Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

Video interview about Dirty GIrls

June 12, 2008

From the fabulous Tango magazine:

Also, I am thrilled to report that Dirty Girls did so well it’s going back to the printers – it sold out its first print run! THANK YOU for supporting this book and reading erotica.

Interview with Dirty Girls contibutor Tenille Brown

May 16, 2008

The latest contributor interview from Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women

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Tenille Brown’s writing is featured online and in several print anthologies, including Caught Looking, Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2007, A Is for Amour, D Is for Dress-Up, and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers. She obsessively shops for shoes, hats, and purses and keeps a daily blog on her website www.tenillebrown.com.

Tell us a little about yourself, aside from what’s in your official bio.

I am 30 years old. I was raised in the south where I now reside with my five-year old twins. In my other life, I work in law enforcement.

What was the inspiration for your story, “The Change of Life?” Do you feel that older women aren’t as well represented in the world of erotica as they should be?

At the time I began writing “The Change of Life,” I was still in my twenties. However, I was a new mother to two very demanding babies and it suddenly occurred to me that these two little people would encompass my life. That, coupled with my being married at the time, I saw my life flashing before my eyes. I was a wife and a mother, period. I started thinking, already, about empty nest syndrome and pondering “what’s next?” and out the story came.

I feel that older women have been very under-represented in erotica, and I always strive to do something different, to do that thing that might make an editor take a second look at my work, so it was my goal to sort of go against the grain in that aspect. I’ve actually been using older characters for as long as I’ve been writing erotica, and I was in my early twenties when I started. I mean, when I’m in my 40’s and 50’s, hell even in my 60’s, I fully intend to still be having mind-blowing sex and I want this to come across in my writing.

You write: “Bernard, honey, if you don’t mind, could you kiss me a little more and when you touch me, could you not stop at my breasts? And honey, if it’s not a problem could you let me get on top this time, do things my way?

But she couldn’t say those things to the man who had been nothing but good to her, who she had led to believe was satisfying her every need for the past eighteen years.”

It turns out that Bernard might be more accommodating than Doll gives him credit for. What advice would you give to a woman like Doll, who is clearly unhappy with the sex she’s (not) having in her marriage?

The advice I would give to a woman in that situation is to be as verbally free as she is sexually free. Saying what you want can be as sexy as getting what you want, and you never know, your man may simply be waiting for instructions.

Your story is one of many in Dirty Girls where there’s not necessarily a “happily ever after” ending. Is this a deliberate choice? What emotions are you trying to provoke in readers with the story?

It’s not that I don’t believe in happy endings, but I am a realist. And yes, the ending was definitely a deliberate choice. While I wanted to address the issue of the empty-nest and sexual repression, I also wanted to be sure I didn’t give people false hope. Let’s face it, so many women stay in unhappy marriages. So many women “just deal with it” and I wanted my story to be a realistic portrayal of this. And, admittedly, I was feeling pretty hopeless myself at the time.

I suppose one of the main emotions I was trying to provoke was hopefulness. Even though things didn’t end the way Doll had hoped, she still left. She was still out there pursuing a different life. Maybe this situation will give her the strength the try again, and maybe this time she won’t simply retreat into what’s comfortable and familiar.

What’s your general erotica-writing process like? Do you write on a set schedule or when you’re inspired?

I almost laughed out loud when I saw the words “set schedule.” In my dreams, it would be that way. I’d have my own little writer’s nook. I’d carve out four hours of quiet time to write each day. I’d produce new stories at an astonishing pace.

In reality, I write very sporadically. I go through periods of feeling ultra creative where I’m writing and writing and periods of feeling like I absolutely suck and I won’t even touch a notebook. Lately, I’ve just been too tired and I’m not disciplined enough to make myself do it. But, when the inspiration does hit me, I have to write then and there. The words may be on a grocery store receipt, on the back of an electric bill or on my kid’s homework assignment, but they get written.

What do you see as the connection, if any, between erotica and feminism?

Though it’s become much more mainstream these days, erotica is one of the boldest genres of fiction out there. I think the power writing erotica gives you is the main connection to feminism. There’s the freedom of saying everything you want to say, the leaving your inhibitions at the door. It shows strength and determination. It shows courage.

What do you think makes a good erotica story work?

Anticipation in an erotic story is always good. Surprise me. Have my panties wet before the characters even touch each other. I enjoy the build-up sometimes more than the act itself. Also, to me, a good erotica story is one that’s outside the box yet believable. Not all sexual escapades start at a nightclub and they don’t all end at the altar. I enjoy stories that stray from the norm, like funny sex stories or sad sex stories, stories when the ugly guy gets laid, or when the shy girl gets the fucking of her life. I enjoy the unexpected.

What are you working on next?

I am always all over the place with my writing. Sadly, most times I don’t complete all the projects that I start, but I always have something in the works for almost every call that’s out there. Right now, I am writing an airplane sex story called “Liberation” and that one might actually get finished.

The Dirty Girls party rocked!

April 30, 2008

Some Dirty Girls reading snapshots by Marlo Gayle (see full set on Flickr). Many thanks to all the wonderful readers, Les of Cafe Royale for hosting, Red Stripe for sponsoring, the people with the free chutney samples (sorry, don’t have their company name in front of me) and Andie East of Seal Press for being an awesome publicist and coming to my rescue with books. The reading went really well and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces in the audience.

And is it me or is it kindof juvenile for the chutney person to have done the rabbit ears in this photo?

L to R: Melissa Gira, Donna George Storey, Gina de Vries, Carol Queen, me

Gina de Vries reading “The Next Thing:

Melissa Gira reading “A Prayer to be Made Cocksure,” aka “the saddest story about blowjobs:”

Carol Queen reading about the Lusty Lady peep show:

Donna George Storey reading about Sally Rand from “To Dance at the Fair:”

And the cupcakes from Sharlene’s Babycakes

Dirty Girls contributor interview with Kristina Wright

April 18, 2008

Kristina Wright’s erotic fiction has appeared in over forty anthologies, including four editions of the Lambda award-winning series Best Lesbian Erotica, two editions of Best Women’s Erotica, two volumes of the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, and three editions of Ultimate Lesbian Erotica. Her work has also been featured in the nonfiction guide The Many Joys of Sex Toys and in e-zines such as Clean Sheets, Scarlet Letters, and Good Vibes Magazine. Kristina holds a BA in English and an MA in Humanities. For more information, visit her website, www.kristinawright.com.

Tell us a little about yourself, aside from what’s in your official bio.

Surprisingly — or not so surprisingly — I’ve been writing about sex since I was in high school. The title of my senior Psychology research paper was “Behind Closed Doors: Women’s Sexual Fantasies.” I got an A. Since then, I’ve written numerous academic papers on the topic of female sexuality.

I stumbled upon writing erotic fiction quite by accident. It was 1999 and I had just published my first romance novel with Silhouette Intimate Moments. I was sick of writing novel proposals, so I wrote this quirky story called “Service Entrance” about a woman who gives a man a blowjob and then pays him for the privilege. I had no idea what to do with the story. At the time, I subscribed to a newsletter called Jane’s ‘Net Sex Guide, put out by the fabulous Jane Duvall, who runs Jane’s Guide. The newsletter editor, Adrienne Benedicks, who runs the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, liked my story and sent me the sweetest, most flattering e-mail about it. “Service Entrance” was my very first erotica story ever and Adrienne bought it for Jane’s ‘Net Sex Guide within days– talk about validation!

After that first sale, I discovered Adrienne’s mailing list for erotica writers, which is a treasure trove of information for writers. A few months later, I sent “Service Entrance” to Marcy Sheiner for what would become a new series for Cleis — Best Women’s Erotica — and she published it in that inaugural 2000 edition. I haven’t looked back since. I give tons of credit and appreciation to Jane Duvall, Adrienne Benedicks and Marcy Sheiner for starting my career as an erotica writer.

(Just a note about “Service Entrance” — I received several e-mails telling me I must be a guy pretending to be a woman because women didn’t enjoy giving oral sex that much.)

Other things about me: I had a long distance, whirlwind relationship with a Navy sailor back in 1990 and this October we will have been happily married for18 years. I’m a coffee addict. The baristas at my local Starbucks often have my coffee ready before I even get to the counter. I have had the same car for almost 16 years — a blue 1992 Mazda Miata. I’ve known my best friend Sheri for almost 20 years, though we’ve only lived in the same state (Florida) for a year and a half. I believe in commitment and I’m very loyal: whether it’s to marriage, a coffee shop, a car or a friend.

Your story “Beautiful Creature” is told wonderfully from a male point of view. What was the inspiration for the story? What do you feel you bring to the form as a woman writing from a male POV?

It is unusual for me to write from the male POV. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have taking the male perspective in a story. It wasn’t a conscious thought on my part, really. “Beautiful Creature” just evolved as Jon’s observations.

The story was inspired by a trip I took with my husband Jay to St. Thomas in July 2006. Jay is a SCUBA diver and would get up quite early every morning to go diving. I’m not a diver or a morning person, so I would drag myself out of bed around 9 and head down to the beach. Each day, about the time I was heading back to my room for a nap before lunch, I would see this stunning woman sitting at the open air bar by the pool. She was always alone, she looked heartbreakingly sad and I couldn’t help but wonder about her story. She wore a wedding ring, but I never saw her husband (or anyone else, for that matter). Observing her this way, unable to get into her head, I started speculating on what the men who noticed her (there were many) might be thinking. Thus, Jon was created.

In the story, your narrator Jon zeroes in on a married woman and pursues her. He seems to see parts of her that she blocks off from the rest of the world:

The elevator had passed the fifth floor and was climbing.

“Take your top off, now, before the elevator door opens, or I won’t fuck you.”

She stared at him, blue eyes startled, a blush creeping into her cheeks. Despite her dismay, there was something in her expression that let him know she was aroused at the thought of exposing herself at his command.

How does he know or intuit what she will like sexually?

“Beautiful Creature” is all about stripping away — literally and figuratively — the superficial artifice that has become Pamela’s identity. Jon is that rare person who cannot only see beneath the surface of what she shows the world, he also has the nerve to follow up on it. There is also the fantasy world that is vacation– things can happen at an island resort that couldn’t possibly happen any place else. Pamela is able to let her guard down and allow Jon into her private world because she’s out of her element and he recognizes a crack in her carefully maintained facade.

In a sense, “Beautiful Creature” is bittersweet, because the lovers only have that one encounter to enjoy each other before parting ways. What emotions are you trying to evoke in readers with the story?

I think consciously trying to evoke emotion can be a tricky thing because readers bring to the story their own history and experiences. When I finished writing “Beautiful Creature,” I felt happy for Pamela. She had finally found what she craved — not Jon, he was only a conduit for the emotions she had kept bottled up– but all of those desires “good girls” aren’t supposed to have. She had fallen into that trap of the pretty girl, the untouchable beauty, the trophy wife, and Jon pulled her free. Yes, their time together is bittersweet, but I think there is a sense of hope, as well, for Pamela’s future happiness.

You’ve written dozens of erotic stories over the years. How do you keep your erotica exciting for you as an author? What do you do if/when you get writer’s block?

To be honest, it’s tough sometimes to keep it exciting for myself. When I find myself yawning over what should be a hot sex scene, I know it’s time to work on something different. I know I’m onto something good when a story or writing project scares me — my best writing usually comes out of challenging myself to do something different.

I don’t really believe in Writer’s Block, but I do have times when I will procrastinate from writing. There are times when I’d rather clean (and who likes to clean?) rather than write. Then I’ll read a book, watch a movie or listen to music that I find sensual or arousing. It doesn’t have to be porn or erotica — Motown can get me going — it just has to get the creative juices flowing. I’m also a big believer in people-watching for inspiration, obviously. Several of my stories, including “Beautiful Creature,” have been inspired by watching interesting people in public. We all go about our lives as if we’re in a private bubble, never realizing that others are watching us…and speculating about who we are. I carry my camera everywhere and will take pictures of things that inspire me, whether it’s a little girl picking a flower growing out of a concrete sidewalk or the Emo teen reading The New York Times or an elderly couple holding hands and giggling. These images have a way of working themselves into my writing.

What’s your general erotica-writing process like? Do you write on a set schedule or when you’re inspired?

I try to write on a loose schedule of six days a week/ five to six hours a day, with about half of that time devoted to erotica writing. The rest of my work time goes to other writing projects, administrative stuff (which includes reading guidelines, research, blogging, answering e-mail, etc.) and editing stories in progress. When it’s crunch time, that changes to seven days a week and as many hours as I can write. I don’t think I’m particularly disciplined, but non-writer friends tell me otherwise, so I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective.

My favorite quote about writing, which I’ve seen attributed to the amazing Dorothy Parker, is: “I hate writing– but I love having written.” It’s been my experience that if I wait for inspiration to strike before I start writing, I’ll have a very clean house, be caught up on my e-mail and have watched all my Netflix movies — but won’t have written more than a few hundred words.

What do you see as the connection (if any) between feminism and erotica? Are there feminist elements in your work?

Erotica, like feminism, is about empowerment. Erotica anthologies such as Dirty Girls are not only entertaining and arousing, they let women explore their fantasies and reassure them that it’s all right to enjoy sex on their own terms. When I write a story like “Beautiful Creature” and a woman identifies with the emotions and desires of the female character, hopefully she feels validated. And aroused, of course. Likewise, I think it’s important to stop excluding men from the feminist discussion. Dirty Girls is sure to have many male readers and, hopefully, they will come away from the collection understanding that female sexuality is a powerful force of nature — certainly as strong and meaningful as male sexuality — and something they should respect and cherish.

Several years ago, Rebecca Walker (Alice Waker’s daughter) edited a book of essays by young feminists called To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism.This collection of essays by a broad spectrum of feminists dispelled the myth of feminists as suit-wearing, sex-loathing, man-hating women. There have been other essays and books since then that have expounded on the notion of what it means to be a feminist, but mainstream culture still perpetuates the message that in order to be a feminist you cannot admit you are a sexual being. Likewise, Dirty Girls offers a wide variety of voices on the topic of what it means to be a “dirty girl.” Every story, every opinion, every experience is valid– and “dirty” is not a dirty word.

What do you think makes a good erotica story work?

What makes a good erotica story work are the same things that makes any good story work — character development, attention to detail, a twist that catches the reader off guard. If the sex flows naturally out of the characters’ relationships and personalities– whether it’s traditional sex, kinky sex, alien sex or sex that is only suggested — the reader will believe in the characters. And the writer.

What are you working on next?

At the moment, I’m frantically trying to finish my first screenplay. I’m taking a graduate screenwriting class for fun and I have spent the past sixteen weeks being scared out of my mind. It’s a good thing. I’m taking the summer off from teaching (I’m a college adjunct, teaching English and Humanities) and plan to spend the summer writing a novel length erotic romance, working on some nonfiction pieces and, as always, writing short erotic fiction for upcoming anthology deadlines. (Like I said, I’m committed.)

Interview with Lillian Ann Slugocki

April 8, 2008

fyi – I’m not sure why the interview with Lillian isn’t loading – am working on it!

Here’s the latest of the Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women contributor interviews.

Lillian will read from her story “Truck Stop Cinderella” at the free book party this Thursday, April 10th, 7-9 pm, at Sutra Lounge, 16 First Avenue off First Street, NYC. Please join us for readings, boob cake, drink specials and lots of fun!

Lillian Ann Slugocki, an award-winning feminist writer, has created a body of work on women and their sexuality that includes fiction, nonfiction, plays, and monologues that have been produced on Broadway, Off Broadway, Off Off Broadway and on National Public Radio. Her work has been published in books, in journals, in anthologies, and online, including on Salon.com. She has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Art in America, The New Yorker, The Daily News, and the New York Post; and recently in London, in Time Out, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, and The London Sunday Times.

Tell us a little about yourself, aside from what’s in your official bio.

I just finished a Master’s Degree at NYU at The Gallatin School which was a huge eye opening experience for me. As a guerrilla feminist producing radio and theatre in the 1990’s in New York City, it was illuminating to read what other feminist writers and critics had to say about storytelling, about female protagonists, about what our limitations were and what we were up against. In other words, I had the instinct and the intuition, but the formal education gave it a broader platform and helped placed it in a feminist historical context.

What inspired your story “Truck Stop Cinderella?” What do you hope people take way from it?

I see Gracie Angelique DuBois [the protagonist of “Truck Stop Cinderella”] as a proto-feminist, one of the first models coming off the assembly line in the early 1970’s. She is acutely aware of the power of her sexuality, and isn’t afraid to use it to her advantage. Unlike the classical story of Cinderella, which I see as a model of passive femininity, Gracie has agency and power because she also takes pride in the money she makes, her own money — which brings autonomy and freedom. When Prince Charming comes into her life as the mysterious handsome man, he rocks her world, yes, but in truth, she is already well on her way to becoming her own woman. She’s not waiting to be rescued, she is rescuing herself. Her goal is not a husband, but escape. This is what I love about her, along with her bouffant hair-do and her baby blue 1971 convertible.

This story is part of a series you’re doing retelling fairy tales in the form of erotica. Can you tell us more about this project and how the two are linked? Do you think there are already sexual elements to the common fairy tales?

This series, called, She Who Goes Mad: A Collection of Erotic Feminist Fairy Tales is part of the ongoing feminist desire to “re-write” our myths. Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid, and Snow White, to name just a few, perpetuate the idea of submissive female protagonists. The strong women, like the Evil Step-Mother in Snow White are diabolical; the witch or the bitch. My role model for this is Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. Like her, I borrow many of the conventions of fairy tales, but the narratives are amplified beyond these static boundaries with erotica. The heroines now have agency, they are empowered, exhibit Eros. I do believe that power is there, has always been there, but it’s been hidden or repressed.

Your stories also are markedly feminist, and make statements about class, gender roles, and sexism. How are erotica and feminism intertwined for you? How can they complement each other?

Anytime a woman takes it upon herself to write her story, it is a feminist action. Anytime a woman decides that she is subject, not object, that is a feminist action. I decided in the mid 1990’s to take objectified feminine sexuality, which I saw on the cover of almost every magazine across the city, and make it personal, to define for myself what its like to be sexual and female. To become subject, not object. Coming of age in the 1970’s, the ideal woman and what made her sexy — these definitions came from the male paradigm. I think writing erotica is an ideal way for a woman artist to proclaim her freedom from “the male gaze” and define for herself what it means to be a woman.

What’s your general erotica-writing process like? Do you write on a set schedule or when you’re inspired?

Truthfully I’m always thinking; what can I subvert? What is axiomatic in our culture, regarding women, and how can I change it up? How can I offer an alternate view? “Mary Magdalene,” a monologue for The Erotica Project re-imagines one of the greatest whores in history as a strong and intelligent, sexual woman who deeply loves her man, who just happens to be Jesus Christ. I was publicly denounced by the Catholic League when the monologue was published on Salon.com who called it blasphemous. That was a very proud moment for me–religion and mythology have been male dominated for so long, and I was thrilled to have ruffled some feathers.

What do you think makes a good erotica story work?

I think the protagonist has to be a three dimensional woman with a story to tell. She has to be a complex woman with psychological and emotional depth who is on a journey, and the vehicle for that journey is her sexuality. I think women read erotica differently than men read it. I think we read it as validation for being sexual beings, who enjoy and revel in the erotic, who can choose the form of that expression–we don’t have to be the whore or the witch, we don’t have to worry about being denounced, we can just be who we are. If that joy and that freedom and that complexity are all present in erotica, written by women, it will be, I believe, a good story.

You’ve worked in different genres and storytelling styles. How is writing erotica different or similar to your other work?

Writing erotica is fulfilling to me as a feminist artist because it is always political and always deeply personal. Before I wrote erotica, I wrote a great deal about the women burned as witches in the 17th century. I had this idea in my head that I could try and resurrect their voices, because they were lost to our traditional historical narrative. It was thrilling to work with primary source materials; the letters they wrote, their trial transcripts and try to, again, re-imagine them as strong women stuck in a very bad time. Their biggest crime, according to their persecutors, was their gender, their deviant devilish sexuality. So now in retrospect it’s not surprising that I would turn my attention to women and their devilish, deviant sexuality in the contemporary world.

What are you working on next?

I’m finishing up a novel, The Blue Mountains: A Metaphysical Love Story, which takes place over several centuries. It contains all my usual obsessions” sexuality, history, strong women. Angelique, a witch in the 12th century, curses her lover for betraying her and that curse remains with her and her lover over the course of eight hundred years. I’m also working on a film project called 10 One Night Stands–a series of short films that depict one night stands, in all their eroticism, but also examines the changed dynamics of the relationships between men and women in the 21st century. These are very comic and I hope deliciously sexy, but also very subversive. They are meant to make the audience squirm a bit in their seats. One story in particular is about a rape fantasy between a husband and wife. The wife is sick of being the “victim” and wants to be the rapist. He tells her, “No way baby, I can’t get it up for that.” And she tells him that he had better try.

Dirty Girls is coming in 2008!

September 14, 2007

Welcome to the Dirty Girls homepage. Coming soon we’ll have excerpts, interviews, party and reading news, and much more. For now, here’s the super-hot cover (I was all, “You can have a nipple on a book cover?” and my editor said, “Sure!”) and the table of contents and the publisher’s blurb. Also, you can pre-order it on Amazon and get it in your hot little hands the moment it’s available (looking like very late February or early March, April, according to the latest word, but possibly sooner if we’re lucky!). Readings and parties will take place in March 2008 in New York and San Francisco; details as soon as they’re finalized.

What do women really want? To be sensually seduced or pressed up against the wall for a quickie? To be tantalized by a peep show or the chance to join the mile high club?

Acclaimed erotica writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel knows: They want it all. They want to be worshiped, ordered around, sent blindly into ecstasy, and made hot in front of a mirror. They want strangers bearing ice cubes on a hot day and to be the party favor passed around among guests. They want sex at the office and in the great outdoors and on trains and airplanes. They want sex with the whole United States of America (or, at least, part of it). They want to be wooed, seduced, flirted with, taken. They want to handpick their lovers and make them do their bidding. They want men, women, and sometimes both at the same time.

In Dirty Girls, the country’s best erotic writers explore their sexual psyches. With contributions from Carol Queen, Alison Tyler, Sofia Quintero, Shanna Germain, Lillian Ann Slugocki, Tsaurah Litzky, and many others, this collection will set your heart racing as you savor these intimate, shocking, and passionate female fantasies.

Blurbs:

“Finally⎯a book about what girls REALLY think about. Well, maybe not
every one, but the dirty ones…and those are the ones who really
count.” — Joanna Angel, CEO, BurningAngel Entertainment

Dirty Girls is the post-feminist generation’s answer to Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden, a collection of erotically charged short stories that reveal that, in the 21st century, good girls are dead and dirty girls are the new black.” — Susannah Breslin, author of You’re a Bad Man, Aren’t You?

“A spanking good collection of smart erotica assembled by always exciting ringleader Rachel Kramer Bussel, Dirty Girls begs the question ‘What are those dirty girls thinking?’ and answers with insight not just to how women want it, but why.”
— Lisa Beth Kovetz, author of The Tuesday Erotica Club

“This is an outstanding collection of hot women’s stories. That’s hot stories by women and stories by hot women. The table of contents reads like a who’s who in the best erotica writers around, an All Star team who deliver the raunch and punch the reader deserves. Rawr.”
— Cecilia Tan, author of Black Feathers and White Flames: Erotic Dreams

Table of Contents

Introduction – Dirty and Sweet Wrapped Up in One

1. Fucking Around by Marie Lyn Bernard
2. Live Tonight by Saskia Walker
3. Just Another Girl on the Train by Catherine Lundoff
4. Beautiful Creature by Kristina Wright
5. In the Name Of… by Isabelle Gray
6. Cheesy Boots by L. Elise Bland
7. Truck Stop Cinderella by Lillian Ann Slugocki
8. The Dream of Life by Tenille Brown
9. The Mile High Club by Kate Dominic
10. Like a Good Girl by Alison Tyler
11. The Garden of Sinn by Darklady
12. Bag and Baggage by Teresa Noelle Roberts
13. Icy Hot by Rachel Kramer Bussel
14. Dreams by Marilyn Jaye Lewis
15. Shocking Expose! Secrets Revealed! by Carol Queen
16. To Dance at the Fair by Donna George Storey
17. The First Deadly Sin by Gwen Masters
18. El Mar de Encanto by Sofia Quintero
19. Flight by Suki Bishop
20. Lily by Tsaurah Litzky
21. Opera Gloves by Maddy Stuart
22. Party Favor by Andrea Dale
23. Carn Euny by Madelynne Ellis
24. A Prayer to Be Made Cocksure by Melissa Gira
25. All About Hearts by Sage Vivant
26. The Next Thing by Gina de Vries
27. Until It’s Gone by Shanna Germain

Introduction: Dirty and Sweet Wrapped Up in One

“I can be dirty and sweet at the same time” reads my self-proclaimed motto on my MySpace page. When I wrote that, I meant that not so deep inside me lurks the soul of a highly perverted, kinky, dirty girl who can get aroused often by a single word whispered in my ear or a solid smack across my ass. Once someone gets me into that zone, I’ll do anything, no matter how depraved, to be with them. I’ll find myself fantasizing about all the wicked things we can do together throughout the day and night, waking from wild dreams with the wish that they were beside me. I’ll see their name in my inbox and get instantly wet. I’ll tell them in public exactly what I want them to do to me, and vice versa. Yes, that’s what I mean by “dirty.”

Yet I don’t think my sexual interests make me any less of a well-rounded, kind-hearted intelligent person. I’m “sweet” in the sense that I care about my friends and family, like sending cards and random gifts, strive to be a good person (also, I run a blog about cupcakes). I’m as likely to kiss a lover’s forehead tenderly and offer to tuck them into bed as I am to throw them down on the floor and strip them naked. For me, the sweet and tender and down-and-dirty go hand in hand; I’m most turned on, and most slutty, when I’m partnered with someone who brings out my sweet side. Once, I visited a boyfriend who was sick with a fever, and did the one thing I could think of to make him feel better: sank down on his bed and took his cock in my mouth. Playing the slutty nurse, horny yet doting, is another aspect to my dirty/sweet motto.

I’d originally meant the phrase as a throwaway line, but more and more I’m realizing that everyone (or almost everyone) has a dirty and a sweet side. All too often we denigrate the dirty girls⎯the ones who dare to publicly show their naughty sides⎯as incorrigible sluts, rather than realizing just how much exciting it is to tap into our lustiest selves. Once you crack the surface of those who are seemingly prim and proper (the demure suburban housewife, the suited-up banker, the quiet secretary, the curious bookworm, the shy computer nerd), you’ll very likely find that the simplicity of the word “dirty” doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to describe the kinks that lurk within them.

The women writing here don’t apologize for being dirty. They know who and what they want and they go after the objects of their affection in all kinds of different ways. Reading this collection⎯whether from start to finish or skipping around to your favorite authors or the most eye-catching titles⎯will give you a glimpse into what makes women wet, what makes us feel and act dirty, what makes us slick our lips and spread our legs. Maybe, just maybe, their stories attempt to answer Freud’s infamously infuriating query: “What do women want?” To judge by the twenty-seven tales you hold in your hand, they want to be worshiped, they want to be ordered around, they want to be sent spinning into ecstasy and then come crashing back down. They want strangers bearing ice cubes on a hot day, and to be a party favor passed around among guests. They want hot vacation sex, visits to peep shows, and a man who’ll lick stinky cheese off their boots. They want power, and they want to give up power. They want sex at the office and in the great outdoors and on trains and airplanes. They want sex with the whole United States of America (or, at least, part of it). They want to be wooed, seduced, flirted with, taken. They want men, women, and sometimes both at the same time.

Of course, there’s more to what women want out of sex than any one book could possibly capture. What I’ve done with this anthology is highlight some of the best erotic writing I’ve found from authors who show you exactly what makes their hearts beat and their clits stand at attention. What they’re up to is, as Marie Lyn Bernard so aptly puts it, “Fucking Around” (which I briefly considered as a very fitting alternative title to this book). When I first heard Bernard read this story tag-team style at my reading series “In The Flesh,” I was blown away. She captures so much of the drama of sex⎯the high highs, the low lows, the awkwardness and the intensity⎯in a playful yet totally hot way. And when she writes about the Big Apple, it’ll make you want to hop the first plane or train to get here: “New York fucks me. New York fucks me so hard that I cry. My pussy opens like the long throat of a flame-swallower. Her fingers make love to the inside of my bellybutton. I am sweating so much that our bodies glide against each other like fish underwater.” You’ll find yourself drawing a map of your own sexual conquests, marking your territory right along with Bernard.

But for every feisty babe here, there’s another just in the process of discovering what turns her on. “Dirty” can be a state of mind just as much as it can be a description of one’s bedroom antics. Carol Queen’s peepshow virgin protagonist Abby doesn’t quite know what she’s getting into with her new friends Daniel and Lila, but she desperately wants to find out. “Lila’s lips covered hers right away, soft and wet, licking and nibbling in one of the most arousing kisses Abby had ever experienced,” writes Queen. “Dirty” doesn’t always mean depraved, either; these stories aren’t all wham-bam-thank-you-sir (or ma’am) quickies. Many of them evoke the intensity of emotion sex can bring with it, the ways having a lover know you literally inside and out can throw your life completely off balance, as if they can read your soul like a map, using fingers, toys, tongues, and cocks to navigate you until they own your internal compass. The thrill of giving yourself over to someone, of giving up control for that deliciously delirious sensation of pure erotic adrenaline, surfaces throughout this collection.

The women you’ll find here are complex; they’re by turns playful and bashful, horny and haughty. They want to share much more with you than just the details of their latest screw. They want you to know what makes them tick, who haunts their dreams, why they can’t quite forget the man who fucked them senseless, even when they’re with someone new. They like to watch and be watched, to take risks, to live out their long-held fantasies. Some are in loving, committed relationships, ones that allow them room to get their freak on with the person who knows just how to push their every button. Others, like my “Icy Hot” protagonist, don’t even want to know their bedmate’s name: “I forgot about the fact that I didn’t really know him at all. Sometimes, in a city of millions of strangers, you just have to take a chance and let your body make the decisions for you, as I’ve learned over the years. And my body was saying yes, please, more, harder.”

“Dirty” doesn’t preclude poetry, the kind where the words roll off the page, roll from your tongue, so beautifully it’s like they themselves are making love to you. Writers like Marilyn Jaye Lewis, Suki Bishop, and Melissa Gira probe the twisted places women go in search of sex⎯and themselves. In “A Prayer to Be Made Cocksure,” Gira elevates the art of the blowjob to new heights: “I sucked your cock as if it was the last cock. I trusted you to let me keep breathing, to never take that final bit from me, to tell me that getting any air at all was your choice just by reaching your hand down the length of your chest to me, to cradle the back of my neck, to run your fingers across my lips, softly, as you plunged suddenly and held me at the edge.” She takes you right into that moment, where this intimate act is dissected, treasured, hoarded, and missed.

You’ll find a range of motivations here, from women looking to spice up a lackluster relationship to single girls on the prowl to kinky couples, daring dommes, and sultry sirens intent on performing on a sexual stage of their own creation. You may read their stories and ask yourself: Would you ever write your name across your lover’s cock? What about pick up a stranger at a rock concert or screw a doctor in a hospital? Get fingered at the opera? Go to a bondage club? These characters do all this and more, always making sure their wanting, lusting, panting, and perversions are met with equal fervor.

Take a hot and steamy trip with these writers as they unlock your deepest desires, or perhaps give you some new ideas to try out next time you shut your eyes and part your legs. From tender to tempting, sweet to sadistic, loving to lascivious, there’s something for every reader who wants to go to bed with images that’ll surely make you blush and just may spark some brand-new, unique fantasies of your very own.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City
July 2007