News
4 min

Lickety Split readies its eight volumes of pansexual smut

Zine hosts new monthly party, Smut on the Dance Floor; next event on Fri, Jan 22

On a winter’s night in 2004, I ventured to the launch of Montreal smut zine Lickety Split. However, upon reaching Sala Rossa, the lineup snaked down from the top of the stairs, through the hallway and out into cold. It was clear that founders Amber Goodwyn and Anita Schoepp had found a gap to fill, so to speak: a pansexual smut zine with quality material from a range of contributors.

Lickety Split is in the midst of preparing its eighth edition, and there’s been a passing of the smutty torch. Longtime LS supporter and volunteer Sarah Beall is now managing editor. I sat down with Beall to discuss the metamorphosis of LS, changes on the Main and LS’s new monthly party, Smut on the Dance Floor.

Mark Ambrose Harris: The next LS is the “Work” issue. What inspired this theme?

Sarah Beall: I was thinking about the changes happening on the Main and how they could be developing it in a way that celebrates Montreal’s sex positive vibe, instead of sweeping people away like trash. I’m especially concerned with what’s going to happen with Cleo’s. The Dead Dolls and I have performed at Cleo’s, so it’s very close to my heart. I’ve been thinking about the disregard for the people who work there, so I wanted to talk about sex work. Another thing that we were discussing was how the workplace of LS was changing, the forming of a new team, working that out, finding volunteers and the idea of volunteer work. We wanted the theme to be broad enough for interpretations, and we wanted to represent the voices of our readers who are sex workers.

MAH: I’m excited that the LS crowd now has a monthly party to anticipate. What can people expect from Smut on the Dance Floor?

SB: The next event will be an all-female MC night, hopefully with a couple of female rappers and lady DJs Noisy Nora, MLBRN, Muscle Man, Salivation Army and Flying Love Muffins, with a heavy emphasis on Salt’n’Pepa and En Vogue. Thinking about the LS crowd and how the zine is pansexual, sometimes people are a bit shy at first. We have a sort of literary crowd, and we want to encourage people to come out, to feel a bit more down and dirty. While the parties do have themes, the events are more for people to just come together and have fun, to celebrate LS and make the zine happen. We’re not catering to one orientation, and that’s part of the beauty of having all of these people together. LS is nothing without its community of supporters. Many people do free promotion for us because they believe in having pansexual representation, and want to support something sex positive.

MAH: So these dance parties are a way of fundraising for the zine?

SB: Yes. We grew out of zine culture in the beginning. Things were in black and white, and we would do a run of about 500, so it was relatively inexpensive to print. Now, six years later, we’re printing a thousand copies, with offset printing, beautiful silkscreen covers, colour photos and everything is bound. Maybe we’re straddling the zine/magazine line, because we have zine ideals and zine politics, but we’re a bit more costly to put out now. So we’re trying to find new ways to be self-sustainable and to raise money for each issue. It takes a lot of energy to fundraise, but it’s a great way to get in touch with the community. The support is phenomenal.

MAH: In the past couple of LS issues, I’ve noticed content from outside of Montreal. How do you juggle the local and the global?

SB: Montreal is really important to LS. It’s how we grew our wings. The queer scene here has been so supportive, so we want to show that voice. At the same time, we’ve tried to make the zine timeless, by making sure it isn’t about a particular event or place. We’re distributed online in the US by Microcosm. We went to Brooklyn to sell the zine and people were really receptive. I think it’s about striking a balance between local content and content from abroad. We encourage a diverse range of submissions. We have received emails from people who say they have nothing like this in their community, asking us to send them the zine.

MAH: What sets LS apart from other sexually explicit material?

SB: The most important part of LS is the sex positive mandate, promoting consent and the ability of artists and models to be in charge of the way they’re represented. If there’s anything that LS does that differentiates it from other forms of smut and pornography, it’s the consent. The idea of models having consent over their representation is imperative for us. It allows for more complex photo shoots. It really is about feeling free to explore one’s sexuality and being in charge of how it is framed. We also like the idea that creating smut is in and of itself a form of sexual practice.

MAH: So when is the next dance party?

SB: It’s happening on Jan 22 at the Silver Door. People should join our Facebook page so we can fill them in on the details. We’re trying to be transparent with our readers and say we appreciate people coming out to dance. Now we’re really reaching out to our community and asking people who have the means to contribute something if they can. LS costs about $3,000 an issue, so every bit helps towards putting out the next one and keeping LS sustainable. People can go to our blog and donate. The deadline for submissions for the next issue is Mar 1, and we encourage people who want to do photo shoots to approach us early so we can offer our support. I think it’s important to have a zine like LS out there, so we’re working towards its longevity.

Lickety Split smut zine presents Smut on the Dance Floor!!!
Fri, Jan 22, 11pm.
Silver Door, 6502 ave du Parc.
More details on the Facebook Event page.

Lickety Split Smut Zine.
licketysplitzine.blogspot.com.