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.
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.
“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