This month has been a whirlwind of travel (to see family in Westchester, to Connecticut to see a friend and binge watch Grace and Frankie, to Boca Raton for an event, to Philadelphia for vacation, to New York this weekend), so I haven't had a chance to post all the things I've wanted to. For now, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter because I have lots of giveaways for you and to check out my latest Cleis Press erotica anthology sale: the ebook of Twice the Pleasure: Bisexual Women's Erotica is only $1.99 for a limited time! Buy it for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo. Also, a note: I didn't write the copy associated with the book and when it was written, I wasn't the eagle eyed micromanager I am today who tends to write my own book cover copy. But I still love what's inside the book and hope you will too, especially if you're interested in queer, bisexual and sometimes bicurious women who get it on with all sorts of lovers.
Here's my introduction to the book:
Introduction: Hot Bi Babes: A Both/And Approach to Bisexuality
Woody Allen once famously said, “Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.” As a bisexual woman, I can attest that this is not necessarily true. Bisexuality is more than just a math equation and cannot be so easily categorized or summarized. Identifying as bi, or being attracted to or engaging in sex with a variety of genders, or whatever version of something approximating those states of being , is the theme of this anthology, and in many ways, the term is actually a lot broader than that dual opportunity. This is not a book about choosing either/or, male or female, or simply one of each. It’s not about narrowing gender down to one size fits all, but about expanding our options, to a both/and approach to how we view and cultivate our sexuality. It’s a welcoming, inclusive definition that welcomes all comers—pun fully intended.
I wanted this book, while fictional and focused on the erotic aspects of bisexual women’s lives, to explore as wide a swatch of “bisexual” as possible. That means that some of the best stories here don’t mention the word bisexual at all; they don’t have to, because their bi angle, their queerness, is embedded—and bedded—in the story. The characters are living it, rather than identifying with it; the sexual exploration and attraction, the experience and movement, are more important than what anyone wants to call it.
The large majority of the submissions I received for this book were about women having sex with women, which makes sense in the context of a culture that still privileges heterosexual identity over any other kind. Even in an era of so-called lesbian and bisexual chic, there’s still plenty of discomfort with the fluidity with which many women view their sexuality. Shifting away from a purely heterosexual mindset forces women to grapple with the ways we differ from mainstream society, even one that is becoming much more open and knowledgeable about the varieties of queer life. The first time we dare to dip our toes—or other body parts—into the world of sex with other women is often momentous. Many of us will find the character of Laura, in Nicole Wolfe’s opening story, “1 Percent Adaptable,” familiar. Laura at first protests Marie’s advances, warning her that she’s not gay, not bi, until she listens to her body and follows its yearnings. “Laura was shocked that the kiss had surprised her, considering what had just happened between her legs. She let her lips caress Marie’s. She dared to let her tongue out to play. She risked letting her hands tickle Marie’s hips and backside,” Wolfe writes.
But I didn’t want this to simply be a first-time bi-curious tentative collection, but a robust one exploring the intimacy of life as a woman interested in men and women. That’s why I wanted stories that asked questions like the ones in Jacqueline Applebee’s closing tale, “What I Want, What I Need:” “I’d been out as a lesbian since I was twenty-three. Why was I suddenly spending time with a straight man? Why was I enjoying it so much? Had I really been a lesbian at all, or had I been lying to myself for the past twenty years?”
There are girlfriends and wives, husbands and boyfriends, first dates, threesomes and much more here. There’s daring and adventure, women taking risks by stepping outside their comfort zones, whether it’s by surrendering to a bodyguard in “The State,” by Tahira Iqbal, or confronting “The Wife” of a male lover in Kay Jaybee’s story, only to be confronted right back. The women you’ll read about are attracted to strong women like “The Robber Girl” in Lori Selke’s story, and men who surprise them with their sensitivity, as in my story, “A Little Fun.”
There’s also kink, if that’s what you’re looking for. In Cheryl B.’s “The Break,” spanking becomes a way for two exes to reconnect and revive the passion between them, while Sinclair Sexsmith takes us inside a gay bar and then home with a boy her protagonist has met there, one who may or may not know her true gender, in “Right-Red Flagging.” The protagonist of “Seduction Dance” is under the watchful eye of her master when she finds a new female plaything for her to command and seduce. Gender is played with, fucked with, and grappled with as well in Giselle Renarde’s “Glitter in the Gutter,” in which the female partner of a male cross-dresser encourages his interest when he fears he’s crossed a line and doesn’t want to live in the new, judgmental world he’s stepped into. Aimee Pearl writes in “Meeting at the Hole in the Wall, “Chivalry is dead, and I want to writhe naked on its grave.”
These are celebratory, sexy stories, but, all apologies to Mr. Allen, they are more complex than a view of bisexuality simply as “twice as much” to offer. I like to think of them as both/and stories that, collectively, offer a look at the ways bisexuality, queerness and lesbianism affect us while recognizing that there’s no monolithic typical bisexual. We are multifaceted, full of desires that can’t be contained in a single, simplistic category. We are hungry, horny, mischievous, naughty, provocative and, yes, curious. We may think we know what we want, only to keep on surprising ourselves just when we think we have it all figured out. We are open to a wide range of sexual possibilities, whether they exist in our heads or beyond.
I hope you’ll enjoy the twenty-two stories presented here, and that they serve as erotic catalysts, no matter how you identify.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Still aren't sure if you want to read it? Click here for excerpts from all 22 bisexual erotica stories!