Announcing: Table of Contents for Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Volume 5 (2021)

I have been eagerly waiting to share with you the work from the next Best Lesbian Erotica volume — and I can’t, yet, because it doesn’t come out until December — but here is the table of contents!

Here’s the book write-up:

Testing the boundaries of pleasure and pain… To be so full of longing you ache for release… Coming to climax without a single touch.

The fifth volume of the Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year anthology series explores and expands on the very definition of eroticism with a diverse mix of queer, non-binary, trans, and polyamorous #ownvoices that will have you quivering with delight and wondering what more you can explore—no matter how you identify. More than just steamy sex stories, this volume offers the quiet sexuality of emotional security, the overwhelming thrill of discovering something new, and a tale for every taste—from vanilla to kink to strap-ons and sodomy.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to see unique, underrepresented viewpoints across the literary spectrum. Award-winning author and editor Sinclair Sexsmith delivers in an anthology that is both tender and tantalizing, emotional and evocative.

Here’s the Table of Contents for Volume 5!

1. Max and the Things I Couldn’t Say — Heart
2. On a Hot and Humid Night — Mx. Nillin Lore
3. Whatever I Want, Whatever I Say — Sinclair Sexsmith
4. Pure Energy — Giselle Renarde
5. Three Options — Nicole Field
6. Blood — Anita Cassidy
7. A Night Out — Amanda N
8. The Supplicant — Michelle Osgood
9. Torrent and Tumult — June Amelia Rose
10. The One Penis Policy — Tobi Hill-Meyer
11. The Summer of Strap-Ons and Sodomy — Rain DeGrey
12. Strand of Pearls — Mary Burns
13. Restraint — Kiki DeLovely
14. I Wouldn’t Be the Same Without Her — Kathleen Lamothe
15. Yes Ma’am — K.J. Drake
16. The Estranged — GB Lindsey
17. Owning a Cock — Amy Butcher

I love each & every of these stories. They are very different from each other, but the thread through is a personal empowerment through playing with sexuality, eroticism, power, and BDSM.

Can’t wait for you to read the whole thing!

January’s Leave of Absence

You know how sometimes, something happens, like an explosion, an emotional evening where you end up yelling and crying and rushing out of the house in the middle of the night for some fresh air, and beating yourself up for being in the same patterns … and how sometimes, when that happens, your brain makes a sudden leap forward, and BING a light goes on, and you kind of “get it” in a new way? And then you know how sometimes when that happens, you create this whole new system for yourself, A New Way Of Being Or Operating, and you gear up to implement that in your life?

Yeah, so that happened last week.

And I decided I’m going to take January off of writing here, to remove all the tasks that are not essential (which leaves me with writing my SexIs column weekly, and promotion for Sideshow, LSM, and Body Electric), and devote the whole month to a larger project I’ve been dreaming of the last two months.

So I’ve been letting this idea percolate as I’ve been preparing to go on a self-imposed writing retreat, and this week I decided I would get up early on Monday morning and head out to the writer’s office space that I rent near my apartment.

But yesterday, the snow showed up, and this morning, the subways around my house were down. The MTA advised we should stay inside.

The winds are up to 50mph and I hear the wind chill is 6 degrees. But out my window, the South Brooklyn rooftops look beautiful.

You know how sometimes you make a decision, and you think, “Okay, this is it, it’s going to be different this time, this is gonna work, this is how I’m going to move forward,” and then something conspires against you? So weird. I guess this is just the world telling me to prove it: Prove how much I want to make this really happen, for reals, not just something my head intends to do but I don’t actually follow through with.

So I’ve been working at home today, and one of my tasks is to write a blog post. I’m going to try to write through some of the posts I’ve been intending to get to in this next week, to clear my to-do list and be prepared for this month-long retreat in January. I’ve got some word count aims, some daily aims, some weekly aims. At the end of the month, I’m going to head upstate for a week and write there, isolate myself a little more for the final push.

This is a new experiment, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m going to have to ramp up my discipline and structure and really go for it. It kind of seems like it corresponds with the whole New Year’s resolution things, and in some ways I guess it does, since I tend to get pretty reflective in the dark time of year, but in other ways it’s just what is next for me.

Who knows if this will work, and take me to where I want to go—but it’s a start, and it’s an experiment, to see what happens. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t.

I have plenty of emails to catch up on, Butch Lab to work on, the next Symposium to plan, articles to write, Sideshow … no shortage of projects and fascinating things to think about. So I’ll be writing a few more things this week, and then I’ll see you in February.

But now, I’m going to take a walk in the snow, and get back to work after the sun sets.

Blog for Lesbian Health Day

nlhs_smallLet’s talk about our health.

Personally I am extremely grateful to have grown up in a culture where the women’s health movement had already had significant effects and waves. I went to teen-positive health centers for my first annual exams and birth control prescriptions, I went to queer-positive centers after I came out who didn’t blink twice when I checked “lesbian” on the forms.

And, honestly, Lesbian Health and Women’s Health are big – huge! – topics on which I am not so well-versed. Breast cancer, cervical cancer, HIV prevention, the myths around lesbians being less susceptible to STIs, safer sex practices, gender discrimination, transphobia … these are huge topics, each of which are worthy of their own examination.

And lucky for us, there are many wonderful people working within these fields to make it more lesbian-inclusive, queer-inclusive, gender-inclusive.

Today is Blog for Lesbian Health Day in honor of the upcoming National Lesbian Health Summit taking place March 6 through 8, 2009, in San Francisco. It’s only $30 registration for both days.

(Anyone have any plane-fare hookups? I’d love to go, but can’t afford to actually get there. Note to self, get an airline sponsor.)

I’ve been in touch with Cat, one of the organizers of the conference, and she writes:

Instead of it being just a boring conference, we want to use it as a place to build grassroots, community-based conversations on our health and what health issues affect us. AND most importantly, how we can be leaders in championing our health and getting TPTB to pay attention to our health. This is a critical moment in our nation’s history and we want to make the most of it.

The thing that is probably #1 on my list about health, as a, ahem, sexually active queer person, is STIs and safer sex. It’s something that I always intend to write about more here, to address issues how to keep your toys clean, reminders to wear gloves and use dams and condoms, but it’s a topic that – again – is HUGE, and I tend to feel like I need to do a whole bunch of research on something before I write it up, and I can’t seem to make the time to do the research. (I do practice safer sex, and I try to include it in my write-ups … but that’s not quite the same as opening up a specific dialogue about it.)

So let me take this little opportunity to say: EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT SAFER SEX. There are many ways to do this. I recommend Scarleteen – though it is geared toward teenagers, the information is clear and straightforward, basic, and in-depth, and I often use it as a resource when I come across health questions that I can’t answer.

So, instead of writing about my own experiences with the healthcare systems (which have been mostly positive, actually) or speculating too much about the community questions, I want to ask you:

What health issues are you concerned about? For yourself and for your community?

What information do you need to make better decisions about your health?

And what experiences have you already had with your health and the healthcare world (the good, the bad, the ugly)?

What do health issues do we need to take on and how?

How can we better grapple with how we form who we are (allowing for all of the ways we see ourselves) and let that lead our conversations on health?

What do you want to see this summit address?

Do you want to take them to task for calling it the Lesbian Health Summit? Is it welcoming to your particular identity?

If you’d like, leave your stories in the comments, or write it up on your own blog – and please do leave a link to what you write here.

Register online for the Summit now, or visit their website for more information.