My friend Ann was my weekday-wife until she went back to work. That’s what we called it—we met at parks and confessed our madnesses, sex lives, mean streaks and of course fabulous hilarious stories about our kids to each other. She was single and my real wife, my hot stud, had taken a 9-5 job so I was the stay-at-home mom. What a joke- I’m never home.
One thing Ann had to listen to was my many tales about our sleep troubles. My first son, Ces, is a night owl like me. Plus he has his own personal sleep disorder. And my youngest son, Kai, was notorious for not being able to be moved off of me and into his bed. If he did fall asleep on someone else it didn’t really help because I was the only one who could move him. He would wake up screaming so we’d have to start over. This time it’s even worse because he has his guard up: the whole process would take even longer. What finally helped me move him while he slept, in other words, for all of us get some rest, was a sex story from the old days.
Excruciatingly Slow Story
HotStud and I used to have the fabulously funky pad on Fell St in San Francisco. Many people had sex there. Frankly we had sex rent parties there. It had been a donut factory way back when, and over the years the living spaces were created at a moment’s notice by any particularly coked-up flamingo-dancing drag queen that had whirled through it. So by the time we moved in, the wiring was crazy, plywood walls random, flooring anybody’s guess. The shower was in the kitchen next to the refrigerator. Great skylights. And a stage built over the top of an old elevator.
Anyone who saw our movie Sugar High Glitter City has seen glimpses of Studio 8 on Fell Street. Fun parties. Many an artist and writer conked out in Barbie’s Bedroom–a little loft bed above the kitchen—filled with velvet pillows, Ken dolls and Barbies. Our California King size bed was at other end of the big L shaped space.
One night an East Coast performance artist friend was visiting and she brought home a muscle-bound butch to fist her. My friend has a sexy husky voice; she reached down between her own legs wrapping her fingers around the wrist of said-stud and whispered, “fist me slowly. Slow. Slower…. When I say ‘slow’ I mean excruciatingly slow. ..Take 8 hours.” I thought, “well, I don’t want to take 8 hours to fist you,” but as always, Femmepress Shar is happy for people to connect and get their needs met! Bravo for them. That is exactly what they did that night.
We moved out of the city in 2001. For Goddess only knows what reason but one night lying Kai down –knowing that it wouldn’t work and he would start screaming–my friend’s voice floated into my ears. ” Slow. Slower. Excruciatingly sloooowww.” I literally took 20 minutes to lie him down. Inching. Not even inching– millemetering my hands from his body. Slow, slower. Excruciatingly sloooowww.
And it worked.
When I told this to Ann she laughed and said, yes, exactly. What we learned about parenting from our wild sex lives!
As I live my mommy days in full glory more and more examples come to light:
Always Try Everything Once
I don’t know about you, but especially during the Queer Nineties, dykes were trying everything. SM, finding G-spots, fisting, piercing, feathers, ice cubes shaped like dicks, whatever. And really we wanted to try everything at least once. Nowadays I share that philosophy with the boys which makes them discover what instruments, games, stories, etc. that they love. Try it once and remember you can always spit it out if you don’t like it.
I mean food, people.
Another one that kinda goes with that spirit is:
Pretend Spanking is Always Fun
I love a good spanking now and then. Scrunch up your nose like a witch and wag your finger at the kids pretending they are naughty. Oh they laugh hysterically at this one. In Talk to Me Baby, I teach how we can all be anyone that our imagination lets us be. Kids love role-playing. They will do it endlessly if you go along. Now you’re the pirate and I am chasing you. Okay now I am the monster truck and I have to drive over all the furniture. Then everyone is Ironman!!
Use Your Words
This is a good one. From sex, I learned a long time ago that if you just speak up about likes and dislikes, comfort zones, sex is much better. I you learn how to properly express your feelings, everything is more fun. Of course, physically for fully connecting and feeling one’s body. Also emotionally, I didn’t act out and get angry if I was sad or worried. I made myself say “I want you and need you” when I was jealous instead of acting out to get attention. That’s just a couple of examples from sex.
With kids “Use Your Words” is the phrase you’ll hear most often on the playground because it’s the one that helps the most. It’s hard to find words when we are just learning them. Even when you think your child has language down. Think about it. It’s only been a few years. How often do adults get frustrated trying to find the right words and we have been at it for years. Giving space and encouragement to “use your words” helps the child feel less frustrated and helps you understand so you can help.
Know Your Body
All those years of un-learning society’s anti-pussy misogynistic agenda and putting a name to our parts of course helped me have checked-in sex and checked-in sex is the best sex. I worked for Joani Blank, founder of Good Vibrations. She would always say. “you can’t see a vagina.” It’s a hole with muscular walls. People say vagina as a counter part to penis because it’s a man’s world. Women need to say “vulva.” Oh, she was adamant about this. Vulva is what we see. It’s the outside that makes us look different and that’s what girls and boys want a name for.
Look between your legs–“what do you have?” Boys have something that one can see: it’s called a penis. By telling girls to say vagina you are telling them they have a nothing—a nothing tunnel until it is filled up. Oh, a vagina will mean a lot later but as a child you need an answer to “what do I have?” for those bathroom moments amongst kids. Girls do have something that they can see. They have a vulva, the general term for labia and clitoris. Anyway. I learned a lot from Joani. Now I teach the kids all the right words for everything. I encourage this with other parents too.
Getting Past the Burn
This one doesn’t seem so obvious. What did I learn from sex? In my book The Femme’s Guide to the Universe, I advised that a good top learns how to get past the burn in the book’s most famous chapter, “How to Fuck in High Heels.” My wife and I went on to immortalize that advice in the film by the same name.
A hot girlie-girl babe DJ whom I will call Missy taught me how to go beyond the burn. (I have a detailed version in a story called The French Doors” if you ever want to read it.) Missy didn’t want just any fucking, I realized as she lay down on her makeshift princess bed of green netting staple-gunned above our heads. She wanted the fisting of her life. Thinking ahead about pumping-longevity, I started with my left hand. Finger-fucking her. Then my right hand then the fist. And it’s going on and going on and I think my arm is going to fall off. I was young and had not fucked for this long before. I just kept telling my arm to move even though I couldn’t feel it. And it does. It does then I feel it again and I got past the burn! Those of you who are athletes understand this. I was never an athlete–not until I became sexually active that is.
How does this apply to kids? Any parent already knows. Your body wants to give out in countless ways. Besides the sleep and energy issues it’s also the constant giving of loving hugs and lap and strong arms and back for lifting. Running and chasing Frisbees. Understanding and humor and stories. People think, “well you wanted to be a parent so why are you complaining.” It’s not about complaining. One may or may not complain. It’s simply is a fact that our bodies shut down and don’t want to give anymore. Sleep now, laps later. But no, actually now is oftentimes a must. So I tell myself, “Just get past the burn and you’ll still be alive.” Because of Missy, I know I will get past the burn to the otherside.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Oh this one is big. This is preached to folks working the floor at Good Vibrations stores and other well-informed sex toy stores. Don’t assume anything about a customer! One of the first lessons we teach new sex educators. You think she’s a dyke and she’s not. You guess she straps it on and she’s never seen a dildo in her life. You presume he wants a cock-ring and he wants to be tied up. DO NOT for one moment assume ANYTHING. I wish I would have learned that when I was dating before working these places. You can’t assume who is top or who is bottom let me tell you. But that’s a different story!
So with kids, it’s the same. I can apply this tip in so many ways. From communicating with teenagers—or rather Not communicating when you think they know the rules or your expectations. They don’t. Repeat yourself until your tongue falls out. And listen listen listen. I always tell the kids, “God gave you TWO ears and only ONE mouth for a reason.” That fact is that applies to us parents too.
With little kids it’s helpful when they start in with the why questioning phase.
If they say, “Are you a boy or a girl?”, use an old sales technique for buying time, say “That’s a good question why do you ask?” This helps you figure out exactly what they want to know so you don’t need to give a longer than life answer if it’s not the right time.
“Because if I am a boy do I have to cut my hair like yours?”
“No honey you don’t have to cut your hair if you don’t want to.”
Phew. That was easy….this time.
Arts and Crafts
You might think the opposite: that I learned that from kids first and then could apply that knowledge to sex but as a poor femme I needed to be crafty in order to feel sexy going out. I wanted a cute outfit and sometimes that meant breaking a beaded necklace and gluing the jewels onto a bra or pumps. I know many a dildo strap-on that’s been creatively crafted. That’s a DIY project that’s been around since the beginning to time. I always got so many hand-me-downs from strippers and drag queens I could do alterations with one hand sashed behind my back! Then the next thing I know I am making fruit-loop necklaces on yarn.
When You See Blood — Stay Calm
When you see bright bloody red, don’t scream until you know what’s going on. Studwife and I met and fell into deep crush at a sex club in 1993.
We first spent the night together at her and her sister’s apartment on Bernal Hill in San Francisco. Well, I was on my period. And ya know how lube mixes with blood and fluids and just increases them in volume by the bucket loads? I was riding her and jacking off then coming and coming. Slamming my hand on the wall, and draggin it down as my claws dug lines into the paint. more sex, more slams over her head on the other wall. When it was all done wiping our hands on the bedsheets without a thought. Oh it was a mess. I left and she went to work.
Her poor sister Terri comes home and has to go into my love’s bedroom because the answering machine was on her floor. She walks in and it looks like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre had occurred. She knew her sister had brought home a stranger. She was terrified. Luckily Terri had the where-with-all to track down my stud at work before calling CSI.
Fast forward. I’ve set the kids up in the bathtub which stays filled with a whole city of bath toys, trucks and creatures and I run downstairs to grab towels out of the dryer. In the 20 seconds I turned my back, I hear Ches crying hysterically and run up the stairs to find bloody hand prints everywhere. Kai’s face blank with big eyes staring at me unreadable but scared. And Ches sobbing. Instead of scaring the kids more, dropping the towels and screaming, “Get out of the bath, get out I’m calling 911!!”,
I flash on that first night on Bernal Hill and I calmly say, “honey why are you crying?” Ches says, “Kai won’t share the bath paint and Gramma says it’s mine!” I did not even know that Gramma had given them bath paint, obviously I had missed it in their pile of toys. It was Kai’s painted hand prints smeared on the walls not a gaping wound.
Humans Have Bodily Functions– And That’s Normal
Okay we did actually learn this first as kids but let’s get real: bodily functions rise to an adult reality when we become sexually active. We have smells, fluids, sounds. I graduated in 1984–that was prime time for fearing body fluids. Before us was freedom and after us was backlash, but we were becoming sexual at the exact time that fluids meant death. We were terrified. It took most guys I know my generation years before they had sex without a condom. Oh, most of them did, but it was usually when they were older.
At some point the eew factor wears off and we mature a little bit. Maybe fuck a few hippies. And then we learn: People come. People lubricate. Shit gets on things. People pee. I remember a sex party at our loft where Phyllis Christopher was taking pee photos. I had been doing who knows what or whom on the California King Size Bed that fits a lot of femmes. Fisting femmes even. Five femmes a fisting–a perverted Christmas song? And I toodles up to the kitchen where I find it has gone from me elegantly peeing into a martini glass to buckets, rivers of piss everywhere. I put on an apron and grabbed a mop. My kitchen floor has never been cleaner. Urine is better at removing 1974 water proof drag queen mascara than windex. Who knew?
And then I became a mom.
I mean the amount of shit that could get on a condom while fucking compared to the amount of poop that I have had to deal with on a daily basis? Absolutely no comparison. Can we all say to our lovers, “This little amount?” With wide eyes. “This little amount? This amount my dear means nothing to me. Noooothing. Don’t be embarrassed.” I can now actually sleep in pee. Instead of being dramatic and jumping out of bed making a show of it all when one of the boys has an accident, I simply take off whatever I am sleeping IN and I lay it down then I lie on top of it. Sleep trumps pee.
Which brings me to my last observance. One that’s as true for sex as it is for a comforting a child…Accidents Happen.