Snatched from emmastory on Instagram!

Drag Drop-Out

VendettaIf you’ve only started following this blog in the last three or four years, you may not know that I used to be a drag queen. I didn’t do it super regularly…every few months, for the most part. I unofficially gave it up in 2011, after I became fed up with being told I was doing drag wrong. I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Michigan queens are very pageant-focused, whether they actually compete or not. There is only one way to do makeup for them. They all perform recognizable top 40 hits. They rhinestone the fuck out of everything. As Vendetta, I used stage makeup, because that’s what I knew how to work with. I performed songs that were less familiar, so that I wouldn’t be compared to other queens who had performed them, or even the songs original artist.

I also never had a lot of money to spend on my drag, so I couldn’t get too glitzy. I also never made a lot of money doing drag, so I couldn’t even put that towards more drag. I tried to get by on my performance skills alone. But while my lip-syncing skills have always been off the chain, I never really found my footing in heels.

During my last couple shows, I was starting to show dramatic improvement, but by then the magic had already started to wear off. I think, in my brain, the way it played out was something like this:

When I started doing drag, I had only been on the gay scene for about a year. I was short (still am). I was skinny (still am). I was insecure about my masculinity (that part’s gotten better). I was made to feel like a twink. I felt like I would never be taken seriously as a man, that I was feminine by default because of the way I looked. So I thought “If I can’t be hot as a man, I can at least try to be a fine-ass woman every now and then.” Then I moved to New York, met new people who saw me the way people in Michigan never seemed to. They reestablished my confidence in my masculine presentation, and I realized that despite my boyish build and face, I can still be the man that I’ve always wanted to be. Just…smaller. Then I started doing burlesque, and this was all reaffirmed to perfection. I can go on stage, looking like myself, take my clothes off, and people will pay me more than they ever did when I dressed like a woman? Vendetta, you can take a seat.

Anyway, last night, I performed in “Homo Erectus”, a monthly boylesque show produced by one of my best friends Matt Knife at the Stonewall Inn. I’ve performed in plenty of these, but this one was different. This was a cross-dressing show. It was time to bust out Vendetta again. I was nervous about it, but I knew it would give me the closure I needed with my female persona.

Snatched from emmastory on Instagram!
Snatched from emmastory on Instagram!

This time, I was going to do it my way. I hadn’t done makeup that way in almost four years, but I didn’t ask for anyone’s help. I used shitty makeup from the halloween store, but I looked damn good. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on an outfit I would wear one time, so I made an outfit out of bondage tape that I got from work. I ended up looked like a genderfucked bad chick from an early 90s teen flick. I looked fuck goooood.

I was the stage kitten/go-go dancer for this show, so I didn’t have a full act to prepare, but I turned my go-go set into more of an extended drag number. For my second set, I took a pair of scissors and cut the bondage tape off of my body. And then I cut the dance tights and fishnet stockings off of my legs and dumped that shit in the garbage. I’m sure it looked fucking weird to the people watching, but for me, it was very therapeutic. I needed that release, and sometimes the only way to get it is by destroying what once made you feel confined.

My look and my performance were well received. Some folks even said I should do it more often. The thought is appreciated, and I’ll consider it. But one this is certain: I am fucking done shaving my armpits.

Grinch

Where Did Christmas Go?

GrinchLike any other kid, Christmas used to be my favorite time of year. Well, any other kid who grew up in a household that celebrated Christmas, of course. I was raised in an atheist household, but we still celebrated the Santa side of Christmas. And I always went nuts over it. Decorations. Cookies. Music. I loved it all. Except for the Jesus stuff (sorry folks…)

But now, I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt any sincere Christmas spirit. I wish I could. I don’t take pride in being a Grinch, but instead of feeling joyful or nostalgic, I just get anxious and cranky. The first couple times I thought it was just a phase…a bad year…but I’m pretty sure I lost my grip on holiday spirit around the time I moved to New York. And I want it back.

But I can’t very well regain it when I don’t know how I dropped it in the first place.

Is it the lack of snow?
Is it the lack of Christmas tree, or fire place? No smell of pine needles and burning logs?
Is it because I’ve grown up and become less materialistic? (The answer to that one is definitely ‘no’. I still like presents. A lot.)
Is it because I’ve worked retail jobs for the last six years? (That’s probably part of it. That’ll ruin a holiday for anyone, really.)

All of these elements contribute at least a little bit, I’m sure. But even as I’m writing this, it’s dawning on me that perhaps the reason I’ve become so disenchanted with the holidays is that they remind me of how un-grown-up I feel. During the rest of the year (for the most part) I feel like a mature, yet youthful adult who’s leading an exciting life and slowly but surely working toward his dream. Once Christmas hits, though, my wings cripple a bit. I have no space for a Christmas tree in my tiny Brooklyn apartment. I’m utterly useless in the kitchen, so cookies are risky. My family has always spoiled me in the gift department, and I always dreamed that I’d be able to finally return the favor. Every year I tell myself that I’m going to be better at it next year. But even though I continue to move up in the world I still struggle to make ends meet. I genuinely enjoy giving gifts, and would be much more generous with them if I could. But my current lifestyle requires me to be more thrifty, which I don’t mind when it’s just for me. I just hate the fact that it affects others, whether they’re aware of it or not.

I don’t expect to be a Grinch forever. I’m sure I’ll find my Christmas cheer again at some point. This year doesn’t look likely. And I don’t want to make myself any promises, especially when I haven’t been able to keep it for 9 years in a row. But it’s out there somewhere.

In the meantime, I’m going to drink plenty of hot chocolate (spiked, most likely) and listen to Venus Hum’s “Switched on Christmas”, because it’s the only holiday music I can stand.

This was kind of what I expected, but it wasn't that wild.

Frolicking with the Faeries

Wow. When it rains, it pours.

Especially when it’s raining dicks.

And raining dicks is not something I will ever complain about. Unless it’s a literal occurrence. In which case, eew.

Last week started off with group sex, and it ended with group sex. I didn’t plan it that way. It just kinda happened. On Friday night, I went to a different party. It was advertised on Facebook by an acquaintance of mine as a “queer play party” and I thought “well, FUCK, that’s exactly the kind of gig I’ve been looking for!” I’ve been to plenty of sex parties, and I could go to many more if I chose. But the atmosphere at a play party (generally speaking) is a bit different. Yeah, plenty of sex happens. Along with plenty of other hot, kinky, not-necessarily-sexual things. But I feel like at a ‘play party’, the atmosphere is just a lot more…well…playful. (Honestly, I’m basing all of this on who I know goes to play parties and whatnot. I’ve never actually been to a ‘play party’ outside of my Dark Odyssey events.)

This was kind of what I expected, but it wasn't that wild.
This was kind of what I expected, but it wasn’t that wild.

This here queer play party was an operation run by the NYC Radical Faeries, which fascinated me on so many levels. I’ve known a few faeries in my time, but never spent a great deal of time around them, so I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect. I knew there was some pagan element to them, and I knew they liked glitter. A lot. But otherwise I was going in with minimal expectations and an open mind.

I brought a buddy of mine along…a non-faerie buddy… so I wasn’t alone in this unfamiliar environment. I’ve also learned that attending group sex events with someone that you know wants to fuck you A) guarantees you’ll at least get some play, and B) makes you look less awkward and more approachable. I was especially glad that I brought him along because we ended up being some of the first people to arrive. That could have been a lot more uncomfortable than it was.

After we’d been there for over an hour, and a crowd finally started to build up, all of the attendees were summoned together for an opening ritual. We were asked to join hands, and I was like “uuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh….” One man, dressed as a satyr, entered the circle, and conjured the four corners of the Earth (North, South, East, and West…not necessarily in that order) drew power from stars in different constellations. This was like nothing I’d ever seen before, especially in a sexually charged environment, but ya know was? It was cute. As an outsider, I appreciated it.

After the group took some collective deep breaths, another man began conducting an icebreaker, which I love when it comes to theatre games, but here I was kind of terrified. I did that thing that chickens do where I buddied up with my buddy that I came with, and no one complained. In the exercise, which actually felt a lot like theatre, one of us was to be blindfolded (I volunteered as tribute) while the not-blindfolded-one guided the blindfolded-one’s hands around their body. That was kinda hot. Then the not-blindfolded-one was invited to guide the blindfolded-one’s hands to other people’s bodies. And that was very hot. I touched some faces, touched some butts, maybe a dick or two. After a while, we were instructed to switch partners. My buddy had to make a pitstop, and one of the guys next to me had issues with being blindfolded, so his partner (someone I already knew) and I buddied up, and since we had both been blindfolded the first time, I volunteered to be blindfolded again. More touching happened. The man instructing us encouraged us to let it go and segue into playtime if we wished. My blindfold was removed, and I saw that the pair next to me had already begun sucking each other off, and I was like “Oh, fuck! I am SO behind. I had better catch up.”

And I did.

By this point in the party, almost everyone present was (from what I could tell) a cisgender man, so it was pretty much the mix I was familiar with. And it became little more than a sizable suckfest. Which is not something I’m made about. In case you didn’t know, I’m perfectly happy getting my cock sucked for hours on end.

Not too long after that business began, the crowd was treated to a performance piece (it’s like dinner and a show, and your dinner is oral sex). Ariel Speedwagon and Damien Luxe conducted a quartet of carolers with bells stuck up their butts in a series of holiday classics. There really isn’t a way of describing this in writing that does it justice, but it was fucking incredible. That’s the kind of performance art I want to see at all times. Sexy, and funny as shit.

The gender spectrum had broadened dramatically by the time the show began, but for the most part I only saw a bunch of cis guys playing the entire night. And the ‘play’ that I saw was mostly blowjobs. I witnessed two floggings (and received a brief one myself) and got to fuck a hot ass, but I would have liked to see a little more kink action. The atmosphere was very friendly, for the most part, but there were a few attendees who still didn’t know how to (or chose not to) use their words or respect boundaries. Since I was a newcomer to this environment, I didn’t feel as comfortable standing my ground as I should have, but I think anyone should be able to figure out that if you’ve been touching someone without consent for over a minute and they still haven’t acknowledged you, that’s probably not okay.

Despite that one awkward interaction, I actually had a really fantastic time. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and it sounds like my presence will be more than welcome in the future.

Furries Are Your Friends

Yesterday, news broke out of a chlorine gas leak that took place in a hotel in Chicago during Midwest FurFest, the second biggest furry convention in the U.S. The report stated that the leak seemed as if it was planted intentionally, and I was not surprised. And I was most definitely furious. (No, NOT ‘furry-ous’. Straight up furious. Save your puns for people who are less pissed right now.)

I’ve been listening to the world make fun of furries for years, and I am officially over it. Really…’over it’ is an understatement. I’ve seen people mocking them on the internet. I had discussions about them in several classes in college and heard people talk about how ‘weird’ they are. One of my favorite shows on television right now, the comedy game show “@Midnight“, has made furries their punching bag on numerous occasions, and truly it breaks my heart. I keep watching, yes, but with less of a clear conscience than I would like, because I don’t think that comedy needs to be, or should be, sex-negative or body-shaming to be effective. It’s pathetically low fruit that would like to believe my favorite comedians are superior to.

No, I am not a furry. It’s not my kink. But as someone who has plenty of other kinks, I have a fairly clear understanding of where they’re coming from and how they tick. I’ve met several furries, all of which were lovely people. They weren’t scary. They weren’t weird. They weren’t sick. They were incredibly kind and well-adjusted people. Shocking? Not really

Plenty of studies have shown that folks who put their kinks into practice are more mentally stable. It’s not hard to imagine, considering how much mental strain it takes to suppress your sexual desires. In this case, that kink just happens to be dressing up like an anthropomorphic animal.

SO?!

So many people seem almost personally offended by the existence of this fandom, and it never ceases to baffle me. We were all children once. Didn’t we all enjoy dressing up in costumes, or playing make believe, imagining we were someone, or something, else? Who says that that has to stop once you hit a certain age? Adults need their playtime just as much as children do, and these folks have embraced their playful side more thoroughly than anyone else I can think of. You might make fun, but I respect the fuck out of them. I bet humanity as a whole would be a whole lot happier if they had the guts to pursue their passions the way these people do.

I don’t expect everyone to understand this community. I don’t claim to fully understand them myself. But they don’t deserve the treatment that our society dumps on them, and I hope that we see this tragedy as a reality check and lay off them, rather than pounce on it as yet another opportunity to make them the laughing stock of the media.

But it’s humans we’re dealing with here. My hopes are not particularly high.

LUCAS 89b crop

What Else Am I Good For?

It’s been a pretty dry season for me in the sack. I’m pretty sure I only have myself to blame. I killed most of my man-seeking profiles on the internet and on my phone. I’ve become more selective of who I get naked with, because the number of guys I’ve slept with who’ve then seemingly dropped off the face of the earth has been ridiculous, percentage-wise, over the last year, and it’s sucking my soul dry. I’m pretty sure that most people think that because I write about sex or because I sell sex toys I’m bouncing in and out of various beds at an alarmingly rapid rate, but it’s not the case. And when it isn’t the case, it tends to have a pretty crappy effect on my self-esteem.

LUCAS 89b cropFollowing a recent gripe I blurted out on some social media platform (probably all of them) a friend of mine stepped up with an intervention of sorts. Well, ‘intervention’ sounds a bit too dramatic… an observation, or a concern, perhaps. His concern was that I getting myself into a headspace where my sense of self-worth was getting bound up entirely in people wanting to have sex with me.

And you know what? I’m pretty sure he’s right.

This friend has seen the worst of it…when I’m at kink events, surrounded by people who think I’m awesome and love having me around, but I’m still grumpy about the lack of guys lining up to bone me. It’s a problem in my every day life as well, but less so, and usually remedied by a quick wank and the presence of non-sexual company.

I was grateful he mentioned it, because I think I needed to hear it, and if it had gone unsaid much longer it could have cut a lot deeper than it did. Now that I’m aware of it, I can avoid the damage it might have inflicted.

But it also means I’m going to analyze the fuck out of it.

Is it because of nature or nurture that my self-esteem works that way? Is it because (cocky as I may sound) I’m just naturally self-deprecating and have a hard time believing that anyone would want to hang out with me unless they wanted to fuck me? Or is it because gay culture puts so much emphasis on one’s bangability and celebrates little else?

Let’s be honest, I get told I’m hot way more often than I’m told I’m smart, nice, fun to be around, etc. Do I think my looks are my strongest quality? I sure hope not. But in the past, it’s often been the only way I can draw attention to the other things one might find endearing about me. Sex sells, and all that.

I’m still cruising along down the (probably endless) road to loving the body I’ve been given, but I’ve decided to take a side road…perhaps a scenic route…to focus on the other things people might appreciate me for, and spend more time in the company of those who value me for those things.

Being considered attractive is very important to me, and I don’t expect that to change, but I do admit that it’s consumed way too much of my time already. I see so many people all over the internet capitalizing on their cuteness. And while I do feel envious of the attention they get, I’m grateful that I do have other things to offer.

Does this sound a little humble-braggy? It does, doesn’t it? Sorry…

…not sorry. *sticks out tongue*