Take out your keyboards and sharpen your wits, because I'm actively soliciting guest posts! I'll keep writing nearly all the stuff on BW, but I think it'd be fun to change it up sometimes (and from the reader survey I gave a few weeks ago, I know you guys would love occasional guest posts, too!).
So, I need YOU. If you want to write something for the blog, shoot me an email at butchwonders [at] yahoo [dot] com.
You're free to make up your own topic. I'm particularly interested in topics I don't know enough about to write in depth, including:
Q: Do I have to use my real name?
A: No, but you can if you want to.
Q: How long does it have to be?
A: Shoot for 200-500 words. But there's no specific length minimum or maximum.
Q: What if you don't like what I write?
A: Then I won't use it. But I'll have the courtesy to explain why, and you'll be free to resubmit.
Q: But I'm straight [or a man, or a femme, etc.]!
A: Great! I don't care if you're male, female, neither, straight, bi, gay, queer, fat, skinny, cisgendered, black, brown, or white. If you have anything to say that's relevant to lesbians generally or butchy types specifically, I'd love to hear it.
Q: Can I submit pictures? How about a video?
A: Yes, and yes!
Q: Can I run a topic by you ahead of time?
Q: You never write sex stuff. I'll write sex stuff for you!
A: Well, in addition to my dandy-style prudishness, I actually like the blog to be SFW (safe for work). But there are some awesome sex bloggers out there, and if you write to me, I'd be happy to recommend a few! (Come to think of it, that would make another great guest post: best lesbian sex blogs, with SFW descriptions...)
Q: Who will read it?
A: These days, I have about 1500 readers daily. So I'd guess 3000-4000. Possibly more.
Q: I already write a blog. Can I cross-post?
A: Sure! Just let me know what you're up to.
Q: Are you going to have a lot of these?
A: I was thinking of one or two a month, depending how many I get.
Q: My grammar is horrible.
A: Mine isn't too bad. I'll help you edit.
Q: But I'm only 18! (Or, I'm 75!)
A: Who cares? I get readers of all ages and I love different perspectives.
Q: But I hate writing!
A: Um, then don't do it. I'll still love you.
I hope some of you will think about this--I'd really love to hear from you, and I know a bunch of BW readers would, too!
Mucho affection and a kiss on the forehead,
I just wanted to take a second to point you toward some blog entries I've enjoyed from other bloggers in the past month or so:
I had an interesting conversation with a straight female friend of mine yesterday. She happens to have a bunch of polyamorous friends, though she and her (amazingly wonderful) boyfriend happen to be monogamous.
Anyway, this friend recently attended a polyamorous commitment ceremony. Here's the situation, as I understand it: The ceremony centered around (A) a man and (B) a woman (already married to each other), plus (C) a second woman who has a relationship with both of them. The point of the ceremony was for the woman to affirm her commitment to this married couple, and vice versa. Their parents were there (as if coming out to your folks as LGBT isn't hard enough, right?). A, B, and C live together. Two of them also have at least one relationship outside of the trio (to D and E, who are unconnected). The husband and wife (A and B) used to have a relationship with another husband-and-wife couple (F and G), but A broke up with G. B and F are still together.
Before we go any further, a working definition: Polyamory is when you have a relationship (usually emotional and physical, but certainly emotional) with more than one person simultaneously. Often, polyamorous people have a primary partner with whom they have their "main" relationship, and one or two other people with whom they also have enduring emotional and sexual relationships. Polyamory is sometimes referred to as "responsible non-monogamy," because a central tenet is that there aren't any secrets--everyone knows whom everyone else is dating.
This is different from an open relationship because (typically) in open relationships, both people in the relationship agree that they can sleep with other people, but are emotionally monogamous. Often, these couples have an agreement that they can't have "repeat" partners (in order to avoid becoming emotionally connected to anyone besides their partner), and/or an agreement that if they do start to have feelings for another person, that they will no longer sleep with that person, and/or an agreement that they will not sleep with mutual acquaintances.
As you might imagine, there are practically unlimited configurations. I know one gay male couple who has a list of 5-10 people with whom they are each allowed to sleep. They have to get sexual partners pre-approved by one another, their lists can't overlap, and they aren't allowed to have sexual escapades with any of these people in their own house, or spend the night with them. They can get emotionally attached to these other people, as long as these attachments don't rival or interfere with their attachments to each other. (I don't know if they consider their relationship "open" or "poly.")
Some polyamorous folks live together in groups of three or more, and may even raise children together. Others keep calendars; they might spend Tuesdays and Wednesdays with their second lover and the other with their primary partner.
These arrangements make my head spin. I don't think they're wrong in an objective sense, but I don't think they'd work for me. The main reasons:
Successful practitioners of polyamory manage to overcome these challenges, so I know it can be done. But I think I'm wired for monogamy, the same way I'm wired to be a butchy lesbian.
This got me to thinking: if I'm "wired" for monogamy, then probably some people are wired for polyamory. Does this mean that polyamory is a sexual orientation? Or is it a sexual preference? I've heard both from polyamorous people, and maybe different things are true for different people.
If polyamory is a sexual orientation, this has major implications. For one, I believe that a person's sexual orientation should be protected by law. Does this mean that poly marriages should be legal? And if so, what does this mean for things like tax breaks and health insurance? (For more on the legal implications of polyamory, check out this article I just found.)
As I've written about before, I'm not entirely sure that the government should be in the business of endorsing marriage relationships at all, aside from allowing people to form contracts about issues like child-rearing, inheritance, etc. Getting the government out of the business of regulating these relationships would be a step towards poly equality, I suppose.
In theory, I totally support poly equality. In practice, I have a gut reaction against it. I flinch at the idea of polyamorous households adopting kids. And I can't articulate a concrete reason why, except that it goes against my idea of what relationships "should" be. Which, when you think about it, makes me no better than gay marriage opponents who want their moral inclinations to prevent people like me from getting married.
Would I vote for governmental recognition of polyamorous marriage? I'd like to say, of course! And in the voting booth, I believe my answer would be yes. But it would be an uncomfortable yes. And this discomfort makes me feel guilty and hypocritical.
What do you think about this, dear readers? Have any of you monogamous types felt the kinds of things I'm describing?
And I know I have some poly readers, too: I claim no real knowledge about polyamory, so feel free to jump in, correct me, enlighten me, etc!
You may know her as cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Glee. Or as the sexy-but-sleazy divorce lawyer on The L-Word. Or even as Gayle Sweeney, recovering addict and head of the Sturdy Wings program in "Role Models."
But did you know that Jane Lynch once starred in a long-running stage version of Brady Bunch episode remakes? Or that when she was a kid, she used to sneak into her father's closet and try on his ties and suits? (I'm guessing that latter morsel resonates with some of you as much as it does with me!)
In her new(ish) book, Happy Accidents (2011), 51-year-old Lynch recounts all of this and much, much more--starting with her girlhood in Dolton, Illinois and finishing up with her present-day life in Los Angeles.
One of my favorite things about Happy Accidents is that Lynch doesn't pull punches. You get the shame she felt as a high school freshman when she dropped out of her first acting role; the depth and struggle of her addiction to alcohol; her blithe arrogance in approaching early acting roles. There's pain, sweat, hard work, awkwardness, and chance meetings. There's joy, hijinks, foibles, and clear-eyed reflections on people's capacity for change. Nor do you need to be a Gleek or a Christopher Guest enthusiast to enjoy the book. Happy Accidents is rife with references that will resonate with dykes and comedy fans of all stripes.
Though I'm not usually much for memoirs, Happy Accidents won me over. This may be in part because I "read" the audio version, which the author reads herself. Lynch's inflection and timing are as great as you'd expect, and really animate the prose. I highly recommend listening to it. You also get a hardback copy online for just $7.33, or a Kindle edition with audio/video for $9.50.
Happy Accidents will be released paperback on May 1. Outstanding.
Mini-entry time! I just found a site (via Lifehacker) called Simple Desktops that boasts tons of minimalist computer desktops (free!). A few struck me as especially butch-appropriate, and I thought I'd share them with you. After all, why shouldn't your desktop look as effortlessly stylish as you do? Celebrate the start of the week with a new desktop look. Why not? Here's a boxer shorts desktop:
...And this one is understated... yet super gay! Perfect as we ease into Pride season:
This is just cool:
Perfect for the butch who's part Clark Kent and part Superman:
Just nice and simple:
This is probably my favorite one: glasses and a tie pretty much sum up my signature dressy look.
Anyway, hope y'all had a swell weekend. My DGF and I got to spend much of the weekend with our buddies C and D (a butch-femme couple, though not strictly so), and it was way fun! We BBQ'd tri-tip, went on a three-mile hike, and drank a bunch of coffee while our dogs played in the sun. I don't think I realized how much I needed a break. Now I'm actually rested(!) and looking forward to the week(!!). I forgot how nice that feels.