Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Trans and Terfs and Tossers and Tantrums (part 1)

This whole tiresome unpleasant ongoing ruck seems to me to have two main causes.
Some people can’t accept that they are not the centre of the fucking universe
Some people find that being progressive is no fun unless they can find a moral justification to be absolutely horrible to other people.

(Peace. Smell the flowers. Be excellent or at least not a raging arsehole)

So some trans activists behave as though their worst and most dangerous enemies are feminists, and some radical feminists behave as though all trans people are their worst and most dangerous enemies. This isn’t two bald men fighting over a comb, it’s two lots of people in a burning house blaming each other for having left the bath running instead of helping each other climb out of the window. While a whole mob of other people outside are either hurling petrol onto the flames or loading marshmallows onto sticks for toasting.

That paragraph alone’s going to make some people decide that I’m One Of The Bad Ones.

I actually believe what I believe (and hope) the vast majority of other people believe – that everyone else should be entitled to go about their daily business unmolested. That it’s not OK to attack or try to kill or threaten to kill people because of what they are (different ethnic group, gender, belief system, social class, gender identity) rather than condemning or acting against them because of what they do (thieves, murderers, abusers, bigots, warmongers).

Transpeople and radical feminists have a lot in common, really. Both groups want an end to hetcis male violence against them. The vast majority of violent attacks on any kind of people are committed by heterosexual cismen. When it comes to violent physical attacks on other people for disagreeing, or being different, the tally of such attacks committed by radical feminists in the name of radical feminism comes to…


Well, OK, Valerie Solanas. Maybe. She did shoot Andy Warhol, though he didn’t die.


When I was a newbie feminist I heard stories of an attack on a lesbian SM club called Chain Reaction, which was perpetrated by a radical feminist group and involved physical violence (the club premises smashed up and clubgoers hurt; at least one needing to be taken to hospital). But no one died. And that’s the only incident of major violence perpetrated by radical feminists that I have ever heard of.

LGBT people and feminists, despite all the various differences in policies and priorities, should all be allies against a worldwide culture that considers them less fully human than heterosexual cismen.

But it seems that, at the moment, some transpeople and transactivists are turning all their firepower on the group that has the least amount of actual power to act against them. Just as some radical feminists are focussing all their rage on a small group with little actual power.

This post is already getting enormous so, actually, will do the rest of it in a day or so. I haven’t finished.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Anthologies: Something for Everyone

That’s a line I use when I’m in one of my favourite positions – standing behind a table decked with books and facing a horde of eager money-waving punters (not three tramps and a stray dog who’ve come in to get warm, oh no not at all). I’ve heard it said that, in general, publishers don’t much like anthologies of short stories by different authors, and that readers don’t like them either. Either this is as much of a crock as most received wisdom, or it’s just another case of erotic fiction in general being an exception to most of the rest of the rules.
Because, as a veteran flogger of mucky books (damn near 20 years at the London Fetish Fair, quite a bit of time spent at the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar and Bristol’s SWAMP kink market not to mention about a dozen Eroticas) I have always found it easier to coax buyers into shelling out for an anthology than a novel.
This may be partly down to erotica as a genre being low profile – few people could name more than one* erotica author unless they are already enthusiasts – and individual titles not, on the whole, being promoted via billboards or TV advertising in the way that even midlist crime/chicklit/sci-fi books usually are. The potential buyer, particularly if s/he has not read much erotic fiction, may not be so keen to gamble that one novel out of a tempting array of titles is The One That Will Get Me Off when, for the same price or maybe even less, a collection of works by different authors has far better odds of containing at least one story or scene that speaks directly to the reader’s personal arousal triggers.

Anyway, all that said, I’ve actually got stories in three different newly-hatched collections, so I can hustle and bamboozle you all into shopping with even more choice.

First, for those of you who like a bit of femdom, Nexus have finally released Hell In High Heels 2, a seriously filthy selection of stories featuring dominant women. The story I sent in to that collection involves a mature and rather aristocratic domina of the old school, her maid and some creative and potentially risky fun and games with bramble cables. Those of you who read Black Heart might find you recognise a couple of the characters, as well…

You can grab that for your e-reader only...

Still in femdom corner but a bit more subtle and sensuous and all that, is the story I have in Smut By The Sea 3. The heroine is looking back on the first summer she spent away from home and the things she learned about her own inclinations. And if you think you remember her from a few previous efforts of mine, well, you might just be right about that. The Smut anthologies are generally light-hearted fun rather than mind-altering intensity and more at the erotic romance end of the scale than the hardcore one, but good summer reading all the same.

You can download that or buy an actual book

But if you want something completely different, check out Valves and Vixens, a book of steampunk erotica. I remember getting all unnecessary over myself when I read the requirements for this one, as it meant I finally had a chance to write about one of my favourite mad sci-fi-type theories: orgone accumulation. Do what? Well, it’s a theory originally put about by one Wilhelm Reich to the effect that intense emotions make the human brain emit energy particles which can be harvested. Sort of. There’s no evidence that this is anything other than complete bollocks, but as a starting point for a story? Get in!

Again, up to you whether you want it as a download or a paperback

So whether you’re looking to load up the Kindle before hitting the beach or prefer a paper copy on the grounds that physical books are more forgiving if dropped off a pedalo or covered in sangria, hope this helps you pick your summer reading.