12:13 AM

I started reading this book as research for Jake and Jessica. Deliciois, tantalizing research.

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As you can see, I’m nearly halfway through and absolutely enjoying every page. This is truly a good collection, although not as helpful in the research department as I was hoping.

I think. It may be I just am not getting the answers I wanted, so I’m saying the research is a bust when really, I need to pay more attention to what’s being said.

For example, several stories in the book feature a kind of role playing where one partner will talk about their pre-op partner’s genitals as if they were the genitals of their true gender.

Big talk about a transman’s cock, or a transwoman’s clit doesn’t do anything for me, not being trans, so I may well be overlooking the essential significance of the act.

Obviously, this porn isn’t written for me, and obviously everybody’s different. The stories themselves are each as unique as the individuals who are writing them. And I do remember people I’ve known saying they were annoyed rather than turned on by genital role play, similarly to how I would be if Ben suddenly started to refer to my tits as “perky.” There are some sexual fantasies where the suspension of disbelief is too great.

But I’m not really invested in perky tits. Tits in general fail to evoke strong feelings for me.

I’ve never been a good roleplayer. A lot of it seems so contrived that I’d never be able to keep a straight face. So, by extension I don’t think I would be able to write role-playing convincingly.

Then again, the kind of role-playing I’m talking about isn’t exactly teacher and student or naughty nurse. This is an affirmational role-play that, though it’s not spelled out in the collection, seems like it would help someone with dysphoria to feel comfortable. Something I couldn’t know about.

Obviously, it’s just one of the babillion different ways to fuck and nobody’s passing out guidelines here. Or at least if they are, they should be taken extremely lighty. But for a person who has never experienced dysphoria, the concept looms large.

Maybe it’s a little like the way some poeple seem afraid to talk about childhood physical abuse, how I sometimes feel like people are wondering why im not just crying in the corner over my terrible lot in life.

Except that dysphoria is probably totally different than that.

Round and round I go.

It”s late. Im tired. I’ll have to keep chewing on this as I continue to read the book.

Wherin I Watch Honky Monstrosity “Devious Maids”

I saw a trailer for the Lifetime Original show Devious Maids, which seems to be some sort of social experiment regarding how many degrading outfits it takes to get more than one Latina on the same TV screen in the same hour.

And of course, I had to watch the first episode, which starts with a racist speech by a shallow white lady, directed at the maid to is fucking her husband.

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Directly after that, we learn that the maid wasn’t fucking her husband. That, in fact, she was apparently raped (or worse, is making it up that she was raped.) But then the caterer stabs her, for apparently no earthly reason, and she dies.

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White bosslady, is visibly shaken.

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Then I got bored. There’s only so much racist ignorance I can watch one half of the cast of a show exact on the other half. I know we’re making a statement, but I get the distinct impression that the writers of this show asked their maids what the most racist shit they ever heard was and decided to add it to the script for realism.

The show is using real-life circumstances that second-class citizens like maids and other household staff live every day in order to wink at their presumably white audience. “Good thing we’re not like this, good thing we’re good white people who watch shows about the real life racism and inequality and do absolutely nothing about it except continue to pat ourselves on the back for not being racists.”

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There’s a scene where a woman basically begs for the day off so she can see the only lawyer she can afford in order to try and get her son from Nicaragua, and her shitty employers tell her that she can’t go because she needs to watch their son. “Take it as a compliment” her crappy boss says.

Yes, at least we’re not like those white people. Thank God we only implicitly support shitty immigration laws, and shitty labor laws that allow that kind of fuckery to happen mere miles away from our own homes and workplaces.

Devious Maids is basically Barbara Ehrenreich for the Lifetime set. It’s middle-class white liberal congratulatory masturbation at it’s finest. Let’s watch a show about a bunch of despicable white people to make ourselves feel better about the fact that we constantly elevate white voices over the voices of people of color at every turn, even when our show is supposed to be about people of color.

And what the fuck is with the maid thing? The dad on Blackish gets to be an ad exec, and his wife is a surgeon. Even George Lopez got to be a plant manager on The George Lopez Show. Why we gotta be maids when there’s more than two of us on a show?

IT’S SHIT.

What.

It’s after one am. I have absolutely nothing to say. I haven’t had anything to say for two weeks. I’m ass deep in this new project and it’s eating my entire brain. Also every hour of the day.

I’m drinking sleepy time tea. So this is either about to get weird, or about to be over.

Probably over.

Sometimes They Come Back – Review of There’s Something About Ari

cover56244-mediumThere’s Something About Ari by L.B. Gregg

Thanks to NetGalley and Riptide Publishing for the review copy.

There’s Something About Ari is the second installment in the Bluewater Bay series. This one revolves around Buck Ellis, former golden boy turned career barista and his childhood crush/best friend turned TV star Ari Valentine. Buck Ellis is having a hard enough time raising his teenage brother when his former best friend, Ari god-damned Valentine, newest hottie on local hit show Wolf’s Landing moves next door.

In high school, Buck was the high achiever, and Ari might as well have been voted ‘least likely to graduate,’ especially since he didn’t. He ran away instead. Leaving Buck to deal with his mother’s death, the responsibility of raising his brother, and the anti-climax of spending his adult life working at the same coffee shop since he was 16.

By the time Ari rolls back to town with the media hot on his heels, Buck’s hard feelings for him are more of the angry variety than the hot, but when Ari suggests they relive the glory days in a way neither of them had the balls to do in school, Buck wants to know if it’s real, or just nostalgia.

Something is short and sweet, and priced to match. At $3.99 for Kindle users, it fits for a story that can be read cover to cover in a single night.

As usual, Riptide produces a superior product.

4.5 stars out of 5

Reaching Out – Review of Stand By You

cover51538-mediumStand By You
by A.M. Arthur

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Press for the review copy.

This is the third installment of The Belonging Series. Reviews for books one and two can be found here.

We met Brendan and Romy in book two, when Donner called in former football star best friend Brendan to help rescue his boyfriend Ezra’s ex-trick Romy from a seriously fucked abuse situation. It was pretty obvious right then that book three was going to be about these guys.

After literally breaking free from his dom turned kidnapper, Romy is shattered and experiencing a lot of social anxiety. Closeted, shy Brendan becomes the friend Romy needs, but he wants more than that. Can they overcome their own personal issues in order to build the kind of life together that neither of them had ever dared to hope for? With the help of their friends, the answer looks like it could be yes.

You may recall that I took some issue with the way trauma and anxiety was portrayed in the last book, Maybe This Time, and there still is a little bit of that for me. For example, in my limited experience, the first thing to do about an abuse survivor having a panic attack is to give them space. Certainly don’t touch them, and really really don’t touch their neck. My teeth itched through what was supposed to be a touching scene where Romy is having a panic attack in a bar and his future therapist, at that point a relative stranger, reaches out and casually palms the back of his neck. This is intended to show how they’re a really great therapist and can calm down panicking people, but it just freaked me out by osmosis. It’s really likely that I’m insinuating my own personal issues in here, and not being a medical professional, I’m just talking out my ass, but for future reference, if I’m having a panic-attack, don’t touch me. You might get kicked. Or puked on. Just saying.

Anyway, aside from that small incident that’s probably more about me than the book, I really enjoyed Stand By You. Romy and Brendan felt real to me. I could know guys like Romy. Given a different set of circumstances, I could have been someone like Romy. Mainly, if I was just a little bit less of an asshole.

One of the things I really like about Arthur’s books is that no one is saving anyone else. Her protagonists are flawed, amazing, uniquely human characters that come together on their own terms, not for a perfect love, but for a real love. The kind of love that can offer a little redemption, if we just reach for it.

As usual, the sub-five dollar price point looks damn good.

4.5 stars out of 5

I am the Vassal of Fuck Review of Icebound

cover52909-mediumIcebound by Corinna Rogers

Thanks to Net Galley and HarperImpulse for the review copy.

This was a page turner. Set in a world where magic is a new development, where fae creatures actively meddle in the lives of mortals, Drake and Shane are former lovers turned enemies by the very bond they shared. Faced with a choice ten years before, Shane enslaved himself to the Ice King rather than watch Drake die, but what should have turned him in to an unfeeling automaton only seems to make him a sharper warrior. So why can’t Drake see that?

Drake is tormented by the empty husk of his first and only love, unable to turn him away, unable to take him back, the last thing he wants is for them to work together, but when they learn about an opportunity to save the world… and Shane, how can he refuse?

I admit, I was bugged by the fact that the entire book was written in first person present. It’s exhausting to read for long periods of time, and it’s more than a little disorienting. Other reviewers have pointed out the lack of character development, the terrible dialog, that the author tends to show and not tell. Considering that this looks like it was Rogers’ first foray into full-length monographs, I’m not as scandalized by the lack of proper world-building as others have been.

She has something that kept me turning page after page, bad one-liners and everything. Her sense of narrative urgency is superb, and her sex scenes are the exact right kind of depraved. All the sweet love-making I’ve been reading about lately is nice, but this is the good stuff. The kind of rough and tumble assfucking that warms the cockles of one’s cock. This is not a skill to be easily dismissed.

It’s all well and good to have relatable characters, but if it isn’t hot, why take the time to write erotica? The other skills can be developed. Writing an impactful sex scene is a talent that even the majority of porn writers seem scared to embrace.

2.5 stars out of 5, but I will be keeping my eye on this author.

So you have an ethnic partner…

Tips and tricks for keeping and caring for your whiteness-challenged loved one.

An angry Mexican rant.*

1. Their culture is not “cool.” Don’t start buying their ethnic trinkets or appropriating their “ways” as a means to impress upon them how very racist you are not. Chances are we wouldn’t be dating you if we got a racist vibe off you (or we hate ourselves). Don’t make it weird by bandwagoning the same social bullshit we’re probably dating you to get away from.

2. This isn’t an after school special. We’re not an adventure story you’ll be telling your white wife or white husband about at some inevitable future date. My pussy may be an educational experience, but that has nothing to do with heritage.

3. This is definitely not an opportunity to educate your new ethnic partner in their own racial bias. If we have an abiding fear of white people, maybe one white genital is not going to be the deciding factor in overthrowing thousands of years of systematic, institutionalized racism and maybe you’re not the colorblind Ghandi Martin Luther X your ass thought you were in college.

4. We are not “all just bodies.” We happen to have bodies, and we grew up in a world where white bodies were desirable, yes, but also where they were normal; whereas bodies of color are only ever considered attractive in that they provide an exciting change from whiteness…for white people. Telling your partner you find them or parts of them attractive does not require a racial qualifier: implied or explicit.

5. Don’t do us any favors. If it feels like you’re lowering yourself to bring your ethnic lover into white spaces, please just don’t. If it feels like you have to help your ethnic partner be more white for their own good, again, fuck right off. Partners are friends and equals, not projects. You’re either ready for the jelly, or you’re not.

*I want to be clear: This has nothing to do with Ben. He has never done any of this wierd shit.

The majority of this rant is actually inspired by a book I was reading where the love interest is Native American and it was so obviously written by a well meaning but ignorant white person that I had to stop and vent. Because this isn’t the first time I’ve seen shit like this in portrayals of interracial relationships and it’s fuckin gross.

White people: We’re not here for your amusement, sexual or otherwise!

Don’t Eat This Stuff

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It’s super gross.

You know how some extremely artificial foods just taste like a pile of weird chemicals? This is like that, but not good. It’s what I imagine what robot poo would taste like if all that robot ever ate was Kashi in chocolate milk.

Business Crying

Even ugly, snotty sobbing is better than the bewildered dejection I’ve been sitting with since October.

As ever, Ben is my rock.

Click for original size
Click for original size

In reality, the bourbon was for him. He made me mac and cheese with hot dogs.