**Sorry in advance for all of our ‘like!’ “mhmmm” “OMG!” we are such typical Cali girls 😉 haha… Anyway, enjoy! Thanks so much to Sam for this labor of love!!!
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Megan: Welcome to Queers Next Door Leigh: with your hosts M: Leigh and Megan.
We take the topics you care about: L: sex, relationships, feminism, kink, social justice, and entertainment, M: and look at them through a queer as fuck lens. L: Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @QueersNextDoor M: and make sure to follow the blog at queersnextdoor.com. L: Cheers, queers!
L: Hey Megan! What are you doing to take care of yourself this week? M: Actually, that’s tough to answer cause I haven’t been doing great (laughs) with sleeping and managing work/life balance, which is like the story of my life. But I’ve been listening to music and dancing! I actually did dance and exercise this week. L: What are you listening to? M: I’m actually listening to Spanish dance music. I don’t even know who they are cause I don’t speak Spanish fluently at all. L: Nice. (more…)
Who are the Queers Next Door? Meet Leigh and Megan and find out what we’re all about, what queer means to us, and our coming out stories.
Content Warning: Some talk of Megan’s mom’s murder/ grief
Hot takes: Queer&A. Self care. Divorce & Rebuilding. Our identities as well as Mental Illness & Chronic Illness. “Check out Megan’s Butt on IG!” “A Case for Moist” Our life mottos. “Queer has a bit of a FUCK YOU to it” “I like my identity to have a bit of political rage.” “YAY BUTTS!” “All you have to do is be brave and be kind” Coming out stories. Oprah & my “ah-ha” gay moment.
Q: I’m a cis-gendered male who grew up in the Midwest. Years ago, I started calling my wife “my partner.” I’d like to get some other ways like that to make non-gendered language a part of my everyday speech. I mean, is cis-gendered even hyphenated?
A: Hello lovely! This question makes me so happy, and not just because I was an English major in my past life. I think that being mindful of the language we use is an easy and effective way to actively push back against sexism and the reinforcement of the gender binary. Using “partner” instead of husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend is an awesome place to start.
It can take some practice, but there are lots of alternatives to gendered and binary words. My advice is to choose options that feel natural to you. Instead of addressing people as “you guys” or “dudes” or “ladies and gentlemen”, try “folks,” “friends,” “y’all,” or even “esteemed guests,” depending on the situation. I’m also partial to “lovelies,” “kittens,” and “cuties,” but you do you. Replace “he or she” or the dreaded “he/she” with “they.” This works any time you are unsure of a person’s gender, and you want to avoid making assumptions. And while I can only assume that you, lovely reader, know better, let me just say it again for the folks in the back: The singular “they” IS grammatically correct.
Consider words that have been unnecessarily feminized, like “waitress” or “actress,” and call people of all genders “waiters” or “actors” (or better yet, “servers” or “performers”). Avoid the “man” words like “mailman,” “Congressman,” “policeman,” etc. If someone talks about their doctor or their boss without using any pronouns, resist the urge to default to “he.”
Another thing to think about is the adjectives we ascribe to men and women, and especially to girls and boys. If your friend introduces you to their daughter, ask her what she likes to do instead of immediately telling her how pretty or cute she is. Stop calling prepubescent boys “Ladykillers” or saying that you’re not going to let your daughter date until she’s 25. Reject gendered (and all around shitty) phrases such as “run like a girl,” “man up,” and “have some balls.” Call men beautiful and women handsome. Think twice before referring to a woman as “bossy” or “emotional” or “shrill.” And don’t call women bitches, even as a joke.
This may not be applicable to your everyday life, but these ideas can extend to sex and body positivity as well. Rather than assuming that only (or all) women get periods, think about the more inclusive “people who menstruate” or “menstruation products.” Make sure that you’re not saying “men” when you mean “people with penises.” If you can, make the restrooms at your workplace gender neutral.
I hope these suggestions are helpful and can lead you to even more ways of making your words reflect your values. So now, let’s take a little detour and talk about that pesky hyphen. To answer your question, nope! Cisgender is not hyphenated – and it’s not cisgenderED, either.
Language is dynamic, and this is especially true when it comes to gender and sexuality. Words are constantly changing, and meaning is constantly evolving. Terms that were once considered appropriate have been discarded in favor of terms that more accurately and inclusively convey similar concepts. A perfect example is the replacement of “transsexual” with “transgender.” While some people who have had gender confirmation surgery, especially older folks, may still use the term “transsexual,” it doesn’t function as an umbrella term in the same way that “transgender” does.
Transgender means that one’s gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth, while cisgender means the opposite: one’s gender identity corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender and cisgender are adjectives, which is why we wouldn’t say “transgenders,” but instead, “transgender folks/people/etc.”. “Transgendered” is bulky, and is not used for the same reason I wouldn’t call you a “straighted man” or myself a “queered woman,” namely that, generally speaking, the adjectives that describe us are not things that have been done to us.
I acknowledge that this is all a lot to remember, and a lot to keep up with. But anything that can make more folks feel better heard and more clearly seen is worth the effort. You might make mistakes, but try to learn from them with an open heart. When we know better, we do better.
Originally posted 6/28/2018- This May I attended Catalyst Con and sat in on a fabulous session called “Super Sluts: Personal Narratives of Reclamation” hosted by Jupiter’s Slut & Dirty Lola. Every time I attend a conference I take a ton of notes and plan on doing write-ups of all the sessions, but then I get home and put the notebook on the shelf and forget about them. This session has stuck with me, I kept the notebook in my backpack this whole time JUST to remind myself to write this. So now, almost two months later, here we are!
“Being a slut is being unapologetically in love with your sex life.” – Dirty Lola
As soon as I saw the words “SUPER SLUT” together in the conference program, I knew this session was for me. I’ve been calling myself a PROUD SLUT for about three years now. I went from a married, church-going, preschool teacher to a divorced, openly-slutty-super-queer lady who makes money by taking her clothes off on the internet. As if that wasn’t enough for folks to wrap their heads around, I also slam the SLUT label on myself. “Why!?” I’ve been asked so many times. I have struggled with answering that question ever since.
“Being a slut is my Shameless Luminous Untamed Truth.” – Jupiter’s Slut
For me, calling myself a proud slut is healing. I was called a slut before I was sexually active by other girls in my school. I knew it was a bad thing, but why? What makes a slut? Is it what I was wearing? The fact that I had more male friends than female? I suppose it all depends on who is wielding the word against you, and since the definition will always change, how can you possibly protect yourself from it? (Spoiler: You can’t. Slut shaming happens ALL THE TIME, it’s pretty accepted and celebrated still, to this day)
And if I’m a slut, what does that mean for me? That I don’t respect myself, or that I am unworthy of your respect? That I’m dirty? It was very confusing for me as a teen, and it made my sexuality feel embarrassing. I’m lucky that I didn’t get seriously bullied in school, but I was always made aware that I was “that girl“.
It’s hard to enjoy sex when it’s wrapped up in so much shame. I swear, I didn’t have an orgasm until I was 27 years old and started reading “The Ethical Slut”. That’s how powerful my shame was. This quote really resonated with me, and changed how I viewed the word:
SLUT: A person of any gender who has the courage to lead the life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you-. Dossie Easton
Something clicked. SLUT doesn’t have to be a bad word, in fact, I found many people reclaiming it. SEX IS NICE AND PLEASURE IS GOOD FOR YOU? What an idea!!! I started to realize that even in my past relationships, I’ve been slut-shamed for years and years, and I was tired of it. Over the last three years, I’ve set out on a journey to overcome my shame and fear of my own sexuality. I’ve had the help of a sex blog, a sex coach, and an audience. (I’m a Leo, after all 😉 ) I’ve taken back the word, it has no power over me anymore…
On the flip side…
When you market yourself as a slut, there is a LOT of room for let down. I was so glad that this got brought up during the Super Sluts session.
Lola talked about how she would proudly tweet her slutty moments for all these years, but if you ever stop to talk about oh, I don’t know, politics or a hard time in your life, people are like “WHAT ABOUT SUCKIN DICK?” Because you can’t possibly talk about both. (Sarcasm) She said there were time’s that she didn’t feel slutty enough because of this expectation.
I’m always slutty in my heart”- Dirty Lola
THIS X 1000.
There are times when my anxiety is so bad that I do not want to have sex or be touched, at all. And as a polyamorous person who is kinda-always dating, that gets super tricky. People know of me on the internet and expect that means some kinda slutty guarantee. I can’t tell you how many DM’s, messages on dating sites etc that I’ve received that say “Let’s fuck!”
When I say “no”, if I even bother responding, people have responded, “But you said you’re a slut!” *lol sob* THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS!
I’m a slut, but I’m a picky slut” – Dirty Lola
Slut in a Box
My notes start to dwindle here because I was having so many thoughts to write about, but I believe it was Jupiter who mentioned how it’s ok to be a slut if you just stay in your little slutty box. Once you start making people think, it’s not as okay. That’s when you’ll hear the pushback “What do you know? Slut”.
I have definitely felt this as someone who talks about camming and sexting, posts sensual images, and then talks about my trauma or my mom’s murder. I have felt that what I say isn’t as valid because of my job, or that I’m questioned because I can’t be taken as seriously if I’m a proud slut. It doesn’t have to be this way!
I am a slut, but I am smart. I am empowered by my sluttiness. It doesn’t have to be threatening. I will not force you to call yourself a slut. You can be a slut who has tons of sex or no sex at all, OR you can never let that word leave your mouth, doesn’t make you any less fun. We are all and valid just as we are! I hope that by living my life out loud I am helping other’s feel they can own their sexuality proudly (slutty or not), the same way others (like these two lovely ladies) have inspired me.
When the session first began, they asked us to write down our favorite super slut on a post-it and put it up on the board. I thought about it for a while and then wrote “myself”. It was a powerful moment for me in acknowledging how much work I’ve put into my own healing, sexual and otherwise, and a moment where I realized I can be my own superhero. <3
I also told my sluthood story out loud, from start to finish (Which I don’t think I’ve EVER done!) to the room which was very empowering, Lola gave me a big hug afterward and thanked me for sharing, which was so special to me.
Thank you to Jupiter and Lola for offering such a safe space and for sharing so much of your own journeys.
Q: I could really use your help! My boyfriend of a year and a half and I are in a bit of a standstill. I am naturally a very quiet person sexually. When I masturbate, I never make a sound, and when we have sex, I only occasionally and quietly make noise. My boyfriend is incredibly frustrated by this. As a result, he doesn’t enjoy fingering me or giving me oral sex. The lack of foreplay has taken a toll on our sex life, because it doesn’t make penetrative sex enjoyable for me if I’m not warmed up first. We’ve talked about this extensively, so he has been trying to finger and eat me out more. However, it always ends with us arguing because he becomes very frustrated by how quiet I am. Now I’m at the point where I can’t enjoy it when he touches me/goes down on me because all I can think about is that I need to put on a show for him. I’d almost rather him not bother to touch me or go down on me at all, but this is not good for a healthy sex life. What can I do about this problem? I appreciate any advice you have to offer!
A: Hi lovely! It sounds like you have hit peak frustration here. You and your boyfriend are both not getting something essential to your enjoyment of sex: foreplay for you and vocal responsiveness for him. You’ve tried to fake it until you make it (which is not a bad instinct), but that has only resulted in distraction and more frustration. So what to do next?
Let me start by saying that your need for foreplay prior to intercourse is not only valid, but essentially a physical requirement for most folks. Unless you experience completely spontaneous desire (meaning you just get wet out of the blue, which is not common), then you need your partner to put in some time: kissing you, touching you, turning you on. It sounds like fingering and oral sex both work for you here, and that makes complete sense. The fact that you don’t make much noise during this arousal period might just be part of who you are. There are so many variables that make up an individual’s sexual blueprint, and there’s no right or wrong way to be.
Your boyfriend has a preference for vocal expressions of pleasure. This is also valid. The problem is, this just isn’t something you do naturally. It feels performative, and when you perform, you lose the connection with your body that allows you to feel pleasure. This is a sexual incompatibility. Most of us have some type of sexual incompatibility with our partners - it is nearly impossible to find someone with our exact sexual blueprint. The real question is how much this particular incompatibility matters. Some incompatibilities are insurmountable, especially in monogamous relationships. Only you and your boyfriend can decide if this one is, but either way I think it’s worth trying some things before you make any decisions.
Since over-exaggerating your responses doesn’t feel authentic, let’s think of some other options. What kinds of sounds are present when y’all are fooling around? If you’re in total silence, that could definitely call more attention to your quietness than necessary. Turning on some porn - even just the audio - might give your bf the vocal arousal cues he needs and help take the pressure off you. Any sounds, even if they are not explicitly “sexy”, could be useful here: your favorite playlist, a movie full of explosions, Rachel Maddow eviscerating the Trump administration on MSNBC, soothing sounds of the rainforest, Colin Firth reading The End of the Affair… whatever floats your boat. I’m not here to judge.
Another possible solution is incorporating dirty talk into your sexual repertoire. If you’re not comfortable initiating, this could be a good place for your boyfriend to take the lead. Coming up with what to say during sex might sound daunting, but it can be as simple as one person describing what they are doing/planning to do and the other responding enthusiastically. In the right mood, “I’m fucking you so hard right now.” “Yeah you are!” is a perfect exchange. Similarly, variations on both of these can feel pretty organic:
“Is this good? Do you like it when I fuck you?” … “Yes!”
“Tell me you want me to fuck you.” … “I want you to fuck me.”
Lastly, you could consider experimenting with a trade. Is there something you really enjoy that your boyfriend feels so-so about? Could you give a vocal performance sometimes in exchange for him doing that thing? My caveat here is that no one should participate in activities that make them feel uncomfortable: triggers and hard limits are nos, and those nos don’t magically disappear for the sake of compromise. But maybes can offer some wiggle room, and might be an option if both parties end up feeling honored.
I wish you luck and orgasms - whatever kind bring you the most joy!