Autostraddle’s Ultimate Team Holigay Gift Guide 2016: What We Want Besides A Revolution


Illustration by Sophie Argetsinger

The world is burning, but we still need some joy from the little things. And with that, here’s what we really, really want this year! (Live your one wild and precious life while you can, y’know.)

Special thanks to Nikki, Raquel, and Bren for being wizards and making this post beautiful and highly functional! We are all blessed to exist on this scorched Earth alongside them. ❤️

Carmen, Straddleverse Director & Feminism Editor


Books About Hillary Clinton or By Hillary Clinton

I’m not over it. I want a second copy of Hard Choices in paperback because I love the photo of Hillary on the cover, Girls in the Van because I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet, Stronger Together to remind me what a normal policy platform looks like, and basically any other book with her face on it, please.

Desire Map Daily Planner

I’m gonna give The Desire Map another go in the new year since I’ve managed to scratch a lot of my big, scary dreams from the last time off my list. (Who knew it was possible!) And I’d like to embrace my inner rich white woman and integrate it into my life with this spiral-bound planner, please and thank you.

A Hillary Clinton Cut-Out, Also For You to Not @ Me

We had a cardboard cut-out of Hillary Clinton in my office for a while and I could not stop taking selfies with it. My new plan is to own one and just take it everywhere with me and pretend my one truest dream isn’t dead.

“Wild Feminist” Bomber

Oh come the fuck on. Why wasn’t I asked to be a brand ambassador for this specific jacket yet, honestly.

Erin, Staff Writer


‘Hello There’ Neon Light

Wow, what a steal to own some Michael Keaton/Michelle Pfeiffer era Batman memorabilia for your home! I mean this would be my choice, really, but any neon sign is a great gift idea because you can make customizable ones. When people are like, “What do I get the person who has everything?” it’s like, you get them a customized neon sign. Everyone would want a neon sign dedicated to them to put in their home.

L’CORE 24K Facial & Neck Mask

Honestly I’m constantly trying to put decadent things on my face, and this $10,000 gold mask deserves to be mine. I bet Kanye West has never had this on his face, and that’s even more of a reason why I need it.

ASOS CURVE Faux Fur Bomber

Wow, look at this perfect jacket. Not much else to say other than I hope it’s mine one day.

Laura M, Staff Writer


Leather Briefcase

I spend so much traveling for work, and the men I travel with are always divided into two camps: the young ones carry backpacks, and the old ones carry beautiful leather briefcases. I’m 30 now, so.

Brown Skin, White Minds: Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology by E. J. R. David

Just some light reading for the holidays!

R2-D2 Ladies’ Reversible Pullover

Size large, please and thank you. It’s cold in Boston, so this sweatshirt is ~*practical*~ in addition to being adorable.

Laneia, Executive Editor


2017 Moon Calendar

This lunar calendar was made by Alma Reyes Evans of Ursa Wild Design and is sold by Holy Sponge, a queer-owned company with some of the most beautiful and thoughtful menstrual products you can find in this world. (If you’re in the market for a menstrual sponge kit or handmade reusable pads, Janeen happily has you covered!) I love this company and have been wanting one of their lunar calendars for a while. Maybe this is my year!



Concrete Moon Coasters

Once upon a time, my dad, who is now dead, gave me a set of four Thirstystone coasters with the University of Tennessee “T” on them and I LOVED THEM. Unfortunately I only have one single coaster left of the set, and yet I do not live alone, therefore I am in need of at least three more coasters, perhaps even four. These charcoal and white concrete coasters will look heckin’ spiffy in my living room. Also I’ll no longer be forced to confront the fact that I somehow misplaced three entire coasters from the UT set that cannot be replaced by their original purchaser as he is, as aforementioned, dead. Win/win!

Coleman Montana 8-Person Tent

Ok hear me out: I need to go camping. I missed Bonnaroo last summer and in doing so, missed my only yearly camping opportunity because I don’t own a tent in Arizona. If I owned this tent — this Coleman eight-person tent — not only would I own a tent in Arizona, but I’d own one big enough for all four of us to sleep in! Why do I not have my life in order by way of already owning this tent? Reader, I do not know. Let’s right that wrong. Let’s make 2017 the year I FINALLY go camping in this state and also learn how to build a fire.

Carolyn, NSFW Editor


B.A.I.T. Footwear

After months of wearing ballet flats meant for actual ballet as my everyday footwear and dress footwear it’s probably time for me to transition to something more study and less potentially disastrous if I step on glass, or in a puddle, or really on anything other than totally bare flat clean concrete.

I’ve been totally obsessed with shoes like this since seeing them everywhere at a dapper/pin-up themed event recently. I don’t usually care about footwear, but as a result of not caring about footwear, I’m in really dire need of it in the following categories: “could wear with a pretty dress and still walk” and “could wear to briefly walk the dog.” (Both categories have the caveat “but not another pair of black boots, you live in California and they are not as functional as you want them to be and thigh-highs are not always appropriate, okay?”) Are these the answer? I hope so. (Note that the ones in the photo are the Imsie Aqua Blue; the link goes to the company’s page at Modcloth.)

Fabric Earrings

To complement the shoes, duh.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (And Lots of Other Books, Too)

Lately the books I’m most interested include “non-fiction works about sex and sexuality,” “things about Los Angeles” and “things by women” (lately and forever). Eve Babitz’s LA Woman and Sex and Rage, Chloe Caldwell’s I’ll Tell You In Person, a preorder of Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women, a preorder of Alana Massey’s All The Lives I Want, a deep preorder of Kristen Sollee’s Witches, Sluts, Feminists and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time are all on my list.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but everything old is new again. I loved forever classic Black Honey — is it back? did it ever leave? — when I was 12 and I love it now and I want to take it everywhere. But now Fresh Sugar Lip can come too.

Njoy Eleven

This stainless steel dildo weighs 2.75 pounds and looks like pure sex. It’s curved. It’s ridged. I want it. I don’t know what else to tell you.

Mey Rude, Trans Editor


Catit Flower Fountain

I went to New York and Philadelphia this year and found out that all my friends with cats have these cute fountains for them that are apparently so much better for them then just having a bowl of water??? I had no idea! Now I do, though, so I want one for my cat, Sawyer, and this is the cutest one I could find.

A Garter Belt and Thigh High Stockings

I’m making bold new decisions about my aesthetic and who I am as a person, and one of the decisions I’ve made is that I’m going to become a garter and stockings gal. I’ve never liked wear pants, so I wore leggings a lot, but I honestly don’t really like those either (please don’t hate me). So I’m switching to dresses, skirts and shorts with tights and stockings from now on. I already have tights, but I don’t have a garter belt or stockings yet. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna look pretty fucking sick in these. Also, to be honest, I don’t know anything about lingerie, so please, if anyone wants to educate me, I’m very open to learning.

This Crushed Velour Mini Skirt and a Lot of Other Skirts

For real, you guys, I need some more cutes, I need some more cute skirts. Other than that cute velour skirt, I also want this sateen midi skirt, this skater skirt with poppers and this really short mini skirt.

A Freaking Rubber Paddle

So, this year I discovered something new about myself, and that is that I am a big, big fan of being spanked. This toy looks wonderful. This is the number one thing I want right now.

Alaina, Staff Writer


The Ultimate Wildfang S/S Button Up

Business casual is so hard when you’re still trying to perfect your tomboy femme aesthetic. I love the classic button down look with straight lines, and the fact that it’s also floral only makes it better. I’ve been looking for clothes lately that will confuse my students enough about my gender that they need to use gender neutral pronouns, and this shirt feels like a winner.

Bi Bi Bi Purple Tee

As a self-professed bisexual, I like to let the world know as often as possible. Sometimes, I just yell it from the top of a hill at sunrise, but other times I want to be more subtle and I think this shirt, with the nostalgia it will create for the early 2000s and Justin Timberlake’s frosted tips, will do just the trick.

Waist Wrap Harness

I’ve wanted to start incorporating harnesses into my everyday look, and this one is a perfect stealthy piece. It’s super minimalistic and also just really pretty and I want it so badly (I’ve been eyeing it on Etsy for months now). I could totally wear this while teaching and say it’s suspenders, right?

Tantus Plunge Paddle

I had it. I lost it. I need it.

Kayla, Staff Writer


Sleeveless Coveralls

I’m not saying that owning these sleeveless coveralls will change my life, but yes I am. I’m not really a clothing-obsessed person (in fact, I rather hate clothes shopping), but there are two words that tickle my fashion fancy: pleather and sleeveless. While not pleather, these sleeveless coveralls are nonetheless perfect. When I showed the photo of them to my girlfriend, she asked if I’m also going to get the model’s haircut and tattoos to complete the look and tbh, probably.

Bed Desk and other work-from-home essentials

Nothing screams “I WORK FROM HOME” like wanting a literal desk for your bed. Okay, so technically this product is called a “laptop bed tray,” but I am choosing to refer to it as a “bed desk,” which acknowledges my bed-centric approach to working from home while also making me sound like a damn professional. While I’m at it, here are a few other things I need to make my life as a freelance writer easier: literally a million unruled, hardcover Moleskines, a WiFi extender, and a Padfolio.

Roku Streaming Stick

Not only am I a freelance writer, but more specifically, I am a freelance television critic. So it’s a little absurd that I don’t have some sort of streaming device for my television.

The Clean House and Other Plays by Sarah Ruhl

Six months ago, I moved to New York, and now I’m writing two plays. So I have accomplished my childhood dream of becoming A Cliché when I grow up. I always have books on my wishlist for Christmas, but this year, I really want plays, plays, and more plays. In addition to this Sarah Ruhl collection, I also want The Flick by Annie Baker (and any Annie Baker tbh), Sweat by Lynn Nottage, and The America Play and Other Works by Suzan-Lori Parks.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag

My sister recently got this bag in charcoal, and I am extremely jealous but also cannot afford a $250 bag. But this bag is incredibly well designed and has amazing features, which I know because my sister is an industrial design major and did endless research to find the perfect messenger bag. She knows what’s up. But I want the “heritage tan” version so that I’m not completely copying her.

Raquel, Forever Intern and Mysterious Scorpio #2

Blackwing Colors + Rhodia Notebook to Make Art With

I need art more than ever, and these are just really, really good pencils. I recommend pairing them with these great notebooks and this fantastic pen.

Buy an A+ Gold Membership for Every Person You Know and Some You Don’t Know Maybe Even

It feels weird to rep Autostraddle on Autostraddle but really. When I was a closeted queer youth, this website was lifesaving water in a desert of fundamental christianity, and it’s since been a warm respite of chosen family and support for me when I let myself get overwhelmed by current events. Now more than ever, I need us to be around for the vast landscape of lady-loving queers out in the world, closeted or out.

You can also join me, if you would, in being the change, sending supplies to standing rock, and subscribing to my rights.

Wild Feminist Bomber

I just want to warn everybody!! Also I want to start a girl-gang with Carmen.

Audrey, Staff Writer


Y’all I have no idea what I want for Christmas this year? It is 85 degrees outside and also we are living in a post-apocalyptic hellfire, so the idea that Christmas is coming seems completely bonkers. But here are some cool things that I might want if I were a person who lived in a universe where Christmas was approaching.

Some poetry books like Rise of the Trust Fall

By Mindy Nettifee, which I was sure I owned but I do not, somehow!

Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphones

The whole time I was living out of the U.S. I promised myself that I would invest in high-quality headphones that I leave on my nightstand and don’t stuff into a backpack so maybe these could be them I don’t know!!

Collar Clips

As usual I want literally every piece of jewelry and tiny accessory Topman makes, but most of all look at these collar clips.

But really

Probably don’t buy me a present and just give your money to your local LGBT youth organization. Sorry for all the nihilism. Happy holigays and I love you.


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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. Laneia- My mom owns that exact tent! She and her friend bought it together, and they trade off using it (we’re not usually both camping at the same time). It’s a great tent! We fit 4 adults in it (with 2 queen size air mattresses), and there’s enough room that you can stand up and get dressed. It will definitely fit your whole family in it.

    Also, this list was so fun!

  2. All year long I think, “Hmm, I should invest in some new toys.”, but then the holidays arrive and I completely forget I felt that way. What’s a girl to do? Add reminders to her phone? Thanks for the suggestions and the reminder at least!

  3. Can I ever 100% vouch for electric blankets. Because, because, you can PRE-WARM YOUR BED. Absolute heaven in the winter. Sleep like a cozy stone. So wonderful.

    Stef as queer scruffy Joan Rivers is wonderful.

      • Delightful; hilarious. Def need to upgrade from literal wooden stick to proper hand-held mic. Hope you get one this year, scruffy queer Joan Rivers.

    • yes! and if you put it under another blanket/quilt/comforter, you basically only have to turn it on for like 15 minutes and then the heat is trapped in there and it’s cozy for a loooong time

      so it is actually not that $$ even if you remember to insulate it and then turn it off !

    • The first time I used an electric mattress-topper in winter, I dreamt that I was lying on the warm sand at the beach. It was quite honestly the best dream I had all year.

  4. I’m rushing to finish my final projects so Mey this is the best I can do as of right now

    The Goods

    If you intend to wear for play any hose and garter set will do, but if you plan to wear for serious you need stockings like the above, Katie’s has the best most durable. And need the right belt, a sixer minimum

      • You’re welcome. :)
        Lingerie was something I had to learn too.

        Lingerie Addict is good source of information on lingerie in general and What Katie Did a good source for vintage cut lingerie and info on how it was intended to fit.

        Rago (they’re a “shape wear” company just warning ya) will probably have a good six strap garter belt in a size past L, but likely not anything frilly. Probably solid black and maaaaybe leopard print, which would go with Pink Ladies/Girl Gang aesthetic just fine.

        For frilly play 4 starp garter belts past L Hips and Curves will probably have more options and colors.

        Sock Dreams has good useful user reviews on how socks fits and they do sell some stockings too, are generally aces with product info; Sizes and fiber content.

        Oh and a word of general lingerie advice; Always look at the size chart and sizes available before falling to hard in love with a piece.
        Also hip measurement is like the middlish of your hips and includes your butt. I did not know that at the age of 20 when my cotton size pack of undies I had for about 6 yrs started to give out and bought something mercifully ONLY 1 size too small. >_>

        Lastly I’m dead serious about the sizing chart thing, my 40 inch hips are an XL in one place and a Medium Small in another.

  5. Riese, I have those very boots and I can assure you that in them, your feet will never even know it’s winter.

  6. Audrey, I have the lower end & older model of the Sennheiser HD of for over a decade now and still dig them. It’s really the only headphones to last me that long without the need for the cables to be replaces(side note it’s user replaceable so you could always swap it for one with a mic and play/answer controls). I’m sure you know they are open air(at least mines are those maybe semi-closed), which means they leak some sound out and in(not the best a higher volumes in the library). On the plus side if you fall asleep with it on they are really comfortable, at least mines are.

    Molly I am feeling generous as I would love to support the queer arts(specially from Autostraddle staff), how can I donate to get you some darkroom hours or film? Side question, any reason you shoot with Kodak vs Fujifilm film?

    • oh I just saw this! That’s incredibly sweet!

      I shoot love Portra’s color handling but I only use it in my nice 35 (which takes my Canon lenses) – I prefer Fujifilm for my 35 point and shoot because I it gives it the disposable look / also I prefer Fuji disposables in general (unless a different one is on sale then I buy random ones in bulk)

  7. I really want that bag on Laura’s wishlist but not leather. 2017’s saga: will I ever find the professional, non-femme vegan bag of my dreams? Will I ever be professional enough to afford it?

    Carolyn, I loved Clinique Black Honey in middle school too! I think I just wanted it to go on as gothy as it looked in the tube, though.

  8. Dreams have come true, my mom wants to buy me the scissoring sweatshirt I mentioned but she wants to know what the scissors mean. Help!

    • -Crafting!

      -It’s a metaphor for how destruction and creation can be wrought from the same tools.

      -Rock paper scissors without the rock or paper. A very highbrow version of the game. It would take too long to explain the rules; if you don’t get it, you just don’t get it.

      • This is actually probably the most useful/believable explanation of all, for that nosy relative wondering about that shirt you bought from that feminist website you’re always reading.

      • And I mean, actual scissoring is an excellent way to cut up the actual patriarchy, so it’s not even a lie

  9. I actually just bought those Sorels this week (in eggplant), @riese. Even though it is only 40 here, they are almost too warm. They will be great when it’s February and -10° and I’m waiting for the bus. I hope you get some!

    I also have a salt lamp and an electric blanket on my list. But one thing on my list that I’m surprised not to see here: Mary Barry’s Baking Bible!

  10. The fact that Ali has a puppy named Edith Windsor is making me a feel a little better about the world today

  11. Nikki, Soul of an Octopus is really excellent reading, I highly recommend. Also Sy Montgomery is a charming reader and, should you ever get the opportunity, you should go see her read because she’s awesome.

  12. I haven’t even finished through the list, but I wanna say that following Carmen’s Desire Map Planner link to the whole Desire Map site now has me realising what I needed to help me make sense of my life. THANK YOU FOR THIS LIST <3

  13. The njoy eleven is completely incredible for size queens and lovers of stainless steel!

    And anyone who likes the Tantus Plunge should try out the Fun Factory Bück Dich, it’s another wonderful paddle with a dildo handle. Bück dich means “bend over” in German, and it’s a bit of a thuddier paddle than the Tantus. One side of the paddle is smooth, the other is textured, so the smooth side can deliver some of that sting :) The dildo on it is girthier than on the Plunge, but has beautiful texture and is excellent to grip as the top! Also, since it doesn’t have a hole right in the tip like the Plunge, it’s easier to clean.

    May orgasms help us all through this difficult time <3

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