Sinclair Sexsmith: Sugarbutch
Sex, Love and Intimacy
Chip August

Episode 92 - Sinclair Sexsmith: Sugarbutch

Sinclair Sexsmith defies categorization. He's a self described lesbian, kinky writer, queer butch top, feminist sex educator in New York City. Join us as we talk about gender expression, identities, labels, transcending the mutually exclusive binaries, queer culture, concepts of how gender identity and sexual identity intersect, butch/femme roles as a language of desire, how labels can be restrictive or liberating and so much more. And don't miss the exercise for you to try at home.



Chip August: Welcome to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host Chip August, and today on the show I’m talking with author Sinclair Sexsmith.

Chip August: I found Sinclair Sexsmith when I was surfing the web. I don’t actually know, I was looking for something related to the show and found this amazing blog and website called Sugar Butch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top. Now boy, if that doesn’t stop you, I don’t know what will. It turns out Sinclair Sexsmith, the creator of this amazing blog, was named 2008’s number one top sex blogger. He’s written work that’s been published in various anthologies, including Best Lesbian Erotica and a collection called Visible, which I think, I think is called a Fem Ethology. Mr. Sexsmith enjoys, this is now his words, enjoys whiskey, topping, the cereal Comma political activism and has been known to get on his knees in order to fix the strappy sandals of a queer fem. Doesn’t that just everything, right? And so welcome to the show Sinclair Sexsmith.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Thanks very much. I’m happy to be here.

Chip August: I’m happy to have you here. So I want to, I want to ask a lot about you and what you know and your teaching and what you’ve studied and about gender and gender identity, but I have to say that whenever you’re listening to this listeners, we’re actually recording this on the day the California Supreme Court decided not to overturn Proposition 8, and thereby upheld making marriage illegal for same-gender people, although they recognize and legitimize the 18,000 marriages that happened before the ban went into effect. But it’s not a really happy day for people who believe that any two human beings should have a right to marriage. And I just actually wanted to check in with you just there about how that’s landing for you and if you have any thoughts on that subject.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yeah, I have a lot of thoughts on that. I mean, I was watching the, my… Well I was watching my Twitter stream very closely when the ruling was coming down from California earlier today and waiting for it to happen, and this is kind of what people kept saying to me, they expected to come out of this ruling. But they wouldn’t overturn the marriages, they, you know, overturn what the 18,000 couples who had already gotten married, but they would uphold Prop 8 and they would say that that’s legitimate. And…

Chip August: That was the expected ruling.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yeah. And I, so there was a degree to which I just am very cynical I’m kind of like, “Well, what did you think, what did you expect people?…

Chip August: Right.

Sinclair Sexsmith: That’s what we thought would happen.” But, you know, there was a little piece of me that was ready to be hopeful and that was ready to see something better than that. I guess, I came home, I have a 9 to 5 so I was at work all day, but I came home and I saw some of the, started watching some of the videos that were coming out. There was one, you know, all these images of marriage that were put together to songs like We Won’t Back Down or something…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: which I saw on I think it was Queer Unity, I was just listening to that, and I had to turn it off, it just, especially when the music gets in there, my heartstrings start getting pulled, I just get really sad about it…

Chip August: Yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: So, so there’s that kind of reaction, but then there, I also am trying to remind myself that these injustices and these kind of one step backwards usually fuels a huge insurgence of activism and of people rising up and people doing things that they didn’t, that they wouldn’t usually, and I think that’s really important and really inspiring. I was, I was really shocked at how much came out after Prop 8 passed in November. So many people suddenly all up in arms about gay rights, and that was really good actually. So I think the point, I think what we need to take away is, you know, yes that sucks and we need to mourn that and we need to feel that that was, that that feels bad, but we need to funnel all of that bad feeling into this activism and into some action that will continue to move us forward. So I’m kind of trying to keep that in mind tonight. I’m also trying to keep in mind that New Hampshire and Maine and Iowa and those rulings recently that came out where they just kind of slid right under the radar; all of a sudden there was, you know, something on the AP wire, “Oh, Iowa’s passed gay marriage.” I kind of looked around going, “What? Like, was that even up for… What? How did that happen?” So there’s some other states who are doing some really great things with, you know, sneaking it through I feel, and I think that that’s going to, I think it’s going to make a really big difference in the coming years. We’re going to start seeing these states fall like dominos and it’s going to make a big difference for the couples who live there.

Chip August: Yeah. That’s what I think too and, and it, I don’t know, I’m a student of history, and one of my favorite figures in history was John Quincy Adams who after he was president got convinced to run as a Congressman from his district in Massachusetts and spent the last like 25 years of his life just trying to get the US Congress to hear a petition about abolishing slavery. Not even to act on the petition, to just hear the petitions. And so I know, I know that committed individuals who don’t give up ultimately help us see that we have to give the same rights to all human beings, but I’m just sad. I thought, I was, I just had a hope against hope that maybe the, the Supreme Court would sort of step up and go, “You know, we can’t have ballot initiatives that remove rights from people”, that that’s just not, that that’s not the way we do it around here. But, oh well…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Not the way it’s supposed to be, right?

Chip August: No.

Sinclair Sexsmith: And they, I saw a great article today about how that really actually shot the argument in the foot, kind of how they upheld the former marriages. So now we have like this certain, this like second class of gays that are married in California, but there’s this other class that aren’t, and so, and then the hetero people who aren’t aren’t, and, you know, how can you uphold a ruling that is, that those marriages are legal but other ones are not?

Chip August: Yeah, yeah, it’s pretty, it’s pretty interesting. The marriage, the existing marriages are legal, but you just can’t get another one. That’s really, it’s pretty interesting, isn’t it? So…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yeah, someone always joking about, you know, “Mine’s an original, you know,…

Chip August: Right.

Sinclair Sexsmith: 2009 marriage. When’s yours from?”, you know, like a vintage, like you collect them.

Chip August: Now lets talk a little bit about you. You’re an expert on gender studies. You actually got a degree in gender studies with an emphasis on social change. You also have a degree in English…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yes.

Chip August: So tell me a little bit. How did you decide gender studies, queer theory, post modern theory, how’d you get into this?

Sinclair Sexsmith: I went, I just fell in love with social studies and social theory in college. I, I mean I had already come out as queer and was working toward a butch identity, working toward coming out and having like a more masculine presentation as a lesbian, and I started really, really wanting to understand gender dynamics in culture…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: And I think, I think a lot of people get into this work because they’re wanting to really deeply understand their own lives and their own sense of self. And that’s definitely where I came from, really wanted to explain some of what, some of how my life had unfolded and this was, I guess I was 20 when I went back to college and started sending this really heavily. So I was just, I was looking for my own answers….

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: I was looking for my own explanations of, you know, my own shortcomings, for lack of a better word, but places where my life had fallen flat in a weird way that I didn’t understand. And these theories started making more sense to me and started putting my life in a new light that made me really want to figure out and explain.

Chip August: Now you use words like queer, you just used a word like butch, you just used a… So I know most people who are not very intimately involved in the gay or lesbian community worry that we’re going to offend, we’re going to say the wrong… So, queer; what does it mean these days? What’s queer?

Sinclair Sexsmith: Queer, for the most part I think the young queer community, the young TBLT, they young gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans people are using queer really predominantly, that’s a very common word in this community…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: And it’s kind of an umbrella term. There’s a lot of also kinky people who use queer, who, you know, have some sort of quote “deviant sexuality” and don’t necessarily feel like they’ve been into mainstream, but find solace with people whose sexualities are a little bit different and are discriminated against for that…

Chip August: Yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: So I know some kinky folks who are included in queer and call themselves queer. I think that word, I think that words been really heavily reclaimed in our culture right now. I mean as far as saying things that offend people, I think it’s generally wise to use terms, use the terms that other people use to describe themselves…

Chip August: Right, right.

Sinclair Sexsmith: But it also pretty, it’s also pretty wise, you know, when you’re inside of this culture and this community there’s a lot of things you can say and use and talk about that you, that it’s a lot harder to use when you’re outside the community, so…

Chip August: Which of course is true, that’s true of every community, so, you know…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Absolutely. Yes, yes, exactly.

Chip August: We need to pause just for a moment. I want to do a little business, and then I want to come back and I want to talk to you a little bit about sort of polarities and dynamics and seeing things as either/or and then talk a little bit more about butch and fem and gay and straight and all kinds of things like that, but first we want to pause for our, you know, give our sponsors a chance to support us. Listeners please listen to these messages; the ads are created by my sponsors for the show and they help me bring my work to you. So if you can support them I’d really appreciate it. I kind of get credit for anything that you purchase or buy, and there’s lots of really good deals. Also you might want to look at the episode pages at, go look at Sex, Love and Intimacy because there’s even some dollar off deals and good deals there too. Lots of opportunities for you to save a little money, lots of opportunity for me to get more sponsors, so please, listen to these sponsors and, you know, patronize their goods, and we’ll be right back.

Chip August: This is Chip August. You’re listening to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m talking to Sinclair Sexsmith, and Sinclair is an expert, has a degree in gender studies and writes an amazing blog called The Sugarbutch Chronicles, and we’re just about to dive into this whole thing about… So, so I’m, I am kind of lost in… I feel like there’s some way that…. Let me say this the funny way, okay. There’s two kinds of people in the world; people who think there’s two kinds of people and people who don’t, you know. And what I notice is that the people who think there’s two kinds of people see everything as two kinds. And I notice I’m one of those people who can see things that way, but it hardly ever describes anything. I’m really struck by a quote by Andrea Dworkin who was a feminist philosopher and psychologist, and she once wrote that she thought that the system of gender polarity, you know, male/female, gender polarity, the system of gender polarity was real but not true, right. That it, you’d see it all over the place; there’s men’s rooms and women’s rooms, there’s a, you know, we get divided up in school by boys and girls, the boys on this side, the…. But it’s not true that there’s, that it isn’t, there isn’t two, and I find I have that reaction with butch and fem and I have that reaction with top and bottom and I have that reaction… And maybe it’s just because deep inside I’m really a switch, you know, and so it’s harder for me, you know. But this whole idea of like gender identity being you’re either this or you’re that sort of throws me, right, because I’m a really masculine guy who likes to do the shopping and likes to do the laundry and likes to cook and really loves my daddy stuff, you know, and, you know, I’m a straight guy that loves musical theatre. I’m not that straight, but I’m straight relative to people who aren’t straight, you know. So the terms just make me crazy, you know. So what do you mean by any of this? What is, like, what do we do with all this polarity stuff?

Sinclair Sexsmith: Oh gosh, that’s a big question. I definitely agree with you that there is a huge, huge range of experience and of identity, and that those two polarities are not the only answer and the only way, and I like that Dworkin quote actually, I don’t, not a big Dworkin fan, but…

Chip August: No, me neither, but it’s the best thing she ever wrote.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yeah, that’s good. It’s real but not true, and I think that that could apply to a lot of things that are real but not true…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: I mean… And also that… Well okay, I’ll stop on that tangent. The binaries and the polarities… I mean I think we really want to categorize things, our human brains just really like to be able to do that, and I find a lot of satisfaction in categories and in labels and words and in calling something by its proper name. I’m also a poet right…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: so having just the right word, being able to put just the right word in there and call it just exactly the right thing really satisfies me. That said, there is nothing wrong with the, you know, the, being a switch, being a 90/10 top…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: being a, you know, 60/40 top, being a butch on the outside and fem on the inside or whatever, however people want to identify, that is one of my number one gender rules, which I’m still actually working on a document about that, but… which is that your gender is yours to determine and your identity is yours to determine, whatever you say it is you’re the expert of what that is and you get to say what that means and what that doesn’t mean.

Chip August: Please, keep going. Yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Oh I just, I think there’s a, just a giant range. We talk, gender theory and social studies talks a lot about a gender spectrum, you know, it’s not just men and women but you can go all the way in the middle of those two things. I, I’ve also heard it say in very recent years that there’s a whole gender galaxy. It’s more than just a spectrum, because that’s kind of a linear two-dimensional line. You put it on a whole galaxy you’ve got things that are orbiting, you’ve got, you know, relational stars that, you know, might never cross each other but also, you know, relate to each other in complicated spirally patterns, you’ve got quadrants, you’ve got similarities, you’ve got things that are completely outside of the binary and you’ve got things that work within them and you explode them and you’ve got black holes and you’ve got all sorts of things, so I really like the gender galaxy idea as opposed to the spectrum. And I  think that’s true of those other things you mentioned too; men and women, top and bottom, butch and fem, there’s a huge galaxy of terms and of identities that can go along it with all of those things, it’s not just one or the other.

Chip August: Is it possible that our gender is as unique as our, as our personality is? You know, I often say this in workshops, that I suspect that our whole notion about gender is totally completely utterly insane, and that perhaps each person has their own gender, you know, and that, you know… Yeah, I mean we can talk about plumbing, but…

Sinclair Sexsmith: I think you’re not far off there. I think a, I think there are way more versions of gender than we think. I mean each individual person puts their own individual spin on gender, but that’s also not to say that you can’t pull on some kind of historical gender identities or some contemporary gender identities and find your own place within that. And that’s kind of, that’s kind of where I came to with this butch identity, right. I…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: I, that’s kind of a historical lesbian identity in some ways. Most people think identifying as butch is really passé and is kind of, just not very, not very gender forward even in some, in some lesbian communities, that’ll be kind of seen as, you know, a throwback…

Chip August: Yeah, it’s those 50’s…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Uh huh.

Chip August: novels, right. We’re all lesbians…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Right.

Chip August: or either butch or fem, yeah, yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Right. And that is clearly not what we have anymore. We have a huge range of experience. We have a lot less gender policing of each other. We have a lot more validation for whatever we feel like expressing, which is fantastic. But for me I guess I started coming to a more masculine presentation, and I started learning more about lesbian masculinity and, in a historical context, from where it’s been, started learning a lot more about trans culture also and where kind of transcending binaries and moving beyond them. And I also started getting really into the, like the metro-sexual masculinity…

Chip August: Yeah, yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: really fun kind of city boy style. And that stuff really clicked for me. I really like ties, I really like cufflinks, really like getting my shoes shined, you know…

Chip August: Yup.

Sinclair Sexsmith: So there’s a certain amount of dapper swagger that I have really enjoyed adopting and has made a lot of sense on me. It’s more than an adaptation, you know, because it’s, it’s this kind of deep resonance that just feels so good, so that’s kind of, yeah…

Chip August: I think you’re discovering why it is that so many people have chosen those sort of, that metro-sexual style…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Mm hmm.

Chip August: You put on the right tie, you put on the right cufflinks, you are putting on, you’re like a matador getting ready for the bull fight, you know. You can’t really be a matador unless you wear the matador outfit, you know. It definitely, there’s power in that.

Sinclair Sexsmith: There’s totally power in that, and I, I also feel like my…. When I kind of really was able to occupy a gender identity that felt really deeply resonant with something in me…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: that I could go out with more swagger, more confidence, that my sex life shot through the roof…

Chip August: Yup.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Like it just, people, it made so much more sense to me. The flirtation and the courtship, everything just kind of clicked in a way that it never had to me before, so coming to my own gender identity and figuring out some of my unique expressions of that genetic energy made the way that I am able to express desire all the more potent and amazing.

Chip August: And now you know why I like to wear a kilt on the weekend.

Sinclair Sexsmith: You wear kilts on the weekend?

Chip August: Oh my god, absolutely. They, the kilts are just the, kilts are the perfect confusion between butch and fem for a guy, because you’re, yup… You’re a guy wearing a skirt, you know. You know, and it just, it just, it’s perfect. It’s just exactly right.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yeah, what are they Utilikilts out of Seattle?

Chip August: I have a, I have a Utilikilt, I have a couple of sport kilts, I have, I actually have quite a kilt collection. I, yeah, I’m into it. I’m into it.

Sinclair Sexsmith: I don’t know if I’m man enough for that honestly. I’ve been, I’m going to debate (unintelligible), especially when it gets really hot. I’m like, “Ooh…

Chip August: Yup.

Sinclair Sexsmith: A breeze on my legs would be really nice right now.”

Chip August: It’s a pretty risky thing, which is kind of what I want to talk about a little bit for a moment here, because I notice, you know, there are places I wear the kilt and I wonder are men going to hassle me, you know. Are men going to give me a hard time? And I have that moment of, “Wow, I’ll bet this is what, like some of my girlfriends went through the first time that they went braless”, you know. I’ll bet this is like what women, what it must be like when you’re the only person wearing a mini skirt, you know. Like, that there’s some way you’re exposing yourself without meaning to expose yourself. I’m just wearing a kilt, I’m not, I mean, I’m less exposed than when I wear shorts, you know. But, but there’s some…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Mm hmm.

Chip August: Yeah. I just kind of, I notice that I pick and choose the neighborhood and events, you know.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Interesting.

Chip August: Yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: It’s a, it’s like putting your gender out there in a way that is an invitation, even though it’s not intended to be so.

Chip August: Right, exactly. It will be read as an invitation or a comment, when in fact all it was was a sartorial choice. We need to pause again. So listeners, I just want to invite you, if you enjoy our conversations and enjoy listening to my interviews, please-please-please-please-please tell your friends, send a link, let them know about me. I really would like to grow this show. There’s a lot of people who can benefit from learning about the stuff that we talk about on the show, so please send links to people. Also just a reminder, we do transcribe almost every episode of Sex, Love and Intimacy, so if you want to print what you just heard or read it or you want to maybe perhaps cut a little copy and forward it to someone, you can find it on my episode pages at And of course if you want to suggest guests for shows or ideas for shows you can also send me those kinds of comments to [email protected]. Always love to hear from you. We’re going to take a break. We’ll be right back.

Chip August: Welcome back to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host Chip August. I’m talking to Sinclair Sexsmith. Sinclair Sexsmith has an amazing blog called The Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top, and just has a wonderful approach to gender and gender identity and sexual identity. By the way, what is the difference between gender identity and sexual identity?

Sinclair Sexsmith: Sexual identity would more be what you do in the bedroom, I would say. Gender identity is more your own internal, your own language of desire that you present physically, is kind of what I, kind of my working definition of gender…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: It’s some sort of way to communicate with your body.

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: I think that those things are incredibly connected though. Gender identity and sexual identity, it’s so hard to disentangle them, and as, for example as I came further and further into a butch identity, and it was definitely happening while I was dating fems and while I was, you know, really starting to get involved with women who identified as fem, and then I would do something like go to my holiday Christmas party and wear a suit…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: and was very uncomfortable because I felt like my sexuality was totally exposed…

Chip August: Ahhh.

Sinclair Sexsmith: So it took me a little while to kind of separate those a little more and figure out how to have gender identity that wasn’t entirely sexual all the time.

Chip August: Yeah, yeah. Although I have to say that I think that for many people that is, they are, there’s a huge overlap. That there is a way that I expressed my masculinity while I’m just expressing my inner man while I’m, and I’m trying to communicate some sexual identity while at the same time just communicating a gender identity because I think that’s going to attract someone who’s interested in that sexual identity.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Mm, mm hmm. And it’s very, it’s very complicated and layered, isn’t it? I mean how can you really untangle all of that? I don’t know. It all just goes together and set a unique constellation for each person I think.

Chip August: And of course we live in a country which pretty much denies any history of anything but heterosexuals. Right, I mean, you know, if you read any middle school or high school textbook, you don’t really read about anybody having a sexual identity of any kind, ever.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Definitely.

Chip August: You know. We don’t know if George and Martha, you know, what they did in the privacy of their bedroom. We don’t really know, you know, what was Thomas Jefferson’s kinks, you know. We don’t know any of that stuff.

Sinclair Sexsmith: No. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

Chip August: Well we know some of, about Jefferson because we know that he has progeny that he never embraced, the Hemmings, you know…

Sinclair Sexsmith: Sure.

Chip August: And so, we know a little bit about him anyway, but… But I always, I’m assuming that throughout history there have been various gender identity human beings, and it’s, that’s just not what got written about them, you know.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yeah. I would assume that too. It wasn’t until I started taking more gender studies courses that I started learning these kind of alternative histories to (unintelligible). I mean I remember specifically suddenly feeling a connection to, you know, 1700’s England when I was reading about (unintelligible), you know, someone like me, just anyone who…
Chip August: Yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: I thought finally I have a connection to what this was like, because I can see it through the eyes of someone who I can identify with.

Chip August: Yeah. Yeah. Listen, you’re fun to talk to, but you’re, and you’re even more fun to read, so if people wanted to read your blog how would they find you?

Sinclair Sexsmith: Well you can Google Sugarbutch. That comes up pretty easy. You can also go to, and that’s the, that’s the general, that’s a personal blog of mine that’s very, it’s mostly my own musings and my own kind of discussions about gender. I also have a little spin-off blog called Queer Eye Candy, that someone just called the queer family photo album, which I really like. It’s a whole, it’s just a different photo everyday of people sending in their photos of themselves and their lovers and their friends representing all sorts of variations of gender with (unintelligible) a focus on butch, fem, dykes…There’s just not many of us in the media, so why not kind of get a little more of that out there…

Chip August: Yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: That’s

Chip August:, huh?

Sinclair Sexsmith: Yeah.

Chip August: I want to say to listeners, there’s a… There seems to be, anything we do that’s sexual somebody wants to shame, so… and I’m pretty much unalterably opposed to shaming around sexuality. So I just want to say, you don’t actually have to be butch to be looking at pictures. You don’t actually have to be a lesbian to be looking at photos of lesbians. You don’t actually have to be a fem to be looking at photos of fems. You don’t actually have to, that it’s not… I really want to invite us into a broader more… I think we were all healthier when we were like three and four years old and we were just unabashedly curious, than we are now when we’re equally unabashedly curious but now we lie about it, you know. So I just invite people, go, look, see what you see.

Sinclair Sexsmith: That’s great. That’s definitely part of the point of that project too, where it’s just to show you what we really look like…

Chip August: Yeah.

Sinclair Sexsmith: This is actually how we are. We’re not that scary, we just kind of look like people hanging out.

Chip August: Well also, you know, this is, these, you’re my sisters. You’re my cousins. You’re my, you’re, you know, you’re the… You are the people in my world, and that’s the other thing I, that’s why I enjoy having you on the show, that’s why I want to kind of open peoples eyes, that it’s not, this is not some little deviant corner that you’re never going to see. These are people you’re working with everyday. These are people you’re going to school with everyday or you’re seeing on the bus everyday. You just, you know, we just have a little bit of, kind of blinders on so we don’t really know. But it’s our family.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Definitely.

Chip August: Our human family. I always like to, I always like to have something come out of the interview that invites people to try something at home to maybe improve the sex, love and intimacy in their life. You’re not, you’re not promoting a book particularly or a set of exercises, so perhaps there’s nothing that comes to mind for you, but I have a couple ideas, but I was wondering if you had anything that came to mind that people could do that might maybe help them sort of push on their own or maybe discover a little bit more how restrictive or liberating the labels they put on themselves are.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Hmm. I, just last week I was doing a workshop and one of the things we did was a writing prompt that said, “If I knew what my gender was, it would be…”

Chip August: Ah, there you go.

Sinclair Sexsmith: and had people write about, just for a few minutes, ten minutes, about what, if you knew what your gender was what would it be, and I think that just what you said at the beginning of the show actually about, you know, “I’m pretty masculine but I like to do domestic stuff, but I like to hang out at home and I like to be a good dad”, that’s a complicated gender identity and all those things go into that, so…

Chip August: Mm hmm.

Sinclair Sexsmith: there’s a lot of ways to express that, that gender and I encourage people to just kind of look at what, what does your gender look like, what are the things that you think that you do that are gendered and what does that mean to you in your life?

Chip August: That’s a great exercise. That’s a terrific exercise.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Thanks.

Chip August: I also want to push on people, I have to say we scare ourselves. I, you know, men, sometime get permission or go to a Goodwill, buy a dress that’s your size, only wear it in your own home, but just put on a dress and notice what you look like. Women, one day just put on a pair of trousers, a suit jacket, a white shirt and a tie and just look at yourself in a mirror, because boy we put so much weight on these little, on these affects of gender identity, on these affects of role that we then terrify ourselves and I actually think it’s liberating and mostly it’s funny. You know, when I dress up in drag I look like my mother with a beard, and it’s a very, it’s this very odd moment, you know, and so I want to, I just want to encourage people to sort of lighten up and just take a step, you know. And cross dressings a really easy step. You don’t ever have to do it outside of the realm of your own bedroom, you know. You can, like I said, you can buy a dress or a suit at Goodwill. They don’t ask who it’s for. They don’t, you don’t have to try it on there, you know. And maybe there’s an opportunity…

Sinclair Sexsmith: You never know…You never know what you might find out. I mean I’ve seen guys with way better legs than I ever had wearing dresses in drag, and that is…

Chip August: Well and…

Sinclair Sexsmith: That was surprising.

Chip August: And I know more than a few guys who in a moment of curiosity tried on their wives underwear and now will never wear anything but silk, you know. That’s just the way it is, you know. They discovered a whole thing that they didn’t even know they were looking for.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Oh, I love that. I love that idea of just playing with it.

Chip August: Well Sinclair, it’s been lovely to meet you this way, and I… You’re a great guest and I really appreciate just a little open honest exchange about gender and gender identity. Thank you very much for being on the show.

Sinclair Sexsmith: Thanks so much for having me.

Chip August: And listeners, thank you very much for listening. I really appreciate your support and really appreciate you tuning in on these shows. And this brings us to the end of another episode of Sex, Love and Intimacy. And so I hope you’ll join me again for my next episode. Bye for now.