Reviewing Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica

Buy this book!

I didn’t have to open this book to know I’d like it.  As soon as I found out Sinclair Sexsmith would have a hand in choosing stories for this anthology, I knew it would be good.  I figured it would have more stories that I really liked and admired than ones I didn’t.  The truth is, this anthology is so damned good, I couldn’t find a truly bad story in here. Full disclosure:  I submitted a story for this anthology and after reading the submissions that were selected, I can agree to the choice not to include mine.  This time.  Almost all hit the ‘wet my briefs’ level of quality fairly quickly.  The diversity of stories, the pacing, the arrangement, were all very well done.  Definitely one of the best anthologies I’ve read, overall content quality was superb.

But it’s more than a collection of hot sex scenes.  No really.  Great depictions of realistic D/s, with negotiation and communication and respect – aspects of D/s that are vital to mutually satisfying experiences.  Consent is Sexy!  Pass it on….

The anthology is heavy with butch/femme characters, which I’d expected so I was happy to see a butch-butch pairing and gender binary non-conforming characters as well.  I’m hoping to see these kinds of characters become more common in queer erotica, partly because I think its great to expose the erotica reading public to experiences and desires of transgressive people.  As Sinclair says in the forward, defining BDSM is a tricky business but I think this collection does a pretty good job of showing a nice diversity of BDSM and kink.  Also, presenting a collection of ‘lesbian’ erotica is a tricky business these days, partly because of all us faab gender transgressing folks who fall outside the traditional definition and understanding of ‘lesbian’, but fall well inside the definition of ‘queer’.  So an alternative title might be Queer BDSM Erotica from the Perspective of Female-Assigned-at-Birth Persons… but that’s a bit clunky.

Regardless the identity of the characters, I found myself identifying easily with one or more in each story.  Dommes, doms, Sirs, Ma’ams, Daddies and girls, Daddies and bois, subs of all kinds – switchy pervert that I am, I wanted to be all of them.

A friend asked me what my favorite story in the collection was and that is an incredibly hard call to make.  This is a helluva collection.  Hot characters, hot sexy scenes, leather, strap-ons, moisture, muscles, high heels, demin, and not one but several alley ways.  Walls are important to BDSM erotica, especially brick ones, especially if they are in alleys.  In fact, through several stories I amused myself with the idea of a Say Please drinking game:  every time you read about a character being slammed, held or pushed against a wall, drink.  When it’s a brick wall, drink twice.

The bottom line is, you should get this book.  If you love your erotica queer and hot and full of impact and juicy body parts, buy this book.  If you like reading stories that make your body parts juicy and/or hard, buy this book.

Seriously, here’s the link:  Say Please, Lesbian BDSM Erotica, Cleis Press, edited by Sinclair Sexsmith, they’re selling it for $14.95 before taxes and shipping and that is a steal.  One warning:  don’t read it unless you’ve got time to, uh, get hands-on, so to speak.  Unless you’re a masochist, which apparently I am, reading major chunks of this collection while dangerously horny and missing my lover and unable to do anything about it.

Now, for those of you still reading, here are my review notes:

Reviewer’s Log, 4/17/2012

Baseball Cap, Miriam Zoila Perez.  good, well written and with a unique take on impact.  Makes me want more impact though, and a lot more sadism.

First Ride, Wendi Kali.  Great pacing, takes you out slowly and builds up, finishing with a satisfying roar you can feel.  I know Wendi, and I know this is her first published piece and I am very, very impressed.  It stands out as one of the best pieces in this anthology.  Love the way the sub character reacts to the narrator claiming the Daddy role… delicious.  This one grabbed me and didn’t let go.  Definite wet briefs.  The next three have kept it up, so to speak.

A Slap In The Face, Rachel Kramer Bussel, takes me back to some hot memories of my own, while giving me new ideas for the future.  Memories from both sides of that act: the feeling of invigoration and lust I felt when my Sir slapped me for the first time.  The feeling heat, power and guilt I felt delivering blows myself.  Really, really good.

Housewife, Gigi Frost.  Kept me in a state of continual erotic agitation.  As I read it, I could feel my switchy nature dropping into each role and enjoying both sides of the power exchange.  Hot, hot, hot story.  Rounding out the first five,

Call Me Sir, BB Rydell.  Brings it all together with hot power exchange between a sassy bottom and a tough, gristled butch top who’s seen it all.  The image of older butch mentor and young wannabe butch fag resonates very deeply with me and, as with the previous story, I could feel a lot of empathy with both characters.  And by empathy, I mean I want to be the kid getting ‘mentored’ really hard and the older butch doing the ‘mentoring’.  Ahem.  One of my favorites in this collection.  Makes me want to go do some mentoring…

And that concludes the first installment, now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go ‘adjust’ my button fly.

Reviewer’s Log, 4/19

All of Me, Amelia Thornton.  Wow… really well told story, with a switcharoo… I love that.  This is an “I wish I’d written it myself” story for me.  Great line:  ”I can hear the whisper coming out of my mouth and tiptoeing into your ear.”  Really enjoy this writer’s style and voice, will look for more by them.  Definitely a favorite.

Reviewer’s Log, 4/23

Taking Direction by Vie Le Guerre.  Wow.. so much good about this story, so hot.  Watching and directing, being in control and being so under the control of another.  Really hot, hot story, great twist on the double-team fantasy.

Black Hanky by Sassafras Lowrey.  Loved the details, could feel (and smell) the carpet fibers, feel the heat and sweat.  Great description of settling into the pain, of sub-space and the motivation for pushing oneself to that point, and beyond.  All for the reward of ‘good, boi’.  Extra points for non-binary gendered characters.

Hmmm.. it’s late, can I squeeze one more in?  Yes…

The Cruelest Kind, Kiki DeLovely.   …. brick alley walls, not for the first time in this anthology, apparently a lot of people share that fetish with me.  Possession, domination, dangerous risky teasing… getting what’s coming and … and then, Defiance! Risk taking!  Yeehah!  Oh and excellent use of a motorcycle.. and mindfuck and… yes… also, last line in this story is the best one so far.

Reviewer’s Log, 4/24

Spanking Booth, Dusty Horn.  My ass was full of wishful thoughts before I got halfway through this one.  ’Erotic’ has many forms, many definitions.  In the first part of this story, the narrator’s description of themselves is highly erotic, without any sexual contact.  I love the voice of this story.  This is an excellent telling from the top’s perspective… taking a sub from defiant to compliant to putty in her hand, all the while entertaining the audience with the flair of a big top circus master.  In the end, mutual seduction.  This is a favorite.

 Reviewer’s Log, 4/25

Going the Distance, Elaine Miller.  Some of the best, most detailed descriptions of sex can be found in this one.  I found myself slipping really deeply into it, so much of it reminded me of my own experiences, I was reliving them through the characters… and a story about an LDR right when I’m really missing and needing my lover so much.  Sexy, fierce, smart and forceful.  Love and poly and D/s and LDR… feels pretty damned familiar.  And hot.

Spoiled, Shawna Elizabeth.  Sweet, sweet, sweet… hot! hot! Hard! Mean! Discipline and sex.

Gentleman Caller, Sossity Chiricuzio.  Wow, excellent role play story.  I love playing so much, love that Roxy and I can slip so quickly into character.  These two remind me of us in some ways.  Hot and forceful, body positive.

Three Weeks and Two Days, Meridith Guy.  Ahhhh… cruelty, domination… the ache of wanting something and having to wait.. I know that too well…

Counting Love, August InFlux.  Another Daddy/girl story.  I like that there are a few in this collection.  Wow, hot Daddy/girl scene just the way we like to do it.  Damn… feels a bit like watching my girl and I play.

Purge, Maria See.  More LDR… painful and comforting to read about luggage and air ports and long time between contact.  Painful because we’re between contact right now, comforting because we’re not alone in it.  Ohhh.. and a collaring scene… love it.  Happy sigh remembering my own.  There is a touch of stiffness to the writing, but not enough to stop me reading it.

A Public Spectacle, D.L. King.  Mmmm.. public play, the buzz of being watched, the cone of protection your top creates around the two of you, allowing you to open fully to them.  mmmmm floggers… yum, sweet and terrible straps of thuddy-stingy pain-pleasure… juiciness, lots of it and the recognition that for some of us subs (maybe all?) if we don’t get enough pain, we can’t get into subspace, which means we don’t get what we need from the play.

 Reviewer’s Log, 4/26

The Keys, Anna Watson.  Oh, oh, yeahhhhh…. hot, dirty, nasty.  The out of town fuck fantasy, complete with hot domineering butch, the horny queer woman masquerading as a typical mom from the burbs.. forced to do nasty things in a public bathroom….

Coming of Age, Dilo Keith.  Reads a bit like D/s 101.  I’m a bit disappointed with the comments about body type and weight, they didn’t further the story and gave me the impression that the narrator (and writer) is somewhat fat phobic.  Overall, rather instructional and a little less hot for that.

Not Without Permission, Sinclair Sexsmith.  I’m a fan of this writer, a friend of this person and very familiar with her style.  That didn’t take away from the pleasure of reading this story.  Great line “She is liquid and soft, … entering her is like diving underwater.”  Nice… As usual, Sexsmith does a great job of expressing what’s going on in the head of the top, the sensations and motivations, some conflicting, and the way a top reads their sub.  So, somewhat instructional without being pedantic.  Ooooh.. orgasm control… love and hate it … so hard to do and so satisfying to accomplish, and the orgasm build up is amazing… waiting for permission, holding back until those much sought after words are uttered, “Come for me.”

Feathers Have Weight, Alysia Angel.  I’ve met this writer, in a bar in Olympia, we exchanged cards, though I’m sure she didn’t have a clue who I was, she was clearly someone … dynamic, powerful sexy.  Anyway, the story…. another alley way, more brick.  Great descriptive phrases, the story is bursting with them… Femme tops butch — wonderfully hot.  Femme becomes Daddy and tops butch boy — even hotter.  That transformation from femme/female presenting to demanding Daddy is really good.

Strong, Xan West.  I sighed a happy sigh of recognition as I began to read this story.  These were my kind of people, characters most like me, trans and genderqueer, using gender as a tool for play and exploration.  Control, head games, intelligent complex topping, appreciation of the strength of the sub, I like that a lot.  And, ah yes, riding through the pain to reach joy.  Also, of course, a wall plays a pivitol role.  To me BDSM is about breaking down internal walls and barriers, using external ones to hold us up and bound us.  Great description of the toll topping takes on the top.  Mmmm… knife play.. yessssss, crazy sexy knife play.  This story answers the question, “Which one was your favorite”.  Favorite.  Right here.

Unworthy As I Am, Elizabeth Thorne.   Yes.  This.  ”It was, I realized, exactly what I wanted, but that didn’t mean it didn’t frighten me to agree.”  That is a delicious moment.  It requires courage and strength and trust to allow yourself to ask for that which you want and that also deeply frightens you.  Part of the appeal of BDSM, and more specifically D/s, for me is being able to feel that fear and desire fully.  To have someone who appreciates that those go hand in hand with some of us.  And to have an agreement, the trust and understanding with someone that even if I react strongly, cry, shout, or even say “no”, that these are an indication of the process I am undergoing — the process of shedding that fear — fear of wanting things that are taboo, fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of my desire for that pain, shame about all of that.  I need someone strong enough to know I need to be pushed, that I want to be pushed, through those barriers – emotional and mental – so I can come out on the other side strong and victorious.  Pain for me is not the goal, I’m going for the reward bestowed by my Sir for pushing through that pain.  Come to think of it, this explains why I enjoyed cross country running so much in high school.

The end of this story made me tear up.  D/s doesn’t just turn me on, when it’s very well done it plays with my emotions as skillfully as it does my cock and clit.  This story was the perfect way to end the collection.  Well done, Sinclair. Bravo.

This collection is so good, my usual maximum rating of 5 boots just doesn’t seem like enough, so 6 boots for Say Please, the Lesbian BDSM Erotica anthology edited by Sinclair Sexsmith.

fullbootfullbootfullbootfullbootfullbootfullboot

Disclaimer:  I don’t receive payment for reviewing Clies Press books, but I do get to keep the books I review.  I’m under no pressure to provide positive reviews and I promise to give you the truth about each book as I see it.

 

 

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4 Responses to Reviewing Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica

  1. Red says:

    I don’t think re-titling it “Queer BDSM Erotica from the Perspective of Female-Assigned-at-Birth Persons” would hit your target of more gender inclusivity, because that really leaves trans women out in the cold.

    looking forward to reading the book!

    You are absolutely right that it would not be inclusive of queer trans women. However, it would cover the range of experiences as they are presented in this particular anthology, which does not include lesbian/queer trans women as characters. Excellent point, Red. Thank you – K

  2. Dilo Keith says:

    I know it’s totally uncool to reply to a negative review, but I want to comment on a couple of things. I’m especially fond of bodies most people would call overweight and had a personal (rather than literary) reason for describing the character as I did. It’s very helpful to learn it gave the impression of being fat-phobic. I suspect the instructional aspect came, in part, from the story being based on my first BDSM experience. I’m grateful for the feedback.

    Thank you for the response. I’m glad you took it as constructive. I deliberated quite a bit before including that critique because I didn’t want to come across as completely negative. And I think my reaction was perhaps stronger than it might have been because the anthology includes the piece Gentleman Caller, by Sossity Chiricuzio which portrays an ‘overweight’ body in a positive light. I have no doubt at all that you will continue to write hot stories and you’ll grow as a writer — as we all hope to do. I certainly hope I will be able to take critique of my writing as well as you have. Thank you again for the response – K

  3. Pingback: 30 Days, 30 Blog Posts: The Virtual Say Please Tour is Over : Sugarbutch Chronicles

  4. ZS says:

    Just ordered it based on your review!

    right on, you’re gonna love it. Please drop me a line and let me know what you think – K

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