The Beaver Whisperer and the Slippery Solution

Q: I’m a bit of a newbie to the wonderful world of penetration and I’ve been shopping around for my first lube. Problem is, there are just too many to choose from! What should I be looking for? Are certain ingredients better for certain scenarios?

A: Dear Lube Newb,

You’ve come to the right place. Allow me to introduce you to the slippery world of artificial sexual lubricant. (I assume you’re familiar with the natural kind and coming to realize that sometimes the kind of penetration you and your girl want needs a little extra help with the slip and slide aspect of the game?)

Sex-a-go-go: So, you’ve got your girl pressed up against the wall of the bathroom at Diva’s (or Vixen, or the Oberon, or the Milky Way, but definitely not that awful and not to be named club that makes dykes go in through the back door and only lets them on the top floor), and you need some lube. For this situation, you want a water based lube. Water based lube can be removed with water, so you can go back to the party after you fuck. 

Fuck from dusk til dawn: For longer sessions, you want a silicone based lubricant. Silicone based lubes last longer than water based lubes, so you won’t need to reapply as often. This lube, however, needs to be washed away using soap and water.

Sex Involving Vaginas: NEVER use an oil-based lube. Oil based lubes aren’t designed to maintain the pH balance of the almighty vag, and they can cause yeast infections. They also break down latex, so they make safer sex very difficult. Just say “no” to oil based lube. “But what about that scene in that movie where they used Crisco?” Crisco (a brand of vegetable shortening) is ok for penises, but it’s not ok for vaginas. Crisco, and other oil-based lubes, prevent the vagina from cleaning itself and it promotes the growth of bacteria. So, if you don’t want your condom or glove to break and you don’t want a yeast infection, no Crisco!

Sex In The Hot Tub Porn Star-Style: If you’re fucking in water, you need a silicone based lube,  as a water based lube will instantly rinse away in the water.

Baby, I want your silicone cock: If you’re fucking with a silicone (or cyber-skin) cock or sex toy, use a water-based lube. The formula in silicone-based lubes can dissolve the surface of a silicone (or cyber-skin) cock or toy and it can disintegrate over time. 

Ass-Play: Try a gel instead of a liquid. A gel is more likely to stay in place during anal play. Be very careful, however, to not use any lube that contains benzocaine or any other numbing agent. Numbing agents mask pain, and during sex, this is bad. If you feel pain (bad pain as opposed to fun pain), you need to be aware of it so that you can change your position or add more lube or stop the activity. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that what’s happening isn’t safe for you.

Now, how do you choose the right lubricant for you? I’m sure you’ve looked at the above situations and recognized those that sound familiar to you. You’ve decided on water based lube or silicone based lube, but which one? There is going to be some trial and error to this process. Some lubes might feel gross or smell gross, and some will feel great and smell or taste good, too. Yay! Jackpot! Most female-owned sex positive toy stores have lube sample bottles that you can try out (on your fingers) and smell. Check out Good Vibrations in Brookline, MA and San Fransisco, Oh My! in Northampton, MA or Wild Hearts in Provincetown, MA.

Some things to watch out for:

1.  Glycerin is an ingredient in many water-based lubes and can cause yeast infections. If you’re prone to yeast infections and you’re using silicone sex toys, try to find a water-based lube that doesn’t contain glycerin.

2.  Oil-based lube: a big no-no for all vaginas. It also breaks down latex.

3.  Don’t use silicone-based lube on a silicone or cyber-skin cock or sex toy.

Recommendations from the Beaver Whisperer’s Bedroom:

Sliquid Silk: This is a hybrid (water/silicone) lube that seems to be safe for silicone sex toys. It lasts a little longer than a water-based lube. It’s a cream, and it’s glycerin-free.

Sliquid Organics (the blue one): This is a water-based lube. It’s also glycerin-free. It’s a little thinner than the Silk. This comes in four scents, and they aren’t labeled, but the labels are different colors. Make sure you smell them first. I did, and this is the only one I liked. Your nose may have other tastes. 

Good luck in your search for your perfect lube!  Update us in the comments when you find one that you like!

Guest Post: A Boston Femme in Philly

Bren’s note: We’ve got a real treat for you today, true believers – a shiny new guest post! It’s been forever since our last one, so this is mondo exciting. Today’s special guest star is none other than fellow Bostonian Justa Notha. Take it away, Justa!

A Boston Area native, Justa writes about life, sexuality, gender, race and whatever else is on her mind at justanotherwhitewoman.com. Often NSFW–so read it on your phone!

City of Sisterly Love

I went on a little adventure to Philly last weekend and am crushing hard on the city!

The first thing that struck me about Philly was the architecture! It was late at night as I wheeled my bag down the brick and cement sidewalk. Street lights gleamed off of bold brick, glass and steel buildings that cut up sky.

The next day I wandered down to South Street, reveling in the vibrant diversity of the people and vivid colors and bold, sometimes crumbling architecture.

If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy almost anything you can imagine on South Street: from vintage to kinky to funky-creative-cool!

Corsets at Passional

My first stop was Passional Boutique, which drew me in by their logo, and then once inside, quickly had me lusting over their corsets and other gear!

At a friend’s suggestion I stopped in at Condom Kingdom. I was somewhat disappointed in their lesbian selection–more novelty items than serious functional gear. Out of curiosity, I inquired about dental dams–they had one flavor: banana. Meh! Who told them lesbians wanted to suck on bananas?

Hats in the Belfry has hats to satisfy both Butches and Femmes (or me) with chirpy to decadent felt hats and cloches on one side–and all manner of caps and fedoras on the other! I fell in love with a grey femme cap and a green plaid fedora, but at $40-$50 it was too expensive for my budget!

Gayborhood

That night I headed to the Gayborhood: a small string of stores, clubs and restaurants a 15 min walk from my hotel room; demarcated by rainbow flags on the street corners.

I walked past Woody’s which was predictably crowded with men and a sprinkling of their female admirers. Inadvertently following a hoarse-voiced FTM chatting on his cell, I turned into a seedy-looking alley to find Sister’s: Philly’s Lesbian Night Club. A couple of femmes in heels and fancy dresses lounged outside.

After shyly handing the doorwoman my money, I mentioned that I’m from Boston, where we don’t have any lesbian bars!

“Well, you’ll like this one!” she opined. “It’s very diverse. Some clubs have only Butches or Femmes–we have a real mix!” she said with a charmingly roguish smile.

Upstairs strobe lights bounced off a throng of dancing bodies on the floor while a scantily clad woman pole-danced on fabric hanging off of the ceiling. The doorwoman wasn’t wrong: there was a diversity of gender presentations: femmes grinding on femmes, butches with butches, butches dancing with femmes, and the usual butches and studs lining the walls watching.

After ordering a drink (from the friendliest and sexiest bartender ever!), I danced for a while but wandered out as the crowd thinned down to couples and that one drunk-and-sloppy chick. I definitely appreciated a club devoted solely to lesbians, and they did a good job of it, but once again I realized that my definition of diversity and many lesbians definitions are not the same. The paleness of the crowd was almost shocking after the mixed throng of Philly’s streets!

As I wandered out, I approached two studs who were likewise leaving, and they told me that there are certain nights the WOC go to, and that they were club hopping on a circuit.

People of all shades and hues and genders poured out of the clubs to order Macaroni and Cheese Pizza and line up for an “after-hours” club. I stood across the street and guessed it was a 10-1 male female ratio.

Just then I noticed a cute short stud kind of checking me out, and I moseyed vaguely in her direction. My gaze was quickly captivated, though, by a tall thick-set stud wearing sunglasses under her fitted.

“You like what you see?” she asked flirtatiously, and we got to talking.

On the way back to my hotel room, She introduced me to something else Boston lacks – Danny’s, an all night Adult toy shop! – the perfect place to buy, say, a late night strap-on (for example 😉 ) or dental dam (offered in Vanilla only.)

I did not want to fly home to Boston the next day!

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Baby Butch

September is movin’ right along, my friends. For little ones, that means it’s the beginning of a new school year – a time for freshly sharpened pencils, crisp notebooks, and Lisa Frank erasers. Ok, well, it meant all that when I was in grade school back in the Gay Nineties. If you’re a college queer, it means a whole new crop of bright-eyed freshman to awkwardly flirt with in your school’s GSA. Ok, well, it meant that when I was in college a frightening number of years ago, but it probably still means that now.

As I am an Old Person who no longer attends classes and can’t find the time/money/enthusiasm to work toward an advanced degree, all I can do during back to school season is reminisce about days gone by (old people fucking love reminiscing). I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve learned about butch life, love, and other gay stuff since I was a wee babydyke. It’s been about eight years since I came out, which doesn’t sound very long in Standard Time, but is an eternity in Gay Time. (Example of Standard Time to Gay Time conversion: One year of dating in Standard Time = 20 years of marriage in Gay Time.) Sometimes I’m amazed by how much I didn’t know when I first came out. I was such a n00b, guys! The road to becoming the Big Grownup Butch I am today, ’twas a long one.

In the spirit of higher learning, self-betterment, and all that jazz, I’ve compiled a list of 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Baby Butch:

1.) Get the haircut you’ve always wanted. Whether this is a buzz cut, a mo/faux/frohawk, a mullet (judging you), a Biebercut (judging you harder), or whatever floats your shiny new butch boat, get this ‘cut and get it as fast as possible. Spending years burdened by a gender-conforming cut you hate, just because you’re afraid to take that “final step” toward Total Queerification, sucks hardcore and will seriously hinder your swag. Speaking of swag:

2.) Learn the difference between confidence and asshattery. When you’re looking for masculine role models, don’t look to the popular jock at school or the cast of reality TV shows (unless that TV show is Iron Chef, because everybody on there is awesome). Those people aren’t masculine; they’re douchebags. Don’t be a douchebag. Misogyny, bragging about sexual conquests, getting wasted and starting bar fights – these are not good looks for anybody, and especially not for an aspiring upstanding butch. Find role models in community organizers, activists, artists/writers (ahem), and people who work to make this world a more positive place.

3.) Don’t crush on straight girls. Just don’t do it. Seriously, don’t. I see you doing it right now, stop. All the toasters in the world are not worth the resulting self-pity and sexual frustration. The “recruiting” mindset is not only based in pure fantasy, it’s also pretty disrespectful. Would you want some straight dude trying to “recruit” you? Didn’t think so.

4.) Being mistaken for a guy is nothing to be ashamed of. Do you know how many times I get called “Sir” by strangers? A whole lot. Do you know how many times I care? Zero. This would have been horrifying to me in my teen years, but now I look at it as a badge of honor, a public recognition of my masculinity. Plus, it makes for some funny stories to tell at the local dyke bar.

5.) Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Approaching an attractive lady for the first time is about as frightening as wrestling a rabid tiger in a pit filled with glass shards. Still, you gotta do it. Cowbutch up. No day but today, as you theatre queers say. Here’s a little secret that I’ve learned from my femme informants: an assertive butch is a hot butch. If you want to talk to someone, talk. If you want to ask her on a date, ask. If you want to kiss her and she seems to want to kiss you, too, then pucker up. Maybe she’ll say no; that’s OK. Rejection isn’t the worst thing in the world. I mean, it’s pretty bad, but there’s also disease, famine, war, and the Twilight books out there. Perspective.

6.) The sooner you purchase your first strap-on, the longer you have to practice with it. And practice makes perfect. Bonus advice: get a harness that’s machine washable; I recommend anything by SpareParts HardWear. And while we’re on this subject:

7.) Always, always, always have lube handy (pun intended). Buy lots of it. Gallons. (I can’t wait to see how many people find this site by searching for “gallons of lube.”)

8.) Lesbian circle incest will happen. It doesn’t matter if you live a city with millions of people or a tiny podunk town: you will date someone who is an ex of an ex/friend/coworker/roommate/teammate/regrettable drunken hookup. It’s just gonna happen. Accept this, make peace with it, and move on. And for the love of Sappho, don’t avoid awesome queer events just because an ex will be there with her new GF who is the ex of YOUR new GF. Just laugh at the universe, make out with your lady, and have fun.

9.) Take the time to find clothes that fit. Believe you me, I know all about how frustrating it can be to find mens clothing that actually fits your female-built body. Still, don’t just throw on a tent of an Old Navy T-shirt or your uncle’s ratty old jean jacket. There are clothes out there that actually look good on you; you just need to take the time to look for them. If you’re broke like 99.9% of the people I know, there’s absolutely no shame in thrift store shopping. And, if you can get second-hand clothes for wicked cheap, you can afford to make any alterations needed to get that perfect fit. Suits especially are worth the price of a tailor.

10.) Don’t “femme it up” to please anybody. There are many occasions when not looking butch would come in handy, such as winter break home from college, a job interview, a wedding, church, whatever. Some people may disagree with me, but I think it’s so worth it to just soldier through these situations in head-held-high butch mode (the obvious exception being when presenting as masculine would put you in physical danger). Compromising or hiding your identity to avoid awkwardness may work for that moment, but eventually all those compromises make you feel pretty confused, lonely, disingenuous, and generally shitty. If people can’t accept you for the awesome butch dyke you are, then they’re not worth your time, in my humble opinion. As the great philosopher and fellow Baystater Theodor Seuss Geisel once said: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Look At This Bunch of Well-Dressed Butches and Femmes

This week, I learned three things:

1.) It’s extremely easy to put gaping, void-like holes in the walls of my new apartment during innocent attempts to hang pictures (sorry, new landlord).

2.) Moving to a first-floor pad means being more careful about not changing in front of the window (sorry, new neighbors – or, maybe, you’re welcome).

3.) Everybody who reads this blog is really, ridiculously good-looking.

Amidst the madness of my move last week, I put out a call/plea/cry for help asking readers to send in photos of their sexy selves wearing their favorite fall outfits. In case you didn’t know, fall is my favorite season. There are just so many great things that happen during the autumn months – Halloween, foliage, the anniversary of my birth (will furnish present wishlist upon request), pumpkin-flavored food products, apple picking, all the screaming kids outside my window going back to school, etc. But perhaps my favorite thing about the fall is the clothing. It’s time once again for flannel, blazers, cords, sweater vests, and all the other stuff that makes my heart soar and my wallet weep. If you prefer your fashion advice in numerical list format, check out my 10 Fall Must-Haves for the Style-Conscious Queer.

I must say, when I ask for help, you guys always come through in a big way. Without further ado, allow me to share all the mega-chic entries I received. It’s like our own little Fashion’s Night Out (emphasis on the “out”)!

Here’s Amy, looking colorful and relaxed in a tank and skirt, with a jacket thrown over her shoulder in a classic casually-fashionable pose. Amy writes: ” I live in the tropics, so there’s no fall here.  But I do carry a linen jacket this time of year to put on when I go from chauffering mom to studio voice teacher. This is one of my favorite outfits.”

Then we have Angela, who is rocking the hell out of that trench, scarf, and fedora. Angela has an awesome story to tell about this outfit: “My favorite fall outfit this year took me by surprise. Last weekend, while at a small-town pride celebration in the midwest, I found this fantastic hat for one of my butches. Great pattern, a bit of sparkle – what could be better?! She wore it and looked damn hot all day long. The next morning, as a joke – I put on the hat (I never look good in them!) – and got a surprisingly enthusiastic response! My normally femme-alicious self was all of a sudden transformed…it was fun playing with a new persona in the hat! I put my long hair up, hat on – with dash of dangly earrings, scarf and a fun jacket….voila! New favorite fall outfit.”

Next up we have a butch-femme style two-for-one deal (don’t you just love a bargain?) with E and Amanda. Amanda gets an A+ for her essay: “This fall, we go back to school in style. E keeps it casual in well-fitting jeans and an easy, plaid button down. Her accessories – specs, watch, belt buckle – blend function and nerdy style in a way that says, “Yes, I’ve done my homework.” Amanda brings summer dresses and all eyes to the front of the classroom by donning leather boots, a denim jacket, and a hand-me-down scarf. We’re queering up the classroom in different ways, from different states.”

Last, but certainly not least, is Ashley, CEO and founder of Diffuse 5 and Boston’s unofficial Lesbian Wrangler. Ashley gets mondo points for combining an argyle sweater and a blazer, two of the greatest items of dyke clothing ever. Applause!

What an excellent and well-dressed collection of queerfolk, amirite? Thanks to all of you for sharing your style with the butch-femme webiverse!

As a bonus, I’ve thrown in a few shots of myself wearing some of my favorite fall items. Mine don’t look nearly as nice as the ones above, since my digital camera somehow died during the move, so all I had to use was my not-very-smart-when-it-comes-to-photography smartphone. Grainy pics, ahoy!

Here I am wearing one of my new(est) plaid shirts, bootcut jeans (skinny jeans = bad), a black tie (skinny ties = good), and a wool vest that I scored for $12 at Buffalo Exchange last week. Yes, that is a Dark Knight poster in the background.

Orange is the color of fall, people, and here I’ve managed to get it into my plaid AND my tie. Success. I’m also werqing a brown menswear fedora that still needs the perfect blazer/sportcoat to compliment it. That search continues…

My new greatest accessory: A wooden watch by Flud. I can’t wait to wear it while jumping into a big pile of leaves or chowing down on pumpkin pie.

Speaking of pie, here’s my lady modeling the newest addition to her fall wardrobe: a vintage-style apron. Yes, please.

Have a Happy Fall, everybody!