April 24, 2014

Cliterotica: Summer 2012

Posted on July 21, 2012 by in Erotica, Features

It’s that time again, folks: Here’s your quarterly lesbian erotica review roundup, brought to you by the letter Q and Lambda Literary Foundation. I’m thrilled to be continuing to compile the good (queer, smutty) books over the last few months to recommend you add to your collection. Here are some of the best of the best. I’m sure you’ll find something to keep you occupied over the hot summer. (more…)

Cliterotica: Winter 2012

Posted on March 19, 2012 by in Erotica, Reviews

Greetings, erotica lovers!

Winter is an excellent time to curl up with a naughty book, and there are quite a few new good ones out there to choose from. Many more erotica books are available digitally these days, and while I do get a perverse thrill carrying around The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica or The Leather Daddy and the Femme, it’s generally easier for me to read these things on my iPad when I’m wandering around New York City on the subway. Even the Wall Street Journal mentioned this recently in their article “Books Women Read When No One Can See the Cover: How Kindle, Nook, & iPad Fuel Sales of Erotica for Women.” (more…)

Jack Halberstam: Queers Create Better Models of Success

Posted on February 1, 2012 by in Interviews

“…we’re living with one model of success and failure and one model alone. And that model is, that to make money and to advance professionally is what it means to be successful, and everything else is failure. That’s given us a zero-sum model against which we can judge our achievements in life, and that’s very unfortunate…”

You may know his name as “Judith,” but he’s been going by Jack since The Drag King Book, and, he says, “it’s stuck.” Jack Halberstam is Professor of English and Director of The Center for Feminist Research at USC, teaching courses in queer studies, gender theory, art, literature and film. He is the author of Female Masculinity, The Drag King Book, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters and In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives.

In September 2011, Duke University published Halberstam’s most recent book, The Queer Art of Failure, a fascinating examination of how “we conceive of the idea of failure in our society, not so that we may correct ourselves, but so that we may see how our various ‘failures’ may actually produce a preferable alternative to conformist lifestyles and the status quo.” (more…)

Tristan Taormino: The Power of Erotica

Posted on October 10, 2011 by in Features, Interviews

“I absolutely believe that writing and publishing erotica, especially for minorities, is a political act. We must write our own stories, our own truths, otherwise our detractors and enemies will do it for us”

I picked up Best Lesbian Erotica 1998 when I worked at an indie bookstore, and it changed my trajectory. Suddenly I was asking myself, why do I love this lesbian erotica so much? (more…)

Cliterotica: Fall 2011

Posted on September 28, 2011 by in Erotica, Features, Reviews

Well, debauched and smutty readers, it’s been a slow summer for lesbian erotica. You probably noticed, because I’m sure you’ve been checking LamdaLiterary.org every day just in case, that there was not a summer Cliterotica roundup. Though there were some fantastic releases this spring, I couldn’t hunt down any titles that were released over the summer. (more…)

Val McDermid: Pioneer Award Spotlight

Posted on June 2, 2011 by in Features, Interviews

“I had a desire to make sure that the generations of women coming after me would not have to endure the cultural desert I grew up in.”

Val McDermid is a Scottish crime writer who has written more than 25 books, most recently Trick of the Dark (Little Brown, 2010).

What got you started writing? Have you always written gay characters?

Reading made me a writer. I lost myself in other people’s books when I was a kid then realized I could lose myself in my own storytelling. From then on, that was all I wanted to do.

Once I understood the nature of my own sexuality (I was 18 before it dawned on me that being lesbian was even a possibility) I’ve included gay characters in what I’ve written. Sometimes as the protagonists, sometimes as key foreground figures, sometimes as incidental characters. But always there.

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Cliterotica: Spring 2011

Posted on March 18, 2011 by in Erotica, Reviews

Quarterly Lesbian Erotica Roundup

Ah, spring. It’s in the air. Can’t you feel it? Can’t you smell it? Or maybe that’s the smell of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway outside my window. I can’t tell.

Regardless, with the change from winter into spring, I always get a little extra feisty, excited about the smaller and fewer and flirtier clothes that the girls start wearing — and thrilled to be warmer and more consistently temperate.

So of course, my drive goes up. (more…)

Cliterotica: Winter 2010 [PNSFW]

Posted on December 13, 2010 by in Erotica, Features, Reviews

Lesbian Erotica Quarterly Roundup

Though in my last roundup, I included Best Lesbian Erotica 2010, I’ve got to do that again and tell you all about Best Lesbian Erotica 2011.

The Best Lesbian Erotica series put out by Cleis Press and edited, as of last year, by Kathleen Warnock is one of the bestselling erotica series, and some of the most impressive lesbian erotica publications available. If you read lesbian erotica, you’re probably familiar with this series.

The 2011 edition is no exception to this extraordinary collection. To be fair, I have a piece in this book, but I’m not just saying that it’s a great collection because I am included. But if you think that biases me too much, you’ll have to just pick up a copy and judge for yourself, or listen to another reviewer.
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Cliterotica: A Lesbian Erotica Quarterly [PNSFW]

Posted on September 14, 2010 by in Erotica, Reviews

“‘Cowboy’ is a calling, a vocation, not a gender,” starts the book Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures by Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia, published by Cleis Press. The first review of it I saw said, “This book has nothing to do with gender.”

LESBIAN COWBOYS edited by Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia, Cleis Press, ISBN 9781573443616, $14.95, Trade paper, 224p

But of course, I have to disagree. It has everything to do with gender.

I know what they both mean, though: they mean men and women—they mean cowboy does not necessarily mean a cisgender man. But this collection of erotica is full of genderqueer cowboys, dykes, crossdressers, even possibly a trans guy, though the characters in these stories never identify themselves as such, partly because some of the stories are period and set in a time when this language didn’t exist. Possibly also because the authors, or even the characters themselves, do not have this kind of language.
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‘Lynnee Breedlove’s One Freak Show’ by Lynn Breedlove

Posted on August 25, 2010 by in Bio/Memoir

Lambda Award Winner

As Lynnee Breedlove accepted the Lammy award for the Trans category earlier this year, at the podium he quipped, “People ask me all the time whether I’m a boy or a girl and I say, ‘Why are you asking me? Do I look like I know?’” Delivered with perfect comic timing, it’s also a line from his recent—and now, award-winning—book One Freak Show.

It’s a short book as far as books go—less than 130 pages—and feels more like a poetry length book than a memoir. And it does contain some poetry—some chopped up sentences that read like Tribe 8 lyrics and probably make a lot more sense when spoken. (more…)