Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (Operating System, 2017), Sexting the Dead (Unknown Press, 2018), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), and is the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is the founder of Yes, Poetry and the managing editor for Civil Coping Mechanisms and Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Brooklyn Magazine, Prelude, BUST, Spork Press, and elsewhere. Joanna also leads workshops at Brooklyn Poets. joannavalente.com / Twitter: @joannasaid / IG: joannacvalenteRead More
BY LISA MARIE BASILE
I don’t care whether you believe it or not, the Scorpio exists. If it’s not a personality carved out by the celestial, then it is most certainly an archetype born out of real-life human beings, the kind—like me—that drinks, breathes and moves about attached to some chthonic place. We are the people who were born rummaging through the dark. We were the kids who weren’t like the others. We were the adults who realized our strangeness is actually power. Grew into our wings.
Scorpios, I’m talking to you here—but if you love someone who is a Scorp, it’ll benefit you too: It is like we cipher what we need from the darkness just in order to make it through the day. It could be that we drain a crowd of its mass energy—taking just a little bit from you there, and you there, and you over there so that no one aches for what went missing, or it could be that we consistently keep one foot in the otherworld, always dreaming, always obsessing, always plotting. It could be that we expertly speak the language of endings. Because we know endings mean something comes next.
Ruled by Pluto, lorded over by death and sex, we are intrinsically linked to the body—the body as sigil, the body as engine, the body as an immutable thing, and, of course, the body as a thing with an end-date. We can’t seem to ever really live here, on earth, in our town, in our houses, in our workplaces—because a part of us always off somewhere bent over in a corner, meddling, whispering, hiding, licking our wounds, or opening them.
Sure, for the secular among us, it could be that the zodiac is nothing more than a tool for suggestion. Like some view Tarot, for example, astrology provides a map for meditation—rather than being a stone-cold, steadfast, set-in-stone reality. (I mean, hello, "13 signs"—no Scorpio is going to fucking budge, no way). When you’re a scorp, you know it. It’s not like the Aquarius who says "Yes, I am eclectic!" or the Leo who chants, "Look upon me!" Or even the dreamy Pisces, who, like the three water signs (Scorp included) is also always attached to otherworlds. A Scorp is a Scorpio is a Scorpia. Even if you don’t want to be a Scorpio anymore, you’re stuck with us. Trying to hide it is akin to being drunk. You might be able to get around, but you’ll never feel quite right.
Scorp might even influence you if it’s in your chart or, say, your moon sign. Either way you know it. You can feel its pincer spread inside you. You can feel its poison push through you whether you want it or not. When Scorp has you, she has you. I can’t tell you differently.
So brings us to Halloween season—scorpio season. This time of year has always been magical for me (surprise, surprise). I was born November 3—right after all the beautiful festivities honoring the dead (were I to be a Halloween child, well, I curse the universe for failing me…). I’ve always felt most alive now, and with all the talk of Scorpio season, I feel at home, like I’m understood, like I’m seen—not just banished to the shadows of scorn and sex and wound and water and darkness.
But the scorpio is more than Scorpio season. And we’re more than the qualities we’re usually defined by. As sexy and intimidating and intoxicating as we seem, I believe that Scorp is, in equal measure, made from darkness and light. Capable of immense transformation and instrospection, this sign—and its wild season—is a time when we can confront the shadow and find good it in. Find a home in it. Become comfortable with our discomforts. Especially around loss, grief, fear, body, desires, and identity. Do not worry that this season will bring out your ghosts and leave you scared and haunted and overwhelmed—because you can harness all of that and use it to your benefit. (And just think: For some of us, it’s always Scorpio Season. If you don’t live in this place in perpetuity, consider yourself, well, lucky?).
But for just this season, transient and ending, you can indulge.
Some of the indulgence tips I include below are therapeutic in a very DIY way. I encourage you to seek professional help if you feel you need it, though. Working through your pain or grief on your own is one thing, but if you feel you need help, do ask for it. The Scorpio would want you to be good to yourself, even if she doesn’t always express it.
Here are some ways Scorpio Season can be curative—if you work it, rather than fear it.
1.Keep a shadow journal.
Here is where you’ll write down all those secrets, all those fears, all that loss, all those people you miss, all that pain. You want it out, and down. You want to sit with it, read it, accept it, and know that these secrets are safe (the scorpio is very secretive, which can make her sick). But mostly, being able to feel a little more comfortable with your wounds can actually lessen their sting.
2. Power your transformation.
If you want to be the person who stops showing up late, or the person who finally lets himself feel loved, or the person who wants to speak up when you think you ought to, scorpio season is the time to make those efforts. With scorpio’s intense transformative powers, this is the time to apply all that energy. You might here of scorpio’s death wish, but really it’s the fact that scorpio feels the need to transmorph, to kill a part of themselves off (give birth to another) and send it to the grave.
3. Talk to the dead.
Scorpio is the sign of the dead, sure. We all know that. And while that might mean Scorpios are busy walking that liminal space, it doesn’t mean you can’t join them. Whether the veils are literally or metaphorically open—because many people and Scorps are secular and don’t really believe this season is really a time of spirits—it’s still a good time to meet grief head-on. (Again, see note above around seeking professional help if you can’t move through grief on your own).
I like to write letters to my dead, sometimes I like to bury those letters, and sometimes I like to visit those graves or places where the dead are and just talk. I took part in something called Into the Veil a few weeks ago, where I recited poetry in a graveyard. The event was produced by Atlas Obscura, and was a truly death positive evening in that it allowed visitors to discover art and transformative ritual around death. The more we sit with it, the more we acknoelege it, the less power it holds over us—at least that’s the theory. It may be hard to stomach (for me, it was), but being surrounded by all those tombstones meant something: Life regenerates, life moves, life ends, memory lives, memories mean something, and that we ought to to live while we have the chance—live for our loved ones who cannot. Who didn’t get a long enough chance. This scorpio season, sit with the dead, or your dead, and just try to find a way to make peace. It’s probably different for all of us, that way, but it can yield beautiful results.
Lisa Marie Basile is the founding editor-in-chief and creative director of Luna Luna Magazine. She is also the moderator of its digital community.
Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Bustle, entropy, Bust, Hello Giggles, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, greatist, Cosmopolitan and The Huffington Post, among other sites. She is the author of Apocryphal (Noctuary Press), war/lock (Hyacinth Girl Press), Andalucia (The Poetry Society of New York) and Triste (Dancing Girl Press). her book, nympholepsy, was a finalist in the 2017 tarpaulin sky book awards.
Her work can be found in PANK, the Tin House blog, The Nervous Breakdown, The Huffington Post, Best American Poetry, PEN American Center, The Atlas Review, and tarpaulin sky, among others. She has taught or spoken at Brooklyn Brainery, Columbia University, New York University and Emerson College. Lisa Marie Basile holds an MFA from The New School. @lisamariebasile
And then one morning you sawed me open, cutting your hand in the process. Blood swam in, and silver, and nothing was ever the same.Read More
Most of these need no introduction. And if you don't know about them, just watch them. You won't regret it. Or maybe you will...and that's part of the point.Read More
BY CHLOÉ ROSSETTI
*The author wishes to express this content warning: sexual assault, and child sexuality.*
This essay is part of Enough Enough Anthology, a project by Lexie Bean for trans and non-binary survivors of sexual assault/domestic violence to write letters to their body parts. Submissions are open until August 1st.
The anthology will be published in book form with Jessica Kingsley Publishers in spring 2018.
Nipples, I think about you constantly.
THE LET DOWN
let down n. The release of milk in a nursing mother or lactating animal
I had another top surgery dream last night.
In this vision, a group of friends and I had all traveled en masse to a far-off, tropical locale—not the usual Florida; maybe New Orleans?—to support a friend’s top surgery. It was humid; frangipani air hung on the body. It felt magical.
The friend was laid out on a white sheet, unconscious in a way that seemed more like they were having a very sweet dream. We were all sitting in a circle in the open air around this friend while the surgeon performed the deed. We were holding sacred space; chanting; praying; smiling; singing.
The surgeon, who was genderless, also felt like a spiritual practitioner, as surgeons sometimes do. The way that they performed the top surgery was so gentle and noninvasive that the scars were barely visible afterward, and the nipples, maintaining their sensitivity, didn’t have to be moved.
Everybody hung out afterwards, and there was food and costumes and dancing; it felt like a Mardi Gras, perhaps like the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras of my Australian adolescence.
It was dusk. People were drunk. There were fireflies.
I saw my former roommate there.
“I had another top surgery dream last night,” I admitted.
He smiled at me.
This is a very sweet top surgery dream, I think. Usually, when I have top surgery dreams I am trying to breastfeed, but all I have are drainage pumps full of milk.
I really, really want to breastfeed.
Sometimes, when my partner sucks on you the way he does—gorgeous, sensuous, feminist—I feel like I want him to keep doing it until milk, laced with oxytocin, springs from you into his mouth. Then he and I will be bonded: like mother and child, like kin, like lovers. This is not shameful to me. I am kinky and I have many kinks. But I’ve thought about it a lot, Nipples, and wanting to nurse is not my kink. If anything, it is my recovery.
let down n. A decrease in size, volume, or force
My first boyfriend and I, and you, were 16 when we started dating. He was my first kiss. None of us had made it past first base before. You and I hadn’t even made it to a base before.
He was obsessed with sucking on you; remember? He started doing it a month after we started dating—without asking. We would make out, and then he would almost immediately lift up my shirt and start sucking, like I were a soda machine at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I felt sick, dead.
This wasn’t meant to be your introduction to pleasure, Nipples.
Once I remember him doing it in public, at night, walking down a suburban street to his house. We were making out, giggling, frolicking. Then he stopped me, lifted up my shift and bra, and, to quote Bikini Kill, sucked my left one. Do you remember that?
Do you remember the things that happen to you?
My left breast was, and still is, smaller than the right one. I remember when, noticing this while sucking away at you, he looked up and said to me, “This one just needs a little more encouragement” and sucked on that one for longer.
I withered inside and stayed small, Nipples.
I remember when we were 17 and away at a junior national fencing competition, reuniting and reveling with teen fencers from around the country. I was hooking up with a hot female friend in front of my ex and his friend. It was for us, not them. They were just there. My ex toasted over us—as in pretended to have a glass of alcohol, or perhaps did have a glass of alcohol, and made a toasting gesture, verbally admiring the view with his friend. Something along the lines of “We’ve got booze, we’ve got a view…”
I blocked them out of my hazy, drunken mind. I was busy. My hot friend was giving me head. It was none of their business.
My ex’s friend moved over to me and saw that you were exposed, erect.
He sucked on you. He did not ask me.
The next day, I told some friends. They laughed at me.
let down n. A disappointment or a feeling of disappointment
There was a woman I was in love with in my high school friend circle. We hooked up a couple of times back then. We haven’t spoken in years, not since she moved to the east coast of Australia, leaving her history with all of us behind.
In her later teens she behaviorally fled her Christian fundamentalist upbringing and troubled familial support system, spiraling out into drugs and unsafe promiscuity. She lied a lot. She clung to her arms in her sleep until she bruised. She fucked my boyfriend/ex-boyfriend. She hooked up with my crush in his bed while I was in the next room, unaware and still hopeful. When I moved to the States for college she moved in with my ex, or so I heard years later, and they told everybody that they were in love. And then she moved to the other side of the country to rejoin her family and religion, getting married to a guy who sexually assaulted her.
They have a baby now. Are they happy?
I loved sucking this woman’s nipples.
One time, she stood over me and lifted up her white singlet halfway, exposing the bottoms of her breasts. She posed for me, tugging on her cap and miniskirt, thrusting out her hip: a slutty cheerleader. I lifted up her shirt and starting sucking. I didn’t ask her.
Another time, at a family-and-friends-type party at her parents’ house, she had a panic attack. I followed her upstairs to comfort her. She told me that her father, who always unsettled me, had been sexually assaulting her. I had many questions I didn’t ask.
This scared me out of my queerness for almost a decade.
I still have a great sexual appetite for people with breasts, though I rarely act on it now. I theorize that I am still too wounded from what went on before. That’s part of it, I’m sure. Mostly, though, I’m afraid to violate the breast-havers with my desires.
I play it in my head, over and over: I see my lover’s breasts and grab them with my taking-hands, letting all the toxic masculinity deposited onto—into—me by so many bodies ooze out at once. My lover withers, as I did, becoming distorted and fixated too.
Maybe I was always destined to be a breast- and nipple-lover.
I drank so much breast milk from my mother that she had to pull me off her, lest I sucked her dry.
One time, when I was less than two years old, we were in the bath with her. You were tiny back then. I twisted my mother’s huge nipples and cried out: “Pretty buttons!”
My first crush was Jessica Rabbit. I would stare at her breasts and get hot between my legs. I was three. I rewatched Who Framed Roger Rabbit? until I wore out the VHS.
As soon as I learned to draw, I would draw Disney-princess-type women in princess-cut dresses with Jessica Rabbit proportions: enormous breasts, tapered waists, blue eyes, blonde hair, massive lips, long lashes. I was an overweight “wog” girl—frizzy brown hair, big nose, double chin—and half a boy inside.
I wanted to be Princess Jasmine. I wanted to fuck Princess Jasmine. I wanted Aladdin to fuck me. I wanted to be Aladdin.
When I was seven, my friend came over and taught me how to make my Barbies make out with each other, topless, undressing each other with their plastic knife-hands—clothes getting stuck on right-angle arms—and fondling each other’s nippleless breasts.
Later in the scene, I made a Ken doll assault a Barbie, and then I made Barbie take Ken to court for sexual harassment. I made my friend do Barbie’s voice in the courtroom. I fed her the lines. My friend didn’t want to. She was seven too.
When I was ten I saw a dance performance with my family: a dark-haired man and a blonde, statuesque woman were doing the tango. The woman looked like Barbie. The man dipped the woman and lifted her back up; she kissed him passionately, grabbing his face with both hands. I wanted the woman to kiss me. I wanted to be the man.
Recently, a new lover fucked me without asking me. We were in bed together. Things escalated. I couldn’t find my “No.” I cried the next day. He listened.
Before the fucking, this person told me that my breasts were “magic,” because he sucked on you, Nipples, and I had an orgasm.
I’m still amazed by your superpower. You give me orgasms. Nipplegasms.
And you know what? My breasts are magic. Pendulous, soft, and creased with colorless stretch marks, with huge alveoli and a hair or two around the edge. They hang heavy, and taper beautifully into the soft points of you. They are gorgeous. You are gorgeous, and you are highly responsive. You give me orgasms. You are magic.
This was what I masturbated to as a horny sixteen-year-old with a nipple fixation:
Fantasy #1: Coming into my hot 34-year-old high school teacher’s office and begging for an A. Opening my uniform (a colonial-chic navy Aboriginal-print dress with a tie) to reveal my pert teenage breasts. We make out. I put his hand on my right breast and he fondles me. I guide his head toward you, Nipples, and he sucks on you. Then the principal is about to come into his office. I hide under his desk, which has an opening for legs but is opaque otherwise. He sits at his desk, hiding me from the open side, and bids the Principal enter. I unzip his fly and suck his dick to climax while he speaks with the principal, barely stifling his pleasure. I greedily suck his semen down.
Semen is a bit like breast milk, don’t you think?
Fantasy #2: I am a journalist covering an event at the Playboy mansion. I have on a black pencil skirt with matching garter stockings and pointy black pumps. My white sheer blouse reveals a sexy black bra, with matching high-cut, black lacy underwear.
The Playboy bunnies are wearing outfits that look like black bathing suits with holes to let their gravity-defying breasts poke through. The holes and edges of the suits are laced with white doily fabric. They look like French maid bunnies.
One of the bunnies is assigned to me as a tour guide. She is sexy, and looks like a cast member of Baywatch. I take a tour of the mansion and grounds. Finally, I am led through a series of underwater grottos. We pass another Playboy bunny straddling a man, squatting on his dick and riding him wildly and he lay flat on his back, receiving, helpless to her desire. They are both fully clothed except for his dick and her breasts and cunt. The bunny suit has another hole, it seems. They moan and scream with nasty, opulent pleasure, fucking away in that damp, gray grotto on the cold, stone ground, splayed out next to a shimmering swimming pool bathed in light from a skylight overhead. My bunny leads me nonchalantly past them, shooting me a coy glance as I stare. In the next grotto, a tall waterfall tumbles lustily into a lagoon. My bunny asks me if I’ve seen enough, if there’s anything more that I’ll be wanting from her. Am I interested in what I saw? Curious? She takes me behind the waterfall so that nobody can see. She is soaking wet. She puts my face onto her breast to suck. I suck her nipples. Then she sucks mine: you.
I am masturbating and touching, pinching, twisting you as I write this.
My obsession with breast removal, breast sucking, and breastfeeding are all parallel, as in they do not touch.
I remember a sixth-grade classmate giving a speech about Amazon women and how they cut off their left breasts. I was eleven. I returned to this image for a long time. I later learned that it was to better shoot with a bow and arrow. What about the lefties?
One time in eighth grade: I was rifling through a glossy magazine, and I saw a slender, modelesque woman with buzzed blonde hair and almost no makeup, wearing a singlet that clearly showed a flat chest. The caption read that she didn’t want her breasts anymore, so she removed them. I wonder where this person is now. Who is she? Is she trans? Was this article woefully gender incompetent, or did she still use she/her pronouns at the time of her surgery? Why did I fixate on this image for so long?
For years after my experiences with my first boyfriend, I saw and felt dark energy in my right breast, the larger one. The one that needed less “encouragement.”
My first energy healer told me that I needed to sort out my relationship with my breasts. She saw the dark energy too. She saw that I sometimes wanted them gone.
My transmasc friends tell me that one can lose sensation in one’s nipples after top surgery. This prospect horrifies me.
Once, when I was 20, I cried about not being a man. I was in the arms of my gay male friend, in college, in bed. It was late. He kissed me. I cried some more. Then I got up and put on mascara. Or was the mascara another time?
One of my greatest sexual appetites is for queer men who fuck other queer men. They don’t see the queer man in me.
I met a beautiful 53-year-old transman last year. He was a radical faerie, and had transitioned seven years ago. He had always been butch, and was always attracted to queer and gay men. He had sex with men before his transition but “it never felt right.” Now it feels right. He told me that he underwent the physical transformation so that people would see him for who he was, so that he could have sex with the people to whom he was attracted. It wasn’t as much for himself, I don’t think.
I highly identify with this story.
Maybe when I am middle-aged, and done breastfeeding, I will transform into a queer man and have sex with the faeries for the rest of my life.
I have worked with the same energy healer for the past five years now. Her name is Eva. Many miracles, too many to name here, have occurred as a result of my work with her. One stands out: The dark energy is gone from my breasts now. I am very kind to them. I am still confused by them, sometimes, by their existence on my chest, but I accept their presence in my life as long as they are there. You will always be there, Nipples.
Eva helped me recover my gender too. I am a hybrid.
Like the car; like a mule; like an orchid.
Chloé Rossetti is an artist, writer, performer, energy healer, and maternal pantheist based in Brooklyn, NY. Founder of Radical Nourishment, their work focuses on the intersection of ecology, collectivism, agency, ecofeminism, pleasure, sensuality, social integration, decolonization, and love. They implore anyone looking for companionship as they rewild their lifeway, especially in the urban environment, to get in touch with them.
It's pretty great and hardly needs an introduction. The film itself was created by Lori Malépart-Traversy in 2016, and won a myriad of awards.Read More
Dena Rash Guzman (born 1972 in Las Vegas, Nevada) is a poet living on a farm in the Mt. Hood Wilderness near Portland, Oregon.Read More
Good sex for me is when I can forget myself. That moment when all I am is the pleasure that I am feeling. All my energy coalesces into one point of focus and explodes. I think this is what the Big Bang must have felt like on a monumental scale. Energy exploding. Infinite potential. The sense of multiplying expansion that will never end. But it always ends. The universe cannot keep being born and I cannot remain in a state of perpetual orgasmic ecstasy.Read More
BY LISA MARIE BASILE
This weekend, I'll be watching the lovely sensualists at Dances of Vice for their Dark Venus Fetish Ball. I am always looking for something potent, heavy, and changing – something that lets me tap into the darkness and vibrancy I ignore during the work-week.
Dances of Vice events – I've been to several – are usually transformative in some way. They're beautiful, strange, and erotically-charged; every time, I'm lost in a sea of bodies so nuanced, so deliberate, so alive. Shien Lee is the creator – please take a moment to find and follow her. We as a city are indebted to her aesthetic magic and coup on boredom.
Tomorrow night, Saturday, join me on Luna Luna's Instagram and my personal dark Instagram and Snapchat (Lisa Marie Basile) as I get ready for the show. I'll also be sending pics from the event when/if I can. Next week, my diary from the event will be posted here and at Ingenue X.
Here are some images from previous Dances of Vice shows I've been to. I tend to take this quite seriously.
Have you ever been to one of their events?
In my mid-30s, my initial confidence level with attractive men didn’t match my perception of enduring relationship success; I felt doomed to fail on a protracted timeline. In this instance, and others, I chose to pursue someone based on the short-term nature of the possibilities. I knew I had Jack that first night. Boys like me; that doesn’t mean they stick around, so I was now choosing men who wouldn’t.Read More
In bed at night at 12, I still prayed as I had as a child, but instead of my lists of blessings and natural disasters, I began asking for the strength to control myself, and, when that failed, I would bargain for forgiveness. I offered up whatever I could think of in order to relieve my sense of guilt. People were sure to tell me masturbation was wrong, but no one ever told me you weren’t suppose to bargain with the Lord. My version of him was more like the witches of fairy tales, or the dealer of a high-stakes poker game. I reasoned that misbehaving would weaken my hand, making God less likely to protect me against death.Read More
In my opinion, sex and adulthood are correlated, but are not related. Being a virgin, individuals assume you are innocent--uncorrupted. Still, just because your body is ready to have sex, it does not mean you are prepared in other aspects.Read More
BY DOLLY LASSITER
This piece is part of the Relationship Issue. Read more here.
The cool club is Academia (accent on the third syllable in Serbo-Croatian, ak-ah-DAY- me-ahh). Belgrade is a dingy dirty, last-gasp-of-socialismcapital. You buy a fabulous pair of red plastic glasses with prescription lenses for $5. The Yugoslavian men and women are all willowy beauties,lithe and robust. They all speak English. You love it. And so do all the other students on your junior year abroad program. Everyone has florid affairs.
Your first night there you go to a party with a bunch of film school students and artists. It’s very dark. Pedja, who will go on to play Igor Karkakoffin the Harry Potter movies, is fascinating and quotes Emily Dickinson “the soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”Also “for love is immortality” and “forever is composed of nows.”
He is interested in talking with you. Whee! American guys are never interested in talking with you (you haven’t moved to New York City yet, theonly place in the continental United States an American male ever asks you for a date). It’s not that you have a predilection for foreigners, it’s thatAmericans have a distaste for you. Boo hoo. You’re too weird and you write strange notes to people (kind of like Emily Dickinson but without the poetry). Of course you make out with him.
When you are on your way back from the restroom, another looming man bars your passage, with such winsome charm, you can’t resist. His name isDragan, like the mythical beast. He’s not an artist, he’s a med student. He lives in a small apartment with his mom, dad, and little sister, where they brew their own wine on the balcony and ferment their own cabbage (you learn all this much later).
That night he’s smoking and decides that he’s the man to teach you everything you need to know how to say in Serbo-Croatian, essentially elaboratecurse words, sonnets of swearing.
He starts small: Jebem ti sunsa (may you get f*cked by the sun). Idija pitchka ti materinu (go home to your mother’s c*nt). He kisses you. Fall down down down into the ring of fire.
The next day you are interviewed on the radio.
The interviewer’s first question, “how does it feel to come from a country with no culture?”
Ha ha! It feels great, you philistine! How can you call a country that invented pop rocks AND pop tarts ‘without culture???’ The land of O’Keefe,Coppola, and Whitman?
A week later you’re spending most nights at his family’s apartment. He has a futon mattress on the floor of his bedroom and a clock beside itshaped like a silver football with a red face. He is a serious student and a good son.
He LOVES his Zippo lighter (spoiler alert: within a month of beginning to date you, he gives up smoking) and his Jack Daniels and his Levis, precisely rolled up at the hems. Part of what he loves aboutyou is that you are from the land of his loves.
His family has a house in a tiny hamlet in the country, Vojska, or “Soldier,” an ominous moniker in a land destined for endless strife, where you cango out and pick the chartreuse green peppers, sun-warmed tomatoes, and spiky little cucumbers for your evening salad.
And you have lunch the next day at a long table full of extended family and neighbors, a chicken running around our feet, then later getting up todance the kolo together (if you can dance the hava nagilah, you can dance the kolo). This is your fantasy of a fantasy. Roast lamb, Srpska salata, freshbread, homemade wine mixed with cold seltzer. People singing and sweating together. Dessert is kasten pire (chestnut dust – superbly delicious).
But sometimes you just can’t wait. And you don’t want to be in such close proximity to people sleeping in wedlock and a younger sister, so therefore you must gather these rosebuds while ye may, which happens to be on a dark and deserted street in central Belgrade. (aside: look up the etymology of wedlock, what a somber and scary word for marriage!)
Tips: do not choose a residential building, as people may come and go at all hours. Find a storefront that is locked and shuttered and clearly closedfor business. Look for an entryway about 4’ deep – you want to be just a little visible (ie, not an entryway where someone else might come lookingfor some al fresco privacy), but neither a very shallow entryway where your licentious activity will be clearly visible. It works well if one of you is wearing a long flowing Victorian overcoat (think French Lieutenant’s Woman), ideally with a hood.
Dragan braces himself against the door. You’re not wearing any underwear, so that’s good. His strong and tender hands slide your close fitting,stretchy knit skirt slowly and sinuously and seductively up above your hips and he has his way with you.
Dolly Lassiter is a filmmaker and writer. She has taught film production, directing for the camera, storytelling, and led workshops with students and faculty at Bryn Mawr College, Hunter College, and Cornell University. She was a Hepburn Fellow for film and video at Bryn Mawr College. Dolly works as the chief digital officer for a small nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness in NYC. She co-founded an online video company dedicated to making it easier for all families to eat more healthily and sustainably. Dolly was a Producer and Correspondent for the PBS news program “Need to Know.” She is currently co-directing a film on bacteria and our overuse of antibiotics. Dolly leads a long-running meditation class for adults with mental health issues at St. Francis Friends of the Poor and, formerly, with women veterans who survived military sexual trauma at the VA Hospital. Dolly is the author of JOY(reversed), a weird little multimedia meditation book for beginners with super-short videos, audio clips, photos and other resources, (written under the pseudonym Sarah Shine). She writes about meditation and daily life at micromeditation.org. Dolly is also a pseudonym. She lives with her partner and two kids in leafy Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Dear Lynsey G,
I wonder if you'd be able to answer a question for me. I am looking to purchase my first vibrator and was thinking of obtaining one of the various brands of rabbit type toy. I recently read an article of yours from Luna Luna and found myself wondering if I should take the plunge, so to speak, and finally purchase one. I have never really needed one in the past, as I have been able to see to my needs (by myself or with a partner) satisfactorily without. However, reading all the hype and reviews, I find myself curious but skeptical. Reviews like, "intense orgasm within seconds" and such leave me wondering if all the hype is accurate, or marketing. Is it worth spending the money? By never having tried these types of toys, am I missing out?
Love, Curious but SkepticalRead More
A man and woman are in a room. A man and a woman are in a room without their clothes on. A man and a woman are naked in a room and they are kissing in a bed. A man and a woman and a room are one. The man wants to have sex; the woman says her pill won’t work because she’s on antibiotics, doesn’t think it’ll be a good idea. He says okay. She thinks everything is OK. They’ve known each other for a month. While they walk Brooklyn’s streets, he holds her hand—momentarily cradles her head on his shoulder while riding the F.Read More