Thursday, January 28, 2010

The new Stranger column: What Is A Woman? This is an emotionally loaded question, and as even-handed as I tried to be, I'm still expecting some pushback.

But regardless of what you think of my take on it, Midori and Kelly B. throw one hell of a sexy women's party. Check it out, and if you don't want to go play this Saturday night, you can still contribute to the AIDS/Lifecycle program.

I'd like to thank the beautiful and wise Kate Bornstein for giving me her thoughts about this. I may not know a lot about male-to-female transgender issues, but much of what I do know, I learned from Kate Bornstein. She's amazing, and I admire her immensely.

I have some words from both Kate and Midori that would not fit into my word count in the Stranger piece, so I'm planning on posting that tomorrow, just for extra dimension.

Meanwhile, I'm driving up to Bellingham for an overnight adventure. Bye!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

From The Bookcase

I reflected today that the word bookcase might just become an anachronism in my lifetime, mightn’t it? One doesn’t need a whole case to store an electronic book. A singular bookshelf would do, and not a very large one, either.

That seems like a shame somehow. I am very pleased with my new Kindle – it’s rather like having one of those IV’s in my arm, where one squeezes a trigger and gets an instant morphine fix - but I still like real bound books. (Although I admit, my office would be considerably easier to navigate if I did not have knee-high stacks of books on most of the available floor space. It goes without saying that I have bookcases on every inch of available wall space and that those shelves are very, very full.)

Still, I try to be optimistic about it. I imagine that people who read from parchment scrolls probably thought those newfangled printing presses were an indication of the End Times, too.

But for today, a couple of books I like that are not available on Kindle. Just to keep things even.

I'm currently reading this book: Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory, by Roy Blount.

This book is a word person’s pornography. It’s sort of hard to describe other than that, except to say that it’s written in dictionary-style, which means it’s a book you can pick up and nibble for a few pages at a time. And that’s handy.

Speaking of writers I enjoy - like Roy Blount - I unearthed my battered copy of this book the other day: Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, by Florence King. It’s an autobiography about the author’s childhood and young adulthood in the nineteen-forties and fifties.

I like auto/biographies in general, but I really like this one. It’s funny as hell, and as smart and often as stinging as a whiplash. (Also hilarious: Southern Ladies and Gentlemen.) Ms. King was a curmudgeon long before being a curmudgeon was cool, and she represents the Platonic ideal - so rarely attained by we mortals – of snark.

But it’s more than just funny. If I had to point to books I read as a young woman that had an effect on who I am now, Ms. King’s memoir would be listed high among them. I am deeply grateful to Ms King for impressing upon my soft young mind that one could be a sexual outlaw without ever being, you know, trashy about it. She did that economically and yet with vivid example, with lines like, “No matter which sex I went to bed with, I never smoked on the street.”

A role model indeed.

Monday, January 25, 2010

You’ve Got Questions, I’ve Got Answers
Dear Mistress Matisse: I have listened to a couple of your podcasts and enjoy them, however I was wondering if you might know if downloading the podcasts to my ipod is possible through the program you use? I listen to the Savage Love podcast (downloaded from ITunes) while walking the dog or working out and would love the opportunity to do the same with yours! If it turns out that there is a simple fix to this I apologize, I am techno challenged...
I’m mildly techno-challenged myself, so I understand, but there is an easy fix for this. Go to the iTunes store and search for Mistress Matisse’s Podcast. I’m there.

Dear Mistress Matisse: A couple years ago you wrote about a man who enjoyed getting kicked in the balls. A man I like revealed that he is looking for someone who can do this for him. I don't remember the actual post, but I do remember you writing something about how you have to be very careful about how you impact so as not to do actual damage. So, as much as I want to be able to do this for him, I am nervous that actual damage can be done. I am generally pretty vanilla when it comes to my experiences, but this man makes me feel safe and comfortable to explore and I want to try this. Can you point me to this post again? Or any advice you may have would be really appreciated. I wasn't able to find a search function on your blog. Thank you for your time and consideration in this.
Well, I’m using Firefox and for me, the search box is in the upper left hand corner. A better way to search is to use the advanced search function on Mistress Google.

Also, if one is looking for my words of wisdom on any given topic, one should remember to look through the Stranger archives.

The real answer here is: I can’t teach you ball-kicking electronically. Some things that I know how to do are so tactile, so experiential, that even though I love words, words alone simply do not convey them adequately. If I had you in the room with me, I could show you. Since I don’t, what I can say is: yeah, you can damage someone if you do this wrong. Every man’s body is a little different, so you have to start lightly and be very careful. Some people can handle a light tap - about the level of force you’d use to push a beloved-but-annoying cat out of a doorway so you could get by. Other people, if you do it in just the right area of their groin, can handle a kick that would do David Beckham proud. I once did a scene where I kicked someone so hard and so many times that my foot was bruised and quite sore afterward. I’m serious. I wasn’t sure I hadn’t broken a little bone somewhere. My victim? “Eh, I was a little sensitive the next day, but not much.” So, results vary.

Start like this: have him lay on the floor, spread his legs, cup his balls with his hands and pull them upwards towards his stomach. You stand up between his knees, hold onto something for balance, and just tap the top of your foot, above your toes, on his taint. See how that goes.

I haven’t read these for awhile, so I’ve forgotten if they get into kicking. But education is never a waste, so try these books: The Family Jewels and More Family Jewels. (I am highly amused to see that they are available on Kindle!)

Happy kicking!

...One more thought: you can kick women, too, and it's also fun. Same advice - you can do damage if you don't do it properly, so be very careful, and start very lightly. Have her put her hand over her clit to protect it and her pubic bone, and just tap the top of your foot below it, on her perineum.