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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

Up For Grabs: Exploring the Worlds of Gender

Edited by Lauren P. Burka

Book Review by Lisabet Sarai

 

Seduce Me

Way back in 1996, Cecilia Tan, the founder of Circlet Press, edited an amazing anthology called Genderflex: Sexy Stories on the Edge and In-Between.  The book remains one of my all-time favorite erotica titles. (It's out of print now, as far as I can determine. Perhaps Circlet should bring it back as an ebook.)

The theme of the collection was gender ambiguity. The characters in those stories were not content with the sexual pigeonholes offered by society.  In their worlds, gender was a matter of choice and personal inclination, not necessarily a biological fact. The book featured cross-dressing, packing, surgical gender mods and as I recall, some alien sex as well.

When I was offered the opportunity to review Lauren Burka's new Circlet title Up for Grabs, I eagerly agreed. The focus appeared to be similar, but after more than a decade, things have changed. Genetic modification, vat-grown artificial organs, immersive virtual reality, routine gender reassignment surgery, all the stuff of science fiction in the mid-nineties, are no longer surprising. If they're not commercially available now, they will be within a few years. I was extremely curious to see how Ms. Burka's contributors handled the brave new world in which we live today, or envisioned the worlds we might inhabit in the future.

After reading Up for Grabs, I have one complaint. It's much too short!  The collection includes only five stories. They are good stories, to be sure, but there's so much more that could be said on this topic. I don't understand why Ms. Burka did not cast her net more widely. However, I enjoyed the tales she did select.

“Only for Myself: Japan 2043” by Zachary Jernigan, gives a new meaning to the term auto-eroticism. The main character is a female author who is obsessed with herself as a man. Advanced technology allows her to experience orgasms inflicted by her male alter-ego. She's not interested in the equally augmented young admirer of her work who wants to participate in her solipsistic orgies.

David D. Levine's “Fair Play” is a humorous tidbit communicated entirely in dialogue. What if your girlfriend suddenly whipped out her new custom penis, tank-grown from her own genetic material? “Just change an X to a Y, and ― voila!”  Imagine the possibilities...

In Ellen Tevault's “Transplant”, the country has split into the conservative, totalitarian Right Republic and the queer-loving New Republic. The New Republic offers Gender Reassignment Transplants. People with gender dystopia like poor Katrina (née Lance) can exchange genitalia with someone equally dissatisfied with his or her biological equipment. “Transplant” includes a marvelous scene in which Katrina and her GRT match Chad make love, aroused by the bodies they hope will be soon their own. 

“Passage” by Anya Levin mirrors my own convictions that most people have both male and female aspects and that love and desire transcend gender. In the world of this story, people live part of their lives as women and part as men.  Sira bids farewell to her female lover Maya and welcomes back the same soul in the male body of Merrick. This may be the most erotic story in the collection, celebrating sex in all its guises.

The final story in the book in Vinnie Tesla's bizarre and hilarious pseudo-Victorian opus, “The Ontological Engine, or The Modern Leda”.  This bawdy tale, which reads like The Pearl on acid, seemed to me to have little connection to the book's theme, but it is so funny that it's worth the price of the book all by itself.  Here's the first paragraph:

It is imperative that I make this utterly clear from the start: my motives in the affair of Miss Pertwee were the very highest. Desire for personal gain, worldly fame for the name of Daedalus Tesla, or selfish pleasure of any sort were absent from my mind at all junctures. I hope that my setting down the bare facts of the case will suffice to clarify that the dreadful outcome which resulted arose despite the noblest intentions on my part, and could never have been reasonably foreseen.

It continues in this vein, a delirious marriage of Frankenstein and Thorne Smith, until my stomach hurt from laughing and my husband begged me to stop dragging him away from his own book to read him juicy snippets.

At seventy two pages, Up For Grabs is too brief to be a definitive statement on the topic of gender bending. It is worth reading, nevertheless.

Lisabet Sarai
September 2009

Up For Grabs: Exploring the Worlds of Gender
(Cleis Press, 2009; ISBN: B002CGSY8K)
Available at: Amazon Kindle Edition | Fictionwise eBooks

_____
© 2009 Lisabet Sarai. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

About the Author: Lisabet Sarai has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. She is the author of three erotic novels, Raw Silk, Incognito, and Ruby's Rules; co-editor, with S.F. Mayfair, of the anthology Sacred Exchange (Blue Moon); and editor of Cream, the Best of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.
Visit her website, Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory for more information and samples of her writing.
Join Lisabet's List on Yahoo for exciting chat, contests, and up-to-date information on publications and events: lisabets_list-subscribe@yahoogroups.com



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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister