Wednesday, July 26, 2017

New and Notable - Trans* Reads

On the last Wednesday of every month we take a few moments to look ahead and admire some of the books coming to shelves. There is nothing quite like the joy of anticipation, of pre-ordering a book that speaks to your heart, and of then having it arrive in your hot little hands. It is like a present to yourself, and there is just something a little more special about a book you have waited for.

So, without further ado, here are the New and Notable releases coming to shelves in June.


Harkworth Hall by L.S. Johnson
Expected Publication Date: August 1st

Caroline Daniels must marry, and marry well. But in her remote corner of England eligible suitors are few and far between, and none hold a candle to her closest friend, Diana Fitzroy.

When Sir Edward Masterson arrives, he seems the answer to Caroline’s financial worries, though she instinctively dislikes the reticent, older merchant. Soon Sir Edward has set his sights on acquiring both Caroline and the decaying Harkworth Hall.

Caroline’s future seems secure, save that Sir Edward’s enigmatic secretary hints at a dark secret, and Sir Edward shows an unusual interest in the nearby bay. To discover Sir Edward’s true purpose, Caroline will have to face the horror beneath Harkworth Hall—and the woman who will change her life.
A friend of mine landed an advance copy of this and has been teasing me with regular updates of his read. Sounds creepy and mysterious. - Sally


Expected Publication Date: August 4

Developed in the United States in the 1980s, facial feminization surgery (FFS) is a set of bone and soft tissue reconstructive surgical procedures intended to feminize the faces of trans- women. While facial surgery was once considered auxiliary to genital surgery, many people now find that these procedures confer distinct benefits according to the different models of sex and gender in which they intervene. Surgeons advertise that FFS not only improves a trans- woman's appearance; it allows her to be recognized as a woman by those who see her.

In The Look of a Woman Eric Plemons foregrounds the narratives of FFS patients and their surgeons as they move from consultation and the operating room to post-surgery recovery. He shows how the increasing popularity of FFS represents a shift away from genital-based conceptions of trans- selfhood in ways that mirror the evolving views of what is considered to be good trans- medicine. Outlining how conflicting models of trans- therapeutics play out in practice, Plemons demonstrates how FFS is changing the project of surgical sex reassignment by reconfiguring the kind of sex that surgery aims to change.
While I find the idea of complete sexual reassignment surgery terrifying, I am fascinated by the options available for facial feminization, so I am curious to see what Eric has to say. - Sally


Becoming Kerry by Lynn Kelling
Expected Publication Date: August 8th

Kerry Sanderson’s life is falling apart. He’s crushing himself to fit into the boxes others have put him in: dutiful son, good boyfriend, real man. But even the small rebellions he’s fought for himself—moving into a sketchy part of town and becoming an exotic dancer—aren’t giving him the freedom he needs. Ewyn Garrity, a security guard at the gay club where Kerry dances, has found himself in protecting others. Everyone thinks he’s straight, but Ewyn doesn’t fit into simple boxes, either. When he meets Kerry, he makes a not completely innocent offer of company after work.

Ewyn and Kerry hit it off, each finding something he desperately needs in the other. But when Kerry is forced to confront the pain and self-doubt that keep him crushed in his boxes, he’s afraid that no one, not even Ewyn, will be able to love who he is when he finally, truly becomes Kerry. (M/M, M/GQ)
I received a copy of this from Lynn earlier this month, and will be taking part in her upcoming book tour. It sounds like a lovely read . . . and I should have a review up next week. - Sally



Expected Publication Date: August 15th

On July 27th, 2015, Colin Cremin overcame a lifetime of fear and repression and came to work dressed as a woman called Ciara. Wearing full makeup, a blouse, a black skirt, and pantyhose, Cremin walked down the steps of a lecture theater in front of a hundred seated students and, without comment, gave her lecture as usual. In Man-Made Woman, Cremin charts her personal journey as a male-to-female cross-dresser in the ever-changing world of gender politics.

Interweaving personal narrative with political discourse, Man-Made Woman is a vivid exploration of gender, identity, fetishism, aesthetics, and popular culture through the lenses of feminism, Marxism, and psychoanalytic theory. Cremin’s anti-moralistic approach dismantles the abjection associated with male-to-female cross dressing, examines the causes of repression, and considers what it means to publicly materialize desire on one’s body. Man-Made Woman is an experiment that ultimately draws both author and reader into a conflict with their material, ideological, and libidinal relationship to patriarchal-capitalism.

With an emancipatory and empowering voice, Cremin interrogates her, his, and our relationship to the gender binary. In light of recent debate surrounding transgender bathroom rights in the United States, Man-Made Woman is a deeply personal account that offers timely insight for anyone interested in contemporary trans politics and queer theory.
This sounds like a fascinating story of crossdressing and gender exploration, approached from a different perspective. - Sally


Expected Publication Date: August 21st

Individuals who transition from one gender to another are often in some degree of a relationship, and over 55% of these relationships endure through the transition process.

While more resources are emerging for trans people themselves, there is very little information available for their partners. Through first-hand accounts and vignettes of successful partnerships, this book presents detailed descriptions of everything involved in the transition process, with specific guidance for those supporting a partner in transition. Topics include disclosure, mental health, coming out, loss and grief, sex and sexuality and the legal, medical and social practicalities of transitioning. In this essential guide, people whose partners are across the transgender spectrum speak out on their own experiences with personal advice and support for others.
I remember buying my wife her first guidebook for spouses, and it still makes me excited (yet nervous) to see a new entry on the shelves. When done right, these books can be wonderfully empowering. - Sally


Self-Made Woman: A Memoir by Denise Chanterelle DuBois
Expected Publication Date: August 22nd

Denise Chanterelle DuBois's transformation into a woman wasn't easy. Born as a boy into a working-class Polish American Milwaukee family, she faced daunting hurdles: a domineering father, a gritty 1960s neighborhood with no understanding of gender nonconformity, trouble in school, and a childhood so haunted by deprivation that neckbone soup was a staple. Terrified of revealing her inner self, DuBois lurched through alcoholism, drug dealing and addiction, car crashes, dangerous sex, and prison time. Dennis barreled from Wisconsin to California, Oregon, Canada, Costa Rica, New York, Bangkok, and Hawaii on a joyless ride.

Defying all expectations, DuBois didn't crash and burn. Embracing her identity as a woman, she remade herself. Writing with resolute honesty and humor, she confronts both her past and her present to tell an American story of self-discovery.
One thing I will never tire of is transgender biographies and memoirs. We all have a life story to tell, and I love seeing how the experience is unique for each. - Sally

Cuckoldry Negotiated: The Full Trilogy by Jon Zelig (#femdom #cuckold)

Continuing our Fourplay Fetish Feature on his erotic domination, cuckolding, and age play erotica, we feature the first of my reviews of Jon Zelig's work.

Cuckoldry Negotiated: The Full Trilogy opens with a narrative technique that usually does not work for me, and which initially caused me to pull away from the story, but ultimately I do like the way Jon Zelig pulled it off. The first book of the trilogy is really a one-sided negotiation, with the wife-to-be speaking to the reader, anticipating our doubts, fears, questions, and requests. It is structured in such a way that it really pulls you into the story, placing us wholly within this contract of female domination and cuckoldry.

In the second book the story switches to a more traditional narrative, with the submissive hubby relating to us the story of his dungeon wedding. Officiated by a lesbian dominatrix and assisted by a sexy trio of bridesmaids, it sees hubby shaved and placed into chastity. There is a line he relates about his wife that I think drives home the sort of feeling that Zelig's brand of female domination provokes - "She smelled like home: like love and terror; safety and danger; conquest and surrender."

Having gone from negotiation to marriage, the third book takes us (quite naturally) to the honeymoon. This is a strange and erotic affair, involving video cameras and glass walls that put the cuckolded hubby's role on exhibitionist display. This is a story of teasing, testing, and trusting one another, with the kind of happily-ever-after only a true submissive can appreciate. Personally, I would have loved for Cuckoldry Negotiated: The Full Trilogy to have a fourth chapter, taking us home after the honeymoon, but it is never a bad thing to be left wanting more.
Jon Zelig writes about sexually intense, romantic, power exchange relationships, more psychological domination than physical. Mostly Femdom (Maledom the province of twin sister Joy), often in conjunction w/ Chastity Play & Cuckolding--sometimes including elements of Age Play: Dommy-Mommy-Wife, disciplining & caring for Bad-Little-Boy-Husband; Joy writes about Dommy Daddies w/ Bratty-Adolescent-Wives.

https://zeligmedia.wordpress.com/
Goodreads

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beside Myself: A Femdom Journey by Jon Zelig (#femdom #cuckold)

Continuing our Fourplay Fetish Feature on his erotic domination, cuckolding, and age play erotica, we feature the first of my reviews of Jon Zelig's work.

Beside Myself: A Femdom Journey is a story of opposites attract, a tale not of Beauty & The Beast, but of The Witch & The Troll - as the narrator's stepfather refers to the mismatched couple.

Jon Zelig's narration here is a bit odd, coming solely from the submissive hubby, but the progression of his submission is even more strange. It is a subtle transformation that really begins with his wife claiming her sexuality by masturbating next to him in bed, first hiding it, then slowly pushing further and further into his waking moments.

As it turns out, his wife - a pharmaceutical rep - has been feeding him pills that he, rather foolishly, has been taking without question. She teases him with threats of feminization, but what she really has been doing is softening his thoughts and emotions. She married him precisely because he was inadequate as a lover, and that leads to him being a confused cuckold, always on edge.

Where the story gets really interesting is with two aspects. The first is the parallel story of the household's servants, including a cleaning woman who makes him feel inadequate, a gardener whose plight he suspects echoes his own, and a young man who threatens what is left of his manhood. The second is the introduction of the woman who first made him feel inadequate, a woman who his wife brings into their home . . . and her bed.

Beside Myself: A Femdom Journey is not your typical slice of femdom erotica, but that feeling of confusion and dizziness is precisely what makes it so intriguing.

Jon Zelig writes about sexually intense, romantic, power exchange relationships, more psychological domination than physical. Mostly Femdom (Maledom the province of twin sister Joy), often in conjunction w/ Chastity Play & Cuckolding--sometimes including elements of Age Play: Dommy-Mommy-Wife, disciplining & caring for Bad-Little-Boy-Husband; Joy writes about Dommy Daddies w/ Bratty-Adolescent-Wives.

https://zeligmedia.wordpress.com/
Goodreads

Fourplay Fetish Feature: An Interview with Jon Zelig

Continuing our Fourplay Fetish Feature on his erotic domination, cuckolding, and age play erotica, Jon Zelig has graciously agreed to stop by for a chat about hus fantasies, fetishes, and fiction.

♥ Thank you so much for taking the time to join us, Jon - we are so very delighted to have you! For those readers who have yet to encounter your work, can you give us a brief introduction?

Hi Sally, Happy to be here; always grateful for both interest and readers who are willing to go into things in some depth—and frankly and openly.

As “me,” I’m an early-fifties, American man, with an academic background, and a few decades of writing experience across a broad variety of genres: scholarly work, journalism, business writing; fiction, poetry, the occasional unpublishable novel or unproduceable screenplay.

♥ You've been published for a year now, with stories grouped under four different names (or brands, if you will). Why the distinction?

The Papa Bear Zelig is “Jon” who mostly writes erotica that skews femdom, often with cuckolding and age play components; “Joy” does more maledom-oriented work, with age play an occasionally recurring theme.

More recently I’ve birthed “Bram” & “Zoë.”  He’s in the Paranormal Erotica sphere (sex & vampires); she’s a bit more in the direction of Fifty Shades of Grey (which I have still resisted reading—for reasons of potential “contamination”), a bit more softcore and romantic and also maledom.

“Branding” hits the nail on the head.

I’m not sure how successful this has been (my fast answer would be: not hugely), but the idea that “a man” writes femdom and “a woman” writes maledom—and that PNE is its own world, and that more “romance-inflected” work is different than hardcore, made some amount of sense to me.

Maybe.  Maybe not . . .

And my impulse toward an umbrella brand, “a family” of erotica writers, may have been the wrong way to go—perhaps it would have been better “to pretend to be” wholly unrelated people.

I thought “the family approach” would provide some synergy.

We’ll see: if I have to kill some family members . . . I have to kill some family members—erotica, and commerce, “ain’t beanbag.”

♥ With reader reviews so crucial to generating exposure, what are some of the weirdest or most wonderful reactions you’ve had from readers?

What does any-writer-of-anything want?

I want people to “get what I’m doing.”

They like it?  They don’t?  They think it works?  They think it fails?

Any of those are valid responses.  They can give me specific feedback about what I got right or what I got wrong?  Perfect: Bring it on!

What is exasperating—and bizarre!—on a regular basis, is people who are basically upset with the genre that they have supposedly made “an adult decision” to read.

If you chose to buy something titled “A Loss of Sexual Control: Cuck Desires & Wifely Needs,” it’s a somewhat odd response to begin ranting, in your review, about “how horribly degraded the husband was” or how “I’d just kill the bitch if she did that to me!”

I strive for “truth in labelling.”  It’s odd and irritating to me when people read something focused on cuckolding and get all up in arms in a review because—turns out—the book focuses on . . . cuckolding.

♥ You have what I feel is a highly original, emotionally charged approach to the idea of dominance and submission. If it’s not too personal of a question, where does lifestyle experience end and vicarious fantasy begin and end within your fiction?

Maybe an area in which my wife would be the person to give more credible testimony, but I would say that I live a fairly vanilla life, sex included.

Not much of anything in my marriage that’s at all secretive or hidden; not sneaking out to play with The Leather Boys & Girls.

Although I’m hiding behind four pen names publicly, I’m completely open at home.

But that mostly amounts to muttering obscene scenarios in my wife’s ear during . . . playtime—and trying to goad her into muttering a few back.

♥ What was it that first prompted you to begin writing? Did you always intend to publish, or was there a lightbulb sort of moment where you chose to take the leap?

We live in . . . strange times.

I’ve been publishing various kinds of work basically since high school, four decades or so back: nationally, quickly internationally, and for pay.

I’ve never felt that there was much “choice” involved in that (and, not to be pompous but, I suspect this is true “across the arts”).  I think people “leak words” because they have no other option: things build up; things spew out—no erotic analogy there at all.  Of course not!

Erotica . . .  That’s kind of its own world: as a matter of literature, as a matter of economics, as a matter of personal exposure.

You fold “sexy stuff” into your fiction?  Over the course of my life, that’s gone from risqué to something close to obligatory.

You produce work that’s—call it what it is—essentially “fetish focused”?

Well . . . we’re back to pen names.

At least small-scale, I probably began “playing around with” erotica in or not long after high school.  But there was really not much of anything “to do with it.”

What online publishing—and sales—platforms have done is to “open a channel” for work that mostly would have just been discovered in your bottom desk drawer after you died.

Daddy wrote WHAT?!

For whatever reason (and I would identify/reveal it if I could), a few years back I began producing—with no meaningful intention toward distribution or sales—much more focused, fetishistic, and “longer form” erotica than I had ever done in the past.

You build up inventory?

At some point . . . you begin moving toward at least exploring marketing.

Easy online publishing options?

Close to no capital cost?

The cloak of anonymity?

Zeligs are born!

♥ On that note, is there a personal fetish or a fantasy that you have yet to explore in your fiction?

It’s kind of a slippery slope—and, in some ways, we’re back to “the cloak of anonymity.”

For the most part, I neither flatter nor lacerate myself with the delusion that I am particularly unique—at least as a matter of what’s “in my head.”

On some level?  I feel like anyone who doesn’t have a “strange” and intricate tapestry of “perverted” fantasies in their head is more likely deranged than the vast majority of us who do.

But . . .

If you write—and then make public!—erotica, you’re going several steps beyond what the vast majority of people would or could do.  

So . . .

What might I do next?  I don’t know.

Not that I have a formula exactly but, trying to “game this out,” it seems to me there are a number of variables in play.

You read and write more extreme scenarios; that opens up . . . the next possibility, going further: What do you feel you can “let out of your head”?  What’s “just too messed up”?  And . . . “what do you think will sell”?

I have limits.  Not sure if this expresses it with sufficient precision, but: there is a level of pain and humiliation which—at least contemplating and sketching out—carries a strong erotic charge for me.

At some point—and I really strive not to be too judgy in this area—it’s just . . . too much.

Bottom line: I’m not sure how much more “extreme” I’m likely to get; and, given that, as an author of erotica, I’m pretty invisible, I haven’t much felt “held back.”

But . . . we’ll see.

♥ Finally, looking towards a brighter, more fantastic 2017, what can readers look forward to seeing from you next?

Writing things that are so personally charged, and doing it from “Behind the Wizard’s Curtain” is really tremendously liberating.  I get to do damn close to whatever I want to do—in this part of my life, anyway.

Mostly I remain interested in and drawn toward where my various alter-egos have been going for a while now: femdom first; maledom second; PNE as “an interesting alternative”; somewhat intrigued by FSOG-inflected “romance.”

That said?

Always interested in hearing what people would like to see next.  

♥ They do say variety is the spice of life, and I think a well-rounded author makes for a well-stocked library. Thanks again for taking the time to join us!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sold: A Femdom Triptych by Jon Zelig (#femdom #chastity #cuckold #pegging)

Continuing our Fourplay Fetish Feature on his erotic domination, cuckolding, and age play erotica, we feature the first of my reviews of Jon Zelig's work.

When Jon Zelig first reached out to introduce himself earlier this month, I agreed to give Sold: A Femdom Triptych a read out of sheer curiosity. I had not come across his books before, but I am always interested in new approaches to female domination.

The first book opens with Jon acknowledging "the obligatory clichés" in his main character's life (a young man for whom we are never given a name). While technically wealthy, he will not come into his fortune until he is 21, until which time he is entrusted to the care of his Auntie and her governess, Mistress Briley. Theirs is a female dominant household, leading to his education and conditioning as a chaste, submissive, forever-young man. Before that magical birthday, however, his Auntie sells him to an older woman.

As a Good Little Boy to his Strict Mommy, he finds himself in a relationship that I just adored, and know I will never be able to do justice to in a review. He is loved, cared for, and protected, much like a grown child, yet he is also cuckolded, punished, milked, and pegged, like a submissive husband. It is a relationship of awkward and unusual contrasts, but there is such love there, such tender compassion, that I just loved it. While he is made to do things that some might find humiliating, it is never demeaning or cruel.

I hesitate to spoil too much, but I have to say a few words about the transition to the third book so that you can understand why this story excited me so much. It is natural to think his future is being taken away from him when Mommy takes him to the lawyer, but it is actually the reverse, with Mommy ensuring that nobody - not even her - can access his wealth. As for the last book, it is a fascinating attempt to examine the fetish from the outside, when he ends up hospitalized after an accident. The well-meaning doctors and nurses try to protect him from what they assume must be a case of abuse, forcing Mommy to fight for her Good Little Boy.

It sounds odd, I know, but there is nothing icky or taboo about the whole Mommy scenario. In fact, Sold: A Femdom Triptych may be one of the most tender and most tantalizing explorations of female domination I have come across. I loved the relationships here, and I hope you will too.

Jon Zelig writes about sexually intense, romantic, power exchange relationships, more psychological domination than physical. Mostly Femdom (Maledom the province of twin sister Joy), often in conjunction w/ Chastity Play & Cuckolding--sometimes including elements of Age Play: Dommy-Mommy-Wife, disciplining & caring for Bad-Little-Boy-Husband; Joy writes about Dommy Daddies w/ Bratty-Adolescent-Wives.

https://zeligmedia.wordpress.com/
Goodreads

Fourplay Fetish Feature: Introducing Jon Zelig

With summer upon us, it is time for another Fourplay Fetish Feature, which sees us dedicate 4 consecutive days to showcasing an author who has intrigued or excited me. This month I am delighted to introduce you to Jon Zelig, who has graciously agreed to stop by and take part.

Jon Zelig writes about sexually intense, romantic, power exchange relationships, more psychological domination than physical. Mostly Femdom (Maledom the province of twin sister Joy), often in conjunction w/ Chastity Play & Cuckolding--sometimes including elements of Age Play: Dommy-Mommy-Wife, disciplining & caring for Bad-Little-Boy-Husband; Joy writes about Dommy Daddies w/ Bratty-Adolescent-Wives.

No babies, no diapers, no cribs; no incest, no violence, minimal compulsion—a bit of hand, hair brush, or belt: no whips or crops or canes. Most work is in a contemporary setting, sometimes w/ an “alternative reality” skew; some set in a “Gynarchic Future.” Almost always—the intensity of the roles they are playing notwithstanding? His characters love and try to take care of each other.

You can follow Jon on Goodreads and Wordpress.

Jon Zelig has been publishing for roughly a year now, with his books grouped under a few different pseudonyms. As Jon, he writes femdom erotica, often with cuckolding and age play components.


As Joy, he writes maledom erotica, also with the recurring theme of age play.


Most recently, as Bram and Zoë, he writes paranormal erotica sphere, with Zoë leaning more towards softcore erotica and romance.


Please do join me in making Jon Zelig feel welcome!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then it must be time to bend our way into the weekend with Freebie Fiction Friday.

Every Friday I search through the weekend's free titles on Amazon, looking for those that might be of interest to readers, fans, and lovers of bending gender and sexuality. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my tablet, using Kindle for PC, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.

                                                          

 Enjoy!