Posts Tagged ‘cleis press’
Kelli Dunham was in New York City last week at the Lambda Literary Foundation‘s annual award ceremony, the Lammys, to honor the latest best in LGBT literature. Cheryl’s book My Awesome Place won the lammy in the bisexual literature category.
Kelli wrote that it was “beautiful and horrible:” “Beautiful, of course, because it was well deserved and because it was made possible by all of you, who have worked and loved the book into existence. And horrible because Cheryl wasn’t there.”
I just keep hearing Cheryl’s voice in my head, in the sentence after she told me that the odd medical things she’s been looking into were the worst that they suspected, that it was cancer. “I am getting a book deal,” were her exact next words.
Here’s what Kelli said at the award ceremony:
“My Awesome Place details Cheryl’s long and sometimes difficult search for community, the very community that brought this book to life; the forethought of her friend Sarah Schulman to prompt “tell Cheryl I’m willing to be her literary executor, to get her book out” This was a query answered with “yeah duh of course” accompanied by classic Cheryl eyeroll; the community of Cheryl’s writers’ group, Anne Elliott, Maria Luisa Tucker and Virginia Vitzthum who had worked with the manuscript for years and put together a largely completed version for Sarah to edit; community in the form of Tom Léger and the brilliant folks at Topside Press, Riley MacLeod and Zoe Holmes, who took a chance on an author they knew would not be doing anything to promote her own book, and Julie Blair whose design made My Awesome Place as beautiful as Cheryl herself; community in the form of her friends, who have blogged and posted and emailed to get the word out about the book knowing that there is an artsy freak teenager trying to escape New Jersey, a women somewhere struggling with sobriety, and a smarty pants bisexual girl living on Staten Island, all who think they are alone, and who will read My Awesome Place and know they are not. Every day when Cheryl was her sickest, I prayed to a god I no longer believe in for a miracle. Perhaps this book is the miracle, the miracle of like minded, similar souled people, who believed that her words matter and cared enough to be present through the beautiful discomfort of bringing her words to life.” —Kelli Dunham
Please do read the book if you haven’t already. There’s an easy Kindle version, if you do that kind of thing, and the hardcover is beautiful. I’m grateful to Topside Press for publishing it, and grateful to Cheryl’s writer’s group who put together the final manuscript.
Today is my day on the Carrie’s Story blog tour. I devoured this book in the beginning of March as some escapist fiction, hoping for something easy to read that was easy enough to digest without a lot of deep thinking. And while it is easy to read and easy to digest, it isn’t without it’s deep thoughts. Carrie has very little experience with kink and submission at the beginning of the book, but by the end she is an auctioned slave, having gone through trainings from her (temporary) master and trainings from the Madame of the slave auction herself.
I love the little moments where Carrie submits, not because she is comfortable being taken by this person or that person, but because she trusts the woman who created the entire system. And by submitting to the system, she is submitting to that woman in particular. It’s a beautiful explanation of how M/s is larger than D/s, and how M/s is not about individual interactions.
I’ve been more and more interested in M/s theory lately. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about how D/s and M/s are different, and I’d love to write about that more soon here—mostly I’m still chewing on the differences and formulating thoughts. I’ve read through Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny’s book, Dear Raven and Joshua: Questions and Answers About Master/Slave Relationships, which is amazing and which I may turn around and re-read from the beginning right away. It’s long and detailed, well-organized and easy to read in a Q&A format. Unfortunately (and fortunately) it’s been teaching me a ton of things that I’ve been doing wrong … but I’ll leave that thought for the moment and share you some more details about Carrie’s Story. I highly recommend the read.
Excerpt from Carrie’s Story
Day one had begun with the very chic fortyish woman holding me tightly by the nipple and telling me, “We will all want to use you during these trials, but first, we will want to know how obedient you are, how much self-discipline you have. You are accustomed to being in restraints?”
“Yes, Madame Roget,” I said.
They all laughed a little at this, and she told me that they didn’t believe in that sort of thing for these trials. “We would not mar the woodwork of this pretty room with any of those little hooks and eyes, I think you call them. You will do everything we command, and you will be beaten, and bear it beautifully, without any collars or cuffs, without being tied or held in any way.”
I gulped. “Yes, Madame Roget,” I agreed, though I was terrified at the thought of not being tied down while being beaten. Too bad we couldn’t rig up something using all the hardware hanging off the jacket of her Chanel suit.
Quel jour. I had no idea if I could really do it, and I wasn’t perfect by any means. Twice, that I can remember, and maybe more times than that, my hands flew up to my breasts to protect them. This was at least one of the “technical” things Jonathan hadn’t thought of. He, of course, loved to think of crafty ways to embed hooks and eyes all over his house and so, stupidly, hadn’t realized that the rest of the world might not. I think what got me through it was that I was so pissed at him for not considering that this might happen, and so determined to best the situation in spite of him. Thanks a lot, coach, I remember thinking, seeing him out of the corner of my eye, over there on his delicate little chair. I thought of that creep who brought those terrified little four-foot-eight-inch American gymnasts to the Olympics, to be entirely outclassed by the Russians and Romanians.
That day ended very abruptly, or at least I thought so. I was on my knees in the center of the room, having just thanked the board, one by one, and very sweetly and clearly, though in a bit of a choked voice, for a brisk beating they’d just administered to my breasts and thighs. (Oh, and in French—we switched to French for the afternoons.) And, no, they didn’t hold up any cards with little numbers on them to rate my performance. They hardly acknowledged me at all, in fact, but Madame Roget turned to Jonathan and curtly said, “Bring her around tomorrow at ten, and we’ll continue.”
“Thank you, Madame,” Jonathan replied, getting to his feet and hurrying to help me up. “I will. Thank you all.” He spoke like the well-brought-up little boy he must have been once. And I realized that part of the entertainment, for him, and maybe for me as well, was that he was on trial too.
When we got back to the hotel room, he grabbed me, and, very uncharacteristically, pushed me onto the bed practically into a backward somersault, pulled up my skirt, and started fucking me. My shoes went flying, and I felt a garter unsnap painfully against my thigh. Against my cunt, my belly, my legs, I felt his pants zipper and a million buttons and buckles digging into me. It was silly, clumsy, uncomfortable, but I understood. It was what I needed, too. The long, horny, ritualistic day of trials, subtleties, pain, performing, and politesse had gotten to both of us, and what we both wanted was mindless, exhausting, low-tech vanilla fucking. In and out. Bang bang bang. Friction. I closed my eyes and came a lot, moving however I pleased and making lots of noise and trying to forget that there were such things as rules or form or sensibility.
Still, you don’t forget a year of slave training just like that, so a long while after, when I had recovered enough, I crawled to the foot of the bed and knelt there at attention (although I was unsure what to do about the skirt that was still up around my waist and the stockings down around my ankles). Jonathan looked at me for a while. Then he frowned, sighed, and finally said, “Oh hell, Carrie, I don’t think I can maintain any rules tonight, not after watching those pros do it all day. Let’s just take showers and zone out. Are you hungry? Want to do room service?”
Which was how we passed the next three evenings. We’d come back from the trials, pull off our clothes, fuck real hard, and then eat. During some break in the second day trials, Jonathan had gone out, found an English-language bookstore, and scooped up a shopping bag full of mysteries and sci fi. We weren’t following rules anymore, which meant we could say anything we wanted. But we were afraid of saying wrong or embarrassing things to each other. At least I was. So the books kept us busy during those weird, wired, exhausted, polite, and oddly companionable evenings. We’d dive into them, every so often one or the other of us finishing one, maybe briefly recommending it, or tossing it across the room, proclaiming it a “turkey, guessed it halfway through, don’t bother.”
On the fourth evening, the rock ’n’ roll/cyberpunk story I was racing through reminded me of thrash music and I thought of my Primus T-shirt, packed up with my stuff at Stuart’s. I decided that if I passed the trials I’d tell Jonathan he could have it as a good-bye present. Thanks for the memo- ries, I guess, and for the strange intimacy, even if we’d only had about four real conversations in the space of a year and a half. Good-bye, and thanks, also, for finding me a job that was not just a job but an adventure. So long, accomplice, collaborator, coconspirator.
Just then, there was a knock at the door. Jonathan went to get it. There were two European guys in suits and short squared-off haircuts, looking like the cops in La Femme Nikita. They were from the auction committee, though, and they were here to tell us—well, Jonathan, really—that I’d passed the trials. I could hear that much anyway, though the one of them who was doing the talking, the only one who knew English I think, was speaking very softly. I heard Jonathan tell him, “I’ll fax them the papers within an hour. And I’ll get her for you now.”
I hadn’t known they came for you in the middle of the night. And I don’t know if Jonathan had either. He walked over to me—I was sprawled on the bed in a hotel bathrobe and a pair of his socks—and pulled me to my feet. “You’re in,” he said, “and you’re not allowed to speak anymore.” So much for the T-shirt idea. Or for even a so long. “Take off your clothes,” he continued in an expressionless voice. “You’ll go with these gentlemen.”
They were standing by the door watching without much interest. I felt a little sorry for them; this had to be the dullest master/slave scene they’d ever barged in on. I pulled off the socks and robe, folded my glasses on top of the open book, and walked over to them. They produced a pair of high heels and a trench coat and helped me into them. Then, silently, they hustled me out of the room and shut the door behind them.
* * *
From Cleis Press:
Carrie’s Story is regarded as one of the finest erotic novels ever written—smart, devastatingly sexy, and, at times, shocking. In this new era of “BDSM romance,” à la Fifty Shades of Grey, the whips and cuffs are out of the closet and “château porn” has given way to mommy porn. Carrie’s Story remains at the head of the class. Imagine The Story of O starring a Berkeley Ph.D. in comparative literature who moonlights as a bike messenger, has a penchant for irony, and loves self-analysis as much as anal pleasures. Set in both San Francisco and the more château-friendly Napa Valley, Weatherfield’s deliciously decadent novel takes you on a sexually-explicit journey into a netherworld of slave auctions, training regimes, and enticing “ponies” (people) preening for dressage competitions. Desire runs rampant in this story of uncompromising mastery and irrevocable submission.
Molly Weatherfield, the pen name of Pam Rosenthal, is also the author of Safe Word, the sequel to Carrie’s Story. A prolific romance and erotica writer, she has penned many sexy, literate, historical novels. She lives in San Francisco. You can find Molly on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MollyWeatherfield and on Twitter at @PamRosenthal (https://twitter.com/PamRosenthal).
Blog Tour Schedule
March 24 - Shanna Germain
March 25 - Lelaine
March 26 - Alison Tyler
March 27 – Romance After Dark
March 28 - Romance Junkies and Amos Lassen
March 29 - Sinclair Sexsmith
April 1 - Rachel Kramer Bussel
April 2 - Kissin Blue Karen
April 3 - Dana Wright
April 4 - Erin O’Riodan
April 5 - Lindsay Avalon
April 6 - Laura Antoniou
April 7 - DL King
I’m reading a lot. Light things, but well-written things, because I need something to completely occupy my mind that I don’t have to really think about. I’m journaling most days, but not writing anything worth reading, just a lot of purging. Emotional vomit. Navel-gazing, which I used to sometimes think was a good thing, self-insight, self-reflection, but now seems trite and self-indulgent. I’m waking up and most of the time going to sleep. I’m staying up late and then not being able to wake early. I’m waking early and not being able to get back to sleep. I’m reading reading reading on the subway at the cafe on my breaks when I can’t sleep anytime I need to try to stop thinking all the thoughts that are circling circling circling like predators. Like hawks. Like something big and heavy that you see from far away and it doesn’t look that bad but when they get close your pores start to shake. You start sweating and your pupils dilate. Those kinds of thoughts are still stalking me. All the things I did wrong. All the ways I have doomed myself. All the things that I could’ve changed didn’t change am never going to be able to change. Reminding myself that I am not doomed. Telling myself over and over again that I did the best I could we did the best we could no one is at fault no one is at fault. Sometimes I even believe that. Loss happens. Errors of judgment happen. Perfect storms of chaos happen, all the best movies know how if any one factor in the plot would have slipped out of place, it wouldn’t have happened that way, but that the universe conspired somehow to shatter that rain of misunderstandings and missed connections and opportunities down upon our heads. But I try to remember that sometimes all of creation is conspiring to shower us with blessings too. Could that be true? Could I really believe that people are fundamentally good, at the core? It’s what I say I believe, and most of the time that belief is not tested. This is when I need faith. Hope.
Hope is when you look out the window and you go, ‘It doesn’t look good at all, but I’m going to go beyond what I see to give people visions of what could be.’ —Anna Deavere Smith
I don’t think I can tell the truth yet, because I don’t yet think I know what the truth is. There’s not just one capital-T Truth anyway. There are many truths. My truths and your truths and our truths are perhaps three different truths. I think I’m done believing in objectivity. I don’t think it’s possible. I distrust people who start sentences with, “Objectively speaking …” How can anyone see objectively? Sometimes I can squint and look at things sideways and sometimes, just sometimes, I can take myself out of the way of the experience for a glance, a frame, a whisper of smoke. But usually only long enough to get one thought, one perspective, not long enough to really grasp the three-sixy view.
I don’t know what happens next. I know I keep trying. I know I keep writing and striving and crying on my sister’s couch in the mornings. I know I stare at the tree’s brittle branches scraping against this window in the wind and wondering which will break off and which will make it to bud and which buds will pop open to that baby green spring. Oh right, it’s springtime now, isn’t it. When things long dormant start to wake. When things waiting waiting for this freeze to thaw start to tentatively uncurl and test the air.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. —Anais Nin
It’s such a risk. Everything is, from this cup of coffee to that service I just cancelled to the appointment I made for next week. No one really knows if next week will exist, but now that this week is here, we proved last week that next week existed, and I am trusting that’ll keep happening, until it doesn’t. That’s all I can do, anyway. I think I have some more trust in me, though it’s thin. I’ve been paving the roof of my mouth with it for months. It leaves a coat all sticky like too too sweet honey. Makes me crave mouthwash, some salt water gargle to cut the aversion of the over-sweet. Some crumbs of sourdough bread. Good thing I’m heading west, back to the salt water where the sun sets over the ocean instead of over the land. Somehow, it has always seemed more correct. And in the absence of light, I’ll look east.
Power in the silence. Power in the sound of a lover’s name.
Book notes: Excerpt from Carrie’s Story, when her dominant says he’s going to sell her at a slave auction. Cleis calls Carrie the “thinking readers’ submissive.” Cecilia Tan about the Slow Surrender series: “I would call it the “BDSM billionaire” genre, also known as BDSM romance, also known as “If you liked 50 Shades of Grey, you might like this book.” Buy them through my Amazon store and you’ll toss some pennies my way—see the store for more of my erotica recommendations, too.
So when I saw this call for erotica submissions from Rachel Kramer Bussel, I wondered what it would look like for me to write some bisexual erotica. What would that mean for my main character/narrator voice, for “Sinclair”? What would I write about? Where would my edge be?
I talked it over with rife, months ago, and he had a great idea of a butch who picks up a fag at a fag bar and proceeded to have a one night stand. I wrote it up, and Rachel included it in her new book, Twice the Pleasure: Women’s Bisexual Erotica! It seems like a kind of unlikely place for a butch/fag pickup story, but hey, maybe someone will stumble on that one-of-these-stories-is-not-like-the-other kind of piece and discover something new about themselves, in one way or another.
Twice the Pleasure comes out in April, but you can preorder it now! Rachel is doing a buy-one-get-one book sale for the book, so you can buy this one and get any other book of hers in addition. Here’s an excerpt from my story.
- Right Red Flagging
Tonight, I see him as soon as I enter the room, eyes adjusting to the dankness that still feels full of cigarette smoke, even though it’s no longer legal to smoke indoors, and he sees me. He’s at the bar sucking on a long neck beer, wearing a snap down worn through cowboy shirt and jeans, and we make eye contact. In gay boy world, that means we may as well have been dating for three years and have just walked into the hotel room after our prom. I order a beer, too, and wait at the curve of the bar.
He watches me while not looking like he’s watching me. I notice a red hanky in his back right pocket and as he brings the beer up to his mouth for the last swig, I slip off my bar stool and make my way toward the back hallway, the bathrooms, and the door to the back patio. I lean against the wall in a dark patch of the path, thumbs hooked into my belt loops. He follows a moment later, sauntering slowly into the hall and stops, seeing me.
“Hi,” I say. He grins, a crooked half-smirk that darkens his already deep set eyes. He’s more plump than muscle but still has a good shape, firm and solid.
“Hi,” he says.
“So,” I say. He waits. I curl my finger without moving my hand from my hip, and he takes a few steps toward me. I can’t tell who he thinks I am or what he thinks I expect, but he seems willing to find out. When he is just a foot or two from me, and I can smell his sweat and make out the stubble on his chin, I reach out for his upper arm and grip it. “Are you going to kiss me, or what?”
This book has a lot of other great contributors, whose stories I regularly enjoy, like Lori Selke, Giselle Renarde, and Shanna Germain. I haven’t read it yet, but I suspect it’s a great collection, and I’m looking forward to reading the whole thing.
I’ve been in Dallas with Kristen’s family for the last few days for the Thanksgiving holiday. We did a Dirty Queer Sex Tour reading on Tuesday that Lillith Grey helped put together, which was fantastic—it is so fascinating to me how each of the Dirty Queer Sex Tour stops have been so different. I think (hope aim for) it reflects the local culture well, which is great, because as much as I’d love to introduce the Say Please book around to all the different folks who might be interested in it in all the different cities, the cultures of BDSM and queerness are actually slightly varied depending on where you are. Having interacted with those cultures primarily on the internet for the last oh, fifteen or eighteen years, I didn’t really know that until I started touring more. And when I go around and visit colleges in various different cities, I get a small taste of local culture, but usually it’s more like the local college culture, which isn’t quite the same.
I wish I could explain how each of the readings were different, but it’s hard to put my finger on it exactly. Sometimes it seems like one is more butch/femme, one is more genderqueer, one is younger, one is old school, one is more trans focused, one is darker in material and content, but I also don’t really want to generalize that specifically about identities, because I don’t really need to draw the conclusions that therefore the city that that reading was in is therefore more trans or genderqueer or butch/femme. But the differences have been big, and are really interesting.
This particular reading was at VerLes, and they have a really great selection of leather goods and whips and percussion toys that I kept fingering and coveting while I was there. We did a giveaway for a beautiful photograph from one of the readers, CR Kirven, and a dirty cross stitch that Lillith made, and a copy of the book, and a few other goodies, and it was a blast.
Thanks to photographer Amy Price for these beautiful photos from the Dallas Say Please reading! I don’t know if that Facebook link will work but I think it will—check it out. We had a beautiful sexy lineup and the store looks so pretty.
Lillith and her partner Synn (who is the 2012 International Ms Leather!) took us around to the Dallas Eagle and to the Round-Up, which was a gay boy bar (with very mixed company) that has two stepping and line dancing pretty much every night. Kristen and I don’t really know how to two step (though I did okay following while Synn led, and I led Kristen around the floor in a circle at least once), but we have taken some east coast swing and it was so incredibly fun. She and Lillith and some of their friends also had so much fun line dancing. I did a few songs—but when they get really complicated, it’s so hard to keep up. We vowed to go out to Big Apple Ranch more frequently.
Oh and speaking of IMsL—it’s official, and I can announce it now: I’m going to be a judge for the 2013 International Ms. Leather contest! So I’ll be in San Francisco in April 2013. 2012 was the first year I attended, and it was very memorable and fun, and I definitely felt like the folks there were my people. I’m really looking forward to meeting more of the folks who make the contest run and to seeing behind the scenes a little bit—always my favorite way to see an event.
Kristen and I did a lot of other things in Dallas, aside from hang out with her family and eat delicious food, like go around to Kristen’s old haunts, her favorite restaurants, her high school, her old house. It was great to see where she came from. I love having a sense of a city. We rented this little zippy car, some Volvo sports car that I didn’t even know existed, not that I’m really a car person, and it was so fun to drive. Driving around a city gives me a much better sense of it and I loved that I got to experience it.
I didn’t get any gigs in Dallas, aside from the Dirty Queer Sex reading, but maybe I will get some interest from some of the local colleges and come back another time.
Kristen and I are better. Things have improved since that big explosion and I think that couple’s therapist will be helpful. I’ve been containing my feelings much more, haven’t been lashing out, haven’t been quite so wildly all over the map with my feelings. Or rather, I have still been, but I haven’t been showing it as much. This is not quite the same as bottling them up—it’s more like, I know that bringing things up to Kristen doesn’t result in greater understandings right now. I’m making note of things that are difficult or upsetting, and trying to breathe through it and put it aside at the moment, and work through it later with the couple’s therapist or some other moderator because Kristen and I can’t seem to get out of our patterns well enough to actually discuss things to a healing conclusion lately. It’s not a long term solution, this lack of sharing, but it is a temporary solution, and the most important thing right now is to stop fighting. It does seem to help to just not share my feelings—and to not talk about the other people that she’s dating. There are still some issues here, things I don’t know how to resolve, but our couple’s therapist basically said that right now isn’t the time to resolve them, isn’t the time to go into the deep patterns and try to rewire them, because we’re both feeling so defensive and attacked, both feeling pretty wounded, so we need some time to just be with each other and be kind and take time to do things that feel good before we can get to a place where we have enough energy and patience and flexibility to do more excavating and fixing of the patterns and ruts that we’ve developed.
I still don’t know where that will bring us, ultimately. But I am trying to breathe and focus on the “healing power of pleasure,” which is one of the core Tantra principles. I keep asking myself, and Kristen, whenever we are stressed or overwhelmed with all these emotions: What would feel pleasurable for your body right now? I think that focus has been helping us relax and enjoy each other.
I’m in Houston now, and I’ll be visiting Rice University on Thursday, but aside from that I’m visiting with Rife. We’re outside of the city actually, on his family’s ranch, and at the moment, he and his dog are out doing something with the horses, a little practice training, it looks like. I’m sitting in the very pleasant breeze looking out onto a pasture with beautiful old trees and a wind chime nearby. I have a cup of coffee and my pen and notebook and my computer (and wifi!), and the only things on my agenda today are some hours of work, some reading, some walking around this beautiful land, some play with Rife, some good food, some stargazing later if it’s clear. The more time I spend away from cities, the less I seek to go back to a city. I love the grass under my bare feet, love the sounds of the wind in the trees and the birds and the chimes. I’m soaking up as much of it as I can.
I’ve just arrived in Toronto after a loooong day of driving. Kristen and I are staying visiting for Unholy Harvest, and sticking around for a few more events and to visit with some friends, including Mr. Gray at Aslan Leather. I’d never seen Niagra Falls before, it was a thrill this afternoon! As per our usual style, Kristen and I had some good big-picture talks about life, love, and the Sugarbutch Empire on the long (10 hour!) drive up. She made some disco mixes (including lots of Jessie Ware, who Kristen is pretty into these days) and we generally amused ourselves.
As I’m getting ready to turn on the streaming NPR concert that I’m pissed is happening in New York City tonight, I’m reminded that there’s something else exciting going on in New York this evening: a Say Please reading!
The reading series Between the Covers at Happy Ending Lounge is featuring writers from Say Please and The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica tonight. If you’re looking for something to do, go on out and say I sent you. (That & $10 will get you a stiff drink.)
We’re putting the spotlight on Cleis Press, long-time publisher of sex-positive erotica. How? By welcoming editor D.L. King and contributors to The Harder She Comes:Butch/Femme Erotica and Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica to the mic. Joining host Lori Perkins this month with their seductive, steamy stories, with D.L. King, Xan West, Aimee Herman, Elizabeth Thorne.
REMEMBER: Doors open at 7:00 so come early and socialize. Reading begins at 8:00 pm.
Enter our Dirty Word Draw at the reading for prize baskets filled with books, ebooks, and sundry kinky items! For your chance to win, write down your favorite dirty word and initial it (because great perv minds think alike). We’ll toss it in our basket and then it’s the luck of the draw!
Between the Covers
First Friday of the month. 7-10 p.m.
Free. Casual dress.
Happy Ending Lounge
302 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002
I’ll aim to post some things from this trip, but if not, will talk to you next week when I get back.
I’ve got an erotica story in a new anthology, Girls Who Score: Hot Lesbian Erotica edited by Ily Goyanes, and I’m taking part in the book’s blog tour at girlswhoscore.com today.
My story is called “A Good Workout,” and it’s one of the first butch-on-butch erotica stories I’ve ever written. Despite my #gymbunny hash tag on Twitter, I’m not much of an athlete, and never have been. But a few things came to mind when I started thinking about the scenarios that I’d possibly find myself in that would be sexy and somewhat athletic: the locker room at the gym, other butches in that locker room and the way we don’t really acknowledge each other even though we have some gender solidarity in a mainstream women’s space, and the lesbian story from My Secret Garden edited by Nancy Friday that I read fifteen years ago about an anonymous encounter in a steam room.
I wanted the characters to be taken with each other in a mirroring kind of way, seeing themselves reflected in each other’s body. They have a few moments of gender solidarity, not quite acknowledging each other but still recognizing that they both go through odd gender pinprick encounters with the women in the locker room on a regular basis. And then, what happens in the steam room … it isn’t so much about overwhelming desire in each other with romantic interest, but about curiosity, almost like the commonality of same sex encounters that many straight people experience as pre-teens and teenagers.
Here’s an excerpt from “A Good Workout.”
- I grin. I breathe and feel my feet on the floor, get my bearings and don’t waste time. I slide down from the upper bench and you are on the edge of your seat, I easily grab your waist and flip you around, your ass against me, my arms around you, one hand pushed between your legs and the other twisting those pink nipples. As my fingers find you wet and open you bring my other hand up to your mouth and suck two of them down, tongue swollen, lips wet. I keep my grip around you as I plunge two fingers inside you deep and you groan again, that same release that all those pull-ups had you uttering, the same instinct to buckle and pulse overtaking you. I pull my fingers out slick with your juices and find your clit, start jacking you off, the shaft of it hard and swollen under my fingers, throbbing with my touch.
You quicken under me.
I pull you back against me and our bodies slide against each other, your back against my large chest, my nipples still hard, my stomach against your lower back, your ass against my pelvis. If I had a cock it’d be in your ass right now, and as soon as I think that I can feel it, and you press back against me as if opening up, squirming, and I keep my grip as I reach around you to jack you off. You aren’t easy to get off, I can feel it, that barrier between us, but I can feel how you like to be taken, how you like to be a boy under my touch, how you like to bend over and give it up for me, because that’s how I like it, too.
Our bodies are talking to each other without our heads getting in the way. Our cocks are hard and thrusting, and I am thrusting, and you are thrusting into my palm. Your hand pushing my fingers deeper into your mouth though it is open and you’re breathing around it, I feel your breath cooler than the air. My arms are dripping with sweat and steam, I can feel it rolling down my skin.
It was fun to use second person for the other character, I don’t usually do that in my stories but I like how it reads, I think it’s a bit more intimate.
There’s quite a bit more about the other stories in the book over at girlswhoscore.com, and the blog tour is continuing through the end of August, so keep your eyes open for even more excerpts and writings. Pick up the book on Amazon.com or at your local independent queer-friendly bookstore.
I kind of suck at blogging lately. I have been doing all these offline things—events, trainings, readings, workshops, traveling. Tons of marketing and promotion, very little writing. But I want to—and plan to—get back to more of that, soon. Maybe this week, even.
I leave for Chicago tomorrow and I’ll be doing three events Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night before returning to New York on Thursday. Hope y’all will come out and see me while I’m there! I’m trying to get the word out about this book every possible way I can, and that has included doing all sorts of workshops and performances in every place where the book has contributors—I’ve been in Atlanta and Portland already this month, and now Chicago! I am still kinda in love with this book, so I hope it’s helping to get it into your hands.
I’m not sure if you know, but it’s kind of a misnomer that people make money from writing books. I mean sure, the bigwigs make money, when they’re at major presses and have print runs in seven digits, but Cleis Press, while very widely distributed and respected, is still pretty small. I actually owe them money right now because I bought some copies of the book (which I have to pay for—at a discount, but still, out of my pocket) to use as promotion in the Amazon reviews and blog tour. I have been paying that off slowly while still trying to buy plane tickets to places like Chicago and Portland and Atlanta—which also come out of my pocket, Cleis doesn’t pay for those things. Most of these trips I have broken even, but none of them have I made any significant money.
So it really does make a big difference if you come out to these events. Your presence helps. I love a packed room, at workshops or at a Dirty Queer Sex Tour performance. Buying copies of the book helps—from me directly, at a reading, or online, it all helps. It’s where all my energy has been going to, so much so that I haven’t been keeping up with my writings here.
Hope to see you in Chicago!
MONDAY: Sparking Forever: Sex in Long Term Relationships
New relationship energy can propel a couple into a phenomenal experiential phase of sexual energy—bursts of passion, exploration, and intensity. Long term relationships, however, face the day-to-day life navigation of bills, scheduling, job and career difficulties or changes, disappointments, changes, and grief. How do we build a long term relationship that keeps the passion alive? How do we ensure we have enough time for our partner(s), and for ourselves? How do we both separate from our partner to have our own rich inner life and come back together to build a loving bond? And what kind of kinky play can be used to keep the fire going? We’ll explore all of these concepts and more at this interactive workshop.
RSVP on the Fetlife event or Facebook event
$20 per person ($15 low income/students). All adults welcome.
This workshop is being held at Early to Bed, at 5232 N Sheridan Road
Preregister and save your spot by visiting http://bit.ly/spark4ever or calling us at 773-271-1219
TUESDAY: Steamy: How to Write About Sex + Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Chicago
8-9pm: How to Write About Sex
To write about sex well, you need both the boldness to describe the dirty and delicious acts we humans explore, and the basic technical skills of plot, setting, and character. In this pen-to-paper writing workshop, we’ll look at some examples of successful and unsuccessful erotica, discuss how to write steamy love letters for your sweetheart, and discover how to take your blogging to the next level. We’ll also explore where to submit your erotica for publication, and some quick basics for editing your work.
9-10pm: Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Chicago
For the release of SAY PLEASE: LESBIAN BDSM EROTICA, come join us in Chicago for dirty queer readings from contributors to the book and special guests!
ABOUT THE READERS
Christina is a Queer, Capital-S Submissive LeatherFemme with masochistic tendencies. She holds a Master’s Degree in English and Comparative Literature, and her writings often focus upon the complexity of the feminist Leatherwoman’s journey. Her free time is spent serving as the new International Ms Leather (IMsL) historian and archivist.
Vie La Guerre is a femme wordsmith who lives in Chicago with her kittens, Foxy Brown and Zora.
Lyzanne Trevino promotes sex-positive community health education and exploration of kinks and fetishes in her project SexPositiveBlog.com. She is also an LGBT youth advice columnist at AskGayWrites. She works with the Hot Queer Porn Fest committee in Chicago to ensure a place for trans* and queer porn, and although this queer femme is a newcomer to the world of writing queer erotica, she is a long-time reader and enthusiast.
WEDNESDAY: Cock Confidence
Come learn the nuts and bolts of strapping it on and fucking. Writer and sex educator Sinclair Sexsmith will reveal the best cocks for packing, which options exist for pack-and-play and the ins and out of selecting a harness. You’ll learn about positions, how different products work, what “cock confidence” means, and the psychology behind strapping on and playing with a cock with a partner, or with oneself.
Come hear Sinclair Sexsmith and local authors BB RYDELL, JOE LEBLANC, WENDI KALI, SOSSITY CHIRICUZIO and ALEKS STEFANOVA read kinky, dirty, queer smut including their stories from Say Please and celebrate this kinky queer collection. In Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, editor Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of queer kink: tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place — and held there firmly. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want.
Sunday, July 8th, 2012, 7:30pm
at She Bop the Shop
909 North Beech Street
RSVP on Facebook
Sinclair Sexsmith has been writing since 1996 about identity, queer culture, feminism, and self-awareness, and teaches workshops on BDSM, gender, and getting the sex life you want. They produce the award-winning website Sugarbutch Chronicles. Contributing to more than fifteen anthologies, including five Best Lesbian Erotica editions and Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, Mr. Sexsmith is also on the board of the upcoming 2013 BUTCH Voices conference, and serves the Body Electric School as a coordinator. They are the guest editor of Best Lesbian Erotica 2012.
Sossity Chiricuzio is a working-class/fat/poly femme who hosts and produces Dirty Queer, a monthly X-rated open mic, fund-raiser, and community gathering. She has a CD, Hand to Mouth, and has released Stir the Juice, a book of erotic poetry about queer passion and adventure, in 2011. She lives in Portland.
Wendi Kali is a part-time writer and photographer and full-time motorcycle-riding butch. She is currently working on a manuscript about her life as a gender-bending butch. “First Ride” is her first publication. She currently resides in Portland.
Joe LeBlanc is a genderqueer poly butch who is the Founder and Board Chair for BUTCH Voices, a social justice organization for by and about butches, studs and masculine of center individuals. He is a lover of language and writes poetry while also advocating for gender and racial justice both as a community organizer and as a local Portland activist.
BB Rydell promotes queer visibility, expression and grass roots community building through writing, filmmaking and performance. This native New Yorker co-produces “Seattle Spit,” Seattle’s longest running monthly queer spoken word event, and is a member of the Producers Collective, an intentional artist and producer community that values social justice, camp, and diversity. BB is published in Tales of Travelrotica: Volume 2 and Penetalia, and has two self-published zines.
Aleks Stefanova Is a poet, activist, and a full time dreamer. The creator of Q Poetry, a network for queer poets, artists, activist, and other folk, she is on a journey to unite all queers through the art of poetry and spoken word in one safe but free for all zone. In July 2010, she recorded her first poetry CD titled 9 tales of love and loss. Recent Portland transplant she runs the monthly queer poetry slam (A Q Poetry Night) that features some of the best queer poets around the nation. She’s currently working on several different projects some of which are a collection of erotic poetry, a poetry chapbook, and a new CD all to be finished by the end of 2010. For more information, and some of her poetry go to q-poetry.ning.com/profile/aleks.
Holy cats, Hotlanta! It’s like 100* today. But at least Kristen and I have had some grits and really good biscuits already (Flying Biscuit cafe, folks, dang that was good). We flew out of New York at 6am this morning and have been slowly melting in the heat ever since we got here … but we’ll be in Atlanta until Monday morning, when we fly to Seattle for a little memorial for my dad with my family.
Meanwhile, though, I’m very excited to be visiting friends and seeing the queer version of Atlanta, I’ve never been here before and I’m looking forward to getting a sense of the city. I hope I will get a sense of the city, given the heat! Any recommendations for local things that we just must do?
Hope to see y’all out at Charis books tonight or tomorrow night, Friday the 29th or Saturday the 30th. Saturday we’ll be doing a Dirty Queer Sex Tour appearance with an all-femme lineup (except for me, of course)! And Kristen is going to read one of the dirtiest stories in the book. Here’s the info about the events.
Join us for a two day Stonewall weekend extravaganza celebrating queer sexuality and embodiment with butch blogger and sex writer Sinclair “Sugarbutch” Sexsmith. On Friday night Sinclair will take us on a wild ride towards body confidence for folks on the self-identified queer masculine side of the gender spectrum (butches, bois, transmen, studs, FTMs, Masculine of Center, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, or anybody in between!) .
Sinclair will return on Saturday night for a raucous reading from Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica. Sinclair will share stories from the anthology, talk about the state of sex blogging today, and offer tips to ignite your inner erotica writer! Learn more about Sinclair at www.sugarbutch.net. This event is sponsored by Charis Books and Atlanta Pride. There is $5 suggested donation each evening but no one will be turned away.
Friday, June 29th, 7:30-9pm: Radical Masculinity workshop
Saturday, June 30th, 7:30-9pm: Dirty Queer Sex Tour: Atlanta Edition
Charis Books and More
1189 Euclid Ave NE , Atlanta, Georgia
Performing on Saturday night will be:
Adriana Chiknas is a multifarious femme who is drawn to intensity. She loves her partner, crazy conventions, costumes, heavy metal, food, fantasy, and fucking. Adriana writes the stories of her life…primarily so that she doesn’t forget them. She believes in the power and importance of stories…and wants to hear yours too.
Big Red is an equal opportunity gender queer, fierce femme, who is a performance and Spoken Word Artist celebrated for her ability to “wear many different shoes”. In one pair of those shoes she is dedicated to facilitating personal and communal connection and healing, and in another equally empowering and self-embracing pair of red stilettos she works on various ways to encourage, support, and evoke opportunities to accept and create verbiage, experiences, and culture that is raw, creative, authentic, sensual, deeply intense, just, and intent on empowering, healing, and transforming self, relationships, and communities. With a proven and long standing commitment to education and training, one of her current passions is creating new connections while presenting at various Community events.
Kathleen Delaney is a Queer High Femme spoken word writer whose provocative & smutty performances ignite, shock, challenge, and eroticize Butch/Femme, Queer, and BDSM dynamics. A National touring veteran, Kathleen is the founder & producer of BODY HEAT: Femme Porn Tour, a collective of Femme porn performance artists. A 1950′s Housewife at heart, Kathleen is celebrating day 49 as a newly-wedded bride.
Kristen is a kinky queer femme bottom who occasionally contributes to Sugarbutch.net. She enjoys bruises, disco, and wearing as little clothing as possible. Follow her on twitter @kitchentop. You should try her cookies.