Reaching Out from a Mind as Dirty as All Outdoors

If you get lucky enough, I might post adult-only material from time to time, so be 18 or over, or please be elsewhere.

I'll be discussing erotica here, the writing of it and the people who write it, as well as what we've written. I find all these aspects stimulating, but if any of them bore you, feel free to skim. You never know what you might miss, though.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Wild Girls, Wild Nights Wins the Lambda Literary Award!

On June 2, coincidentally my birthday, I sat with friends in the Great Hall of Cooper Union in NYC and heard my anthology Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories announced as the winner of the Lambda Award in the Lesbian Erotica category. Apparently I made it to the stage and thanked my writers and the Lambda committee, because now I have a lovely 5-pound engraved trophy in the shape of a book to add to the one Lesbian Cowboys won four years ago.

The brave, skilled writers who shared their personal stories with me should get all the credit, and I’m listing the table of contents here, along with my introduction, which was really my only contribution. If you dig deeply enough back through my blog, you’ll find posts from or about each of them telling more about the backgrounds of their contributions.

Polvo de Hadas  Monica E. Moreno
Hot Desert Nights  Dawn McKay
The Daddy I Didn’t Know I Needed  Angel Propps
The Corruption of the Innocent Pornographer  Destiny Moon
Foxy and the Ridiculous Lesbian Orgy  Allison Moon
Nurse Joan  Cheyenne Blue
Ring of Roses  Giselle Renarde
Cockadoodle Doo  Dawn Mueller
Threesome  H.M. Husley
Delinquents  Catherine Paulssen
Risking It All  Lynette Mae
Are You My Mommy?  Danielle Mignon
Lost Batteries  Jasmine Grimstead
Odds  Catherine  Henreid
Higher Learning  Charlotte Dare
Kat’s House  Mia Savage
Guise and Dolls  Allison Wonderland
Tamago  Anna Watson
Auto-Complete  M. Marie
Insatiable Travel Itch  Evan Mora

Writers put themselves into all their work, whether they realize it or not. Even the wildest imagination comes from deep inside. But for this book, I asked them to take a deep breath, go that extra step, and write hot, explicit stories firmly grounded in their personal experience. Real encounters, real emotions, real people with overwhelming desires, drawing on memory rather than imagination to share their own true stories of lesbian sex.
I had no idea who would take up the challenge. Incorporating your memories and longings and secret kinks into fiction is one thing, but putting your name—or a pseudonym your friends may recognize—on a story that exposes intimate, unrestrained details of your life is something else again. Not to mention details of your lovers’ lives. I asked that pseudonyms be used for all characters other than the authors, to preserve some degree of privacy. Even so, who was going to open themselves so fearlessly and passionately?
But these authors did, and I’ll be forever grateful. Writers have always come through for me, in the course of eight previous anthologies, and they did it again. This time, though, I had the sense that they were also coming through for themselves. The urge to tell their stories was second only to the urgent impulses that drove the action in the first place.
I already knew that truth could be as wild, sensual and searing as any flight of imagination, and these writers went even beyond my hopes. There are stories with spankings, strap-ons, restraints, and desert sand; settings ranging from a London hospital to a Caribbean island to Niagara Falls to Tel Aviv; lifetime commitments, fleeting encounters to savor for a lifetime, first flings, and at least one threesome. Reality doesn’t have to be prosaic. Wet, messy, frenzied, sometimes even awkward, but not boring.
The variety of writers, too, is everything I’d hoped for. Some are well-known and accomplished, telling their tales with skill and artistry that seem to transcend real life, even when they’re true. Some are new to writing, experimenting with preserving their treasured experiences in print, while others have been writing for themselves (and each other) for a long time but never dared share their work openly before.
One previously published writer told me that this story felt so personal to her—more than any of her others—that she'd only submit it to an editor and publisher she knows and trusts. Another, new to me, said that writing about her first encounter with a woman excited her all over again. A third described her piece as the true story of a very special event in her own and her partner’s lives, with only the names changed to protect the innocence of their grown children (who know she writes but also know her well enough not to want to Google her.) I’m always moved, in one sense or another, by the stories people send me, but this time I was touched in a whole new way.
I was also amused by some of the details they shared with me. One said of her story, “All true. I was on Twitter ten minutes later bragging that ‘my girlfriend spanked me so hard I cried real-life tears of ouchiness.’  Lots of people were jealous. LOL.” Another, when I asked what she’d been wearing that gave her partner such easy access, told me that she’d been afraid to admit at the beginning that she’d stripped to a T-shirt and underpants right after work, in case it might make her sound silly and too young, and then she forgot to decide what to say at all. I’m glad she was much less uninhibited about the rest of what happened.
The stories themselves always count most, but in this rare case a sense of the writer behind each story is important, too. I’ve only shared a few of these details, but I’ve come to know enough about most of these authors to be confident as to the basic truth of what they wrote.
The stories can speak for themselves. Some are about first times, each in a distinctive way, from Angel Propps finding the leather daddy she hadn’t known she needed to Jasmine Grimstead having glorious sex under the stars with the free-spirited girl of her dreams. Some are inextricably tied to stressful occupations, like the fleeting episode of forbidden lust in the military by Dawn McKay, and the life-and-death trauma of Lynnete Mae’s police work. Some memories are long-treasured and some newly forged; Catherine Paulssen writes nostalgically of being young in Germany in the summer of 1994, while Allison Moon’s faux fox hunt orgy played out as recently as the latest royal wedding.
Every story deserves special mention, but I’ve gone on long enough. Go ahead and enjoy what these women have bravely and generously offered. With some you’ll feel vivid flashbacks to your own adventures; with others you’ll wish you’d shared theirs; and some will inspire you to make steamy new memories of your own. Reading these stories to someone with just the same urge would be a fine way to start.

Women with Handcuffs--a reviewer gets it.

It's a great feeling when a reviewer really gets what my writers have done, and how unexpectedly deep and complex this book is.

"The stories in this collection feature women who are powerful, yes, but they are also nuanced individuals with subtle needs and desires. They are real people with loves and families and bad-ass careers. Whether the treatment is playful or serious, the sexiness in this anthology comes from the fact that these women feel real. This, in my opinion, is characterization at it’s best."
—Malin James

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cleis Press Celebrates Pride Month--Why Do We Write?

Cleis Press celebrates Pride Month, asking us why we write LGBTQ fiction.
Why not? Reading and writing are journeys of discovery, and LGBTQ themes and characters are as vital as any other dimensions of that journey, taking us to places real or imagined, within ourselves or around us, contemporary or historical. And besides, good writing is well worth reading, whatever the theme and whoever the well-drawn characters may be. ‪#‎OutWriters‬

So why do readers of my blog read and/or write LGBTQ fiction? Comment here, and I'll do a drawing at the end of the month, the winner to choose any one of my books that I have on hand.