Say Please: An Interview With Sinclair Sexsmith About Kinky Lesbian Smut

One our our favorite things is getting a sneak peek at the hottest new books, toys, and movies and this is no exception. We got an advance copy of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, the latest collection of kinky stories to come from Cleis Press. Sinclair Sexsmith edited it and took the time to share a few thoughts about the book and about lesbian kinky erotica in general.

1) Lesbian kinky erotica has grown and changed a lot since Macho Sluts (that was the first book of dyke kink smut, wasn’t it?). What are some of the shifts that you’ve seen? How did that affect this book?

If that wasn’t the first book, it was certainly one of the first. I’ve loved that for years, my copy is all dog-eared and broken-spined. The biggest shifts I’ve seen in queer smut writing is that there is just copious amounts more of it\’more blogs, more anthologies, more tumblrs, more people putting their desires down into writing and out there into the world.

I think that’s meant that we have a more diverse representation of what’s sexy, of bodies and body types, of orientations, and of kinky, perverted, awesome sex acts than ever before. I’d love to see queer smut take on a serious (r)evolution in the same way that queer porn has, meaning that I think queer porn is pretty much the best porn in the porn industry these days, and we’re doing the most radical, ethically responsible, fascinating, gender-forward, kink-forward things, with directors like Courtney Trouble and Shine Louise Houston especially.

I love that we’ve got more queer smut on the market, but it’s also time to start making better queer smut, more specialized anthologies, and more quality writing. The book industry is doing some tricky evolving of their own, these days, but the one thing that will certainly remain true is that if you like what’s going on\’queer porn or smut or bloggers or whomever\’make sure you support it financially, as much as you can, by buying the book or the DVD or the membership or whatever, and that’ll really help us all to keep bringing you more and better fantasies, smut, porn, and general jack off material.

2) In your introduction, you write “the more I look closely at BDSM, the harder it is for me to bring my flogger down on it and define precisely what I think it means.” Can you tell us a bit more about that?

I thought I knew what BDSM was when I started this anthology, but as I read more and more submissions I realized that what I’d been thinking of as “BDSM” was really quite limited. I tend to use “kink” as more of a general umbrella term for BDSM, fetishes, role play, age play, toys, tools, and all sorts of sexual exploration, so I was thinking of BDSM as a small subset of that, rather than as an equivalent umbrella term. But as I started finding more stories that explored other fetishes or kinks in ways that I really loved\’that were smart and sexy and really hot and well-written and perhaps a little unusual but still very relatable\’I knew I wanted to include those, too. I think the closer I got to it, the harder it was to pinpoint exactly what BDSM is, and my understanding of it broadened after going through these stories.

3) Say Please offers an incredible range of fantasies and desires. Given how diverse people’s sexual turn-ons are, what were some of the highlights in the selection process? What were some of the challenges?

My own taste is definitely my biggest influence, so there are a lot of saucy butch/femme pieces, some daddy/girl play, lots of strap-ons, quite a bit of sensation play. But at the same time, I tried to choose a wide range of other explorations, like piss play and knives and threesomes. Some of the actual actions in the book I wouldn’t necessarily list as personal favorite fetishes or kinks, but they are so damn well written and queer and smart and sexy that I felt turned on and excited by the stories.

I think the best BDSM erotica can do that for a reader\’turn us on to something we perhaps wouldn’t usually consider, and perhaps will never consider again, but for now, for the moment, the author takes us through such a rich and vivid description of not just what the characters are exploring but also why. And we, the readers, get it\’if only for now. I love that suspension of our own orientations or desires, and I think it can help us grow as sexual beings.

It was a challenge to get a diverse range of stories, especially in terms of ethnicity, but the gender orientations were also challenging. It’s not a butch/femme book, even though that’s my particular favorite combination, so I did my best to include both highly gendered but not butch/femme stories and also lesbian stories that don’t necessarily have a gender component.

Putting together an erotica anthology is quite a challenge, especially because everyone’s taste is a little different. Cleis’s favorite story and my favorite story were different, and I bet your favorite story will be different than those two, too. Because of our different tastes, it’s hard to really review or recommend erotica\’but hopefully the wide range and the good writing in this collection will mean that all the readers will find a few stories they love, at least.

4) Not only did you choose stories to cover lots of different kinks, you also have established writers, relative newcomers, and first-timers. Did you have a specific intention to do that when you started, or did it just work out that way? How did that influence the book?

I aimed to have a combination of seasoned erotica writers and newer voices in the book, yes. It’s a formula that the Best Lesbian Erotica series has frequently used over the years, which has been a huge influence on me and my work and how I am now editing anthologies. I love the combination of authors that I know and whose work I love in addition to the folks who are starting out.

Plus, I teach writing workshops, often sex writing, and many of the folks who come, write something, or share some of their work are incredibly talented, and I try to encourage them to submit to anthologies. I think the queer sex writing landscape is still missing dozens\’hundreds!\’of perspectives, and the more we can write about our own stories and our own desires, the more examples will be out there in the world. That’s a big part of why I started writing smut, really, was because I didn’t see what I loved reflected, so I started telling stories to my lovers, writing my own.

I think the largest influence of newer writers is that often, they are not stuck in a rut of their own ‘erotica voice,’ so they are more experimental and more raw. I love that in a good smut piece.

Pick up your copy of Say Please here. And be prepared for a fun evening in!

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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