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Exclusive Excerpt: A Dirty Word

Oct 09, 2018
 

 

It has always been a challenge, at least in the majority of recorded human history and modern history, to be a woman. It seems that only in the most modern times can women finally have, generally speaking, socially acceptable platforms to give voice to issues that are important to them and the right to even do so.

Sexual harassment. Sexual assault. Sexual abuse. Misogyny. Fair pay. Maternity leave. Fair, safe, and affordable healthcare. The list can go on…

Thanks mostly to the #metoo movement and feminism in general, women are, now more than ever, seeking to further their stance in society and the world, and to live their own personal truths — from the married, stay-at-home moms of four, to the childless and husbandless CEO of a Fortune 500 company. However, despite this herculean agenda, perhaps the hardest thing 50 percent of this planet needs to accomplish is furthering the understanding of women’s issues, across and within genders, sexes, generations, and within yourself, too. Perhaps this is necessary before women and men could ever hope to affect positive change.

When it comes to our sex organs and sexual health, the most recent research seems disproportionately inclined toward the study of men’s sexual health as compared to women, despite the fact that women have more complicated reproductive systems when compared to men. And women’s reproductive processes put women at a much higher risk of death than men. But, then again, this is nothing new. Yes, it must be traumatic for those dealing with erectile dysfunction, but then again women go through menopause, too. (Granted, most women can still orgasm after menopause: I wouldn’t wish an orgasm-less life on anyone…) But before we even get to those wonderful mid-life crisis years, one study found that in their most recent sexual encounter, 95 percent of men reported orgasms, as compared to 69 percent of women. So why is more research not being done on women’s sexual health? Why is the range of experience so different? Shouldn’t women be getting off just as much as men?

There is obviously a divide here and there are A LOT of factors that play into a woman’s level of arousal and sexual fulfillment, from the errand she forgot to run this morning to the size and shape of her labia. How can women who feel unsatisfied and “less than” (even through they are not!) ever hope to help an outsider understand? How can they ever hope to move past the “what’s” and get to the “how’s?”

Steph Auteri has boldly volunteered her own personal experiences in A Dirty Word: How a Sex Writer Reclaimed Her Sexuality. She touches upon many subjects of interest to the modern woman, most notably her battles with female sexual dysfunction — which is much more wide-ranging than you would initially think. In a recent study, it was found that 40 percent of women have sexual concerns and 12 percent of women report distressing sexual problems. Women are complicated creatures…

So, read on. Whether you have been diagnosed or not, whether you feel at your peak mental and emotional health or at your lowest, whether you have the sexual ego of a award-winning porn star or a forty-year-old virgin, whether you have only had one partner or have more notches on your bedpost than you can count… you are not alone.

 

 

[Note: Travis was Steph’s boyfriend for several months in college. An experience that was beautiful at times, but was more traumatic than anything else.]

I was twenty when I finally succumbed to Travis’s appeals for a blowjob. We had just shared a shower and I was feeling generous, so I knelt down on the bathroom floor as he stood before me, the hair on his legs dripping, making golden loops and whorls across his shins and down his calves. The mirror over the sink was fogged, and the air was damp and heavy. My knees were slick, tender as they dug into the tiled floor; wet strands of hair striped my cheeks and my forehead and inched between my lips, requiring me to spit them out before returning to the job at hand. Travis’s knees shook, and he gasped. “Where did you learn to do that?” he asked.

Back when I still lived with my parents, I sometimes watched fuzzed-out porn at three in the morning. I stared at bodies twisting and humping on the screen, squinting to get a glimpse of things I’d not yet experienced. What was taking place on that bathroom floor was not nearly as bow-chik-a-bow-wow as what I had seen on TV. But as for sex education, that was all I had to go on. Apparently, it was enough.

You should never, however, underestimate the sex toy industry’s ability to make you doubt yourself. Like a SkyMall for sexy time, adult toy developers love creating unnecessary doo-dads and whatzits that promise to elevate the in-and-out experience.

The BlowGuard was one such whatzit. Years after that first blowjob, when I received a review unit just before a romantic anniversary trip to a B&B in upstate New York, I slipped it into my suitcase. In the fullness of that first day upstate, I almost forgot about it. Leaving our luggage at the inn, we drove along the Canandaigua wine trail, turning in at small vineyards, poring over lists of whites and reds, swirling the wine in our glasses as if we knew what we were doing. We sipped Chambourcins and Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs and, later in the evening, gulped down large, full glasses of wine at the farm-to-table restaurant where we had our dinner. By the time we made our way back to our room, we were thoroughly soused. Especially Michael. Because my tolerance for alcohol was lower than his, I often used his glass as a personal dump bucket when we were at tastings.

A drunk Michael is a particularly frisky Michael. So as I bent over the sink in our private bathroom, brushing my teeth, he took the opportunity to remove all of his clothing except for his boxer briefs, clamber up onto the elevated canopy bed, and stretch out in a come-hither position. I looked at him when I emerged from the bathroom and shook my head. I was wearing bulky, fleece pajama pants emblazoned with a Cookie Monster pattern. We were still in our twenties, but we had never been what I’d describe as sexy. At least not in that performative way you see on TV and in the movies where the woman shimmies out of her negligee or the man backs his partner against the wall, and then they both magically orgasm while they’re still standing there, dry humping each other. But I did have one ace up my sleeve.

I whipped the BlowGuard out of my suitcase and brandished it in the air. “Ta-daaaaa!”

Michael sighed.

The BlowGuard was a toy meant to be used during partner play in order to prevent you from nicking your partner with your teeth during oral sex. With its built-in bullet vibrator, it also promised “mind-blowing” plea- sure. It looked like a mouth guard but, since we weren’t winning points for sexiness anyway, I was willing to look silly if it meant we would soon experience staggering levels of orgasmic bliss.

The first speed bump came when I couldn’t fit the bullet vibe into the dental guard. Michael grappled with it for a while before finally prevailing over imperfect manufacturing. Then, I realized I wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to place the BlowGuard over my upper or lower teeth. The instructions that came with the device were less than illuminating.

I eventually decided to try it both ways (I am nothing if not thorough) but couldn’t stop myself from giggling as I slow-motion approached my husband’s penis.

Not only that, but I couldn’t stop worrying that the BlowGuard would fall out of my mouth. This thought made me tense my jaw, which in turn made me worry that teeth nicks were inevitable. My tightened jaw also made it impossible for me to actually fit my husband’s penis into my mouth. (He asserts that this is because his member is so large.)

Finally, we were forced to abort the experiment.

“Besides,” he said, “it’s scary to see that thing coming at my penis.”

Luckily, we were able to laugh about it. But it wasn’t always that way. When Michael and I weren’t laughing, I was crying, the guilt and pressure I felt around my sexual issues suffocating me. If it were up to Michael, we would probably have sex every damn day. But night after night, when he turned to me in bed to run a hand down my arm, I turned away from him and stuck my head in a book. The want I’d felt for him at the beginning of our relationship had faded, and I could go for long stretches of time without feeling that tingling sensation that signified my desire. At the time, I hadn’t yet learned that, for many women, physical arousal is the thing that sparks desire. I hadn’t yet learned about the waxing and waning of desire that is normal throughout the course of everyone’s life. And so, I resented him for pushing me, even after I told him I wasn’t in the mood.

All of this was made worse by the fact that I continued to experience pain during intercourse for several years. Lube didn’t help. Penetration wasn’t the problem. It was when he was inside me, thrusting his way to completion, that I felt a sharp, stinging agony, like needles biting into my vaginal walls. Why would I want to participate in that? How could I not resent the person who wanted to forge ahead anyway, despite knowing what I was being forced to endure?

At the same time, I always felt that he deserved more. Better. And my experimentation around sex toys and my immersion in the world of sex positivity—an exploration enabled by my sex writing—were the vehicles I had chosen in my efforts to fix myself. I wanted to be more like everyone else. I wanted to have the sex life I imagined everyone else was having. I wanted to want. I wanted to feel comfortable and capable in bed. And if the pain I felt was all in my head—as my gynecologist at one point intimated—I wanted to get down to the very essence of who I was, deep down inside, and fix that, too.

A Dirty Word is available for purchase at all major retailers in print and digital formats. Or feel free to order a copy at your local bookstore!

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Exclusive Excerpt: Tongue Tied

Sep 12, 2018
 

Most of us have been there — caught somewhere between expressing our own needs and suffering in silence. It isn’t easy to talk to someone you care about, especially if the it’s about a sensitive topic, like finding new heights of passion in the bedroom.

According to Marriage.com, poor communication is the third most frequent reason for divorce and in a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, it was found that communication and sexual satisfaction can independently predict marital satisfaction. However, if the communication was bad, sexual satisfaction did not contribute to a relationship’s overall health and success.

And that does not only apply to the married couples. Having solid communication skills is imperative to a person’s success in life, in work, and in the home. We’ve all read the articles, taken the advice, filled out the surveys, read the self-help books that promise you a solution, only to let you down when it comes to practical application. That is where Stella Harris, certified intimacy educator and sex coach, stands out from the crowd. She is not only informative and emphatic, but provides sound advice for improving communication skills in the home, with partners, and in kink play. But, even better, her advice has real applications in every type of relationship from love to business.

Below is an excerpt from Stella’s new book, Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships on one important key factor in communicating with your partner: setting apart time to have serious conversations in a safe space.

WHEN TO TALK: MAKING TIME TO TALK

This might sound silly, but we don’t always take time to talk to the people who are the most important to us. Maybe you chat about your day, what’s going on at the office, or the movie you just saw, but when did you last talk about your feelings?

Or maybe you and your sweetie(s) don’t get to see each other that often, and you feel reluctant to “ruin” date night by having hard conversations. You just want to enjoy your time together and not risk derailing the evening.

Either way, sometimes the most important things are the hardest to bring up.

Whether you’re simply giving your partner a heads-up that there’s something you’d like to talk about and asking if it’s a good time, or actually scheduling time to talk, it’s important to differentiate “talks” from simply chatting about your day.

You need to be in a different headspace to really share—and hear—heavier stuff about how you or a partner are feeling. That’s why it can be helpful to have a scheduled time on the calendar to talk about how things are going. Depending what your organizational style is, you can even make an agenda for these talks.

Whether you set these talks for once a week or once a month, it can be helpful to know that you’ve got a time coming when you can raise any concerns you’ve been having, set your shared schedule for the coming week or month, and make sure you’re on the same page about the relationship.

If you’re a note-taking type, like I am, you might even keep a running list for yourself of things you want to talk about at the next meeting. Putting something on the list and knowing you’ll get a chance to sort through whatever it is can help take it off your mind in the meantime.

When you have your first scheduled relationship talk, set some ground rules about how you’d like it to go. Are you agreeing on an agenda together? Are you each getting equal time? Are you tackling one big topic, then each adding your own smaller items that have come up since the last meeting? Knowing how the talk will go can be as important as the talks themselves.

Another thing to consider is location. Some people will be most comfortable doing this at home, and for other people having these talks in public is easier. Sometimes being out in the world is a good backdrop to keep things on an even keel, if you’re afraid the talk might get tense or emotional.

The bottom line is figuring out what it takes logistically to make it most likely that you and your sweetie(s) will get what you need from these conversations.

At a minimum, give your partner a heads-up when you want to have a difficult conversation, and check in about whether it’s a good time. Sure, sometimes things come up in the moment that have to be addressed, but if the issue isn’t immediate, you’ll get the best results if you have the conversation when everyone is in the right head space for it. It’s also another way to establish a consent culture within your relationship, by letting people opt in to serious talks rather than being surprised by them.

With clients, I often call these State of the Relationship talks. Just like oil changes, software updates, and putting air in the tires, everything requires ongoing maintenance, and relationships are no exception. Once you’ve decided to have these regular talks, here are some things you might want to cover:

  • Needs and definitions around sex.
  • Household logistics, chores, etc.
  • Vacation planning.
  • Big personal topics that affect everyone—job changes, moves, etc.
  • Your schedule for the coming week or month, depending how often you have these talks.
  • Scheduling date nights.

Sometimes just knowing that you have a built-in space coming up to raise issues can make things feel less urgent. Often it’s not knowing when or how to bring something up that causes the most stress. When you have these talks already on the schedule, you’ll also have a built-in time for bringing up new kinds of sex you’d like to try, or a fantasy you’d like to tell your partner about.

Most people think that figuring out how to start the conversation is the hardest part, so if you’ve got time to talk built in already, you’ve already done the hardest part and you can focus on the information you want to share, rather than worrying about how to bring it up.

Tongue Tied is available for purchase at all major retailers in print and digital formats. Or feel free to order a copy at your local independent bookstore! 

Amazon     iTunes     Barnes & Noble     Google Play     Kobo

 

 

 

 
 

Cleis Press Back to School Sale

Sep 01, 2018
 

It’s never too late to learn about pleasure…

And Cleis Press is here to help, despite some web design difficulties. I think we may have to go back to school for that one ourselves…

To help you discover the best instructional and sex ed titles, they are listed below by subject category. From learning the art of BDSM to mastering fellatio, we have you covered!

Sale ends 9/31/18.

 

BDSM/KINK

50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM by Tristan Taormino

As Kinky as You Wanna Be: Your Guide to Safe, Sane and Smart BDSM by Shanna Germain

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino

The Ultimate Guide to Strap-On Sex: A Complete Resource for Women and Men by Karlyn Lotney

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines

 

LGBT

The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men by Bill Brent

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Pre-conception Through Birth by Rachel Pepper

The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners by Charlie Glickman, PhD

The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide for All of Us by Felice Newman

 

REFERENCE

The Cleis Press Sextionary by the Editors of Cleis Press

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper

The Transgender Teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Teens by Stephanie Brill and Lisa Kenney

 

SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

Better Sex in No Time: An Illustrated Guide for Busy Couples by Josey Vogels

The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex: The Most Complete Sex Manual Ever Written by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans

Never Have the Same Sex Twice: A Guide For Couples by Alison Tyler

Never Say Never: Tips, Tricks, and Erotic Inspiration for Lovers by Alison Tyler

O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm by Jenny Block

Opening Up: A Guide To Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Alison Tyler

Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-term Love by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson

The Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot by Violet Blue

 

ULTIMATE GUIDE SERIES

The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men by Bill Brent

The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women by Tristan Taormino

The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus 2nd Ed.: How to Go Down on a Woman and Give Her Exquisite Pleasure by Violet Blue

The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio: How to Go Down on a Man and Give Him Mind-Blowing Pleasure by Violet Blue

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge by Tristan Taormino

The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime by Mikaya Heart

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Pre-conception Through Birth by Rachel Pepper

The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners by Charlie Glickman, PhD and Aislinn Emirzian

The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty: How to Maintain or Regain a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life by Joan Price

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness by Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette

The Ultimate Guide to Sex Through Pregnancy and Motherhood by Madison Young

The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy: How to Have Incredible Sex with Role Play, Sex Games, Erotic Massage, BDSM and More by Violet Blue

The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex: All You Need to Know About Masturbation by Jenny Block

The Ultimate Guide to Strap-On Sex: A Complete Resource for Women and Men by Karlyn Lotney

 

<3 Cleis Press

 
 

Meet the Children of Unicorns: A Challenge to Learn, Reflect, and Disrupt

Jul 31, 2018
 

Whether you consider yourself straight and 100 percent hetero-normative, or whether you consider yourself a mere being in a complicated cosmos whose physical manifestations bear little to no weight on who you instinctively gravitate toward when seeking a partner, or whether you consider yourself to be utterly and totally devoid of any and all sexual attraction or attractiveness, you would be hard-pressed to discover something that can bridge those divides – a hypothetical “God particle” that could universalize our opinion and understanding of sex and gender in relation to the family unit.

Now, this need looms ever more important as many are concerned that recently obtained rights may be nullified – that years of hard work, activism, and conversations will be moved backward in time. So, when you next find yourself confronted with hatred, bias, or misunderstanding, perhaps some of the responses below will come to mind. Perhaps the voices of children, even adult children, can be a source of deeper understanding and a path to that unifying, warm, squishy center. As so it so often goes, by only listening to those at the margins, could we hope to understand the power and the unifying force of love and to rediscover the best parts of what it means to be human.

Last month we explored the editor’s note in Frank Lowe’s edited collection of stories in Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents (Cleis Press, June 2018). Following Frank’s mission to provide readers with a diverse array of stories, we wanted to chat with some of the contributors to provide more insight into their experiences. Presented with five somewhat rudimentary and predictably-answerable questions, we were very much surprised to discover a much deeper underlying message—one of hope, growth, understanding, and most importantly love.

(Please note that this interview was conducted prior to some of the more recent threats against LGBTQ+ rights in America and abroad. Contributors to Raised by Unicorns vary in age from 15 to 47. Ages are noted after contributor names.)

1. What inspired you to write your chapter and share your story?

MIKAYLA DENAULT (15): The need for awareness. I seized this opportunity to show how the obstacles my family faces make us stronger in the face of adversity. The main goal of my chapter, “Two Hens and a Chick”, is to erase the line between LGBT and straight families. I want to show everyone that as long as there is love, a family is a family despite small differences that makes us unique and give us a diverse world. My chapter highlights the experiences I have encountered such as my moms’ wedding and the legalization of same-sex marriage in my state. So, overall, the inspiration behind my chapter was to share my perspective in a family with two moms, and how moments in my life motivated me to fight injustices in society and bring about equality.

LARA LILLIBRIDGE (44): Although I just published a memoir about my experiences growing up in a lesbian home (Girlish, Skyhorse 2018) there is such little representation for children of LGBTQ+ families that I was super excited to add to the body of literature.

I came of age in the late 1980s, and knew next to no other children with families like mine. Meeting other children of LGBTQ+ families feels more like meeting long-lost cousins than meeting strangers. So, often, children of the queer community feel as if we are poster children for our entire subculture: what we say about our families will be used by others to represent queer families as a whole. The best way to be seen as individuals is to have more representation in TV movies, and in books like Raised by Unicorns.

JENNY RAIN (47): Growing up as the child of two dads in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, my story finds itself firmly placed between the intersection of the church and the LGBTQ+ community. I love both. I believe both communities can not only learn to co-exist, but to also thrive together. I believe that every child of an LGBTQ+ parent, every LGBTQ+ family, and those who are attempting to find communities of faith have an important story to add to the changing conversation in our nation. I believe that my story can make a difference.

My life’s passion is all about how to change the conversation for LGBTQ+ families like mine both in our churches and in this religiously-motivated world. But, my ultimate goal is to see our nation elevate beyond the partisan and theological conversations around LGBTQ+ families to be less combative and more redemptive. Frank has given me the incredible opportunity to start doing that.

Overall, my inspiration comes from the belief that we all have stories and voices that matter. And when we tell our stories, we encourage other people to be brave with their own stories.

KELLEN KAISER (36): My whole life people have asked me what it was like growing up with lesbian moms. It’s such a gigantic question to consider. I find it easier to narrow in on what a particular moment or experience was like for me. I actually wrote another book a couple years ago, Queerspawn in Love, that focused on a relationship I had for five years in my twenties. I realized after finishing that book that there was still a lot left to explore from earlier parts of my childhood that might be of interest to people. In this case, kindergarten and my parent’s wedding. Writing this, I reflected on how central that time was, both in the creation of my family and in how I interacted with others around my family.

KATE HILLYER (43): First, there aren’t all that many of us who grew up with LGBTQ+ parents, particularly from my generation, so it is important for us to share our experiences. Second, a middle grade novel I am writing has a main character with two moms, and I knew it would be a good way for me to get back in touch with what it was like when I was growing up. I was right; the writing experience was both illuminating and cathartic for me.

PERSIS TICKNOR-SWANSON (21): My mother’s partner encouraged me to write my story because she recognized how unusual my family’s experience was. I sometimes forget that to outsiders my family’s history is interesting or confusing, because to me it’s just my life. But I’d also been thinking for a while that the voices of children of LGBTQ+ families to be included in the narrative of LGBTQ+ experience. We are a growing demographic and the diversity and volume of our stories is important to the equal rights movement. And I’d felt like there wasn’t really a place for me in the LGBTQ+ movement. “Ally” seemed too distant and didn’t encapsulate the depth of my experience. This book has given me a way to express what it has meant to me to be raised by a queer mom and to feel simultaneously unique and part of a group.

2. Were there any surprises or startling revelations about what it is like being “Raised by Unicorns?”

JENNY RAIN (47): First, the fact that the closeness of my relationship with my biological father is no different because he is gay. If he were straight, bisexual, transgender, a person of color, able-bodied, or disabled… none of those labels matter when you are family. Society tells you those labels matter, but they don’t.

Second, gender matters little when it comes to parenting. I know the conservative right will rail against this comment, but I have lived this experience. The roles (nurturer and protector) that my parents have played have been more important to my upbringing. Typically, the male is seen as the protector and the female as the nurturer. But to universalize this and say that a child is only healthy if they are raised by a man AND a woman is to substitute gender identification for roles— and I think that is a mistake. I’ve seen lots of heterosexual couples where the woman is the protector and the man is the nurturer. I’ve also seen same sex couples where both parents play both roles. As long as these roles show up in some sort of a parenting combination, the child is going to be healthy and happy.

Third, being the child of two dads, the Christian church has most definitely been the hardest place to feel safe… This is the antithesis of what should be. Jesus was at heart a countercultural force. He was kicked out of prevailing religious circles because of his habit of reaching out to those on the margins. I am a person who is on the margins of the margins. I AM the person that Jesus would have reached out to, as are my dads. Yet, we are rejected by churches, shunned, and even cast aside as immoral, defective, and abominations (yes, I get lumped into that category, too).

MARY HOLLAND (27): Honestly, writing out my own story had me reflecting more on my experiences as a child and just how much they effected me for the better. I realized that while the goodness in my heart partially comes from those who raised me, it mostly comes from the rejections I experienced throughout my life.

EMILY GRUBBS (21): I remember growing up and being surprised to learn that being LGBTQ+ was, and still is, considered “wrong” by many. My moms raised me to love everyone and have love left over for myself. It was shocking to learn that other children had not been raised in the same way I was. I had to learn that being a queer woman meant facing discrimination, because in our home we never discriminated. As a child I felt like my family was normal, what was shocking is that others thought we were so different.

KELLEN KAISER (36): I was surprised by how emotional I got reading the other chapters. I had expected to enjoy it, but there was something so deeply resonant about finding commonality that caught me off guard. As much as I have understood that there’s a shared culture we Queerspawn have, it is beautiful to see its complexity manifest. After many years of feeling different from others and often alone, it’s healing to feel a part of a tribe.

KATE HILLYER (43): It surprised me to realize how early I had begun to direct conversations in a way to avoid having to reveal that I had two moms. It’s something that a lot of closeted LGBTQ+ people do. I started that in about fourth grade.

PERSIS TICKNOR-SWANSON (21): Some of the surprise is how entirely normal it is. My mom is my mom. She’s also queer, but she is still a mom. So much of my family life is like the stereotypical hetero family: we argue, joke, play, and cuddle. But there are underlying themes of acceptance, openness, and difference in my family with both positive and negative implications. Our backyard BBQs feature mostly lesbian couples and 90s gay dance club music. My mother sometimes gets nasty or judgmental comments from people for her genderqueer appearance. I don’t blink an eye at women kissing women. I feel like I was given all the great things any child would be given by a loving healthy family with the addition of some amazing things only a kid with LGBTQ+ parents would have (like going to gay drag clubs with my mom).

3. What was the most defining moment for you as being “Raised by Unicorns”?

MIKAYLA DENAULT (15): My most defining moment being “Raised by Unicorns” is the receiving the encouragement from my parents to be whoever and whatever I want. My dreams and aspirations have been celebrated and cherished by my family, and I believe this is because they never want me to have the backlash they received from being different.

EMILY GRUBBS (21): This is a tough question! I think the moment it became clear to me what being raised by two moms really means is when I finally accepted my own queer identity. I write in my chapter about my struggles trying to come out as bisexual in high school. However, once I got to college, I started exploring partners of all genders and started to embrace my own queer identity, away from the protection of my parents. I remember “coming out” to my parents my sophomore year of college. I had a partner visiting me at home for the first time and my parents were thrilled. Up to this point, everyone in my family had only known me to be straight. It was not until my new companion was just a few minutes away from out house that I revealed she was a woman. My moms were surprised, but needed no time to accept me—they simply greeted my guest with warm hearts. That’s the definition of LGBTQ+ parenting; you’re free to be and love whomever you want.

KELLEN KAISER (36): Probably being taken out of math class in 7th grade to go speak on CNN about the Sharon Bottoms case one day in 1992. It was a quintessential “Queerspawn as spokesperson” moment. So often we are asked as young people to represent and defend our families and communities.

KATE HILLYER (43): I went to Smith College, and after a childhood of hiding or obfuscating, I was suddenly thrust into a world where having two moms was something to be celebrated. It was like shedding my skin, a rebirth into the open.

PERSIS TICKNOR-SWANSON (21):I am not sure I have a “most defining moment” because I feel like there are so many moments with my mom that have shaped me. Honestly, writing my piece for the book was an important moment for me as a child of a queer mom. Reflecting on my experiences and turning a critical eye on my childhood, helped illuminate just how special and formative it was to be “raised by unicorns”.

 4. What changes do you expect to see in the next 5 to 10 years?

MIKAYLA DENAULT (15): I expect more equality to be reached, and I am hoping that conversion therapy will be obsolete. I expect more acceptance, as well. (A new study by J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group states that only 48 percent of 13-20 year olds identify exclusively as heterosexual.) The world is changing, so with policy changes and spreading love, perception of LGBTQ+ families will have to move with this change.

JENNY RAIN (47): My hope is that we will see the normalization and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and families. I say “normalization” because right now, we live in an overtly hetero-normative, cis-gender, patriarchal society that runs counter to the realities that many in the LGBTQ+ community are experiencing. Millennials and Gen Z’s are breaking stereotypes, norms, and the binary boxes that we have placed people into. They are disrupting the narrative and owning their place in the rainbow of what it means to be human and it’s beautiful.

MARY HOLLAND (27): I expect to see a more global level of acceptance and understanding. I hope that the stigma behind LGBTQ+ people will diminish greatly regarding discrimination against them in their daily lives.

EMILY GRUBBS (21): I have noticed that the LGBTQ+ movement is constantly evolving and becoming more nuanced. I predict that over time more people will start to identify with the LGBTQ+ movement as labels become more inclusive. My mom, Lisa, asked me the other day what I mean when I refer to myself as “queer”. She explained that when she was growing up “queer” was used exclusively as a slur. I explained to her that, to me, being queer means rejecting socially constructed ideas about gender and sexuality. Although I personally feel proud to biological female, my gender identification is not simply masculine or feminine. Furthermore, gender does not determine who I date, I base my relationships on connection; male, female, trans, non-binary, I can get down with any kind of person. To my mom my queer identity is a new concept, but expanding the LGBTQ+ community, as well as our preconceived ideas about gender and sexuality, is the future of the LGBTQ+ movement.

KELLEN KAISER (36): I’m not ready to fortune-tell about what will happen, but I’m happy to put forth what I want to occur. I want more laws and policy in place to protect and recognize our families. I want more representation of families like ours in media (for us and by us) and in the educational system. I want the Queer community to acknowledge our unique role, even as adults, and embrace us. I want the destruction of patriarchy and white supremacy to hasten further.

KATE HILLYER (43): I have been amazed at the pace of acceptance. When I was in college, I didn’t think I’d see marriage equality in my lifetime. At that time, Vermont became the first state to pass a domestic partner law, and lawmakers had people pelting their cars with rocks. In Vermont! I know that right now is tough because of the recent Masterpiece Cake decision, and because of the rise in violence against LGBTQ+ people, but I also know that as a community, adversity makes us stronger. I think the next 5 to 10 years are going to bring greater acceptance and embracing of the variety of gender identities and sexual orientations.

PERSIS TICKNOR-SWANSON (21): So many more kids with LGBTQ+ parents. At my baby sister’s first birthday most of the queer couples there either had babies or were planning on having them. That means there is going to be a whole demographic of people who can be advocates for the “gay lifestyle”. I am now old enough to speak out about my experience and when people try to argue that having gay parents damages a child, I will be able to raise my hand as proof that isn’t true.

5. What is the one thing you wish to see change to further the acceptance of LGBTQ+ families and their children?

MIKAYLA DENAULT (15): I wish to see more inclusion of all peoples, and all families to teach their children the importance of listening to other opinions and loving everyone. I know stereotypes must be diminished in order for the next generations of families to encourage and support one another.

JENNY RAIN (47): There are several efforts going on in society right now to further acceptance, equality, and normalization. I work with an organization called The Reformation Project (TRP) and they are doing groundbreaking work in the church to promote full inclusion, but also to operate from an intersectional approach.

THIS is my hope with the LGBTQ+ community at large – that we will welcome those on the margins of the margins instead of excluding them. I mean gay rights started because a person of color who was a drag queen raised hell at Stonewall. The fact that it was a person of color has largely been erased from the narrative. The strongest argument that the Supreme Court heard on the marriage equality case was regarding the welfare of the children of LGBTQ+ parents (listen to entire SCOTUS case) and the voices of children were able to contribute in a meaningful way to the case turning in favor. Our fringe stories in the LGBTQ+ community MUST be reclaimed, and our separate movements MUST be combined if we are going to be able to have the impact that we want on society for gaining greater acceptance.

Let’s combine our voices and our efforts so we can create a revolution for the acceptance of LGBTQ+ families for the next generations of rainbow families. I believe this is possible in my lifetime.

MARY HOLLAND (27): My greatest hope is that the discrimination against LGBTQ+ people wanting to start a family goes away in all of America. I wish to see the United States give equal rights to LGBTQ+ individuals wishing to adopt. Children just need love and security, why diminish the number of people wishing to do so by discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community.

EMILY GRUBBS (21): I would love to see changes happen in Discrimination law. While we all are still reeling from marriage equality, the fact is that it is legal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ persons in thirty-one states. Our fight does not end with a marriage certificate; the fight can only end once everyone is truly equal.

I would also like to see the LGBTQ+ movement embrace intersectionality: LGBTQ+ members of color, trans-people, non-binary members, and homeless LGBTQ+ are all examples of members who often get left out of LGBTQ+ advocacy and do not get the support they need. White, gay men are not the only faces of the LGBTQ movement; we need our advocacy to reflect the diversity of our community.

KATE HILLYER (43): I wish more schools focused on teaching celebration of diversity of all kinds. That’s why I love the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools program. They’ve got fantastic resources, including book lists, answers to commonly asked questions, and lesson plans, all aimed at teaching inclusion and avoiding bullying.

PERSIS TICKNOR-SWANSON (21): I want there to be all the same legal and financial rights for LGBTQ+ families as heterosexual families. LGBTQ+ families are challenging the accepted structure of how families are built and I want to see social structures change with that. Also, a gay president.

 

 

Raised by Unicorns is available for purchase at all major retailers in print and digital formats. Or, even better, buy a copy at your local independent bookstore! 

Amazon     iTunes     Barnes & Noble     Google Play     Kobo

 
 

Enter to win a SIGNED copy of Night Shift: A Choose-Your-Own Erotic Fantasy by Joanna Angel!

Jun 07, 2018
 

Enter now for your chance to win a signed copy of Night Shift by the one-and-only Joanna Angel. That’s right. You can touch something she touched. If that is not inspiration enough for your own erotic fantasy, then I don’t know what is!

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Getting to Know a Real-Life Unicorn: editor Frank Lowe (June's Exclusive Excerpt)

Jun 06, 2018
 

The below passage is excerpted from the “Editor’s Note” in Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents edited by Frank Lowe, which will publish on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. 

Hi, I’m Frank Lowe, a forty-one-year-old divorced gay dad. Some of you may know me from my snarky, acerbic Twitter persona “@GayAtHomeDad.” Others may be familiar with my writing for publications such as Huff Post, Gays with Kids, and The Advocate online, among many more. When I started tweeting in 2012, my original intent was to blow the roof off gay parenting stigmas. I used humor to diffuse what was a newer concept then (times have changed in five years), and it worked. I amassed over a hundred thousand followers who can now say they know at least one gay dad.

I used that platform to segue into what I really wanted to do—help others in the LGBTQ+ community, specifically youth. Through my writing, I opened my life wide open and gave people a true perspective into what it means to be a gay parent. Most readers have discovered there’s not really a big difference. Sure, I might put a little more air into styling my kid’s hair, but that’s about it. Needless to say, my son is my life, and I’ve dedicated myself to him becoming the best human possible.

Six million and counting. A huge number, right? Hard to believe when you consider we’re discussing U.S. citizens who have at least one LGBTQ+ parent. But that’s reality. These people can’t even type “my moms” or “my dads” into Microsoft Word without it wanting to add an unnecessary possessive apostrophe—i.e. “my mom’s” (try it, you’ll be amazed). Whether they want to be or not, they are an extension of the LGBTQ+ community. Terms such as “queerspawn” have been used to describe them, but personally I wouldn’t refer to my son as that. In fact, I don’t think he needs a label. He can be what he wants to be.

Prior to our son’s birth, I longed for any kind of information about gay adoption and raising a baby. It was 2009, and there were a few popular options. Every night, I’d be awake until three a.m. reading, to absorb all I could. Eventually I wanted something I was unable to find: the viewpoint from kids with LGBTQ+ parents. Now, that isn’t to say there weren’t choices available (there were and are). I just couldn’t locate them easily, and time was not on my side.

Fast forward to now—2018—he’s eight, and I’ve never been more proud of a human being in my life. He’s been an inspiration to me in infinite ways, including what you’re reading right now. I was gifted with this fantastic opportunity, and can finally give voices to those who have been relatively silent or swept under the rug.

“Raised by Unicorns” is obviously a take on the old adage “raised by wolves,” and I couldn’t find it a more fitting title. Not that I necessarily consider myself a unicorn (well, okay, sometimes), but the LGBTQ+ community comprises unique individuals and therefore, it seemed entirely appropriate. My goal was to present a diverse anthology to you, full of different life experiences. These stories run the gamut, and that is the beauty of it all. You may notice that this book is a little heavier on the L and G, but I feel that is a snapshot of the time we are living in and is constantly evolving.

All I hope you take away from this book is empathy. These people are beautiful souls who have faced adversity since they were born. Some of the stories might be what you imagine, and others will floor you. Regardless, in a century or so, this will be history, and I thank you for being part of it just by taking all of this in.

Raised by Unicorns is available for preorder/purchase at all major retailers in print and digital formats. Or feel free to order a copy at your local independent bookstore! 

Amazon     iTunes     Barnes & Noble     Google Play     Kobo

 

 
 

Feeling the Summer Heat? Best Gay Travel Destinations According to James Lear, Author of In the Ring

May 24, 2018
 

It’s that time of year again… The summer heat is kicking in and the urge to travel is constantly tempting us to say “I need a vacation!” Fortunately for us, Dan Stagg, the main character of the Dan Stagg Mystery erotica series by prolific author James Lear, is a bit of a globetrotter and a great source for inspiration on where to spirit yourself away for a weekend getaway or an all-out vacation. Brace yourselves… We’re going on a big, gay adventure!

via GIPHY

1) London, UK: Legendary party nights, history, and culture for days, and so much room for activities!

London Tower Bridge.

Dan spends some time in London in In the Ring, and like any sensible person he realizes that it is the greatest city in the world. Dan, of course, saw more of the bedrooms and locker rooms of the city than the historical architecture and incredible arts scene, but even he noticed that the streets of London contain more beautiful men per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

2) Gozo, Malta: Mediterranean views for the ultimate gay-friendly romantic, sexy getaway.

Photo by Giuseppe Milo.

When Dan was eighteen years old, just after he left high school and before he started military training, he took a long summer vacation in Europe, and ended up on the small Mediterranean island of Gozo. While he was there he met a much older man, a retired doctor who divided his time between Massachusetts and Malta. Their inter-generational affair was highly enjoyable to both, and Dan always had fond memories not only of the wonderful landscapes and warm blue sea, but also of his kind, horny Uncle Mitch. With view like this, who wouldn’t want to take their own “horny Uncle Mitch” on a magical getaway?

3) Yorkshire Dales, UK: Amazing natural vistas with a sprinkle of military hotties.

Dan’s latest adventure, In the Ring, takes him to northwest England. During his leisure time, he drove east to the Yorkshire Dales, an area of hills and valleys leading up to the Pennines mountain chain. While here you can visit beautiful villages like Wensleydale, or explore the extensive limestone cave systems. Dan got distracted by the Catterick Garrison, the largest British army garrison in the world, and did extensive research into the moral and physical health of the young soldiers within.

4) Brattleboro, VT: Cafes, galleries, live music, breweries, museums, boutiques, and more.

 

Photo by J. Stephen Conn.

Dan frequently has fantasies about living in a log cabin with his latest conquest, growing a beard and shooting what he eats. During his travels around New England, he settled on the unsettled, wooded areas around Brattleboro as the ideal setting, as it affords him the kind of isolation he requires. Less ambitious travellers will find beautiful scenery, friendly locals and plenty of bars, cafes, and markets. For this destination, waiting for the end of summer may pay off—the fall foliage is a must-see!

5) Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY: Bars, NYC views, and military hunks, oh my!

Photo by ccnygeeks.

During his period of enforced civilian life in New York, Dan Stagg frequented low-rent gyms on the Upper East Side. Now that he’s a XXXRANK, he makes a point of staying in the southwest corner of Brooklyn—not so much for its leafy streets and notable architecture, but because of its proximity to the Fort Hamilton military base. This gives him access to lower ranks who are impressed by his rank and status. He has done considerable research into the bars where they hang out, but describes this information as ‘classified’. And with NYC a short train ride away, all the gay wonders you could ever imagine are at your fingertips.

The Dan Stagg Mystery series by James Lear is available at all major retailers worldwide in print and electronic formats:

The Hardest Thing

Straight Up

In the Ring

 
 

Happy Masturbation Month!

May 09, 2018
 

Who doesn’t love a little self love? Cleis Press is here to help get your engines roaring this Masturbation Month with a giveaway for a signed copy of The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex: All You Need to Know about Masturbation by the wonderful Jenny Block! Get rubbin’! I mean readin’!

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May's Exclusive Excerpt: In the Ring by James Lear

Apr 30, 2018
 

We’ve followed Dan Stagg through the fires of war, and now we follow him though “death” and into a new life as a modern-day, brusque, ex-marine version of James Bond. Did I mention he was gay? And that he has the sex drive of a genuine blue-ribbon stud horse? (From the sounds of it, he has the package to match, too.)

Secretly alive after being “killed-in-action” in the last book,  Dan’s acerbic and “looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places” self cannot help but to sign up for a top-secret mission from the CIA. He is spirited off to London to infiltrate a boxing ring – one with suspected ties to conservative terrorists groups that are set to strike at the heart of progressive movements and organizations.

As Dan says himself, “Fucking got me thrown out of the corps, and now it’s my biggest asset?” Luckily for him, his new life turns into something even better as he gets to literally fuck and fight his way into and out of a plethora of sticky situations. To make matters even hotter, Dan has a certain level of disrespect for authority–like that bad boy from high school. You know the one. The one you still secretly think of in your more. . . private. . . moments.

The arena was getting busy, people pushing past us as they made their way to their seats, hands full of plastic glasses of beer. On the other side of the private door, everything was quiet.

“Just come through here.” He held open another door, and suddenly we were in a warm, carpeted area, low lights, the distant hum of voices. “The press room is just round the corner. I think they’re doing photos or something. Toilets are down here.”

I followed him through the door with the male symbol on it. Two tiny urinals, a hand basin, and a cubicle that was barely big enough for an adult to turn around in. “Thanks, Oz. I won’t be long.” I stood at the pisser, undid my pants, and flopped my cock out. I was going to have to produce something to give myself credibility. I closed my eyes, thought about waterfalls, and managed a short, steady stream.

“Suppose I might as well go too, while I’m here. Don’t know when I’ll get another chance.” He was beside me, just as I had hoped, pulling the elasticated waist of his track pants down, hauling out a decent-sized dick. With all the crap he was carrying—clipboards, laminates, and so on—he had to manage it with just one hand. He pushed his hips forward and pissed a little against the porcelain. I’d finished, but was making very certain I’d shaken off all the drops. Oz glanced down at me; I was on the way to being half hard, and it looked big. Distracted, he let the clipboard slip from where it was held under his arm; in trying to catch it, he splashed piss over his pants.

“Oh, shit. Sorry.”

“It’s okay. You didn’t get me.” I didn’t put my cock away, even though there was now no reason for me to have it out. Oz stepped back from the urinal and started brushing himself down. “Here, let me help.” I took the stuff he was carrying, and held it for him, making sure I didn’t block his view.

“Thanks, Greg. Fucking hell. What a mess.”

There was an electric hand dryer on the wall, the sort with a directional spout. “Come here. Stand under that.”

I hit the button, and Oz tried to angle the damp patch on his pants towards the hot air. He was too far away, and in trying to wriggle around into the right position he exposed his furry brown ass. My dick was getting hard in earnest now.

“You need to get closer.”

He stood on tiptoe, even jumped up. “I can’t.” The wet patch was a very visible dark gray.

“Here.” I put my arms around his waist from behind and lifted him so the hot air was blasting straight on to the affected area, flattening the black hair on his thighs like wind blowing through corn. Coincidentally, this position also brought my cock into contact with his ass. I braced my legs and held him, making sure he could feel my growing hardness.

“That’s . . . oh . . . that’s great . . .”

“We’re nearly there.”

“Yeah. Just . . . just keep going a bit . . . longer . . .” A bit longer and I’d have been slipping my cock into him, and he knew it. But when the worst of the wetness had disappeared, I lowered him to his feet. He was rock hard, sticking straight up, and he tried to bend over to conceal it. I didn’t bother.

“It’s okay, dude. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Look.” I smacked the underside of my cock a few times, made it bounce against my belly. “Guys get stiff all the time, right?”

“I know . . . it’s just . . . I mean, some people are like . . . you know . . .”

“Uptight about it? They’re assholes. It’s cool. You’re cute. You have a nice ass.”

“Oh, I . . . er . . . yeah . . .”

Poor kid was so horny and mortified and confused I thought he was going to cum on the spot. But that wouldn’t do. I had to keep him keen. I stuffed my hard dick back into my pants, and buttoned up. He looked heartbroken.

“You better put that away before someone comes in. Here.” I grabbed hold of his cock, squeezed it hard, and pulled his pants up over it. “Now think about your mother. That usually does the trick.”

He stood like a stunned cow, hands hanging by his sides.

“Come on, Oz. Wake up.” I gave back his stuff. He frowned, and tried to pull himself together. “You’ve got my number, right? Now, let me go watch the fight.”

“Oh . . . okay.”

Poor kid needed to cum so badly, and he’d felt my dick rubbing against his ass, and nothing would be right in his world until I’d fucked him. That was just how I wanted him. Mission accomplished.

“Call me, and we’ll fix up a proper training session.”

“Yeah.”

“And put in a good word for me with your boss. I need a job.”

“Okay.”

I moved towards the door. Oz looked as if he was going to start crying. “Oh, for Christ’s sake. Come here.” I grabbed him by the back of the neck, pulled him in, and kissed him hard on the mouth, pushing my tongue in. He staggered back against the wall and I pressed on, thrusting my groin against him. “You do what I say, and I’ll fuck your sweet ass until you can’t stand up.” I let him go. “Call me, Oz.”

I left him to compose himself, and made my way out to the auditorium.

In the Ring by James Lear can be purchased any place where books and ebooks are sold: AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleGoogle PlayKobo, and more!

You can read more about In the Ring and James Lear here.

Need to know more about Dan? Or have a pressing need to fulfill your completionist tendencies? You can check out the first two books of The Dan Stagg Mystery series, The Hardest Thing and Straight Up.

Don’t forget to tell your friends on Goodreads!

Happy reading 😉

 
 

Five Signs You Might Be a Submissive

Apr 09, 2018
 

Vanilla (adj. vəˈnilə): A person (typically heterosexual) who prefers basic sexual intercourse within a committed romantic relationship. Vanilla people have no interest in “unusual” sexualities or kinky behavior (The Cleis Press Sextionary).

You may have been called “vanilla” or used the term to describe yourself, but what if (and considering the scope human sexuality it may not be THAT big of an “if”) you were more? What if there was a hidden desire just under the surface that is itching to be scratched, explored, and opened up for your enjoyment and the pleasure of others/your partner? Maybe you secretly are a submissive or have one or two never uttered submissive kinks that send off little explosions of interest in your nether regions?

Whether you know about the BDSM scene or if you only encountered BDSM through the box office hit and bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey, maybe it’s time you did a little exploring yourself?

While there are tons of options to explore in the BDSM scene, let’s start small…

You might be a submissive if:

  1. You like being in charge.

“I want you to write down exactly how you want me to fuck you tonight, darling.”

“Words” by Jo Henny Wolf

Most people may think that a Dom/Domme is the one in charge of a given sex scene. In reality, it is the submissive that will set the tone, lay the ground rules, and set the limits. So if you are the kind of person who loves to plan and then sit back, relax, and watch the fruits of their labor unfold, you may really enjoy experimenting as a submissive!

  1. You enjoy roleplaying (or at least the idea of it).

“On her wedding day, her mother confided that a good wife must find it in her heart to submit gladly to her husband’s desire. She never said how easy that would be.”

— “The Back Room at the Saloon” by Donna George Storey

Ever imagine yourself as an obedient house wife/husband that succumbs to the wishes of his/her lover? A damsel in distress to a shining knight? Or even a doctor’s filthy, little patient? Guess what? In each of those scenarios, there is someone who is a Top (the dominant) and someone who is a bottom (the submissive).

  1. You are stubborn by nature.

“Above all things, you challenge Sir to break your composure; toying with him this way is your idea of a game night.”

— “Symphony of Submission” by Jordan Monroe

While some people want to be in charge, others are just stubborn. If you are stubborn, ask yourself, “Am I stubborn because I want someone to push back? To challenge me?” If your answer is yes, you just might be a sub. A naughty submissive may displease their Dom/Domme/Master/Mistress on purpose in order to push a pre-defined boundary a little further by disobeying an order.

  1. Sometimes… you need a little push to be as naughty as you want to be.

“For him to grapple with an idea meant that I would, too. For when he pushed himself, he pushed me. When he surrendered to his true nature, I yielded entirely to mine.”

— “Lashed” by Dr. J.

Have you often found yourself in a social setting fantasizing about that dark and brooding hunk in the corner or that super-sexy lady at the center of attention? Or have you had difficulty telling your partner that the scene in the movie you watched last night really turned you on and you want to try it? Regardless of the situation, do you find yourself… wanting to be ravaged by your hearts desire? Do you wish they could just read your mind and know all the filthy things you could never utter? Sometimes all a submissive needs is a push to really let go and embrace their hidden urges.

  1. You feel as if you’ve run out of Vanilla options to explore.

‘“And our regular sex doesn’t do that for you?’

My eyes open at the sad tone in your voice. No. That’s not what I mean. “Our sex is wonderful.” Always. “This is just…” I shrug. ‘A fantasy.’ One I would only trust to someone like you.”

—“The Framework of Fantasy” by Sonni de Soto

Were you always the girl/boy with the hottest sexual exploits that are always the envy of your friends? Sex on the deck of a cruise ship at night under the moonlight? Check. Threesome? Check. Orgy? Been there, done that. Even if you have never been into the parts of BDSM popularized by Fifty Shades of Grey there are so many other sides to BDSM and being submissive.

This list was inspired by The Big Book of Submission, Volume 2: 69 Kinky Tales edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.

This book can be purchased any place where books and ebooks are sold: Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and more!

 

Cleiss Press also offers a wide variety of instructional guidebooks on getting into and/or perfecting the art of the bedroom. Here are some titles that may be of interest to you:

As Kinky as You Wanna Be: Your Guide to Safe, Sane and Smart BDSM

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic

The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy: How to Turn Your Fantasies into Reality

The Ultimate Guide to Sex Toys

The Ultimate Guide to Bondage: Creating Intimacy through the Art of Restraint

The Cleis Press Sextionary