“Your responses are so zen,” I observe to Jesse Thomas, a singer/songwriter whose addictive sound combines droll lyricism, lilting nostalgia, and the loveliest rasp. Today Jesse’s sophomore album, Burn The Boats, is dropping right next to Tori Amos on iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts. “I’m zen as fuck,” she replies, and so commences the coming out of Jesse Thomas.
Worst gay celebrity award goes to Linda Perry for snapping “that’s a gay question” when I asked if her upcoming reality show would include LGBTQ elements or storylines.
Linda: That’s a gay question
Me (Freelancer): Well yeah I write for a gay outlet & you’re hosting a LGBTQ Center fundraiser
Linda: You know what I mean. Not cool. It’s about PEOPLE, not GAY people.
Oh, South Carolina, bless your little soul for consistently producing some of the most truly head-scratching stories of ignorance in the country. The most recent example? The University of South Carolina Upstate is canceling a performance called How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less, because, apparently, no one has a sense of humor. State Senator Mike Fair seems to believe that the show is a “recruiting” event and, to be honest, I actually have no words to respond to that.
Senator Fair, I hate to break it to you, but we don’t actually recruit. If we did, however, I think our field guide might look something like this.
I chatted with Jaime Murray and Stephanie Leonidas about Doc Yewll’s ex-wife and their picks for the AfterEllen Hot 100.
During her acceptance speech this past Monday for the Point Foundation’s Horizon Award, Lena Dunham admitted her disappointment when she realized she was straight. She noted, however, she was grateful that there was at least one homo in the family: “When my sister came out, I thought, ‘Thank God, someone in this family can truly represent my passions and beliefs.’”
I know I’m not supposed to say this, but I wish gay women had more rules. Say what you will about heteros—Lord knows I do—but at least those beezies have a dating blueprint. All gay women have is The L Word. I’ve never seen a lesbian movie or TV show analyze how long to wait before sleeping with a new woman. Lesbians of my generation take a lackadaisical approach to sex and dating that probably stems from growing up in the hookup culture combined with, “Fuck it, we’re gay — it’s not like anyone expects us to wait until marriage.” The upside of no rules is doing whatever you want. The downside of no rules having no fucking clue what you’re doing or what you want or if what you want is what you’re supposed to want and what you will want in the long run (i.e. tomorrow morning).
Personally, I’m torn. Both casual hookups and chastity have their relative merits. For the first few years of my twenties, shortly after coming to terms with my own gayness, my attitude towards sex was similar to a child’s attitude towards ice cream cake: more is more. Actually that’s still my attitude towards ice cream cake. Apologies to any girls out there who resent being compared to ice cream cake. The hookups took their toll, as false intimacy always will. I was careless with myself and others. I hardened.
After a while I got sick of hurting the girls who cared for me, and being hurt by those who couldn’t care less. So came another extreme: chastity. For six months, maybe more, I didn’t sleep with anyone. It was super boring. Now I straddle the line between decadent girl gluttony and puritanical abstinence with uneasy balance, always trying to find that perfect yet elusive spot between too little and too much. To balance out this piece, I conducted an informal poll of my peers for tips to find that sexy sweet spot when its OK to slut it up (Lawd I love alliteration).
Here are seven tips for knowing the right time for sexy time.
1. You aren’t going to run into her constantly.
Call me closed off, but I don’t want to sleep with anyone I’ll have to constantly see. There’s few moments more awkward than the moment you see that girl who slept with you, then never texted again. Or maybe you’ll never want to text her again! Either way, it’s best to sleep with someone not entangled in your social circle. Then no matter how poorly or wonderfully the relationship goes, it can progress naturally with both women’s consent.
2. You could send her a nude selfie without fear.
Hella beta, I know, but also hella true: being comfortable around someone naked is a great barometer for how really you are to have sex with that person. Don’t get confused: I’m not suggesting you send girls nudes. You shouldn’t, especially to strange girls you don’t trust, especially if you are underage. I’m just saying that if you’re 100% sure that a girl wouldn’t share the image of your bod with the world no matter how hot that bod is, she’d probably treat your body right. By the way if you must send nudes, make sure your face isn’t visible. You’ll thank me later.
3. You know her full name by heart.
Does this conversation sound familiar?
“How are things going with that girl?”
“Oh yeah her. Ok I guess.”
“What’s her name again.”
“Do you not know her name?”
“Give me a minute… MANDY. Her name is Mandy!
“No idea, I’d have to check Facebook.”
If that conversation sounds familiar, STOP, do not pass go, do not sleep with Mandy until you know her last and middle name. You should not have to Facebook search your paramour’s last name.
4. She bought you dinner.
Or lunch. Or planned a romantic date. Or made you an adorable surprise. Basically she put in a noticeable amount of effort into pleasing you. Raise your expectations and keep them high: You deserve someone who tries.
5. You’re comfortable with them hearing you snore.
I really, really hate to admit this, but I’m a delicate-ish snorer. Blame it on a slightly deviated septum inside my otherwise excellent upturned nose. If someone’s sexing, then spending the night, I need to know they can hear my ladylike wheezing and still be attracted to me. This requires trust. How do you know you trust someone? When you let them hear you snore. BOOM.
6. You aren’t blacked out or even browned out.
Two quick definition for you dreary, emotionally stable souls who never over-indulge in satan’s brew.
Blacked out: When you wake up and don’t remember anything from a certain point in the night onward.
Browned out: When you wake up and can remember snippets from the night, but not the entire night, past a certain point.
Don’t have sex with someone for the first time when you’re drunk. They can tell, even if you can’t. Three drinks max pre-sex, no shots.
7. She’s said, “I really like you.”
Hearing a girl say “I really like you” melts my frozen heart. Hold out for the “really“—I like you isn’t enough. Girls should like smoothies and really like the girls they sleep with.
What do you think? How do you know when it’s cool to sex up a lady?
Catie Curtis has been writing her own music since 1989, but her new album, Flying Dream, is the first she’s put out on her own in 10 years. After a decade of working with labels, the New England folk star raised funds for her new record with help from diehard fans, of which she has many. A prolific songwriter and seasoned traveling troubadour, Catie has made a name for herself in both the music and queer communities as an important voice for supporting independence and equality.
On Catie’s thirteenth album, she worked with Kristen Hall, an original member of the country band Sugarland, who also happens to be gay. Kristen produced Flying Dream, and co-wrote six of the songs. The end result is a cohesive 10-track tapestry of emotional folk with hints of country, pop and blues.
We spoke with Catie about recording Flying Dream, releasing the album on her own, and her recent separation from her wife.
After getting pregnant with her son, A.K. Summers knew that her experiences as a butch woman should be shared with the world. Firstly, there were no relevant websites, books or guides to being a pregnant butch, and secondly, it was a long nine months of dealing with issues that most women wouldn’t have to consider while they are planning baby showers and buying bassinets.
What began as a web comic is now a hard copy book out today from Soft Skull Press, and A.K.’s stories of finding the right delivery team, clothing and support from people in her life (including her partner) proves to be a fun read with a good balance of eye-roll worthy moments (like the landlord that keeps calling her “Mommy”) and hilarious tidbits (like people feeling the need to tell her she looked like she’d just put on some weight).
In 2007 duo Bunny Rabbit and Black Cracker released their album Lovers and Crypts, a queer electro-hip-hop with the dolled up femme frontwoman (Bunny) wearing tutus and carrying parasols while rapping about black eyes and tattooed teardrops. Her then partner Black Cracker produced the beats as they left their home of Brooklyn to tour around the world, playing to a dedicated fanbase of queers, feminists, punks and art students. Their unapologetically out there stage performances and songs like “Pussy Queen” and “Saddle Up” were as challenging as they were good raunchy fun.
The duo eventually went their separate ways and in the past seven years Bunny (now called Bunny Michael) has learned how to produce her own tracks while also creating in other ways. Most recently she covered the Daddy Yankee hit “Gasolina,” including a trippy video in which she plays both her physical being and her spiritual being, one more feminine while the other is decidedly masculine.
Bunny also is working on a project called Nature Slut, and all of her work feeds into one another, as the songs on her upcoming EP, Rainbow Licker, share similar elements of connecting spirituality, the earth and sexuality.
“I just really want people to know that I’m interested in inspiring more art, but also that I”m interested in expanding consciousness expansion and how artists can be very useful tools,” Bunny said. “I’m also super about inclusion. I definitely think the time for being exclusive about things in the art world is over. I think we need to include everybody in what we do because when you limit other people from access, you’re limiting yourself. I basically want to be completely open.”
We asked Bunny about changing up her stage name, how she came up with the idea for Nature Slut, and what we can expect from her live show.