Naked Reader Book Club Discussion: Take Me There -Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, Edited by Tristan Taormino (January 24, 8-10 PM EST)

Sacchi Sacchi
With a few minutes left to go (but it's okay to hang around,) I'll post more of Tristan's introduction:

As befits an anthology about genderfucking, there are several pronoun variations you’ll come across in the text, including ze/hir/hir (which some readers will be familiar with) and hy/ hym/hys. Slowly, these new words are beginning to seep into our consciousness and people are using them more frequently in conversation and writing. Although this departure from she/ her/her and he/him/his may distract you at first, I challenge you not to get caught up in their newness and miss the depth of these stories in the process. The writers who chose to use these words have done so deliberately, because they best describe their characters. In the process, they push the language about gender- variant people to be more descriptive and less binary. And those who use he/she pronouns, do so in wonderful ways; there is something deliciously dissonant about reading about his clit, her dick, his tits and her scrotum. What all this reveals, of course, is just how limited our language is for describing people of other genders.

Our language is also severely limited when it comes to describing the bodies of transpeople, bodies that don’t conform to norms and may not look like other bodies. How do we eroticize these bodies, talk about them in dirty ways, worship and respect them? In several of the pieces, there is a tension between body image and the bodies we imagine. The spectrum of bodies we were born with, bodies we live in, bodies we want and bodies we create is present in some way in all of the stories. As characters work to quiet discomfort and shame and embrace acceptance, it’s clear that the body is a place of much more than simply pleasure. It can be a site of self-doubt, pain and memory, but it’s also one of craving, fantasy, transgression and, ultimately, freedom. In Julia Serano’s “Little Blue Thing,” when the narrator’s body betrays her, she finds a humorous way to overcome it. The couple in “Somebody’s Watching Me,” by Alicia E. Goranson, shape-shift into different bodies as they have sex. With a nod to both a narcis- sistic phase of gender transition and transdyke desire, the woman in Tobi Hill-Meyer’s “Self Reflection” has the opportunity to explore the body of her future self—and gladly takes it. The main character in “Face Pack,” by Penelope Mansfield, manages to turn a misogynist Japanese porn trope on its head—rolling a celebration of her smooth skin and an empowered filthy girl fantasy into one surprising scene. The Daddy in Toni Amato’s “That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of” rides a dangerous line, as he takes a sharp blade to a cunt that has seen a different kind of knife.

Be prepared for cock to have multiple delicious meanings in these stories. Get ready for what you might think is a pussy or a cock to be called something else entirely. Some cocks are strapped on then thrown off to the side, as happens in one guy’s beach adventure in “The Hitchhiker,” by Sinclair Sexsmith. Some stay put no matter what. Others are always there, but not always accessible, as in Dean Scarborough’s “Shoes Are Meant to Get You Somewhere,” where a submissive gets a taste of a new kind of cock. “He had never, ever heard that tone in Hayden’s voice before—sometimes the man had moaned and whispered dirty things to him before when Oscar had sucked Hayden’s cock, but never this cock, and his voice had never sounded like this before.”

Speaking of cocks, I worked diligently to represent a diversity of genders, sexual orientations, identities and bodies in the anthology. However, I want to acknowledge there is one group that feels the least represented: transwomen who’ve had bottom surgery. I can speculate about a number of reasons why this might be, but I want to challenge writers to tell the erotic stories of these women, and editors, including me, to seek them out and publish them.
01/24/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I hope not, I'd be sitting here with my Kindle charging book after book to my debit card...
me too. I have to physically restrain myself when books I want are available. Good thing ( insert nameless book vendor here) offers free ebooks or I would never have any money.
01/24/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by Top Kat
Hey y'all, I need to take off. Hope everyone has a fabulous night!
Night! Thanks for coming!
01/24/2012
winterseve winterseve
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I hope not, I'd be sitting here with my Kindle charging book after book to my debit card...
Same here. I love ebooks and now that I have a kindle replacing my sony ereader from 7 years ago it's even better with more options.
01/24/2012
Kiki DeLovely Kiki DeLovely
I know I'm going to forget some...but some of my faves that come to mind are "The Man with the Phoenix Tattoo" (loooved following these two characters outside of the Marketplace series -- if y'all haven't read that series and are into bdsm, do check it out!), "The Hitchhiker" (Sinclair writers are link and I just love their writing), I thought "Self-Reflection" was a unique and interesting take, I agree that "Punching Bag" is one of Rachel's best pieces and appreciate its vulnerability, and I loved "Hold Up" -- could relate all too well to (some of) the characters.
01/24/2012
NuMe NuMe
Quote:
Originally posted by Top Kat
Hey y'all, I need to take off. Hope everyone has a fabulous night!
Thanks for joining us Kat! Hope you have a fabulous evening as well. Tell Brenda we're sorry her computer isn't cooperating tonight.
01/24/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
Quote:
Originally posted by Top Kat
Hey y'all, I need to take off. Hope everyone has a fabulous night!
Night!!, Thanks for joining us!!
01/24/2012
Sacchi Sacchi
And now the rest of the intro. The last in my quiver of weapons for steering us back on-tioic, although we really never left it.


Many of the people who populate these pages consciously invent, reimagine and play with gender during sex. The names they give themselves or call each other—cocksucker faggot, bad boy, bitch, Daddy, good little girl, filthy slut, gangsuck cumshot facial whore—can taunt or tease, but they always signify the presence of gender among sweaty bodies, lube bottles, latex gloves and leather harnesses. Gender is always there, usually front and center. Some of the pieces illuminate how gender can complicate sex, as when Rahne Alexander’s narrator struggles with anxiety about revealing herself to a new lover in “Now, Voyager.” Gender can also simplify sex—like it does in Gina de Vries’s role-play fantasy “Cocksure,” where a virgin teenage boy is seduced by his friend’s older sister. He straddles a sense of sureness and shyness, and ultimately his gender frames his desire: “He’s breathing that heavy way he does, the way he gets sub-verbal and breathy when he really goes under; becomes nothing but his hard cock and hungry mouth, big eyes and smooth hands.”

On the other hand, there are some compelling examples of how sex complicates gender. In “Canadian Slim,” Shawna Virago’s trans narrator is discouraged by sexual partners who treat her like a fetish object: “I was both a source of desire and shame, and it didn’t feel good.” But sex can simplify gender, too, reduce it to its base of want and need. In Zev Al-Walid’s “From Fucktoy to Footstool,” a transboy gets to fuck his Daddy for the first time. Put in very compromising bondage and a hood, his body is whittled down to one single hand.

Bondage isn’t simply rope and knots: passion and pleasure reside at the intersection of gender and power. Nearly half of the stories in this anthology feature some kind of BDSM. Two trans guys embrace their masculinity through masochism and submission in contributions from Arden Hill and Rachel Kramer Bussel. At the other end of the kinky spectrum, Skian McGuire’s sadistic narrator spins a dark, unrelenting and revealing tale that takes us on a wild ride as he conjures up “The Boy the Beast Wants.” Laura Antoniou wrote an original story for this book that stars Chris Parker, one of the main characters in her S/M erotic novel series The Marketplace. Whether you’re a fan of the series or not, you’ll enjoy tagging along as Parker under- goes a series of visits to a tattoo artist to mark and transform his body, while his longtime lover Rachel experiences a different kind of pain, potentially both physically and emotionally scarring.

Where are the stories about the erotic identities, sex lives, and fantasies of transgender and genderqueer people? Well, twenty- nine of them are here. This collection will take you from San Francisco to Israel, from heartache to lust, from stranger sex to a ten-year anniversary, from a pair of ballet shoes to a butt plug bondage table, from fumbling teenagers to leatherclad bears, from M to F and F to M—and in between and beyond. These stories celebrate the pleasure, heat and diversity of transgender and genderqueer sexualities. The thread that runs through each of the stories is a glimpse at where our sexual imagination can take us.

I chose the title Take Me There for several reasons. Bodies can be tricky territory: minefields or playgrounds or both, and the power of giving and taking is a gift. I want to acknowledge that moment of surrendering a part of your body, a piece of your sexuality that may feel scary, but through the fear owning it, asking for it, even commanding it, as in, “Take me there.” Throughout the book, people harness their desire and imagina- tion to go places that transcend bodies and language. They craft new worlds, rituals, and experiences beyond borders. I love all the fantasies these authors have designed, and I want to visit more of their worlds, as many as our sexual minds can create. My bags are already packed. So take me there.
Tristan Taormino New York
01/24/2012
NuMe NuMe
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
I know I'm going to forget some...but some of my faves that come to mind are "The Man with the Phoenix Tattoo" (loooved following these two characters outside of the Marketplace series -- if y'all haven't read that series and ... More
They sound like great stories! And did you know that Sinclair is a columnist for our magazine SexIs?
01/24/2012
bzzingbee bzzingbee
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
I know I'm going to forget some...but some of my faves that come to mind are "The Man with the Phoenix Tattoo" (loooved following these two characters outside of the Marketplace series -- if y'all haven't read that series and ... More
Oh, yeah, 'The Man with the Phoenix Tattoo' was very good too! I'll have to check out the Marketplace series.

There were just too many great stories in this collection!
01/24/2012
Kiki DeLovely Kiki DeLovely
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
I know I'm going to forget some...but some of my faves that come to mind are "The Man with the Phoenix Tattoo" (loooved following these two characters outside of the Marketplace series -- if y'all haven't read that series and ... More
Oops...that should say, "Sinclair writes at..."
01/24/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by Sacchi
And now the rest of the intro. The last in my quiver of weapons for steering us back on-tioic, although we really never left it.


Many of the people who populate these pages consciously invent, reimagine and play with gender during sex. The ... More
Wow, these all sound so good! The book is now totally going into my next order! I really like her description of where the title came from, it gives it so much more meaning!
01/24/2012
bzzingbee bzzingbee
all right, i'm going to take a break from the computer. night all, it was fun and educational! Thanks for coming to chat Kiki!!
01/24/2012
NuMe NuMe
Before everyone leaves I wanted to mention...

The next meeting will be Tuesday Feb 7th at 8pm EST. We will be discussing Best Lesbian Romance 2012. I will be posting the monthly book selection for February on the blog some time tomorrow. Please check the selections and send your requests as soon as you can to Laurel at nakedreaderbookclub @gmail .com

Thanks everyone for joining tonight. Thank you Sacchi for hosting. Thank you Brenda, Kat, and the rest of the Cleis gang. A special thank you to Kiki for joining us.

I had a wonderful time and I hope you all did as well. What a great conversation! I learned so much. Looks like this is another book I need to put on my wishlist.

Feel free to continue chatting as long as you like.

Have a good night!
01/24/2012
Sacchi Sacchi
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
Oops...that should say, "Sinclair writes at..."
Thanks, everybody, for a tremendous discussion. You all rock!
01/24/2012
Kiki DeLovely Kiki DeLovely
Quote:
Originally posted by NuMe
They sound like great stories! And did you know that Sinclair is a columnist for our magazine SexIs?
I do know that, Liz! Sinclair is also a friend of mine and I like to publicize their work -- actually have a link on my blog to one of Sin's SexIs columns -- such great work!!
01/24/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
Quote:
Originally posted by bzzingbee
all right, i'm going to take a break from the computer. night all, it was fun and educational! Thanks for coming to chat Kiki!!
Night!
01/24/2012
winterseve winterseve
Thanks everyone! Good night!
01/24/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
Quote:
Originally posted by Sacchi
Thanks, everybody, for a tremendous discussion. You all rock!
Thank you, it's always enjoyable to spend time with you guys!!!
01/24/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
I should probably start focusing on my homework, myself! I hate to leave since I only got here around 7! Have a fun rest of the night, everyone!
01/24/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I should probably start focusing on my homework, myself! I hate to leave since I only got here around 7! Have a fun rest of the night, everyone!
G'night!! I am heading out too. Gonna work on some reviews.
01/24/2012
Kiki DeLovely Kiki DeLovely
Quote:
Originally posted by NuMe
Before everyone leaves I wanted to mention...

The next meeting will be Tuesday Feb 7th at 8pm EST. We will be discussing Best Lesbian Romance 2012. I will be posting the monthly book selection for February on the blog some time tomorrow. ... More
Oooh, I just got my review copy of Best Lesbian Romance 12 recently and am making my way through it now! I'll be posting a review soon! So I hope to be able to join y'all for that discussion.

It was a pleasure, y'all! Thanks for having me! And feel free to contact me on my blog or keep up with me on facebook or twitter (Kiki DeLovely on both) -- I usually post about where my work is being published and other fun stuff I find interesting.
01/24/2012
NuMe NuMe
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
I do know that, Liz! Sinclair is also a friend of mine and I like to publicize their work -- actually have a link on my blog to one of Sin's SexIs columns -- such great work!!
Yes Sinclair does great work! Along with cohosting Naked Reader I take care of SexIs social media. So I read pretty much every article. lol I'm glad you enjoy our magazine.
01/24/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
Oooh, I just got my review copy of Best Lesbian Romance 12 recently and am making my way through it now! I'll be posting a review soon! So I hope to be able to join y'all for that discussion.

It was a pleasure, y'all! Thanks for ... More
Thanks for visiting!!!
01/24/2012
NoOneNosMe NoOneNosMe
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
Oops...that should say, "Sinclair writes at..."
If I may ask how is it to be with someone who is genderqueer? I'm bigender so I'm on the opposite side. Were you confused at first? Weary about it at all?
01/24/2012
Willow Wand Willow Wand
Ok, so now I am getting MAILER-DAEMON anytime I try to send an email to that gmail address. Will someone PLEASE email me? willow at awomanandherwand dot com Thanks!!!
01/24/2012
Kiki DeLovely Kiki DeLovely
Quote:
Originally posted by NoOneNosMe
If I may ask how is it to be with someone who is genderqueer? I'm bigender so I'm on the opposite side. Were you confused at first? Weary about it at all?
You may indeed ask and I'm more than happy to answer.

I consider myself to be very fortunate in that despite some of the cultures in which I was raised, I never once questioned my queerness. It took lots of reading and life experiences to get to where I'm at now, yes, but I never had to struggle with my attractions (in the ways that so many folks do go through and that's why I consider myself fortunate because I know how wearisome these struggles can be).

The short of it is: It's *amazing* and a great privilege to be with someone who is genderqueer. A gift from the universe. Folks who fuck gender and consciously examine it are so very sexy in my world. I was never confused by being attracted to trans and genderqueer and butch folks, no, never even the slightest bit wary. That is where my desire lives (thrives!) and it just feels so incredibly right.

I could write sooo much more about this and I *love* these types of questions...but I don't want to take over this board. Instead, how about I write my next blog post about this? link And then you can ask any follow-up questions there (and please do ask! Not nearly enough folks interact on blogs these days and I appreciate any and all feedback or questions).

Thanks for the questions, NoOneNosMe! I hope that perhaps in the future your handle might change to something like "SomeOfMyPeopleKnowMe" if you find enough of your people with whom you can relate. It's so important to be seen and understood. I felt so grateful to hear that you could relate to my character -- that sort of amazing compliment makes my work all the more worthwhile and satisfying.

Thank you.
01/24/2012
NoOneNosMe NoOneNosMe
Quote:
Originally posted by Kiki DeLovely
You may indeed ask and I'm more than happy to answer.

I consider myself to be very fortunate in that despite some of the cultures in which I was raised, I never once questioned my queerness. It took lots of reading and life experiences ... More
I just subscribed to your blog. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I will also be sharing them with my girlfriend.
01/25/2012
Ivy Wilde Ivy Wilde
Sorry about missing the meeting. I got into a fight with a friend right before the meeting started and just couldn't make it back in time.

Life sucks sometimes.
01/25/2012
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Unique posters: 22