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Content Notes for Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Volume 5 (Warning: Spoilers)

There are 17 stories in Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Volume 5, and here’s a little bit about each one. Hopefully this will give you a sense of the types of stories to see if it’s the type of things you like. If your favorite thing is missing, would you let me know in the comments, or send me an email — I’d love to know about it, and maybe I can get something into the next volume.

Needless to say, this will contain spoilers and details about the stories! Stop reading now if you want to be surprised! Included are the genders of the characters, types of sex acts, types of issues that they grapple with.

Let’s get to it.

1. Max and the Things I Couldn’t Say — Heart

Narrator and lover both use she/her pronouns and narrator is called “girl.” Butch/femme. Narrator ponders her submissive, masochistic fantasies, but the lover is mostly vanilla. They play-fight. Very sensual.

2. On a Hot and Humid Night — Mx. Nillin Lore


Threesome with the narrator (they/them), Max (they/them), and Kate (she/her). Polyamorous, exhibitionist, outdoors. The narrator is nonbinary AMAB person who uses the term girl cock (as does Mx Nillin for themself). (Note: I’ve seen critique of the book saying that “nobody uses the term “girl cock,” but that just isn’t true. This is an #ownvoices piece, coming from the perspective of someone who has come to use that term for themself.)

3. Whatever I Want, Whatever I Say — Sinclair Sexsmith

Butch/femme, D/s. The characters genders aren’t described in depth, but you could read this as the “Sinclair” character as the narrator, so that person would be nonbinary and the submissive is a femme. Open relationship, “borrowing” another person’s submissive for a scene, some dirty talk, mostly teasing.

4. Pure Energy — Giselle Renarde

Bisexual, two women characters, polyamorous. The erotic scene happens through energy rather than direct touch.

5. Three Options — Nicole Field

D/s with the characters called “Miss” and “angel,” using she/her pronouns. Asexual spectrum, with some discussion about what that means for the characters and how they navigate sex.

6. Blood — Anita Cassidy

Both characters use she/her and are described as women. The scene starts with a call and request to come over, and then it’s discovered that both women are menstruating, and they explore what it’s like for blood to be present during sex.

7. A Night Out — Amanda N

The narrator is wearing a dress and the lover is wearing a strap-on, but their gender isn’t clearly identified. You can infer butch/femme from it, though it could easily be two nonbinary people. (Ask Amanda, when we do an author Q&A.) The scene includes going out into public at a bar, flirting with someone else, and having jealous, possessive sex together at the end. Some D/s components.

8. The Supplicant — Michelle Osgood

Narrator is described as a girl. Lover’s gender isn’t specific. Sex takes place in a shower, and it seems like stranger sex, but one gets the impression they do this a lot. Lover has a strap-on, and a straight razor, and shaves the narrator.

9. Torrent and Tumult — June Amelia Rose

Author is bipolar, and both main characters in this piece are bipolar as well. D/s story with two trans women; the dominant is called Mistress. Includes punk rock, Brooklyn, AA/sobriety, chastity, spankings with a paddle, blood. Descriptions of kink as a healing practice.

10. The One Penis Policy — Tobi Hill-Meyer

Narrator is a trans woman, dating a cis woman. The cis woman lover has a husband and is bisexual, and their open relationship agreement is a “one penis policy.” The characters sort out what that means for them. Descriptions of sex and orgasm. Written by a trans woman.

11. The Summer of Strap-Ons and Sodomy — Rain DeGrey

The two characters are professional dominatrixes who meet through a client, and fall for each other, having a short and intense relationship. Descriptions of the sex work session, an orgy, pegging, a Hitachi magic wand vibrator, rope bondage. Written by a former sex worker.

12. Strand of Pearls — Mary Burns

Narrator and lover are described as women, using she/her pronouns. Colleagues-to-lovers. Features strap-on sex, butt plug, a straight razor, shaving, and alcohol.

13. Restraint — Kiki DeLovely

D/s, Sir/girl, butch/femme. Service, blow jobs, cock sucking, spanking, masturbation, permission for orgasm, orgasm denial.

14. I Wouldn’t Be the Same Without Her — Kathleen Lamothe

One night stand. Narrator and lover are trans women, lover is a little older and more experienced and teaches the narrator. Some scene-based D/s, bondage, orgasm control; lover requests to be called Ma’am. Some discussion of alcohol and AA.

15. Yes Ma’am — K.J. Drake

Narrator is called ma’am in the D/s context but admits to being uncomfortable with other gendered words, I would classify as non-binary (but we should ask KJ). Lover has she pronouns and generally reads as a woman. Sex scene includes restraints, oral sex, strap-on. A safeword is used, and characters check in about it. KJ included this content note: implied consent within an existing relationship, dominance, breath play, orgasm control, fluid-bonded sex.

16. The Estranged — GB Lindsey

Two women, she pronouns. Narrator identifies as grey-ace, on the asexual spectrum. The story is former lovers processing feelings, and reunited sex, including fingering.

17. Owning a Cock — Amy Butcher

Opens with a Dr. Seuss-like poem! And proceeds into a meditation on dyke cock of all kinds. Descriptions and memories of a blow job, and brief descriptions of sex.

Well, there you have it: Volume 5.

I’m really proud of the different kinds of nonbinary and trans representation, and of the asexual and greysexual content in this book. What is probably obvious to you, and it’s definitely obvious to me, is that there are some voices missing, particularly Black women and nonbinary authors, but also people of color in general. There are a few authors and characters who identify as POC in this anthology, but not nearly as many as I would prefer. I’ve been working hard this year to build up my connections with BIPOC erotica authors, and to do research and read the BIPOC authors who are out there already. If you have any favorites, please let me know, I’d love to read more and I’m still learning. I am working hard to get more of that to happen in Volume 6 and I would appreciate any suggestions you have for connecting in with Black queer women and women of color who are writing erotica.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert.

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