Sinclair Sexsmith is one of those erotica writers who makes me envious of the way they express themselves. I have been following their blog, SugarButch Chronicles, since forever, way back when they wrote intimately about their loves and relationships and sex. I would routinely read some turn of phrase in their stories of sexual exploits and be both turned on and eaten up with emerald envy at the way it was expressed.
They were also my primary source for definitive information on the first strap-on harness I ever got since I figured an experienced butch top who had tried and reviewed so many would be a stellar source for recommendations.
So given all that, when Sinclair asked me to review their new book, Rough and Sweet, as part of their book tour, I was all ‘Hell yeah!!’ even though it’s not F/m, so doesn’t strictly ‘fit’ here. Shut up. Don’t care.
Sinclair Sexsmith uses the description “cock-identified lesbian-feminist queer dyke” in the book to describe themselves, and as a cock-wielding dominant, most of the stories are centred around butch-femme play and sex involving their cock (soft packing, hard packing, strap-ons).
Many of the stories are about first time encounters, often with strangers: unexpected, coincidental hotness orchestrated by one or the other, with the exploration of bodies, the sorting out of roles, and gauging and eliciting of reactions that entails.
I like very much how the encounters start and build, with the anticipation being drawn out beautifully.
And then she gives me that look… that gorgeous look of desperation and desire, fierce and fiery; that look that might be what Medusa looks like, if anyone ever lived to tell of the power behind her eyes. I can be devoured by that look, I’ve seen it before and it has unraveled me at the seams.
‘All Five Senses’ was my favourite starting with voyeurism in a library and revealing a feisty bottom who knows exactly what she wants and challenges her top to deliver. The prose leading up to their contact is wonderful.
I don’t look back over to her, but go back to the library stacks, sifting through the Dewey decimal numbers on the spines, fingering the worn covers, the different textures, letting my fingers stroke the books as I take a few steps and follow the books around the corner.
The smut is hot and the stories flow well from the set up through to the porn. True to the title, they are often sweet, which I love, and sometimes rough, which I also love. The porn-bits themselves are hot and explicit and wank-worthy.
I was struck by the introduction to the book, which is a wonderful essay in and of itself that starts by asking the question:
Do rough sex fantasies compromise your sex-positive ethics?
It’s a great question. The essay goes on to discuss the intersection (or not) between reality and fantasies and the responsibility of erotica authors to work some form of education (about consent, about responsibilities, about negotiation, about STIs, about safety etc) into their writing. Sinclair concludes with this:
I encourage you to continue practicing being a responsible, ethical, sex-positive kinkster who operates from integrity. And I encourage you to read erotica stories that are edgy, full of force and lust, from authors whose ethics you trust and to believe that the responsibilities are filled in behind the scenes, just off the page…
I wanted to love this book beyond description, but I’m going to admit here that while I really enjoyed it and would certainly recommend it because it’s a great collection of hot queer smut, I didn’t quite get to the heights of capital L LOVE. I think my expectations were too high because I loved Sinclair’s early writings so very much. The stories as a set hit a bit of a repetitive note, and unlike Sinclair’s early writings, which were so very personal, I didn’t get as much of the intense intimacy and raw vulnerability that I had hoped for with some of these stories. I’ll say out loud that the latter is not really what erotica is about, so I think that speaks more to my own particular tastes and expectations than to the book’s content.
Overall: Recommended. Go get some!
Giving away a free copy of Rough and Sweet!
To celebrate the release of the book, Sinclair has kindly offered to give away a copy.
To be in the running, leave a comment here, include your email address in the appropriate field (it will not appear publicly), and I will randomly pick a winner in the next week. I’d strongly encourage you to enter because FABULOUS FREE SMUT!
To see what others had to say about the book on this blog tour, check out the following posts:
- September 22 – butchontap.com
- September 23 – alphaharlot.com
- September 25 – wholesexlife.com
- September 29 – whyarepeopleintothat.com
- September 30 – lesbrary.com
- October 1 – queeriebradshaw.com
- October 2 – domme-chronicles.com (uh… you’re here already, silly!)
- October 3 – writingdirty.com
- October 4 – bdswain.com
- October 5 – dearbutchlovefemme.wordpress.com
- October 6 – thecsph.org
- October 7 – makesexbetter.com
- October 8 – andreshaktixxx.com
Yingtai was kind enough to ask me a question in my last post’s comments and save me from my non-bloggery (thank you!).
When I started my blog I desperately wanted advice on what a future dom might NOT want me to write about. God knows my past doms have been a lot more private than I am. (I think subs must have some kind of compulsion to confess.)
*smile* Now of course I have zero idea what a future dom might not want you to write about, but I CAN tell stories…
I’d say first off that as a dominant, I’d love anything my submissive had to reveal about themselves in any blog they had. I would devour all that information like candy. I would love it.
But when it comes to my submissive blogging about me, I am really uncomfortable with it. Oh the hypocrisy!! I know!
When I had my (ex) boy write here on the blog about me and us, holy hell I struggled. And that meant that WE struggled. I wanted to control it, I wanted him to change things, I didn’t like this, and I didn’t like that and and…
It was surprising to me because I loved the way he wrote, I adored the things he had to say but suddenly when he was drawing a picture of *me* and *us* for public consumption, I felt exposed and vulnerable.
Obviously everything I write here is under my control. I AM a control freak and this is my *voice*. So when someone else got to tell *our* story from a different perspective, I was all interferey and difficult and contrary. And finally he got fed up and said to me, “Look, just tell me exactly what to write and I’ll write it, okay?!”
Point well made, and taken.
So I stepped back and let him have at it and I posted his thoughts unedited. And they were funny and wonderful and amazing, like he was. I loved it.
But of course, he wrote those pieces when everything was going well with us.
A second story, while I am telling stories…
Bambi had a blog when we were exploring the possibilities with us. He didn’t write more than peripheral and sweet hints of us in it in the lead up to our meeting. But when he was here and it wasn’t going well, he wrote a blog post about how he was feeling and he showed it to me before he posted it. He is a lovely man, and he wanted to check with me that it was okay before he published.
And ‘ouch’. It was hurtful. Not because it said anything horrible about me: it didn’t. It hurt because it said a lot about his unhappiness being here in Australia, how much he wanted to go home, and it said NOTHING about me. It was as if none of the sweetness between us existed or perhaps it just wasn’t worth anything. I had ceased to exist.
I could have asked him not to post it, and he wouldn’t have, but I thought that would be terribly unfair of me. I asked him to acknowledge me as a ‘not horrible’ bright spot in his unhappiness, which he did. That was probably unfair of me also.
In short, I have learnt that I hate being written about unless it’s purely about singing my praises to the heavens. I’m a control freak and an egomaniac and having someone else write about me pokes at both of those things and I don’t like it. I don’t like it one little bit.
Other dominants/submissives/people may be completely fine with any and all of it.
But me: Nope. Not happy. Do not want.
I am so fucking frustrated with the semi-anonymous nature of this blog and what it means for my writing.
Oh how easy it was to write when the boy I wrote about was mine: When I owned him and I owned our stories and they were mine to share as I wanted. The only rule I had for myself was to never write anything that would surprise or hurt him. And that was an easy guideline to follow because our communication was pretty damn good.
Now there are complications in writing about what is going on in my life because I don’t have that simplicity; those complexities stifle and paralyse me into silence.
Not least because there are thoughts that swim around in my head that I have no interest in discussing with those involved because we simply aren’t close enough, it’s irrelevant. They are personal puzzles and musings of the kind that I will probably never bring up with those involved, but that I would put out here as thought experiments if it wasn’t for the fact that those involved might read it, and I still have that rule about ‘no surprise or hurt’.
Couple that with a lack of zingish potential and the fact that most non-personal topics that I’m interested in talking about have been covered in the 5+ years I have been writing, and I find myself stymied here on the blog.
I’m trying to draw vague and non-specific stories out of things that are going on with me, out of thoughts that are floating around in my head, but it’s a lot of work and the watery-soft versions become sloppy and meaningless in the process.
I hate it.
Do you have any advice or a sort of primer for girls who want to experiment with being a domme? Like how to find partners, how to open that dialogue, what kind of ‘moves’ to try, what equipment is needed, how to explore the realm of activity… it really appeals to me, but I don’t know where to start.
Hello there anonymous asker,
These are great and huge questions.
My first piece of advice is to clarify in your own mind what ‘being a domme’ means to you. There’s no ‘one true way’ to be a dominant. D/s relationships run the gamut from full-on exclusive romantic coupleish relationships with a 24/7 dynamic to casual playtime with willing partners where you engage in some BDSM activity and then move on. So have a serious think about what you actually want. You might not know enough yet to be sure and that’s okay, the process of figuring it out might take a while, but it starts with what YOU want.
My second piece of advice is to read read read. Read everything you can get your hands on. Take everything with a grain of salt and use all of the information to decide what resonates for you and what sounds like an unholy mess of awfulness. I have a book list here, but you can also join a free site like fetlife.com and read some of the discussions there. I moderate a 50k+ group there called ‘Submissive men and the women who love them‘ and we have some great discussions about how to find partners, safe play etc. I’m ‘Ferns‘ over there if you want to send me a friend request.
My third piece of advice if you are a social kind of person is to join local groups and venture out to some local munches to meet people and learn first hand what’s what. This isn’t at all necessary, but if you like to talk, mingle, learn, mix etc, you might find it fun and useful. Fetlife has local event listings for pretty much everywhere.
To your specific questions (wow, this is long!):
“Like how to find partners”
I have found all of mine online (on collarspace.com, on fetlife.com and before that in BDSM chat rooms). Some people meet out in the BDSM community. Some people find vanilla folks and try to ‘convert’ them (this is a bit hit and miss).
“how to open that dialogue”
If you look online, you don’t need to. You already know that they are submissive, so what needs to be discussed is compatibility (obviously just because someone says they are ‘submissive’, it doesn’t mean they are right for you).
“what kind of ‘moves’ to try”
Heh. I like this question: “a double flip-twist with an overhand flick in a pike position”!
I assume you mean BDSM play things, and this comes back to my first suggestion above: I can’t tell you what you will like. My only suggestions are:
- Do things that excite you, not things that you feel you ‘should’ do
- Use a blindfold on your submissive when you start out (it’s a nice confidence booster to know that they can’t see you flailing about)
- Only do things that are within your skillset and knowledge so you are sure that it’s safe. E.g. Teasing: yes. Single tail: no.
“what equipment is needed”
You don’t NEED any equipment. Do you know how much fun you can have with your body, hands and mouth on various parts of his body with different intensity and sensation? So. Much. Fun!
Once you decide what kinds of play you are interested in, some of them might require some equipment. E.g. if you like impact play, you can absolutely use your hands, but you will probably want to try toys like floggers and paddles.
“how to explore the realm of activity”
Slowly and carefully with someone you trust. If you want to get an idea of what is in the realm of possibilities, google ‘BDSM checklist’. There are plenty out there like this one.
And always: safety first. Your submissive will trust you to look after them, so never over-step your skill level, and never be afraid to say that you don’t know how to do something.
Phew. Ungodly long! I hope it helps.
From 29M sub:
Subject: please talk me about ur sex
please talk me about ur sex
is the sexiest sex that ever sexed when sexy sexing was required
It had never occurred to me that I might be someone’s ‘relationship from hell’.
I have spoken about my own at times: in my mid-twenties, a relationship with a man who would not give an inch of ground on anything ever and into which I threw a level of rage I’d not have thought I had in me. A relationship that felt like a war zone into which I ran every day with guns blazing, wearing a deep and abiding unhappiness under my clothes, and wondering why I didn’t leave already.
It feels, almost, like a rite of passage, at least one relationship that you look back on with a kind of horror, painting it in a dull matt black when in truth there were always flashes of colour and light in it.
When you are young and searching for a match, you necessarily make mistakes. Those mistakes are how you learn what doesn’t work for you. And after you learn from them, you do something slightly differently next time, and in that slow slog, you do the painful work to figure out what you DO want from all of the times you run up against what you don’t.
And while I acknowledge out loud that I was (and am) a selfish person, I think in my younger years, I was also capable of a terrifying lack of care. Or perhaps it was a lack of empathy. Something I can’t quite articulate, but it was a combination that held the potential for a kind of cold indifference.
And yet, even knowing that, it still somehow had never occurred to me that I might well be someone’s ‘relationship from hell’. That someone might look back on their time with me and shudder, tell the story of the woman who brought out the worst in them, wonder why they stayed for so long, remembering me as the harshest lesson they ever learnt.
On that note, last week I heard from the first submissive with whom I had a serious D/s relationship. It had apparently been 15 years and 2 days since our last contact, 18 years since we were together. A lifetime ago. His second note spoke of hurt, a matter of factual history, and suddenly and for the first time I wondered if I was his ‘relationship from hell': an unhappy and cruel lesson learnt. It was a terrifying thought and I started picking at the edges of my memory to determine if it might be true.
Which got me thinking about other relationships and brought me to the sudden and awful revelation that perhaps in one of THOSE, I was the ‘relationship from hell’. It sent me spinning down this road, trying to dissect the bodies of relationships long past, pulling the insides out to see if I had left something awful in my wake.
I like to think not, of course. I like to think of myself as someone who brought a blinding flash of hot-awesome-happiness into the lives of people I have been close to, even if they were short-lived and ultimately superficial. If I’m honest, my ego wants some of them never to be quite as crazily happy as that ever again (I mentioned ‘selfish’, right?). I also like to think of myself as someone who would see hell if it was right in front of my face, but I have to acknowledge that when we are IN something, we often don’t see it clearly. Mostly we do the best that we can to deal and manage and navigate it, and of course we are all flawed in that.
But it seems unlikely now that it’s on my mind that I wasn’t someone’s idea of hell. That there isn’t someone who looks back and wonders at how horribly unhappy they were, incredulous that they stayed so long with me. I prefer to think that if it’s there, it’s a one-off, perhaps reciprocal with the man who was MY hell. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to think that I was his also.
A few emails later with the sweet boy who was my first, and it seems I wasn’t his relationship from hell, though I suspect that after it ended the hurt made it seem like I was for a time. My relief at that was palpable: Not just because it would be such an awful thing, but also because I wasn’t sure how to own my part in it if it was true, and I was well aware that it was mine to own. The very fact that I thought it might be possible says some things about me of which I’m not proud.
Either way, I’m so very glad.
I was jealous (I mean… graph porn!!), so I thought I would steal his idea and do the same. I thought I might even see some patterns since I feel like I am in a bit of a writing slump right now. Maybe it’s seasonal! Maybe it’s life stuff!
*click for bigger versions*
Hmmm… not really very enlightening. I average around 13 posts a month. I do remember a time when letting 2 days pass without a post made me feel angsty. By contrast, last month it was 5 or more days between posts: there’s not much going on, most of the topics I want to write about have been covered already, and I have no lovely boy to inspire new fabulous hot BDSM vignettes! Oh woe!
While I was on the graph porn, I thought I’d do a ‘where are my readers from’ addition. Look, here you all are!!
Then I thought I’d finish with a list of my top posts of all time (since whenever the stats started recording anyway).
|1. Which strap-on harness?|
|2. Submissive men: A celebration of beauty|
|3. Happy femdom stories – Mistress Kimm|
|4. Happy femdom stories – Her Majesty’s Plaything|
|5. ‘Topping from the bottom’ is bollocks!|
|6. When your submissive says ‘no’|
|7. Review: Fun Factory Stronic Zwei|
|8. First lesbian love|
|9. Advice for the newly minted submissive man seeking|
|10. Why chastity is hot|
|11. Drawing out hurt (including this 11th one because I really like it)|