telling you about it: femmes go dirty south — and coming home

graffiti of enormous bird with a big striated blue eye looking down on a branch on a nest, all drawn up the side of an apartment buildinggood morning good morning good morning. Here it’s late and grayish out in the sky, the words hovering over everything in be (fingers, forehead, spleen), and I am distancing myself from their origins just to be able to breathe. I am covered with yesterday’s wantings. I am everywhere in this desire for writing today.

(The tea is earl grey — not so interesting — but last night’s was green with mint, cardamom, anise, allspice, ginger, fenugreek. It’s been awhile since the last tea report; earl grey has been with me since early this year, and I’m not tired of it yet.)

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I mentioned in a recent post, or maybe it was just in the newsletter,  that there are some changes and new projects in the works. I want to tell you something about a couple of these!

Here’s one: May 6, 2012, 7pm: Femmes go Dirty South! With Alysia Angel, Jen Cross and more: Come on down to the Center for Sex and Culture (1349 Mission St, San Francisco) for a much needed influx of dirty femme words! This reading features our guest star, the very ferocious Alysia Angel, who brings the dirty South here to us in the Bay. We’ve also got a phenomenal lineup of local femme wordslingers Cherry Poppins, Daphne Gottlieb, Renee Garcia, Blyth Barnow, Nomy Lamm, Virgie Tovar, Gina de Vries and Carol Queen, all of whom will bring you the very sharpest and most filthily-lipsticked writing you’ve been privileged to let shove into your body. Don’t miss this one. $7-15, NOTAFLOF.

The other big news for me is this: coming home – a national masturbation month blog-a-thon. This is a project I have been percolating over for the last few months, a place where I will both document and push into a new opening and presence I’ve been experiencing in my body, a place of profound healing, that’s centered exactly around masturbation and a daily orgasm practice. I want to spend a month really investigating how important masturbation has been to my own recovery from trauma (and still, how easy it’s been for me to step into shame about touching myself), how my relationship to orgasm has changed utterly since I first had to come under my stepfather’s watch — and, too, how necessary it is for us to know the contours of our own bodies as we are taking those bodies back — breath, bone, skin, trigger, fantasy — from the people who abused us, from the stories they wrote on our bodies about the possibilities for our sex, our recovery, our embodiment. Too, we take our stunningly beautiful bodies back from the mainstream narratives about jerking off and the ‘right’ ways to come to orgasm.

Let’s complexity all of our everything. Let’s stain the sheets of these pages.

This will be a place for your stories, too, for your ideas and fears, for your daily practices, for your relationship with shame and coming, for your revelations. The more we share our realities with one another, the less isolated/crazy we feel in our experiences!

I can use help funding this project! The scope I’m wanting for this project will almost certainly entail that I take some time off from other work in order to devote time and resources to interviews, transcribing previous writing, reading suggested books and other materials — here’s the thing: you can make a one-time donation at chipin or paypal, or you can make a pledge per post or per orgasm. I am most excited about pledges, given that this is a blog-a-thon, given that the idea for this project grew out of thinking about participating in the center for sex and culture‘s masturbate-a-thon. Consider these pledges: five dollars a post, a quarter a minute spent with my hands on myself, twenty dollars an orgasm, or anything else! The money will go to support writing ourselves whole and a portion of the proceeds will go to the center for sex and culture.

I am so excited for May 1, I can’t even tell you. Send me your favorite masturbation poems, the stories you never tell about how good it used to feel when you touched yourself, the writing you did last month after you came in bed alone and something in you snapped open, the stories about how much you want to be more connected to your orgasm and just don’t see a bridge to that possibility. Let’s give ourselves back to ourselves. Let’s come home.

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A prompt idea for today: what does self-love look like for you, or your characters? How has masturbation been a place of healing, a place of struggle, both? How has coming under your own hands (or against the bedsheets or with toys or…) changed over the course of the last five, ten, twenty, thirty years? Just take ten minutes (no one has to see this writing) and let yourself into the story. Follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.

Thank you for your strong hands today, for your knowing ministrations, the way you tender to what has been brutalized, the way you know just how to allow the difficult parts of yourself to find some joy, some release, some laughter. Thank you for all the possibility you allow yourself to breathe. Thank you for your words.

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