Queer Femmes Respond – Constance Clare-Newman

Today, a letter from the west coast from queer femme extraordinaire, Constance! Having had the pleasure of her company in femme teas, erotica readings and butch/femme gatherings, I am thrilled to welcome her back to The Total Femme!

Deep gratitude to Constance for her sweet and generous sharing of hope and joy!

Dear queer femmes,

We are now well into our second month of shelter-in-place. Some of the ways my husbutch and I have been navigating this time come from our regular resilience practices, upped to the 10th degree!

We both have a meditation practice, which helps us ground into the present and see the big picture. Of course, we don’t know what will unfold in the big picture, but what we do know is that generations of people everywhere in the world have adapted to new and strange circumstances. We will too.

We meditate together sometimes, and just sitting for 10-15 minutes will change the feeling/tone between us to softer and sweeter and more generous. We speak our gratitude to each other.

We both exercise. I take (and teach) online dance and movement classes, and my husbutch works out with her trainer on Zoom. We have a barbell with round thingys in our living room! If we don’t exercise, we make sure to go for a walk outside around our block, (with our masks!) and wave to neighbors doing the same.

We’re both in 12 step programs, so we both attend zoom or phone meetings separately, and together. Going to online meetings in our beloved Provincetown is one of the lucky, happy things about this time.

Maybe it’s weird to talk about what is delightful and sweet about this time, when people are suffering and dying from this pandemic. But (big picture) this is always so. Children in cages and refugee camps is horrifying. How to “hold it” without going to despair? For me, it is always—see it, feel it, take action (however small) and then turn back to pleasure. Over and over again—I see the dreadful situation, I let myself feel the despair, rage or grief. I do a small thing, whether it’s a phone call to a congress person, a $5 donation, or a social media share, I take an action. Of course it’s “not enough” but how to be healthy, so as to be of service in the world? It won’t come from collapsing into despair. Turning toward pleasure is the antidote.

Sensory pleasures like looking up at the tree coming into bloom, hearing the doves in the tree, feeling the warm breeze on my skin, smelling the rose (blooming now in the desert) tasting the delicious dates from our farmer’s market, feeling into the ease of my breathing. And since we are in quarantine together, yes, the pleasures of touch, kisses and sex.

The practice of being with the difficulties and re-orienting to presence and pleasure has been working for me. Many times a day, I see, feel, act, then rest, in pleasure!

See, feel, act, rest in pleasure.

Maybe you will share some of the ways you are moving through this disrupted time in the comments below!

May you feel pleasure today.

Constance Clare-Newman is an embodiment educator with over thirty years of experience in various movement disciplines. Currently Constance is teaching online centering and resilience practices as a path to sanity in these times of disruption.

Married for 18 years, Constance and her partner, Felice attend queer playgrounds, dungeon parties and BDSM conferences. Together they offer workshop for couples, including, Hot, Deep and Connected: The Art of Sex in Partnership.

Check out Constance’s timely new class,“Survival Skills for Sheltering in Place: Presence, Pleasure and Play”


Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

 At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I undergo treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you Anna!

  2. So great to have you post, Constance! Come back again soon!

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