Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sex Wars :: Is Porn All Bad?

Recently, a letter was sent to the editor at Curve complaining about some advice we gave Miserable in Maple Grove [Vol. 19 #4]. It set off a small debate Curvites are now calling "Sex Wars Circa 2009." While only the letter of complaint and our retorts (we've never done this in column form before) can be found in the current issue of Curve, you get the whole enchilada here.


Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: I feel lonely in my relationship. I’m 22-year-old femme with a 26-year-old butch partner. We got married in California in July. We’re fighting a lot lately and not having sex. She’s says she’s just not up for it. I don't know if we aren't having sex because we’re fighting or if we’re fighting because we aren't having sex. In the beginning, we had sex and it was Earth shattering. Recently, I’ve started looking at lesbian porn. I usually hate porn. My ex used to look at it and it hurt me deeply. I’d be really upset if I found out my current girlfriend was looking at porn, too. After viewing this I feel guilty and more lonely and depressed than before. Please help!—Miserable in Maple Grove

Lipstick: I wonder if this is No Muffs girlfriend?

Dipstick: Maybe so, but what I want to know is what gives with the guilt about looking at naked women? There’s nothing wrong with porn, for you, for your lover, for your mother or anyone else. As long as it doesn’t become addictive, watching porn, reading erotica, viewing x-rated movies is all good and can be part of a healthy sex life. Too often we depend on our partners to be our best friend, our confidant, a sexy lover, personal chef and co-parent to our children. No one person can meet all your needs all the time. When your lover isn’t up for cooking, you order out. When she’s not up for sex, watch porn and masturbate. Hell, watch with your partner too! And when you’re through, tie her hands with a silk scarf to the bedpost, sit on her knees and talk until she hears your concerns.

Lipstick: Did you ever see that fight scene in Mr. and Mrs. Smith when Brangalina are trying to kill each other and suddenly sex breaks out? Sounds like you guys need to trash the house just like they did. One question: Why won’t she have sex with you? You didn’t say. Maybe she’s being lazy or letting work get in the way? Or perhaps it’s something more serious like dealing with a broken-down vagina or sexual abuse issues. Find yourself a good therapist and dig into what’s keeping you at each other’s necks (you should be there with your tongue, not a razor blade). While you’re at it, see the counselor on your own to get over your issues around porn, as they’re playing into your sexual prowess, too. Shame is an awful aphrodisiac.


Shocked Over Porn Approval

“Miserable in Maple Grove” [Lipstick and Dipstick, Vol. 19 #5] began by saying she and her partner were not having sex and were fighting a lot, and that when she, Maple, had started looking at porn it made her feel “guilty and more lonely and depressed than ever.” Dipstick told her that if her partner didn’t feel like having sex, she should look at porn and masturbate and that “there is nothing wrong with porn.” Lipstick told her to get over her “issues” around porn in counseling because of her “shame.” I am astonished that L and D could turn relationship trouble into an advertisement for porn and practically say that lesbians should like porn and if they don’t they are crazy!

I have had the great good fortune to never be in a relationship where my partner has said, “Oh honey, you have the flu and don’t feel like having sex? No problem, I’ll just look at some pictures of girls who are way hotter than you and jack off. Aren’t you glad we are so sexually healthy?” Geez, even my ex-husband was sensitive enough to understand that many women are a tad threatened by pornography. Maybe it is a femme thing, but I have to walk this earth everyday being compared to an idealized and impossible to attain version of feminine beauty, a version that is often portrayed in porn. And porn doesn’t turn me on, it usually makes me feel bad. Even though L and D would disagree, I don’t think I’m crazy, I think a lot of women are glad their partners don’t flaunt pornography in their faces and tell them they need counseling if they don’t like it.

Miserable didn’t say she felt shame, she said she felt worse than ever after looking at porn in the absence of sex with her partner. This is not unlike when a person feels worse after they do something that they think might make them feel better, like having a fling or drinking to excess or buying things they don’t need, and then afterward they feel worse than ever because their actions were so far afield of addressing the real relationship problem at hand. The poor woman feels bad enough, and now according to Land D, she is supposed to feel guilty that she feels guilty. Not helpful advice.

When men pressure women to watch porn with them, and then call the woman a prude for not wanting to, everyone gets up in arms. What’s up with women telling other women the same thing?

And Dipstick, is there really nothing wrong with porn? Nothing at all? Even the fact that most women who are posing for your pleasure were sexually abused as children? That right there is a big turn-off for many women. As a social worker, I work with teen girls who were abused as youngsters who become society’s prostitutes and strippers and porn “stars.” It’s not pretty what it takes to get them into those jobs, believe me. And sometimes this causes conflict for women who may be aroused by but also uneasy about porn. Let’s take care of one another, not impose our sexual likes on others as the only game in town. And when people write in about being “lonely in their relationship” I hope that L and D will focus on how that could be made better. It’s unlikely pornography will do much to enrich their relationship.—Sunshine in California



Lipstick: Sunshine in California, thank you for writing in. You made some really good points. Beyond touching on porn, I did address her relationship problems. I told Miserable to get her butt into therapy because there is a reason they’ve stopped having sex, a reason her partner’s shut down. Encouraging her to also discuss her guilt around looking at pornography (at her own volition, I might add, not because some guy shoved it down her throat or Lipstick & Dipstick told her to do so) is also a real issue here. She went to those sites and then felt shame around it. That shame, and wherever it stems from, is also playing into her relationship. As advice columnists, we hear from A LOT of women and so many of them feel way too much guilt around sexuality—in the world, the bedroom and in their minds. I believe women, unless they’re doing/supporting something illegal or that will hurt someone, need to lighten up about sex and all the colorful flags that hang from it. Finally, it was Lipstick & Dipstick Miserable wrote into, not Dr. Laura. And it is Lipstick & Dipstick readers are reading, not a column by Dr. Phil. They walk into the L & D fire knowing we have strong opinions, we often make light of things, dig our teeth into specific issues and spank bottoms. (Just to clarify that last statement, Sunny, I wasn’t encouraging women to practice S & M. Or wait, maybe I was.)

Dipstick: Sunshine touched on this age-old debate, didn’t she? Is pornography just another way to oppress women or is it freeing, sexually liberating? Will lesbians and feminists ever agree on this? Probably not, because like most things, it’s not black and white, good or evil, right or wrong. Just because some rock songs are misogynist and homophobic, doesn’t mean that all music is.

As for the sexual abuse issue, I won’t argue that most women involved in the sex industry were abused as children, that’s because so many women were sexually abused—

period. In fact the CDC, in a conservative estimate, no doubt, says that 1 in 4 women are sexually abused before they turn 18. We all have reasons to feel bad about our sexuality, whether it be homophobia, poor body image or religious indoctrination. Lipstick & Dipstick are advocating women take control of their sexuality and feel good about it. There’s no need to feel guilt or shame about masturbation when your partner is not available. If porn turns you on, go for it. If it doesn’t that’s okay, too. What we want is for every woman to be empowered about her satisfaction. Maybe one day we’ll get there and we’ll all walk naked in the sunshine with you California.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Looking for a Portland Cop

Hey Portland, Oregon peeps:

Are you a police officer? Are you sleeping with one? Does your ex-girlfriend wear the uniform? Do you know Katie Potter?

If so, we need your help! We are trying to find a local Portland police officer.

If you can help, please contact us privately at

It's for something really fun!

Kisses to the Cops,
Lip + Dip

* Photography (as always) is compliments of Maggie Parker Photography. We heart Maggie.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ashleigh Flynn :: Upcoming Shows

Our favorite Americana star, Ashleigh Flynn, is burning up the guitar strings and the road. Ashleigh Flynn will be on NPR West Virginia this afternoon live playing from the Mountain Stage with Nanci Griffith and Todd Snider. At 3pm EST, click on this link to hear the show.

If you miss it, it will be available in the archives after Oct. 3.

Also, Ash is hitting the trail with The Wood Brothers. The show dates and locations are below.

Check out our favorite Americana supah stah.

10/20/2009 Stillwater | Ashland, OR | 8:30 PM
10/21/2009 Wonder Ballroom | Portland, OR | 8:00 PM

10/22/2009 Knitting Factory | Spokane, WA | 8:30 PM

10/23/2009 The Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA | 9:30 PM

10/24/2009 Media Club
| Vancouver, BC | 7:30 PM

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Tribute to JoEm Purdy

Last month, this world lost a very special soul. Her name was JoEm Purdy and she was like a second mom to me. I grew up knowing JoEm as one of my mom's dearest friends, someone my mom could always count on, confide in and--equally as important--laugh with. She was a beautiful woman in every sense of the word. Looking back, if I'm being honest, I had a little crush on her when I was growing up. Of course, I can only see that now. Back then, I knew I just really liked having her around.

She and my mom met back in college on sorority row. Since those days in college, they've been connected at the hip. By watching their friendship, my mom silently instilled in me the importance of true friends and how relationships--no matter what they look like--need to be cared for, nurtured and cherished.

After JoEm got sick 3 years ago, I began mourning the thought of losing her. What would my mom do? What about her husband? Her beautiful children? How will they ever go on without the bright light of JoEm in their lives? Imagining that it was my mom who was ill brought me to my knees on more than one occasion in gratitude and sadness.

And then the day came last month. And with her family by her side, JoEm faced her passing with immeasurable dignity and grace.

Today is her memorial (they waited so loved ones from out of town could make it) and I wanted to lift her up to the world and say JoEm, we love you and we miss you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Submit Your Question Via Video to Lip & Dip

As ya'll know, Lipstick & Dipstick have a little web series going on at and we want your help!

We are looking for a few good (or troubled) dykes with questions who are willing to submit them on camera for a possible webisode.

Do you have a question? Do you have a web cam? If so, reach out to us at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where in the World is Jennifer Beals?

What are the odds of this? I was binding a manuscript at Kinkies this morning and there was Jennifer Beals AGAIN!

This time, she posed for a picture. She said she was happy to oblige as long as there is no more cannibalizing.

Apparently, Beals was headed to the beach, as it's going to be a beautiful day here in Vancouver (and that good ole' sunshine is fleeting in the NW).

Taproot :: Green Web Hosting

Do you have a new website in the works? Are you looking for a way to be a little greener in your everyday life? Do you want to support a dyke-onwed company? If so, check out Taproot!

It's partly owned by our friend Stacy Bias, who continues to do amazing things in the world (does she ever sleep?).

Be green. Be good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AIDS Walking

On Sunday, it was AIDS Walk here in Vancouver. The spectacular 10K route, which took Aids Walkers around the Stanley Park sea wall, was rivaled by the beautiful day. It was warm--75 degrees [insert: laughter from Arizona friends]--and sunny.

The perfect day for a stroll along the ocean. Along the path were many AIDS Walk cheerleaders and several GLBT choirs, one of which I shot a little video of singing "What a Wonderful World." At that moment in time, it truly was.

A permanent fixture on the Stanley Park sea wall is the man pictured here. Kent Avery, who spends his weekend days balancing rocks on another for passersby.

Despite the incredible advances medicine has made around HIV/AIDS, it's still so important to support our brothers and sisters who've contracted this rabid disease and the researchers who are trying to cure it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I love that Alaska Airlines is catering to the LGBT audience, but seeing this ad pop up on my Lesbian Life site cracked me up.

Can you find the spelling error? Budget cuts, I guess.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Harvest Time Lessons

It's the end of summer and that means harvesting a lot of what we planted in the Spring.

I'm kind of a new gardner. I've had a lot of success with tomatoes, blue and raspberries, greens, squash and cucumbers. I was excited one day last Spring when my neighbor came over with some potato starts.

Since I had a lot of my garden planted already, I was trying to figure out where to put the potatoes. I had a good spot, with great, rich soil, but it was in the shade.

"Potatoes will grow in the shade. Don't worry about it!" My neighbor insisted. Since she grew up on a farm on the Idaho border, I believed her. I plopped them in the ground. Watered diligently, followed her very specific directions about "hilling" the potatoes.

As you can see, potatoes do "grow" in the shade, but they sure don't thrive there. My spuds were about the size of beans. Oh well, there's always next year...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Big Lesbian Pool Party in LA Next Weekend

If you're doing to be in southern California on the 26th of Sept, you'll want to make the pilgrimage to West Hollywood on Saturday Sept 26th for "Wet" at the Standard WeHo. "Drink, Dance, Dip," is their motto and it's sure to be a scene out of the L Word. It's put on by Shannon K Productions and Diva Mel (aka Melissa Vickers, mi amiga).
Check it out California!

Saturday, Sept 26th
The Standard Hollywood
8300 W. Sunset Blvd.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Don't I Know You From Somewhere?

Well, Lipstick might be seeing celebrities all over Vancouver, but me, I'm being recognized as a celebrity.

It's been kind of a joke for me lately, that I've been recognized more and more as I travel in public. On my trip to Manchester, I was recognized twice. The first was when I boarded the plane in Portland. A very sweet girl from Salem asked me, "Don't you write for Curve magazine?" She was on her way to a domestic violence conference in the mid-west.

The second person was in Manchester at Pride. She kept looking at me and asking me if we knew each other. I had a suspicion that she probably recognized me from Curve, but I didn't let on at first. I let her ask me all the usual questions: "Where do you live?" "Have you ever worked for Delta?" (She was a flight attendant from Delta, hanging out at Pride on her layover.) Finally I asked her if she ever read Curve magazine. I told her I write for Curve and then it all clicked for her. We hung out the rest of the night drinking and checking out girls.

It's still fun and a novelty for me to get recognized in public. If you introduce yourself to me and ask to take a picture, I would gladly oblige. Once I was at a concert and saw someone secretly taking my picture with her cell phone. That creeped me out a little. Not sure if Ms. Beals felt the same way. Since I know how it feels --- obviously not on the same level -- I would always ask before taking someone's picture.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Speaking of Seeing Celebs in Vancouver

I also brushed shoulders with Sarah McLachlan a few weeks ago in Yaletown. She was humming a song and we walked passed one another on a tight sidewalk. Since then, I've been hoping what she was humming was off a new album she's working on (fingers crossed--there hasn't been very much new stuff in years.)

Sarah just put on a charity concert here in Vancouver called Summer Sessions last week for her charity--The Sarah McLachlan Foundation, which raises money for music for kids in the inner-city. The concert was set on the shores of the English Bay at sunset in West Vancouver, just ten blocks from her house (she told the crowd). Neil Young and Sheryl Crow joined her at Ambleside Park.

If you've missed her music as much as I have, here are two little morsels to chew on today...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where in the World is Jennifer Beals?

She's at Fedex|Kinkos!

In Vancouver, BC, where she filmed the girl-on-girl drama the L Word.

I spotted her yesterday at the copy/expedited mail house of all places. We were standing at the counter together and I was admiring her daughter (so cute), having no idea it was the infamous high-femme pseudo power dyke. I finally looked up and nearly said "Oh my god, it's Bette Porter."

I didn't. Just smiled, stepped back and admired her from a few feet away as she FedExed a box.

Like a freak fan, I snapped a couple photos with my Crackberry, but you can't see her face. I thought I'd post them up here for shits and giggles. They were the best photos I could get without looking stalker-ish and she is notoriously private so I didn't want to bother her. They're far better than the ones I took of the L Word's Rachel Shelley last summer.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for her around Vancouver and hopefully get some more about what she's up to since the L Word. Stay tuned...

UPDATE – Sunday, Sept 20

On the off chance Jennifer Beals stumbles across our little blog, we’ve decided to censor these photos as to not offend (even though you can hardly tell it’s her and we purposefully took these photos so you couldn’t see her daughter’s face). We admire Jennifer Beals and certainly wouldn't want any harm to her or make her life more difficult.

If by random coincidence we cross paths with her again, we'll go up, tell her we loved her on the L Word and ask her to pose for a pic.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Who Would You Give Your Kidney To?

I saw a Special Report last week on the CBS Evening News that moved me to tears. I thought I'd post it here because the media doesn't tell enough of these heartwarming stories. It's about a man who is giving his kidney to a woman. It reminds me of my cousin Mikey, who needed a kidney about six years ago. His wife, LeAnn, gave him hers and he's been doing great ever since. That is a true testament of love and I always smile when I think of their story.

Anyway, may this remind you that there are still a lot of good people out there:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Portland Film Festival 2009

Portlanders, the infamous Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is coming to Portland soon and you need to get your tickets. The good shows always sell out fast. Here is a breakdown of which lesbian-bent films are headed to the silver screen in our favorite American stumptown:

And Then Along Came Lola
Hannah Free
Out of the Blue
Off and Running

For more, check out their website:

You never know who's going to be at the film festival either. This is where Dipstick and I met Michelle Paradise a couple years ago. She was with premiering Exes and Ohs.

Go out and support your fellow queer artists! They need you! And get excited for Season Two of Exes and Ohs (on Logo in the US and Showcase in Canada).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Come Meet Kate Kendell This Weekend

I am so excited to meet one of the leading activists for lesbian rights this weekend in Portland. Kate Kendell, head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights is coming to the Rose City to hang out with us and chat. One of the events is free--at a cool new lesbian-owned coffee shop. The other is a fund raiser for Basic Rights Oregon. Attend one or both. I'll be there Saturday. If I didn't have my neighborhood block party, I'd be there Sunday too. Some come on out and meet Kate and Dipstick!

The State of Our Unions: LGBT Legal & Policy Issues
Saturday, Septem
ber 12, 2009
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The legal landscape for LGBT people is ever-changing, and this year, that has proved to be especially true! With new victories and defeats occurring at a faster pace than ever, it’s hard to keep track of where our struggle for justice stands, and how and where our relationships are protected. Join Kate Kendell and Basic Rights Oregon’s Executive DirectorJeana Frazzini for a presentation and discussion on the latest legal and policy issues affecting the LGBT community, including an update on moving forward with marriage equality in Oregon and other states and federal legislation and litigation.

Flying Cat Coffee Co.
3041 SE Division Street
Portland, Oregon

A Social for Social Justice:Portland
Benefit Party for NCLR
and Basic Rights Oregon
Sunday, September 13, 2009
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

So much has happened over this past year – we hope you can join us for a fun and intimate afternoon to catch up with NCLR and BRO and find out more about our current work and what lies ahead in the fight for our LGBT civil and human rights.

We’ll enjoy:

• Complimentary wine
• Complimentary gourmet hors d’oeuvres by award-winning Chef Cathy Whims
• A great group of folks within our community
• Fantastic door prizes, including a trip for two on a Sweet Caribbean cruise!

Nostrana Restaurant
1401 SE Morrison Street

Something to Get the Juices Flowing

Just recently watched Zeitgeist, an online film that was thought-provoking. I'm not saying I buy this or support these ideas, but this activist film really poses some interesting questions and I thought I'd throw it out here because minds are meant to be challenged...

It challenges our cultural and religious structure, politics, 911 and cha-ching--money.

If the mood strikes you, you can watch it here :

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ellen to Replace Paula on American Idol

There is a god and she's listening!

I don't know how many American Idol fans are out there, but I suspect, there are soon to be many more lesbians. It was announced yesterday that Ellen Degeneres will take Paula Abdul's seat on the American Idol panel for the upcoming season of American Idol. She will join Randy Jackson, the delicious and ridiculously talented songwriter Kara Dioguardi and Simon "Scowl."

I heard this on CNN right before I went to bed last night and dreamt of rainbows and butterflies. Apparently, she Tweeted the news. Of her new gig, Ellen told People Magazine:

"I'm going to have a day job and a night job," DeGeneres said at her talk show taping Wednesday, assuring her audience that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will continue. "This is so exciting for me."

*Photo from American Idol media

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wanted for Murder

I've returned home from Manchester, where I had a great time celebrating gay pride. My hotel room was nice, right across from the train station and easy walking distance from Canal Street - the gay district.

It did seem odd to me though, that right outside my window was this huge digital billboard that kept flashing this guy's photo "Wanted for Murder."

If you see him, be sure to call the number on the screen.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

L Word Comeback

Did you love the L Word? Have you always wanted to be on TV? Are you a lezzie? Do you live in LA? If you answered yes to all these questions, you'll have to check out Showtime's new reality show that just got the greenlight--The Real L Word: Los Angeles. This is no joke. Showtime announced it today.

The show will follow six LA-based lesbians in their daily lives. Just by looking at the title, I'm sure it will also morph into other cities, just like we've seen in the viral "Real Housewives" series.

It should be a hootenanny full of tanning salons, tall martinis and lots of dyke drama.

You can read more about it on or

Book Your Sweet Cruise Now!

Lipstick & Dipstick are going to be setting sail with our favorite Sweeties for their inaugural cruise and we want YOU to join us! Check out to hear all about the great destinations we'll be hitting and all the fun stuff planned on-board. Oh and there are some inspiring volunteer opportunities in NOLA and in the ports.

While I've got you, be sure to vote for Sweet as Best Tour Operator in Trip Out's Travel Poll.

November 8-15, 2009
Leaves New Orleans with a boatload of lesbians
Stops in Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya (Mexico) and Roatan (Honduras)

Come play with us!