Ashley Young’s Summer NYC Reading Tour

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Photo by Robert Rosario

This summer I’ll be reading at five Queer events in the city, featuring sobriety stories, my contribution to the Glitter and Grit anthology, new work from a collection of poetry and prose Chronicles of Bipolar Living and excerpts from my novel The Liberation of the Black Unicorn. Come out to hear some of my new work and the work of fellow talented queers.

 

Queer Memoir: Under the Influence

     (part of the Eulogy for a Dyke Bar series)

Saturday May 21 at 5pm

Friends and Lovers

641 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

 

Glitter and Grit Hits the Road!

    Heels on Wheels #Glittery Awareness Book Tour

Thursday May 26, Doors @ 7,  show starts at 7:30 – 10:30pm
Branded Saloon

603 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

 

To Be Queer, Black and Gifted

Wednesday June 1 at 7-8pm

LGBT Center – Manhattan

Bureau of General Services Queer Division

208 West 13th Street Room 210, New York, NY 10011

 

Queer Text Reading Series: Rainbows Across the Diaspora

Tuesday June 14 at 7pm

Dixon Place

161 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

 

Queer Art Organics

Tuesday July 19 at 7:30-8:30pm

Dixon Place

161 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

 

Following Ashley’s tour, she will be returning to Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writers Retreat for LGBT Writers at the University of Southern California to work with author and playwright Sarah Schulman.

Help Ashley get to the Lambda Literary Foundation Retreat by donating:

http://lambdaliterary.donorpages.com/WritersRetreat2016/AshleyYoung

Black Unicorn Rise – Works in Progress Solo Show

Unicorn Writing

Bluestockings Bookstore, Cafe and Activist Center

172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

Saturday, May 14 7-9PM

Audre Lorde wrote “The Black Unicorn” in recognition of those who live invisibly and fight for liberation. Queer Black feminist author and teacher Ashley Young writes to participate in this fight. In an evening of works in progress of poetry and prose, Ashley will present work that highlights survival and liberation from mental illness, addiction and the struggles of being a Queer Black woman. Come witness and participate in a writer’s fight to get liberated.

Ashley will be sharing from two works in progress: Chronicles of Bipolar Living, a collection of poetry and prose on Illness, Woman, Men and Recovery and The Liberation of the Black Unicorn, her Audre Lorde inspired biomythography. She is will also be announcing her upcoming summer reading tour and details on her return to Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writers Retreat for LGBT Writers.

 Help Ashley get to the Lambda Literary Foundation Retreat by donating funds at http://lambdaliterary.donorpages.com/WritersRetreat2016/AshleyYoung/

Review of Xan West’s Show Yourself to Me: Missing Daddy

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I had the pleasure of being asked to review Xan West’s new book of erotica Show Yourself to Me (Go Deeper Press, 2015).  It’s been quit some time since I’ve blogged, but I’m excited to re-launch this space with a review of Xan’s work.  I’ve seen Xan perform and read Xan’s work in various erotica collections. Xan’s words are beautiful, poignant, true and titillating.  Xan’s ability to express various gender and sexual expressions of  the queer experience are words that both queer and sexual alternative communities must read to truly feel.  Xan speaks to our passions and our struggles and tells stories that not only stimulate our brains, but wet our pants.

‘Missing Daddy’ was a story I was immediately drawn to.  I’ve been struggling with concepts of manhood.  As a woman who is starting to experience herself as both male and female, I’m only beginning to understand the way masculinity plays a role in our society, how it effects my female body and woman representation and how one can mold masculinity to be an expression of themselves regardless of their gender.  Inside of this space, I am starting to have the urge to explore what it means to be a Daddy, in kink, in leather, and in life.  To nurture a person to become their greater self through both pain and pleasure, mind, body and spirit.

What better way to investigate this work by starting with Xan’s. ‘Missing Daddy’ is a story of a Daddy reflecting on a time when he was a boi, when he was raised in leather and queer-hood by a Daddy who initiated him into a life of submission and Dominance he would one day bestow on another.  He illustrates their precious sexual experiences, painful, loving and dirty; being bend over Daddy’s bathroom sink, taking Daddy’s cane not for his own pleasure but for his Daddy’s, being fucked by a gaggle of faggots while his Daddy watched, the feeling of Daddy allowing his boy to belong in a queer world longed for.

I especially appreciated in the inclusion of dykes in this story, the once boy being offered to a variety of people, not just those who identified as men.  In my queer, leather community, my Lady, who I also sometimes refer to as my LadyDaddy, shares me with those of all genders and embodies both male and female presence with ease and grace.  We are dykes, but there is a certain energy she gives me when she assumes Daddy, rough, quick, silent but gentle.  In those moments, I like to consider myself her boi and learn from her to one day can become a Daddy to another.

Xan captures this so clearly in this story and reminds me that with permission, I can become a boi and maybe one day, a Daddy.

Check out Xan’s book blog:  https://showyourselftome.wordpress.com/

Pre-order Xan’s book here: http://godeeperpress.com/projects/show-yourself-to-me-by-xan-west/

Crash Pad Series Review: Nina Hartley and Sara Vibes

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Sara and Nina “working”

 

Two stars shine in this new CrashPad clip – Episode 172 starring Nina Hartley and Sara Vibes play Boss and Assistant of Raven Clawz Studio in a steamy after work session. These two beautiful woman are my personal favorites and seeing them in action makes more then just my writer brain tingle. Hartley’s been a boss since the 80’s, bringing us hot instructional porn we’ve all gotten off to and Vibes, up and coming star brings her cute mischievous smile ready and willing to every scene.
 
This episode Hartley relies on her adoring assistant for her busy schedule but makes sure to pencil Vibes in to show her appreciation for all her hard work. Bunny slipper clad Hartley disrobes to a nude bodysuit and undresses Vibes. What happens next is for those willing to get hot and bothered!
 
Three things I like about this scene: Colors, Chemistry and Content. The color red is used to highlight not only clothing but Hartley’s strapon. Red contrasts even more beautifully with both Hartley and Vibes skin shades that dance bright on the screen. Both have amazing chemistry, from their playful whispered dirty talk to deep moaning, Hartley and Vibes perform like they play in front of more then just the camera. The content was excellent, many shots artfully captured through the slated headboard and, in Crash Pad tradition, the camera becomes the eyes of the hungry voyeur.

A Penny for Christmas

Me and Penny on the first day we got her in Austin, TX

Me and Penny on the first day we got her in Austin, TX

Last month, Sara and I flew out to Austin, TX to pick up our new puppy, Penny.  Penny was living with a lovely family along with her litter mate and her puppy parents.  Penny’s father is a handsome Boston Terrier/Pug mix and her mother is a feisty Chihuahua/Pug mix.  The day we went to get her, she played with her sister and her parents, running around the house with chew sticks, while we chatted with the dog breeder.  The breeder is a lovely mother, wife and dance teacher who has raised three litters with the pair and housed six dogs total.  Before the left, they packed a bag with food, a blanket and some stuffies that smelled like her old crate, and they hugged Penny goodbye.

Penny and her sister

Penny and her sister

We promised we’d be back for a little doggie family reunion next year.  Penny’s sister will stay with the breeder for a while until she finds another home (it was so, so, so hard not to take her home too!!) and Penny has another sibling living in CT who will be in town, so the whole family will have a chance to reunite.

I have to say, the moment I saw Penny I knew I was going to love her.

I loved her even more when she puked all over me in the rental car twice before we got back to the hotel.

Penny was great in the airport and on the plane all the way back to New York.  She came home to a new crate, a playpen, a patch of grass for a pee spot, so many toys and curious cats wondering just how long the new dog was going to stay.

Honestly, I was really resistant to getting a puppy (ask Sara – I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it) but Penny has been a dream.  She’s got Boston Terrier smarts and a great little bark, she passes out like a Pug with the cutest sleepy eyes I’ve ever seen, and her little Chihuahua leg “paw up” thing she does, lets me know when she’s interested and alert.

It’s mighty cold outside, but in her plaid jacket, Penny is getting used to walks.  She’s great on the leash and still learning to walk at my side. I love our walks.  They help her get out the puppy energy, interact with dogs and people and desensitizes her from the city sounds. The walks also tire her out until she is snoring on the couch opposite her sleeping buddy Sarge.

And the walks calm my own anxiety.  Walking with Penny is so great because I have to remember if I’m nervous, she’ll be nervous too.  So when she gives me those pug eyes to ask if it’s okay to say hi to another dog or another human, I tell her with confidence “it’s okay Penny, go say hi” and then give her a “good girl” when she does.  The walks tire us both out, as you can see:

Nap Time

Nap Time

Penny’s starting puppy classes in the New Year.  She already knows “sit, down, jump, (thanks to her recent playdate with a lovely Pit puppy from the Upper West Side), and roll over” with or without a reward treat.  She knows how to keep herself busy in the house, playing with both her toys and the cats toys.

Speaking of the cats, of which we now have three, they are actually okay with the dog…right up until Penny starts joining in their chasing games.  But Charlie, our playful Nebelung cat, has accepted the fact that if he runs throughout the house and no cats follow, Penny will be running close behind him.  Penny and the cats have even eaten in the kitchen together and as long as I watch them, they don’t sample each other’s food.

Unfortunately, we’ve found Penny near the litter box chewing on the cat waste.😦

If any puppy lovers out there have advice on how to keep puppies from eating other animals poo, feel free to inbox me!  (Penny’s amazing but puppies are honestly like the grossest little things in the world.  Thank goodness, she’s so fucking cute)

I can't handle how cute she is...

I can’t handle how cute she is…

Adding a puppy to our tribe of cats has made me think more about Sara and I’s non-traditional family and the “when are you two going to have a baby conversation?” that everyone tends to bring up whenever we are in the presence of children.

Sara had the perfect response to the baby conversation the other day: “Having three cats and a puppy is kind of like having a six-year-old.  You know, they can kind of do their own thing but you still gotta pick up their poo, occasionally take something out of their mouth they shouldn’t be chewing on and remind them of their name when they don’t wanna listen.  See. Family.”

My Lady is the smartest and Penny is such a great addition to our family.

Even though the last few years have turned me into a Girly Gringe on Christmas, I can’t help but smile when I think about the home we’re creating with love and animals.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!