an identity that isn’t necessary. If I was so transphilic maybe I was just making up an identity so that I wouldn’t be cisgendered. Is that the case? I still wonder that, but reading through Pomosexuals has helped me realize that I’m not the only female-assigned person to have this conflict inside of me, I’m not even the only female-assigned bi-/pan-sexual/queer person to love queer men and women and to have a boi personae as well as a femme personae, as also evidenced by The Leather Daddy and the Femme.

Still, that nagging fear that I’m just trying to not be cisgendered (not that there’s anything wrong with being cisgendered, but as I mentioned, I’m rather transphilic so it’s not as much a conscious desire not to be cisgendered, but one I wonder if I have internalized), that I’m trying to make more of something that’s inside of me and not exactly being true to it, that fear makes me doubt and question, and I hate it. I’m not sure how to prove to myself that this is the case, except to examine it, embrace it, and see how it feels.

I’ve said for years that my embraced drag queen identity was not just about all gender being drag, but also because I identify with a type of femininity that can not exactly be expressed by female-assigned people. It’s a queer over-the-top femininity that I love and identify with, it’s similar to femme but it’s not quite the same. Part of that identification, I think, is being “larger than life” or, larger than society tells women we are allowed to be. My fatness allows me to inhabit a space that non-fat women can’t (pun intended).

In addition to just being fat I’m also tall, about 5’10”, and have always been tall. I was 5’8″ by 7th grade, I’ve worn size 11 shoes also since 7th grade. I remember being proud of that, proud to wear my freak label, proud to be taller than most of the boys in my class, proud to be large and queer and strange and a freak. It was difficult at times, but I embraced and owned my queerness from an early age, because I knew that there wasn’t another way for me to be.

I identify with drag queens, but I also identify with femmes. It’s two different yet similar kinds of fem(me)ininity, and I try to inhabit them both at different times, perhaps that’s another personae I need to adopt a name for, to adequately seperate the differences so that I can analyze them easier, so that I can understand her better.

The truth is I have multiple personas within me, each with hir own voice, each needing recognition, and so I’m trying to recognize all of them, but it’s a long and dubious process. I’m not sure I’ll ever know all of them fully, but I have to try, otherwise I will be out of touch with myself. Each personae has different desires, and I fully intend to figure them all out.

The first step to analyzation is to recognize that which you are analyzing, right? Otherwise you aren’t able to analyze something you don’t know about. These “Identity Musings” posts have been about just that, going back to track the expansion and development of these identities in a new way, so that I am able to recognize these different aspects of myself and therefore come to a greater understanding of them. I have a more specifically queer related one on the way (since these have dealt mostly with gender).

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