In the very near future, I’m going to be enjoying a rare opportunity to teach a couple of workshops right here in Montreal. For some reason my teaching career tends to take place on the other side of the Ontario border most of the time, which is fun but a little odd. But with the Censored Festival coming up (August 4 – 12), I’ve finally got the chance to do some of my preferred work in my hometown. Whee!
That’s where you come in, dear reader. Each workshop requires a minimum of 10 registrations in order to run… and given that this is the first festival of its kind in Montreal, and the organizers have one helluva lot on their plates, any extra promotion help is much appreciated. So, please pass the word! Tell your lovers, tell your friends, tell your family (well, maybe). If you want, you can even just copy the blurb out of my Workshops page and e-mail it to everyone you know! And boy, would I love you forever.
Yes, the details. I was getting to that. I promise to try and make them entertaining.
The first is called “Getting Your Girl,” and it’s on Tuesday, August 7 at 6 p.m. The idea is to introduce gals who aren’t used to flirting with / playing with / fucking other women to all the special ins and outs of girl-on-girl stuff. So those of you with experience really won’t need it, but if you know anyone of the female persuasion who falls into the category of “curious” or otherwise in need of a shot in the arm when it comes to their lesbo-mojo, please send them my way. Take a look at my Workshops section (up top) for the official description.
The second workshop is “Hands-On Play,” which is basically a nice way of saying “how to beat the shit out of someone with your bare hands and make them like it.” Heh. This is one of my all-time favourite ways to do BDSM play. I dunno, there’s just something incredibly satisfying about ramming your fist into someone… but of course the idea is a little freaky for some people, not to mention you really want to make sure you know how to do it safely before you wind up and clock your honey. So, sign up if you’re interested! And send your friends! And if anyone’s planning to go and is interested in demo bottoming for me, please let me know. It’s always nice to have fresh people to hit. Mwahahaha. It’s happening on Thursday, August 9 from 6 to 8. Again, the official description is on my Workshops page. In case my post title has misled you, I should specify that no, this is not exclusively a workshop for women nor will people exclusively learn how to hit women; it’s just that I mostly play with women so that’s where the bulk of my associations lie.
You can sign up for both workshops at http://www.censoredfestival.com/schedule.php. You just have to click on the Workshops tab and scroll down to the appropriate day and title.
Okay, now for the entertaining part.
So the “Getting Your Girl” workshop is a new one for me. The Censored organizer asked if I could put one together; the idea, in her mind, was to get a bona fide queer gal to teach intrigued straight/bi-curious/bisexual-and-inexperienced girls how to get into another girl’s pants. “Of course,” I said, “Sure thing!”
It was only quite a bit later that I realized I haven’t thought of myself as “straight” in over 15 years, so who the hell am I to teach a straight girl how to do anything? It really is a bit of a mindset shift; I have work to do if I’m going to think my way back into a predominantly-heterosexual mentality so that I can then try to guide women out of it and into the myriad possibilities of same-sex pleasure. How was I to go about making that shift?
Well, the answer to everything in a geek’s world is “do some research.” So I straightened my pocket protector, slicked down my cowlick and took myself on a field trip to Come As You Are in Toronto when I was last there, in search of the book by Jen Sincero entitled The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping with Chicks.
When the book came out a couple of years ago, it raised a bit of a ruckus among queer girls. I don’t recall a lot of the specifics, but the idea was basically, if you’re a chick and you want to have sex with other chicks, you are not straight. So don’t be writing a book that makes it sound perfectly acceptable to have “illicit” queer sex and still go about dripping with clueless heterosexual privilege.
Fair enough, in some ways. I will admit that I cringed a bit at the title – it does call the writer’s politics into question, not to mention her accuracy. But I figured that such a title would indeed attract the specific target market I’m supposed to be speaking to, so I might as well check it out.
Now here’s the funny part. I took the book to the counter at CAYA, and who should I spot heading towards me but Sasha, the Montreal Mirror‘s well-known and very pithy sex columnist (who happens to be a denizen of Toronto these days). “Hey!” she says to me, plunking down a stack of something on the counter. “How are you? Whatcha reading?”
I showed her the title, and her eyebrow shot skyward. This is when I realized how totally awful it must look. I mean, I’ve built a loud and proud reputation as a queer writer and educator (not to mention personal practitioner) for years now – what must it seem like, that I’d be reading a girl-on-girl instructional manual intended for straights? It was tantamount to broadcasting that I need a refresher course in pussy-eating or a reminder about where exactly the clitoris is found. That’s like… I dunno… seeing your accountant in a café reading a copy of Bookkeeping for Dummies, or your English teacher perusing Hooked On Phonics. Does that inspire trust or attest to professional competency and expertise? Not exactly!
“It’s not for me!” I found myself saying. “I mean, it is, but it’s for research purposes.” How utterly embarrassing, when the truth comes out sounding like a very half-ass lie.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” she said, rolling her eyes in sympathy. “Me too.” And she indicated her stack of merchandise – all of it the latest cutting-edge high-end glossy porn. “I have to review these, and sometimes, when you’re just not in the mood…” I nodded kindly, but what I really wanted to do was crawl under a rock somewhere and bring my tattered lesbo cred with me.
Since then, I’ve found myself reading the book in a clandestine fashion. The last time I did that with something sexuality-related, I was eight years old and sneaking peeks at my grandmother’s circa-1947 sex manual. I mean, I’ve read Inga Muscio’s book Cunt (which proudly proclaims its title in bold red lettering against a yellow field) on the metro and held it high enough for everyone to see, just to ascertain how many people blush or look uncomfortable. Same thing with such provocatively-titled works as Jay Wiseman’s SM 101, Patrick Califia’s Public Sex, Laura Antoniou’s The Slave, Michael Warner’s neon-orange The Trouble with Normal, Alison Tyler’s Luscious: Anal Erotica and Susie Bright’s How to Write a Dirty Story. But The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping with Chicks is just too much for me.
Anyway, when I finally manage to get through it – the “you go, girl” tone of it is a little pukey, and the writer’s completely frustrating cluelessness about some aspects of the female orgasm makes me want to punch her – I will doubtless be well on my way back into het-land such that I will be equipped to shed light on the mysteries of Sapphic sexuality for those who wish to follow their hearts (or something) into their BFF’s boudoir.
I promise that when I do so, though, I will not be nearly as condescending and giggly as Sincero can be – “Then there’s the whole losing your virginity thing and all the what-if-I-suck-in-bed trauma that goes along with that. Four words: Mas. Tur. Ba. Tion.” – and I will, dammit, provide accurate information about female ejaculation. Witness the following paragraph:
There are also times when G-spot stimulation can make you feel like you really have to pee, since the spot is so close to the bladder. If this keeps you from enjoying yourself, make sure to go to the bathroom beforehand and then try to relax – it’s normal to feel like pee is on the way but it’s not.
Um, in fact it’s normal to feel like you might be about to squirt a load of ejaculate, actually. Sure, if you’ve got a super-full bladder, the pee thing might be an issue, but unless you’ve just chugged a litre of water, chances are that the pee-feeling of intense G-spot stimulation means your body wants to gush something else entirely. And for Chrissakes, you should go right ahead and do it because it feels incredibly good and if your lover has any sense of enthusiasm, he or she should be thrilled at your visible demonstration of pleasure. How is it that people are still so numbskulled about this? Especially people who take the time to write a whole frickin’ book about girlsex? Yeesh.
There you have it: Andrea’s adventures in sexuality research.
The things I do for this job…