Okay, since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, I’m going to suggest that you bring Best Sex Writing 2009 to the next destination wedding you’re forced to attend. There are several reasons for you to read this important work of non-fiction. First, there’s nothing like that four-letter word in a three-letter word’s body to offend everyone around you. It’s like cigar smoke on steroids. Next, actually reading the book will show you that there are many important issues regarding sexuality that should be explored. Finally, I have an essay in it. I’d like to have an essay in the 2010 volume (HINT, HINT, Rachel Kramer Bussel!).
Posts Tagged ‘sex writing’
First of all, I’m loving the blog Sex SF, the San Francisco Bay Guardian‘s “local sex-positive blog.” Every city should have one!
Rita Sapunor just wrote “My first orgy: A beginner’s guide to group sex” which starts with the line “” and goes on to give advice. Back in 2001 when I spent a lot of time in San Francisco, I went to some sex parties that were unlike anything I had experienced in New York. It’s definitely the city for it. Here’s some of her advice, read the piece for the rest:
IT’S YOUR PARTY AND YOU’LL COME IF YOU WANT TO
“If you wanna get laid, don’t host a party,” affirms panelist Cyrus No Last-Name. Like any fete, play parties require their share of organization. You’re not just creating a social atmosphere, but an erotic one, and the sky (and your floor plan) is the limit. Start by deciding on what kind of party you want. Tantric ritual or sub-dom play? Same sex or mixed gender? Full sex or just cuddling? Maybe you want the whole thing set in space, or maybe you’ll make your whole place look like some sort of pornographic Applebee’s. (Talk about eatin’ good in the neighborhood). Anything goes, provided you can get your guests to come (and cum?). Then, create a set of ground rules. Ground rules will allow you to control the tone of the party and keep your guests on the same page. Popular ground rules include a clothes check at the door, or arriving with a friend or partner for whom you are accountable. Strict policies to ensure safe sex are obviously worthwhile, though most panelists trust their guests enough not to necessitate monitors.
The Sex SF blog also recently ran “Ask a Porn Star” by Justin Juul in which Lorelei Lee answers questions from regular folks:
David C: Do female porn stars have fluffers?
Lee: No…and neither do male porn stars. There is no such thing as a fluffer, and I’d be willing to bet there never has been such a thing. We self-fluff.
VB: Was “Bonk” your pick for the book’s title, or did you want “Boink?”
MR: Bonk was my choice. Boink is a cartoony, silly word, whereas Bonk is almost onomonopeaic, or however you spell that word. Norton actually did some market research on this point. Most people have heard both terms, though more know Boink, it’s true. Those people will simply have to puzzle out what the book is about using the subtitle and the f–ing ladybugs.
Evangelical writers even coined a catchy new term, soulgasm, to describe the joys that await the evangelical wife: incredible orgasms plus intimate emotional connection with the husband plus the presence of God. They detail how the husband can become a “Superman-lover” and make his wife come repeatedly and how breasts and penises can be most sensually caressed. Websites such as My Beloved’s Garden even offer Christian sex toys (Christian vibrators, Christian clit-ticklers, Christian jelly rings) and pride themselves on marketing these items without any offensive pornographic images.
Repression just isn’t a very good marketing tool. It’s the promise of pleasure (and lots of it) that is building a new following for the religious right. Even more insidious, though, is the fact that the evangelicals haven’t confined their erotic message to religion. Instead, they’re moving into the realm of psychological health, even taking over the language of New Age therapy.
Suddenly the mainstream conversation in women’s magazines and on daytime talk shows is not so much about physical danger as about self-esteem. People who sleep around have low self-esteem. Porn use is a sign of low self-esteem. Even the supposedly kinder, gentler homophobia that has replaced the ugly old disgust-mongering rides on the self-esteem theme. Children of gays and lesbians are likely, we are now told, to suffer from low self-esteem.
As online artificial intelligence, personality-based programs become more prevalent – and the race to make them more convincingly human heats up – more humans will fall in love with and have sexual relations with that artificial babe onscreen. Virtual Kari is often described as the most popular virtual girlfriend in the world; amusingly, she has personality tweaking interfaces with adjustable sliders that allow boyfriends to adjust her ability to “stay on topic” and monitor her “independence.” In an emotional moment (Virtual Humans Forum, October 2008)
Kari’s developer wrote, “As a modern man I find the whole female/male game, ‘program,’ quite unforgiving. ‘When you find the right one, you’ll know it.’ Uh huh. What if there is something better than this game? What if we could bypass the ‘program’ and create a new paradigm based on our own dreams and our own fantasies? What if we could satisfy all our needs, and wants, to their fullest *bliss* without the pain of marriage or a relationship that needs to be maintained? (…) Anyway… I really enjoy having a virtual girlfriend because I created her personality so she is kinda like my dream. And dreams can do anything. The final verdict? As for me… I’m going make my own Eve. I mean, I have made my own Eve. And believe it or not… some of those majic [SIC] parts that come with real girls are transferable. In fact they work better. I think its because they can be manipulated under one vision. There is no back and forth about it.”
Click here to read the others, including an Obama baby boom (!!), sex in space, and more!
Oh, and she’ll stop taking submissions for both sites – January 3rd for the johns site, and January 14th for the working girls one, so get them in now if you plan to!
…but couldn’t get the rights to it. I still think it’s brilliant.
It’s called “Virginia is for… puritans: The fight over sex, nudity, and the First Amendment” and is by Lindsay Barnes, and it ties together porn busts, teenage PDAs, Abercrombie & Fitch, The Sex Workers Art Show and more, keeping it all local and focused and asking bigger questions about why these sex crackdowns are happening in Virginia:
Meanwhile, prosecutor Robertson said that multiple trials were not only necessary, but more practical.
“My thoughts are that I would be totally disgusted and sickened, and upset with somebody if I were a juror having to watch all this,” he said. “This way, it’s only four hours, and they’ll definitely get an idea of it.”
Robertson admits he has watched all 24 hours of porn the police purchased, and has not been shy about offering explicit description. In December he told the Hook, “I’m going after things like double penetrating women, slamming them in both orifices, multiple strangers ejaculating on the faces of women.” In January he said, “In just about every one of these things, you’ll see one guy inserting his penis into a woman’s vagina, and another guy inserting his penis into her anus, and then that guy puts it in her mouth, again, and again, and again.”
Asked why he speaks of the case in such graphic detail, Robertson said, “Why not? You need to know what you’re dealing with. Nobody’s attempting to gross anybody out. The jury is going to be required to look at it, and people need to know what this is.”
As for what will happen to the other 18 obscenity counts if Krial and Tinsley are acquitted in the first trial, Robertson said, “I’m not going to give up after one.”
Robertson is not the only prosecutor trying After Hours. Matthew Buzzelli is a member of the federal Obscenity Prosecution Task Force whose services are on loan to Robertson from the Justice Department. While the federal government has no jurisdiction, the Justice Department volunteered Buzzelli, he says, because of Staunton’s relative proximity to Washington.
Copies of Best Sex Writing 2009 are in the offices of my publisher, Cleis Press, and will be in bookstores and online stores any day now!
That means it’s time to start blogging about sex right here and interviewing my contributors. Stay tuned!
Here’s the Table of Contents and introduction:
Best Sex Writing 2009
edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Introduction: Sex is Everywhere
One Rape, Please (to Go) Tracie Egan
Searching for Normal: Do Dating Websites for People with STIs Liberate or Quarantine? Lynn Harris
Father Knows Best Amanda Robb
An Open Letter to the Bush Administration Mistress Morgana Maye
The Pleasure of Unpleasure Kristina Lloyd
What’s “Normal” Sex? Brian Alexander
Unleash the Beast “Josephine Thomas”
Is Cybersex Cheating? Violet Blue
Sex Offenders!! Kelly Davis
War Games: No WMDs but Military Police Find “Dangerous” Dildos in Iraq Tom Johansmeyer
In Defense of Casual Sex Tracy Clark-Flory
Soulgasm Dagmar Herzog
Sexual Problems: A Common Side Effect of Combat-Related PTSD Don Vaughn
Penises I Have Known Daphne Merkin
Sex Is the Most Stressful Thing in the Universe Dan Vebber
Silver-Balling Stacey D’Erasmo
Sex Dolls for the Twenty-First Century David Levy
Dear John Susannah Breslin
Oldest Profession 2.0: A New Generation of Local “Providers” and “Hobbyists” Create a Virtual Red-Light District Keegan Hamilton
How “Swingers” Might Save Hollywood from a Federal Pornography Statute Alan Levy
Why Bathroom Sex Is Hot James Hannaham
Kids and Comstockery, Back (and Forward) in the Day Debbie Nathan
The Immaculate Orgasm: Who Needs Genitals? Mary Roach
Introduction: Sex Is Everywhere
Sex is everywhere–in our bedrooms, classrooms, courtrooms, and offices, as well as on our TV and movie screens, streets, and newspapers. This was a big year for sex, from prostitution (Eliot Spitzer, Ashley Dupré, Deborah Jeane Palfrey) to teen pregnancy (Jamie Lynn Spears, Bristol Palin) and beyond.
You don’t have to look far to find sex, but you do have to get a bit bolder when looking for writing and thinking about sex that doesn’t play to the lowest common denominator. The essays and articles here explore the big, bad (and good) world of sex in many forms, from online personals sites (for those with STIs) to impassioned arguments for casual sex (and bathroom sexæsometimes one and the same, sometimes not), as well as affairs, purity balls, penises, cybersex, and more.
As I said earlier, sex is everywhereæincluding on the battlefields of Iraq. We may think of sex and war as mutually exclusive terrains, but as Don Vaughn’s story about sexual dysfunction and combat-related PTSD and Tom Johansmeyer’s “War Games,”—which looks at one contractor’s and two female soldiers’ penalization for possessing porn and dildos, respectively—make clear, the two are intricately linked. In fact, there’s no area of our lives where sex doesn’t play a role, even (or perhaps, especially) religion. In “Soulgasm,” an excerpt from Dagmar Herzog’s excellent book Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics, she looks at what Christian sex educators are saying about sex (from oral to anal to vibrators), and their advice may very well surprise you.
Our current mores and rules about sex didn’t spring up out of nowhere, as Debbie Nathan shows in her exploration of early twentieth-century vice czar Anthony Comstock.
The personal stories here are ones I think may best illuminate how complex, individualistic, confusing and profound sex can be. In “One Rape, Please (to Go),” Tracie Egan boldly starts out, “I blame my recurring rape fantasy on the fact that I’m a feminist.” If that’s not enough to keep you reading, I’ll give you a clue as to what happens next: she hires a man to pretend to rape her, but what she gets in return is not quite what she bargained for. Similarly, in Dan Vebber’s “Sex Is the Most Stressful Thing in the Universe,” the goal of finally having sex becomes exalted to the point of mania, with a little help from his overly neurotic girlfriend.
I’d like to give special thanks to Miriam Axel-Lute and the Sex Positive Journalism Awards (aka, the Sexies). Their project was launched in order “to recognize the times when journalists stick to the standards of their craft in the face of such challenges and produce good, informative journalism that spreads accurate sexual information, stays fair in covering highly charged topics, and celebrates healthy sexuality as a positive force in people’s lives.” “War Games” by Tom Johansmeyer, was one of their runner-ups for Sex-Themed Publications, and all of their winners are worth reading (see sexies.org).
There were many extraordinary pieces I was not able to include in this book. Please visit bestsexwriting2009.wordpress.com for links to some of these pieces and to read more about the latest in sex.
With Best Sex Writing 2008, many people said they’d expected something far juicer from the racy cover. If you’re looking for the latest jerk-off material, please check Cleis Press’s website for their many fine erotica offerings; this is not one of those books, though some of these stories may titillate you or spark your erotic imagination. I always recall that the brain is the biggest sex organ. Learning about sex can inspire us to be better, more knowledgeable and more empathetic lovers, family members, and citizens.
I hope this book will open your mind and make you think about your own sexuality, as well as your neighbors’, politicians’, and best friends’. It’s given me plenty of food for thought and I’m grateful that sex continues to challenge us to think, explore and appreciate its many nuances.
Rachel Kramer Bussel