write. eat. fuck. teach.
(My August Adventure in California)
It was an honor and a pleasure to be a non-fiction participant at the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. I spend a week at University of California, LA with some of most talented writers tackling queer and trans issues in their work. I went to the retreat ready to have other peoples work inform my own and to gain skills to write good non-fiction work but I never expected the experience would be so rewarding.
My instructor, Ellery Washington was an eloquent teacher who really believes our stories and our voices are needed in the LGBT community. My peers where even more encouraging. Their talent and their bravery to write about the intense and relevant issues of sexuality, identity and the mind reassured me that my experiences as a queer black poly woman were worth sharing and writing about. The commonality of our queer identities created instant trust and on the day my work was critiqued, I knew my peers where listening for my best writing. Not only did I walk away with the tools to continue to develop as a writer, I left with a writing community that is starting to feel like family.
California was beautiful; the weather is amazing and I am astonished at how relaxed I feel there. The pressure and hurry of the city can really get to me so Cali feels like a permanent vacation paradise. I spent afternoons reading and writing in the sun and fell in love with the UCLA campus. I wrote many pieces that I am proud of and look forward to seeing in print very soon. Most of all, I gained a sense of confidence in my work and have become to develop the discipline to master my craft.
THANK YOU once again to everyone who donated to Lambda Literary and made it possible for me to attend the retreat. It was an amazing experience that I would recommend to any LGBT writer who is looking to take their work to the next level.
I am pleasantly reminded of what a fatty I am when I spend time in San Francisco. I may have strange theories but it is a fact that everything tastes better on the West Coast. The fruit is fresher, everything is made with beautiful green avocados and Mexican food is to die for. When I wasn’t writing or fucking in Cali, I was must definitely eating!
I considered myself lucky to be hosted by lovely members of my new and growing Queer Poly Leather families throughout the course of my travels. Not only was I comfortably housed, but I was properly fed. My friends made the best meals ever: chicken, tofu, cellophane noodles and spices wrapped in rice paper, steak and asparagus with wine, fish tacos with fresh cilantro, salsa and guacamole. I had multiple food orgasms a day.
After every meal, I was present to how amazing my community is. Sara’s IMsL title often uproots us from our home and keeps us on the road weekends on end (Sara just got back to NYC from a month’s worth of travel – the life of a leather title holder). So to be invited into the comfort of someone else’s home miles away from NYC is a blessing. To receive heaping plates of amazing food is a wonderful added bonus.
THANK YOU to all the folks that hosted me in Cali. Sara and I cannot wait to return the favor on your New York travels.
There is nothing like experiencing a small sexual revolution in a sunny vacation paradise.
It was a challenge to travel without Sara for so long but I took the opportunity to take a look at what I want in my relationships outside of Sara and in my sexual encounters. The Floating World was an awesome confident boost. The workshops were amazing and made me a little less nervous about initiating my own play. As a result, I had some excellent scenes and was ready to bring my new found sexual prowess to the West Coast with me.
(You can read more about my experience at The Floating World in my article on Fearless Press. Going It Alone To The Floating World – http://www.fearlesspress.com/2011/08/19/going-it-alone-to-the-floating-world/)
In LA, I did a lot of flirting and canoodling with hot queers and had a blast talking about sex and polyamory with participants at Lambda Writer’s Retreat – which we soon began calling Queer Writer’s Camp. After the retreat, I spend some time with a male friend in SF and we had awesome sexual encounters. I ended up writing a lot about it mostly because it’s been a struggle to bring cis-gendered men into my sex life. This has much to do with the fact that I am a big ole dyke with daddy issues but in an effort not to become a raging man-hating lesbian, I have recently had the desire to bring men into my life. And of course, the minute I create a space for men to start showing up, they start showing up.
So I am dealing with my fears and my own insecurities around certain aspects of gender and sexuality and after my time in Cali, I was reminded that I am a strong, fierce, confident woman who is creating sexual freedom as my right of passage. As always, I am writing it out in a new writing project I’m calling “Dairy of a Brown Poly Girl” – mostly because I hope my work turns me into an influential smut writer who promotes sexual liberation for all.
My time in Cali wasn’t all fun and no work. I’m a nerd and an educator so I was excited to be able to teach on vacation!
Sara and I taught our class “The Revolution will be Kinky: Being Young in the Scene” at Feelmore 510, a new sex toy shop run by Neena Joiner in downtown Oakland. The shop is beautiful – not only are there sex toys but erotic artwork, classic porn and Playboys from the 50’s. Neena is amazing at making every costumer feel welcome by creating a chill atmosphere with jazz music, fantastic art and photography. If you are in the Oakland area, I recommend you stop in for a workshop or just to shop.
It was a pleasure to teach to young kinky folks and queers about navigating the in’s and out’s of the BDSM scene. It was our third time teaching the class so we’ve learned to create the workshop based on our participant’s questions and based on why they came to the workshop to learn. This usually sparks a great dialogue so the class can develop on its own. Teaching workshops always helps Sara and I develop as teachers and it continues to fulfill on our goals to spread safe sexual practices throughout the LGBT community. It was really exciting to teach at Feelmore 510 and I hope we get to do it again on next summer’s West Coast tour!
Next stop on the Baby IMsL Leather Tour: FetFest 2011. Somewhere in between all this travel, I’ll find time to write about it. Until next time…