Cosmopolitan, after almost 50 years of being one of the most aggressively heteronormative women’s publications from newsstand to screen, has finally decided to throw the queers a bone — specifically, 28 (ways to) bone, if you wanna get punnily Cosmo-esque — by publishing its first ever lesbian sex guide.
The NSFW slideshow up at Cosmopolitan.com has been garnering praise from mainstream media. “Finally,” said Salon.com, “Cosmo is reaching out to lesbians.” “Hurrah,” cheered Huffington Post UK. The coverage has accompanied acknowledgement of Cosmo’s recent forays into broader LGBTQ editorial content, with pieces like “8 Things Not to Say to a Transgender Person,” “14 Things You Should Never Say to a Gay Man,” and (the extremely wonderful) “My Life as an Invisible Queer.”
With wide circulation of the lesbian sex guide, Cosmo continues to ride a PR high on its perceived social progressivism. The Hollywood Gossip trilled the slideshow “will receive no criticism from any sane male OR female.”
So now, here I am, an Allegedly Crazy Female Gay, arriving right on cue to crash this positivity party. Keep reading »
One of the first questions people usually ask upon meeting me is what I do for a living. When I respond casually that I’m a production assistant on queer porn, then the questions really get going. What does a porn PA do, exactly?
I’ll tell you one thing: much to my regret, I am not a fluffer. I know, I know, it’s a great tragedy for me, too.
I dreamed of working on a porn set from when I was a teen, thumbing through copies of Club Magazine and trolling various AOL cybersex forums. I dreamed of being on NoFauxxx or SuicideGirls, and got into erotic modeling intending to take it further. But life got in the way of my exhibitionist dreams, and I didn’t revisit my love for porn until I founded the Ladies High Tea and Pornography Society, a discussion, Sunday tea, and porn appreciation gathering I threw for a few years in London. When, at 27, I started performing in adult films, I never imagined I would one day be on the other side of the camera. Keep reading »
My first real game, the one I remember best, was Zork — good, old-fashioned white text on a black background. I was obsessed with it, the challenges intrinsic in playing it, and the mythology attached. I read the books that came with the series obsessively, and even did a school report (sadly not preserved for posterity) on the Underground Empire for a class in school. Infocom ruled my childhood, inspired my imagination, and got me interested in storytelling. Part of what I loved so much about Zork was the lack of a player description. You were an adventurer, and that was that: no gender, no race, none of that mattered. All that mattered was exploration, creativity, and a willingness to accept that sometimes, if you planned poorly, you’d be eaten by a grue. I didn’t even really think about my character, because it was just me, wandering through the map. There was no default. Keep reading »
“There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.” — Janis Ian
Judging from the popularity of femme-on-femme makeouts being used to sell products from Versace to concert tickets, one would think that lesbian porn is a big seller. The best thing a pop star can do to fan media attention is fake interest in another woman, after all, so we must be eating up lesbian porn. Right? Keep reading »
I first fell in love with Kristen Stewart 10 years ago. I was 12.”Catch that Kid,” a classic of our times, has a criminal 12 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Anyone who would review this film poorly is a joyless weirdo.
Stewart played Maddy, an adventurous tomboy whose skillset included climbing very tall things and emotionally manipulating boys. Her dad needed an expensive surgery, so she enlisted her two best guy friends to help her casually rob a bank. They aren’t feeling it at first, but then she gives each of them one half of a heart necklace with a promise that she loves him and doesn’t give a shit about the other guy. Bingo. Kristen Stewart’s Maddy is strategic, powerful, and a ruthless heartbreaker. 12-year-old me thought, What a dreamboat.
As far as mainstream kids’ movies go, “Catch that Kid” is a total queerfest. Maddy herself is an unfeminine little boss who is -20 percent interested in the romantic affection of preteen boys, while her mother is played by Jennifer Beals, aka “The L Word’”‘s power dyke, Bette. So, ever since Kristen Stewart was in this super great, super queer flop of a film, I’ve associated her with my own lesbian awakening – and I therefore feel weirdly protective whenever her real-life potential queerness comes into cultural question, and she’s run through the celebrity gossip meat grinder.
Which is happening now. Again. Keep reading »
Guys, I love sarcasm. It’s a heady, delicious treat I eat up on the hour. But even I have my sarcasm limits. Case in point: Gawker writer Hamiliton Nolan’s response to a piece by xoJane writer s.e. smith about the western appropriation of Eastern religion, specifically in the context of yoga, and whether someone with an atheist viewpoint should really practice yoga. I’m not going to get into that, because I personally hate yoga and can’t understand why people are always freaking out about it. Howevs, it’s how Nolan wrote about s.e.’s piece that’s super irksome.
Throughout the piece, Nolan referred to smith by the pronouns her/she, which is not how s.e. identifies. When the Gawker piece came out, a couple members of the xoJane team wrote in to let Nolan know that s.e.’s preferred pronoun is “ou.” s.e. has written about preferring “ou” before, and even mentions it in ou’s xoJane bio: “s.e. smith is a writer, agitator, and commentator based in Northern California. Ou focuses on social issues, particularly gender, prison reform, disability rights, environmental justice, queerness, class, and the intersections thereof, and has a special interest in rural subjects.” Keep reading »
Jared’s* question came during a sex party a few months ago, after some steamy foreplay organically led to this discussion: “Can I fuck you now?”
It caught me off guard, but not in an unpleasant way. Men had asked me this question before, and I was half expecting to decline, like I usually did. But I’d been fantasizing about having sex with him for months. This was opportunity knocking.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to,” Jared continued, directing this at both me and my husband, Paul. “But it seems like the logical next step here.”
It was. “Are you okay with that?” I asked Paul. He nodded reassuringly, excited to watch me take this new step. I smiled. “Then, yes. Let’s give it a try.”
So we did. Jared became the second man I’ve ever had intercourse with, signifying a change I never thought would come: an interest in sleeping with men. Keep reading »
Let me tell you a story about “bi invisibility.” A few years ago, at my first full-time job – which, I should clarify, was at an LGBT nonprofit organization – I was chatting with a gay male co-worker about a conversation he had with an acquaintance of ours. Apparently I had come up in their conversation, and he had referred to me as “straight.” As in “heterosexual.” I don’t know where the rest of the story was going, because I stopped my colleague right there.
“Actually,” I interjected, “I’m not straight.”
He seemed genuinely baffled. “You’re not?”
“Well … no. I can see why you thought I was, but I’m not. I’m bisexual.”
His eyes widened and he smiled. It was like a light bulb had gone off in his head and everything suddenly made sense. Meanwhile, I walked back to my cubicle, shocked that, at an LGBT organization, anyone would assume that anyone else was straight. It surprised me that, in a space where identity politics and queer issues were discussed regularly, being in a relationship with a man would automatically signify me as a hetero. I suddenly realized that my identity as a bi woman would always be invisible. I would always be invisible. That is, unless I found a way to combat that invisibility. Keep reading »
“The way I would choose to identify myself wouldn’t be gay. I’ve been attracted mostly to ‘shes’ but I’ve been with many people and I’m open to love wherever it can be found. I think a lot of people are projecting their own troubles and fears concerning sexuality onto those around them, and it does result in the perpetuation of a lot of hateful notions. As long as I can remember, I’ve felt really horrified watching those dynamics play out. It really hurts and divides us all, and in the end, so much of the human experience is shared, so we only end up hating and fearing our own damn selves.”
– Every time I read an interview with “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower” star Ezra Miller, I think to myself, Thank God I didn’t meet you when I was 16 because I would be So. Far. Gone. [The Daily Beast]