The Big Book of Orgasms

There is so much going on for today’s post I hardly know where to begin. I’m proud to announce that my first inclusion in a print anthology has been in Cleis Press’s recent release, The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Since I began writing, I have been independently publishing straight to eBook, so this is a big first step for me into the world of “big girl publishing.”

Somewhat Related Teaser: I have another story in an unrelated print anthology, coming soon through another publisher, but I can’t talk details yet. 😉 I can say that fans of my work and of femdom BDSM will be very pleased, though!

Today I’ve got an interview with Rachel, an excerpt from my story, and a giveaway. I don’t know how much more you could possibly want out of one blog post! And just look at this cover. I’m getting hot just looking at it.

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Interview:

Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for the interview. How did you start out as a writer, and what led to your transition to editing?

I’ve always written, since I was little, in one form or another. My earliest published writings were letters to the editor. I started writing erotica in 1999 at the tail end of attending law school. I got into editing erotica based on writing it; I was first asked to co-edit an anthology and then from there to edit my own and now get to pitch brainstorm and pitch my own ideas for anthologies that focus on topics I’m interested in, such as spanking. I like doing both because writing is so solitary and involves being so utterly in my head, and even though I also do my editing alone at my computer, it involves interacting with other people and discovering and getting to publish writing I never in a million years could have written myself.

I’m really excited about the release of The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories. What was the inspiration for this anthology?

It was sort of a mashup of two other books I’d edited that readers liked, Orgasmic, which features 25 stories featuring female protagonists and Gotta Have It, which also features 69 short stories of 1,200 words or less. That book was a new format, smaller and more compact, so I and Cleis Press thought it would be interesting to combine them, but this time expand beyond just female orgasms and female authors. I like having the opportunity to work with three times as many authors as I do in a typical anthology. It also made me value each and every word, since the stories are all short, those words have to do a lot more work to create a full story with a beginning, middle and end and still be arousing and on the theme of orgasm. I also love the variety of writing styles and characters and settings and orgasms and creativity, as well as hearing which stories resonate with which readers. There are some very loving tender stories and some extremely kinky ones, there’s heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, and I’m not even sure how to classify the gender change in “Remote Control” by Logan Zachary.

Will there be book readings/signings, and when/where?

There will be a San Francisco reading (https://www.facebook.com/events/186231794893318/) on November 6th at Good Vibrations at 1620 Polk Street at 6:30, with me and 9 contributors, Lily K. Cho, Malin James, Crystal Jordan, Sinclair Sexsmith, Donna George Storey, B.D. Swain, Virgie Tovar, Jade A. Waters and Xan West , and one in New York on January 3 at reading series Between the Covers (http://betweenthecoversnyc.wordpress.com/) at the Museum of Sex at 233 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, with me, yourself, Andreas Amsterdam, Jeremy Edwards, Drew Griffiths, Thea Landen, Lillian Ann Slugocki, Suleikha Snyder and possibly a few others. [Yes, I’ll be reading live in New York City! If you’ve been wanting to meet me, this is the time and place to do it! -LL] That’s all as of right now, though I’m looking for a way to host a virtual book party and if I can round up enough authors I’d love to do another reading. I’ll also be teaching erotic writing workshops in the next few months in Albuquerque, Austin, Portland, Maine and New York, and workshops March 14th for CatalystCon (http://catalystcon.com/register/pre-con/ ) attendees.

Do you think you’ll always be an erotica writer? Are there other genres in which you’re interested?

I’ve always told myself that if I get bored writing erotica I’ll quit, but that hasn’t happened yet. Sometimes I write more or less erotica, but I always come back to it and love the moment of insight when a new story idea comes to me. I do hope to write a young adult novel and possibly branch out, but as of now erotica and erotic romance are the only fiction I’ve written, though I also do a lot of essays and journalism, which I think helps balance me.

I get this question myself a lot. Do you have any advice for aspiring erotica writers?

Write in a style that’s true to you about characters and topics you’re interested in. Be aware of but don’t pander to the market. Everyone’s sexuality is different and the more you can tease out your own voice and style and passion, the more that will come through in the writing. I’d also encourage people to utilize any specialized knowledge they have about the world and find a way to incorporate that into your erotica. For instance, I’ve played in a lot of chess tournaments, so I’ve used that as a setting for an erotica story. Use as much sensory detail as you can, without giving just a literal play by play, and use all five senses. Make the reader care about the characters not just when they’re having sex, but before and after; that will make the sex scenes more rewarding, powerful and memorable.

Is there anything special you do to celebrate once a project is finished, be it a story, novel, or anthology?

I don’t do anything special per se, but I am always very relieved when I hit send on a story submission or an anthology manuscript. Then I’m usually on to the next thing.

“Write drunk, edit sober.” True or false?

Save for extremely rare occasions, I don’t drink, so I don’t write drunk. Though there are definitely times when I’m in a bit of a writing trance, because I’ll later look at a story I’ve written and wonder where it came from and how I wrote it.

I think it’s like that for any kind of artist, despite the medium. I’ve experienced it myself countless times. I think there’s a reason why the ancient Greeks believed in Muses, and that “trance” is it. Anyway, final question. What was it like writing for Penthouse Variations?

I was an editor for over 7 years at Penthouse Variations. That was my first magazine job and it taught me so much about being a careful and sometimes ruthless editor, about how to gloss a topic and do it justice, and about the variety of fetishes and kinks out there.

Excerpt from “Icing on the Cake,” by Lula Lisbon, one of 69 stories in The Big Book of Orgasms:

I knew she had something devilish planned, but I couldn’t imagine what it might be. It was my birthday, and she’d baked me cupcakes; I was to report to her on my knees at her door as per usual. She loved to toy with my orgasms, denying them, forcing them, coming up with any number of ways to make them humiliating for me and exciting for her. For two full weeks she’d denied me release, and it had been hard—very hard. Teasing me, testing me, she’d sent me pictures of her body, described in detail what she wanted to do to me, how she wanted me to please her. I wasn’t allowed to touch my cock, because she wanted me ready to celebrate my birthday.

I’d unintentionally disobeyed her around the one-week mark. In a vivid dream, she fucked my ass hard with her purple strap-on, something she only did as a reward when I’d been very good. Her fingernails dug into my hips, and when I felt her starting to come inside me, screaming her delight, I couldn’t hold myself back.

When I opened my eyes, still feeling the delicious pulsing in my balls, there was a pool of creamy come on my abs and chest. My heart sank. I wanted to call her and immediately confess, but I already knew what her orders would be. Filled with guilt, I dipped my fingers in, a kid stealing a taste from the mixing bowl, once, twice, again, until it was all gone.

Giveaway:

Enter to win a free copy of The Big Book of Orgasms by posting one of your favorite lines from one of my short stories (not from the excerpts online, that’s cheating!) into the comments section. Hint: I have one free story, so purchase isn’t required, but I have lots of other stories from which to choose, starting at only $2.99, if you’d like to support an independent author! Fine print: Cleis Press will have final say over the winner and distribution of prizes. Retail value of prize: Kindle version $9.99, print version $12.34. Deadline: November 30, 2013.

Call for Reviewers from Rachel Kramer Bussel re: The Big Book of Orgasms

Following is an announcement from Rachel Kramer Bussel, looking for reviewers for this upcoming anthology. It is my first print anthology and I’m very excited about it. If you’re interested, please contact her ASAP!

I wanted to let you know that I’m currently signing up Amazon reviewers for The Big Book of Orgasms, for print copies (US only) or Kindle editions – people should email me here at orgasmantho at gmail.com with either their U.S. mailing address for a hard copy with “Amazon” in the subject line or their email address for the Kindle edition with “Kindle” in the subject line. By doing so, they acknowledge they have an Amazon.com account they’ve made a purchase from before, and that they are willing to post their review within 6 weeks of receipt. All the details are in this blog post: http://www.lustylady.blogspot.com/2013/05/will-you-be-one-of-my-100-amazon.html and/or you can retweet this: https://twitter.com/BigBookofOrgasm/status/338806032723742720

If you follow @BigBookofOrgasm I will follow you back and will be posting more about it closer to the pub date. I’ll be accepting requests until I hit 100 copies.

Exciting New Updates!

It’s official! I have a story that will be published in a print anthology, my first! The story is called “Icing on the Cake.” It’s a short-short femdom story, previously unreleased since I wrote it specifically for that call. The book is titled The Big Book of Orgasm, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. It will be released in September 2013 by Cleis Press. I’m so excited! I’m hoping to get a few more pieces in print this year, while still working on my own indie published pieces as well.

Even the Universe is helping me celebrate… I found out about the official acceptance yesterday, and guess what happened today? I got a call telling me I won a happy hour party at this amazing oyster place in Philly. Could it be any more perfect? I will use the opportunity to eat lots of oysters, drink lots of beer, and announce my status as a print-published author. *happy dance*

In other news, author Carl East has listed me on his website. He is helping build visibility for erotica and erotica authors, and I’m honored that he personally invited me to be a part of it.

Last but not least, I’ve also released a 2-Pack bundle of my popular gay erotica, Pumping His Iron parts 1 and 2. Hot cover, no? 😉

Interview with Rachel Pepper, Editor: “Transitions of the Heart”

About Rachel Pepper and Transitions of the Heart:

When she was working as Coordinator of Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale University, Rachel Pepper was shocked by the paucity of resources available to gender variant people and their families. Her book The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, co-authored with Stephanie Brill, did a great deal to fill that void and has sold almost 10,000 copies in the three years since its publication.

In the same way that the 1987 Cleis Press book Different Daughters: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians changed the discourse for many families in this country, TRANSITIONS OF THE HEART shares an intimate view of the joys, challenges and triumphs of families with trans members for the first time. As Kim Pearson, Executive Director and Co-founder of TransYouth Family Allies, writes in her foreword, this book “is a support group, a tutorial and an educational text rolled into one.”

Rachel Pepper, who earned Masters Degrees in both Counseling and Journalism, is uniquely qualified to be the force behind this pioneering book. She is now a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, specializing in the care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender variant communities. Pepper lives with her family in Oakland, California.

Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for the interview. I think you did a wonderful job of taking samples from many experiences and walks of life. I don’t have children, but I was deeply moved by many of the stories, and I have a number of trans friends. I’m very happy for the opportunity to help support and promote this book.

What first brought your attention and interest to transgender issues?

I have considered myself an ally to the trans community for a long time. But I would say I began to try to advocate for trans people and their issues while working at Yale University, when I worked there for 5 years as an administrator in the LGBT Studies program. We had several students who were just beginning their transition journey, and I talked with them a lot about their lives. It helped really bring something to consciousness for me. That experience was reflected in my work in the book I co-wrote, The Gay and Lesbian Guide to College Life, which came out in 2006. I made sure the needs of college students were addressed in this book and wrote most of the content that could be helpful for trans students.

After that, I began to advocate for trans kids and their families, and co-wrote The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, with Stephanie Brill. Writing that book, and interviewing some of the cutting edge experts in it, was another incredible experience for me. After that book came out, I decided to go back to graduate school and I have just received my second Masters degree, this one in Counseling Psychology. I am on my way to becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and hope to work with trans children and their families once I have my own private practice. I specialize in working with transitional age youth (ages 18-25) and have worked with many LGBT young people in various agencies I have been in.

So you can see it has been quite a journey! Many people have asked me before if my own child is trans, but she is not. However, she is a great ally to the trans community and is the most aware and educated about LGBT issues among her peers.

What do you hope that people, not just mothers, can take away from this book?

I hope people will be touched emotionally by the book as it has touched me so deeply. I hope that it may help some people to either feel validated in their experiences as a mother or perhaps help others understand the experiences a mother may go through in learning to understand or accept their child. We have talked a lot in the gay community about our need for acceptance, but what does this need look like from the other side? I have learned myself from this project that mothers have their own unique process around their child’s transition, and it happens on a timeline that works for them, which is not always the timeline their child wishes for or even demands.

Mothers have to go through a grief and loss process as they accept that the child they gave birth to, or adopted, is not the gender that they as a mother knew. Usually acceptance comes, but it may take some time, which trans young people especially don’t usually understand. It can take months or even years for a parent to be able to use the child’s new pronoun, after a lifetime of saying the old one. And that mothers deserve a voice, that they deserve to speak out about their child’s transition, because this is their story, as much as it is their child’s.

The book also asks people to consider that LGBT are not isolated, that they do not exist without a family. I ask readers to consider what the possibility for social change might be if trans people are not cast off from their families, but held lovingly by their families and communities as they transition. We are used to thinking of LGBT as outsiders, only allowed to be considered “normal” if they mimc hetero-normative behaviors like having kids or getting married? But what if we allowed all people to be who they are, without risk of ostracism? What if we could also choose to be radically queer, or transition, or be gender variant as a child, and still be loved and valued and supported? What amazing social change may be possible!

I also hope people realize that behind this new wave of very young trans and gender creative kids is a whole gang of moms that are advocating for such change, and advocating for their kids, in ways we have not yet seen. They are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their child and make his or her life safer and more accepting. And that these moms, mostly heterosexual and previously quite unaware of LGBT issues,  are also therefore a new wave of advocates for the trans community, a rather astonishing crossover of worlds.

If you could ask any specific person or audience to read this book, who would it be and why?

I think those who will take most comfort in this book are other moms, but I’d also like to see educators, politicians, and health practitioners to read it. Also obviously anyone unfamiliar with the issues the book discusses, it may be a great introduction to trans issues of all kinds. I’d also like to think that adult trans folks might pick it up, and that it might help them understand the difficulties that their own mothers might have gone through in learning to understand issues around gender identity, transition itself, the grief an dloss of losing the child they thought they had, and what it means to live an authentic life.

TRANSITIONS OF THE HEART: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children

Edited by Rachel Pepper, with a foreword by Kim Pearson, Executive Director of TransYouth Family Allies

Paperback original, $16.95
200 pages, 5” x 8”
ISBN: 978-1-57344-788-1
Publishing May 13, 2012

Contact: Brenda Knight, bknight@cleispress.com

Press release:

2011 was the year we had our first celebrity who transitioned in the media spotlight, someone we’d known since she was a child, and America cheered as Chaz danced his way into our hearts. While there are no concrete statistics on the number of transgender people in the United States, Human Rights Campaign estimates that the number of transsexual people is up to 1 percent of the U.S. population. The Learning Channel and The Oprah Winfrey Network have run programs featuring transgender people and their journeys, and “Becoming Chaz” was a primetime hit. As Cher so poignantly illustrated, parents whose children transition also face profound changes and challenges.

On Mother’s Day 2012, May 13, Cleis Press will publish TRANSITIONS OF THE HEART: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children, the first collection of essays by mothers, who are often “transitioning” socially and emotionally alongside their children.

What do mothers really think about their transgender and gender variant children?  Journalist, therapist and gender specialist Rachel Pepper was determined to find out. Co-author of the groundbreaking book The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, Pepper has gathered voices of mothers from all walks of life, diverse in ethnicity, race, national origin, sexual identity, age and class. As they have struggled to understand the gender identities of their children, and their own new emotional landscapes, many are thrust into roles they never imagined they’d have to take.

Often coming up against some of the very institutions that support children and their families—spouses, ex-partners, family members, school administrators, neighbors, teachers, coaches, pediatricians, psychiatrists, therapists or communities of faith—these mothers have had to fiercely advocate for, protect and educate others about their children.

Only a handful of the mothers whose work appears in this collection have written professionally or been published before. Most have used their real names, though a few concerned about the privacy of their families and the safety of their children used pseudonyms. The resulting essays are stunningly honest, often heart breaking, and have blazed a trail for all the mothers who will grapple with this issue.

Guest Blogger Andrea Dale: “The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica” Blog Tour

I’m fascinated by women who seem put-together, especially when it comes to outfits. “Layering” is like a foreign concept to me. If I’ve remembered to put on a shirt and pants or a skirt and shoes, it’s a good day. Since I work at home, this doesn’t always happen…or I have to change to leave the house, because I’ve neglected a bra and I’m wearing my Halloween bat pajama pants—and it’s the middle of summer.

All that said, I wouldn’t really call myself a butch, either. My clothing choices stem largely from a combination of a disinterest in fashion and sheer laziness. (However, I do historic re-creation, so if it’s pre-1600s fashion you want to talk about, I’ll be right there!) Like Teddie, the protagonist in my story “Winner Take All,” I’m simply more likely to make choices based on comfort than anything else, bonus if it involves my favorite color, purple. If I want to dress up and go the whole makeup route, I do, and I enjoy looking pretty—but I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing, and never, like Teddie, feel like I’ve actually created an “outfit.”

Which is why, like Teddie, I’m fascinated….

On my other side, a pretty, petite blonde. For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine why she’d want or need a truck. She didn’t look the type to step foot in a truck. She was wearing painted-on jeans—probably designer, but I wouldn’t know designer jeans if they were cupping my own ass—and low-heeled grey boots. Her makeup was impeccable, her big blue eyes made wider by the judicious use of mascara and her luscious lips glossed a lickable red. I suspected she didn’t usually wear jeans; she looked like the type to wear little skirts and high heels.

Nothing wrong with that, if that was your thing. I certainly enjoyed looking at pretty women in little skirts and high heels, and fantasizing about getting up under those little skirts and seeing what kind of panties—if at all—they were wearing.

I’m not a skirt-wearing type of girl myself, and today was no exception. I’d dressed for comfort: jeans, sure, but broken-in, soft ones that wouldn’t constrict movement; sneakers with gel insoles for extra support; and a t-shirt advertising my nonprofit.

“What’s the Kensington Bird Sanctuary?” the blonde asked maybe ten minutes after we’d gotten started. She had a light, breathy voice, which suited her. Her dangly silver earrings caught in the light as she cocked her head at me.

“It’s a rehab facility for birds of prey,” I said. “I’m the manager. We could really use this truck to transport injured raptors to our facility.”

Her laugh tinkled. “Oh, see, that’s not fair,” she protested with a little pout. “You’re trying to get me to sympathize with you, and lose.”

I shook my head. “Not at all,” I said, and it was true. She’d asked, after all. “I just automatically try to drum up support. It’s the curse of running a non-profit.”

“All right, then.” She favored me with a dazzling smile, even white teeth and juicy lips. “I’m Grace, by the way.”

“Teddie,” I said, waving my free hand.

“Nice to meet you,” she said. “Very nice to meet you.” Her voice went a little lower then, and I swear I saw her look me up and down and up again. She delicately bit her lip.

Was she flirting with me? Really? I couldn’t imagine it, but it still gave me a little tingle. I cleared my throat. “Ditto.”

So what is this sexy blonde doing at a competition to win a truck? Is she into the deliciously naughty things Teddie wants to have done to her? Will Teddie win the truck that her bird sanctuary so desperately needs…and will she get the kinky release she so desperately needs?

You’ll just have to read the story to find out….

You can find “Winner Take All” in The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica.

For more of Andrea Dale’s stories, see Cyvarwydd.com or SoulsRoadPress.com.

Want to read more juicy excerpts from the anthology? Here’s the full blog tour schedule!

May 1 D. L. King http://sacchi-green.blogspot.com/
May 2 Anna Watson http://dlkingerotica.blogspot.com
May 3 Evan Mora http://donutsdesires.blogspot.com/
May 4 River Light http://sapphicplanet.com/blogtour_sapphicplanet.php
May 5 Sinclair Sexsmith http://www.sugarbutch.net/
May 6 Crystal Barela http://kathleenbradean.blogspot.com/
May 7 CS Clark http://bethwylde.wordpress.com/
May 8 Valerie Clark Sassafras Lowrey http://pomofreakshow.com/
May 9 Andrea Dale https://lulalisbon.wordpress.com/
May 10 Beth Wylde http://adrianakraft.com/blog/
May 11 Kathleen Bradean http://cyvarwydd.blogspot.com/
May 12 Teresa Noelle Roberts http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/
May 13 Shanna Germain http://lantoniou.blogspot.com/
May 14 Charlotte Dare http://madeofwords.com/posts/
May 15 Rachel Kramer Bussel http://lustylady.blogspot.com/

Get your copy of The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica anywhere good books are sold. To make it easier, you can get it from Amazon or directly from Cleis Press.

Charity Bundle!

I’m very pleased to say that I’ll be in several erotica bundles raising money for charity:water, which helps build wells for clean drinking water in developing countries. This particular anthology, Paranormal Sex Bundle – 50 Paranormal Erotica Stories, contains over 150,000 words from 50 authors, including Top 100 Bestsellers Selena Kitt and Carl East! At only $4.99 with all profits going to charity:water, this is a really great deal. And we got a mention on Hotly Ever After!