Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms by Sacchi Green


[This is the text of the book review from episode 63.]

This episode’s book review is of Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales edited by Sacchi Green and published by Cleis Press.

I received this book for free, but the words I say to you will be true, as always.

As you’d expect from the title, this is a collection of reimagined and retold fairy tales with a lesbian slant. It’s not just gender-swapped classics, though. In one—the granddaughter of Red Riding Hood has a very interesting encounter and it’s intimated that her grandmother had quite the liking for wolves so our protagonist is part wolf. Well hello, Little Red.

From the Introduction:

Some [authors] adapted traditional tales, and some updated old stories to contemporary times, not merely changing the gender of a character but making the female aspect essential. Some created original plots with a fairy-tale sensibility, while some wrote with merely a subtle aura of fantasy. Their heroines are witches and princesses, brave, resourceful women of all walks of like, and even a troll and a dryad.

The gays aren’t exactly thick on the ground in classic fairy tales, but they were there, according to the Wicked Stepmother from Cinderella. She spills all the tea in a hilarious short piece full of word-play called ‘SWF Seeks FGM’—standing for Single Wicked Female Seeks Fairy Godmother. She goes in search of a Fairy Godmother to help her out with her image and winds up being helped out of her clothing instead.

Though the stories are all written by different people, one thing several authors seem to agree on—getting undressed is annoying. The witches and various magical people tend to magically disrobe. Hey, when you’re in a rush to get to the sexy, you don’t have time for muggle things like untying ribbons.

If I were magical I’d never undress again. Poof! Naked. Poof! Dressed. It’d be great.

The fairy godmother in the story in question is also lushly built and the Wicked Stepmother is all about it. She enjoys every inch. I was talking with the person who runs Red Light Library podcast—he reviews the more out there erotica—and he said lots of people are giving a nod to the BBW (or Big Beautiful Women) fetish by saying the character has big boobs and butt but then doesn’t mention anything else about their physique during sex. Which is inaccurate and cynical on the part of the writer. That’s not what was happening in that story—Wicked and the writer, Allison Wonderland, knew of what they spoke.

There are various body types and skin tones on display in these stories—it’s not all fair damsels with golden tresses and light eyes. There are masculine women and toned bodies, soft, rounded bodies, dark skin and light skin, brown eyes and blue eyes, short cropped hair and flowing locks.

If you have a thing for Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones—there are a few women who pose as men, pull on armour and go into battle for one reason or another.

There are women who know their bodies and how to pleasure themselves and women discovering their capacity for pleasure for the first time. There’s a little something for all of the women-loving-women, basically.

The take on Rumpelstiltskin was particularly clever. There was also a story about a human woman who fell in love with a tree dryad—their relationship spanning a lifetime—that was touching. The sex is vanilla for the most part, though there was some biting in one story that was a-okay. I mean… a person falls in love with and has sex with a tree in one story, which is an actual fetish called dendrophilia. And in ‘Trollwise’ the everyone is into some pain with their sex. So, overall, it’s vanilla, but there are some kinky moments.

I wasn’t familiar with all of the fairy tales referenced, but it didn’t matter—they stood on their own. They were well-written and inventive. If you’re looking for magical bedtime reading, this is a good place to start. If you’re looking for a more pansexual—an equally well-written group of fairy tales with a cast of characters across the gender spectrum, then I recommend Leather Ever After, that book is also uber-kinky. I reviewed that in episode three. The text of that book review is here. Cleis Press has several other anthologies (and is a favourite of Sinclair Sexsmith’s) to choose from, as well.

The next book from this publisher that I’ll be reviewing will be 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM by Tristan Taormino, which will be in November some time.

I would give this a 5/5 if you’re looking for something new and fun.

Episode 063: Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms

Episode the sixty-third; wherein the Pageist has an update about Walter’s diagnosis, announces a new way to support the show, and laments why we can’t have nice things. The book reviewed is Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms edited by Sacchi Green.

.45 Intro and Announcements:

  • Thank you to all of my patrons for making the show possible and welcome to the newest patron, Alice!
  • Two new Facebook follows: howdy doo to Becca and Tawnya.
  • The newest country to hear the show is Angola.
  • Several responses to the survey, with some useful comments. Thank you!
  • Walter’s brain tumour is playing silly buggers and I don’t know how it will effect the schedule for the rest of the month.
  • The show and site finally has PayPal capabilities!!

8.32 My Submissive Life:

  • Everything is disappointing and it’s disappointing. How hard is it to not be a kink-shaming, homophobic, racist, transphobic, etc jerk?
  • Apparently, very, very hard.
  • Nie on impossible.
  • Ugh.

13.31 Book Review:


  • This episode’s book is Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales edited by Sacchi Green and published by Cleis Press.
  • The book is a collection of thirteen stories–some retellings of classic tales, some new stories with an aura of fantasy–with a feminine slant. The titular roles are represented most frequently, but there are also trolls and dryads and even a particular Wicked Stepmother we all know and (possibly) love.
  • If you’re looking for a more pansexual, kinky version of fairy tales, I highly recommend Leather Ever After. The text of the book review is here.
  • The Red Light Library: A sex-positive podcast for reviewing the best/weirdest/worst erotica up for sale. We celebrate kink and shame manipulative hack writers every Wednesday. Their Patreon. Their Twitter.
  • The Sexy Section is from ‘Trollwise’ by Sacchi Green.

22.36 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be interviewing show favourite AliceinBondageland about chastity.
  • Support the show and site on Patreon!
  • Like The Pageist on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, and Instagram and join the Fetlife group.
  • You can also subscribe to the website through the email form in the sidebar.
  • Subscribe to the iTunes feed here. You can also rate the show in iTunes, which would be much appreciated!
  • The libsyn feed is here and can be used in your favourite podcast feed reader.
  • All episodes can be heard in an embedded player on this page.

Sweet and Rough: Queer Smut by Sinclair Sexsmith


[This is the text of the book review from episode 61.]

The book this week is Sinclair Sexsmith’s Sweet and Rough: Queer Smut. I got this as a bonus for supporting Sinclair’s Patreon. So I paid for it…sort of.

I read the first story and immediately went to get a copy to send to my Big Spoon, which is what I call my gentle Dominant type lady friend. Because, like when you spoon with someone you can be the little spoon or the big spoon and she’s the big spoon. Anyway. First story and I put down the Kindle and went ‘Must send copy to Joan.’ Because. Yes. But—read on for why it’s a yes for me and why it may be a yes for you.

The book is a collection of sixteen short pieces—some very short, just a page or two Kindle-wise—focusing on butch/femme lesbian erotic encounters. There’s pretty much always a tinge of Dominance and submission and there’s always a strap on.

This is a collection of stories about packing, which is where a female-bodied person wears a soft or hard dildo whilst going about their day. Some people use it for sex purposes, some for gender purposes, others just for fun—there are many reasons. Sinclair and I did an incredible interview all about packing for the Patreon patrons.

The point is—if you’re into strap ons—or butch/femme hotness, this is the book for you. It’s extremely well-written.

And with that—before I get to the review, I’d like to have a sidebar with you fine individuals.

When I tell people about the show—that I review books about BDSM—the first reaction is that I must only review erotica (it’s like they don’t know non-fiction exists, which makes me sad, because you can actually learn things from books) and the second reaction is, ‘Thank god, because I read a lot of erotica and most of it is so bad.’

Later this week is an interview with Sinclair and we’re going to talk about why that is. People, sex writing doesn’t have to be badly written. You don’t have to suffer for your jollies.

Back to this book, which is A+ on the writing front.

Each story features Sinclair—don’t stop reading—I know having the author as a character sounds like solipsism city, but I’ve been reading their posts on Patreon and their blog and knew them to be…not incredibly self-centred—we talked about how they came to write a bunch of stories featuring a version of themselves in the interview and it was pretty interesting.

It doesn’t ruin the book.

Though the stories all have a butch/femme element and there’s usually power and control being played with, each one has a different setting. Well, I think three take place in a library or a classroom. I’m all on board for that. Kinky literary fucking is always a plus.

In one of those stories, there’s this line:

I think what I often think when I see a gorgeous, leggy girl, reading some intellectual book, in barely enough clothing: if she’s queer, man, all is right with the world.

Indeed. In. Deed.

It’s not just about the sex, though. The author also covers how gender plays into packing and sex. With lines like:

It was daring of her to be so bold with a bj, but I really like that. It forgives me the apology I constantly carry for being a cock-identified lesbian-feminist queer-dyke. A butch who fetishizes gender dynamics and craves gendered play in the bedroom—if she wants my cock so bad she’s willing to take it, I know it’s okay that I want it that bad, too.

Yes, slip some intellectual into my sexy, baby. Erotica doesn’t have to be about perfect people who are always confident and the ultimate lovers—they can be human. They can be messy and complicated. I love it.

In some of the stories the kink is blatant with graphic flogging or spanking. So, you know, thank you, for that. In others, the power dynamic is there, but played with more subtly. There’re also insightful descriptions of the psychology behind certain types of play. Like:

She pulls against me, not to get away, but to heighten sensation. Struggling has such varying degrees. She doesn’t want out, she wants more.

Yes. That is true.

Reading the author’s descriptions of a woman’s body during passionate sex—it’s obvious Sinclair greatly appreciates the female form and pays close attention to every sinew, muscle and breath. They’re a veritable connoisseur of feminine pleasure—clearly enjoying giving it and observing the results of their ministrations.

There are bjs, vaginal and anal and all sorts of goodness in this set of stories. You can purchase it from Amazon or the publisher’s site, or get it like I did by supporting Sinclair’s Patreon.

5/5 if you’re into the sort of things I’ve described in this review.

Small Favors Deluxe Hardcover Edition by Colleen Coover

Small Favors deluxe hardback cover

The hardback cover. (source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode 55.]

This episode’s review is of Small Favors by Colleen Coover, published by Limerence Press.

Unlike some of the books I review I did not receive this one for free—I’ve purchased this book many times, in fact.

First, I bought each of the separate comic issues when they were released—there were eight of them between 2000 and 2003.

Then both of the collected volumes, which, between the two of them, brought together issues one through seven.

The edition I’m reviewing today is the hardcover deluxe version that was just released in May.

It collects all eight issues—the final issue is in colour—as well as sketches, pin ups, other behind the scenes bits and pieces and a new short story.

First, book as object. Since it’s billed as a deluxe edition.

It’s quite lovely—there’s no book cover to flap around and get in your way, the cover image and title are printed on the front. It’s rather classy.

The pages are sewn in so it’s solid and the headband (that cloth bit that sticks up at the top of the spine of some books) has gold glittery thread in it, which is a nice touch.

Small favors glittery headband

The end papers are a heavy weight colour I’m not going to describe because it’s not gold or beige and whatever I say will be wrong. It’s in the lightish yellow range.

Small Favors end papers

It’s whatever colour you call this.

About the only thing missing is a sewn-in bookmark, but you don’t really need it, as it’s a comic and it took around an hour and a half to read the entire book. I could have definitely spent more time over certain pages, though.

Oh yes, and it smells good. Because it’s a nice weight paper with lots of ink due to it being a comic.

Now, on to content.

Issue one of Small Favours is about Annie, who is fantasising about her cute girl neighbour. She’s having quite the vigorous wank, totally nude in the back garden, when suddenly, she’s absorbed by the ground and lands in some nether-realm where a stately, Queenly type figure and her apprentice (who are both teeny, tiny) paralyse her with magic.

These two beings represent her conscience. They stand on her naked chest and inform Annie that at the age of twenty-one she’s already used her life-time allotment of masturbation. To prove how salacious the girl is, she produces polaroids of her fiddling with herself in all sorts of situations.

Annie protests saying, ‘So I masturbate a little’

Queenly exclaims: ‘A little?! These were all taken on the same day!’

Small favors proof

They tell her she’s simply got to behave herself from now on and in order to facilitate this, she’s been assigned this pixie-like creature named Nibbil. Nibbil has big blonde pigtails and appears to be wearing a black latex bikini with over the elbow matching latex gloves.

Her job will be to ensure Annie acts like a proper young lady from now on.

While the Queen and her assistant—whose name is Janus and I’ll get back to her—are blathering on about her moral turpitude or whatever, Nibbil has an eye-full of those polaroids of Annie diddling herself hither and yon.

The Queen and Janus go off to magically bond Nibbil and Annie together forevermore and our little pixie girl has discovered she’s utterly turned on by those photos.

Whatever is a tiny pixie girl to do?

Sometimes things are so large we don’t see them. Annie is just so big she doesn’t notice her there anymore—she thinks she’s alone. She’s super turned on, though, and sees a protrusion (hint: it’s Annie’s nipple) and hops on.

She’s having a grand ol’ time, then notices that she’s being watched and introduces herself.

‘Ummm, Hi, Annie! My name’s Nibbil! Gosh! I hope you don’t mind me fucking myself on your nipple!’

‘No. I like this. I like dirty girls.’

Having been given permission, Nibbil resumes her previous endeavours, now with the onomatopoeia of ‘boing boing boing boing’ and an expression of utter glee on her little face.

Small Favors dirty girls

This entire comic is very funny. I laughed out loud many times.

Then, Annie is all turned on, but she can’t move—she’s immobilised by magic still—so she asks Nibbil to help her out.

And she does—what a sweetie.

Small Favors Nibbil Helps Annie

Nibbil ‘helping’ out.

Once they’re both thoroughly satisfied, the Queen and Janus return to announce the women are irrevocably bonded. Nibbil will be keeping Annie in line in perpetuity.

No, they didn’t see what happened.

The takeaway is Nibbil is magic and very sweet, if not the brightest crayon in the box.

Throughout the following issues (which become chapters in the deluxe edition) we learn that Nibbil can grow to human size. So they take turns wielding the strap on. They’re switches in pretty much every way.

Sometimes Nibbil stays small and they play with that in all sorts of ways.

There’s a poly element in that our pixie friend encourages Annie to approach the hot neighbour she was lusting over when they were first introduced and thoroughly enjoys Annie’s enjoyment.

They also meet another girl at one point and have some three-way fun.

Small Favors Threeway

Like so.

Then there’s an orgy involving five people—all women. There are only vulva-having ladies in this book.

Small Favors lesbian orgy

Why isn’t this a live-action film yet?

At one point, Janus, the Queen’s assistant, is sent to check up on Nibbil and Annie.

I love Janus.

Janus wears glasses and a prim dress and has her hair in a bun and is usually carrying books—the titles of which reflect her inner thoughts. Like ‘The Clean Human Being’ and ‘Humility’

Her goal is to please the Queen and receive her approval and admiration. This is her kink.

Small Favors Janus is the best

This is what Janus thinks will happen when she finds the girls debauching one another.

As she’s walking up the drive to do the check in, she grouses,

small favors janus

That being at the top is Bean (not my Bean–she’s an actual person.)

Meanwhile, inside the house, Annie is going down on Nibbil, who suddenly starts crying and then this conversation happens:

Annie says: Oh no! I’m sorry! I thought you liked it when I licked you there! Oh no!

And Nibbil says:

small favors colleen coover nummy titties

So they’re running around the house like lunatics trying to clean everything up so Nibbil won’t get into trouble.
And something really good happens, but I’m not going to tell you what because spoilers.

Part of why I have such affection for Small Favors is nostalgia—it was released when I was a young-ish lesbian. And I hadn’t seen anything like it—I still haven’t.

It’s as graphic as it’s possible to be.

I gave a copy of the first collection to my friend Bean for her birthday one year and we were walking in public when she flipped through it and went, ‘Whoa, that’s graphic, I need to put this is my bag, hold up.’

It’s pretty much cartoon labia on nearly every page.

small favors annie masturbate


small favors nibbil masturbating


small favors toys


But it’s also very sweet and funny.

It’s also quite kinky! I didn’t realise. Because I was a kinky person but didn’t know it back then—I just thought it was the normal way to be—but looking at it now a vanilla person might be annoyed by all the spankings and bondage and such.

There’s even a story called ‘How to Spank Girls’.

Small Favors spankings

Which includes one of my all-time favourite comic panels, ever.

Note to my younger self: This isn’t the sort of thing vanilla people find normal. Find a clue, your life will be better for it.

I mean, in the very opening—Annie is fantasising about attaching her cute neighbour to the washing line with clothes pins by the nipples so she can do other naughty things to her. Sure. Everyone thinks about that.

Small Favors clothes pins on nipples


At the same time—there’s so much explicit consent. There’s a lot of people checking in or affirming their desire to do things. Which is definitely not something you see in BDSM porn—or any porn, really. People usually just go with the fantasy of power. I give Coover much credit for that.

So, it’s super fun and the physical version is high quality and I’m very happy. The end.


Episode 055: Small Favors

Episode the fifty-fifth; Wherein the Pageist expresses gratitude for community, friends and the best listeners in the world. The book reviewed is Small Favors: the definitive girly porno collection by Colleen Coover.

.45 Intro and Announcements:

  • The show has a new Patreon supporter! Effusive thanks to Dave!

1.48 My Submissive Life:

10.15 Book Review:

Small Favors deluxe hardback cover

The hardback cover. (source)

  • This episode’s book is Small Favors: the definitive girly porno collection by Colleen Coover.
    It collects the full run of the popular (very) explicit lesbian comic that ran from 2000-2003, including all seven of the black and white issues and the previously uncollected eighth colour issue. Also included is a new short story, pin-ups, sketches and other bits and bobs.
    It’s kinky and fun-loving (and hilarious). I had forgotten how funny.
    The premise is that Annie has used her lifetime allotment of masturbation by the age of twenty-one and the adorable Nibbil has been sent from another realm to make sure she behaves herself forevermore. They are irrevocably bonded through magic and, well, Nibbil is a naughty little someone herself.
    They thoroughly enjoy their bond (and bondage). Though it doesn’t remain just the two of them for long, as Nibbil understands compersion well and encourages Annie to explore whatever and whomever she’d like. Her cute neighbour, for example.
    This is such a fun time while demonstrating healthy kink and that lesbians can get down with the best of them.
  • Check out the artist’s website for more information about the author and her work: ColleenCoover.net


20.48 Closing Remarks:

Sister My Sister


In a provincial town in France, 1932, a widow, Madame Danzard (Julie Walters) and her daughter, Isabelle (Sophie Thursfield) live an insular, suffocated life with their maid, Christine Papin (Joely Richardson).

Christine’s younger sister, Lea (Jodhi May), comes to work at the house, which is when the action of the film begins.

Madame Danzard runs her home with an iron fist in a white glove that is run over every surface, in search of any speck of dust. A mere look sends one or other of the maids scrambling to correct the problem in silence.

Silence is the order of the day in the Danzard household.

When not scrubbing, polishing, cooking and serving, the sisters spend their time in their shared room—a request they made—sharing a room and bed. The savings delighted Madame, of course, who is tight as a drum when it comes to money.

And affection—though utterly silent with the maids, she hectors her daughter—never showing a hint of so much as liking the girl. Sometimes emotionally manipulating her for her own amusement—teasing her with a trip to Paris, then, once the girl is excited at the prospect of a trip, rescinding the offer, saying the fashions there wouldn’t suit her daughter. Another time she blows out the girl’s own birthday candle so she can sing along to the opera playing on the radio.

Christine and Lea are happiest being alone together—the elder sister protective of the younger, the younger in wide-eyed awe of the elder.

Their mother, who is never seen, is a wedge between them. Lea is the favourite, as she’s always done as she’s told—turning all of her earnings over to their mother.

The struggle between Christine and their mother to control Lea eventually comes to a head; the girls already close bond becoming even more so in the aftermath.

The Danzard’s rarely have visitors, so it’s chiefly the four women cloistered away in oppressive silence—mother and daughter working on various crafts or playing card games, playing their own mind games with one another; sisters working diligently or spending time in their room, though Christine does make lace and underthings for her sister to wear.

As time carries on, and the sisters’ relationship crosses into darker, illicit territory, they both become more careless in their work. Previously meticulous in every way, they begin missing spots, breaking things and Christine’s typically perfect sewing may (or may not) suffer.

The centre cannot hold, as it were, and, eventually, one mistake too many is made. Madame Danzard does the unthinkable—she insults Lea—and Christine cannot, will not, abide that.


This is yet another service porn film I was greatly enamoured with long before I had ever heard the phrase ‘service-oriented submission’, but I do enjoy watching someone clean properly. I also apparently have an affection for service porn films set in 1932. Go figure.

Speaking of things I’m interested in—there’s a psychological condition called folie a deux, which is when two people who would be law-abiding citizens otherwise become dangerous criminals when together.

You see, the Papin sisters in this film—and the events portrayed—are based on real events. Christine and Lea Papin were real people. There are other films, books and plays based on their case like The Maids, which is based on the Jean Genet play of the same name, La Ceremonie, based on a Ruth Rendell novel called A Judgement in Stone and Les Blessures assassines. The film Sister My Sister is based on a play called ‘My Sister in This House’ by Wendy Kesselman.

There’s an excellent, academic book about them by Rachel Edwards and Keith Reader called The Papin Sisters.

But, you know, I don’t find them interesting or anything.

Folie a deux’s are rather the polar opposite of a healthy power exchange, in that the latter brings out the best in both parties and the former brings out the absolute worst.

Another example of folie a deux on film (based on a real life situation) is Heavenly Creatures, which I recommend highly.


What’s kinky about this film?

Aside from service porn, this will appeal to people interested in sibling incest (as a consensual kink, I hope). If that’s a turn off for you—avoid this one. There’s not a lot of nudity, though there is a little, and not a great deal in the way of sex, but it’s still there. And it’s pretty hot. What can I say—I like my films dark.

Speaking of darkness—the cinematography is outstanding. The palette consists of browns and greys—even when the girls occasionally go outside it seems like it’s always half-way between autumn and winter. (In other words, I love it.)

An interesting note—the maids and the Danzards never speak to one another. They speak amongst themselves, but not across class lines. The film consists of long silences as it is. Like The Piano Teacher, the director allows the actors room to do what they do best.

Also, no men appear on screen—we hear male voices twice, but they aren’t even credited. Not over the end credits nor on IMDb.

The acting is impeccable. Sophie Thursfield is the only person I haven’t seen in anything before or since, but she’s hilarious as the put-upon yet sarcastic daughter.

Everything about the film is pitch perfect.

If you like character-driven, darker dramas, this is a great one for it.


When Your Sexuality Is About Other People

[Disclaimer: this writing is not about all heterosexual women. Nay, it is not even about the majority of heterosexual women. It is, however, about a very specific group of hetero (and a very few bi) women who exist. If you read this piece and you would not behave this way, then, clearly, it is not about you.]

Reactions to Your Weird-Ass Sexuality

Being a lesbian is often a joke. To other people. Men often find it hilarious or sexy. (Thanks. I exist to enhance your life and die on your TV shows. Please keep your comments to yourself. I assure you, I’ve heard all of them roughly 9,000 times before.)

To the men who get that lesbians are not here for your amusement nor are we men with boobs: You are super-duper-awesome. You probably shouldn’t get props for simply being decent people, but such is the world we live in. Have some props.

Heterosexual women have a variety of reactions. Some of the ‘positive’ ones (that aren’t actual acceptance—thank you to those) are things like: ‘I wish I could be gay. Men are jerks.’ Yeah, it’s a blast. We just got marriage rights last year and I was genuinely surprised it happened in my lifetime.

Or they tell you about that one girl they thought was hot in college, which is completely the same thing as being rejected by your family.

And ‘Wow. If your period’s late you never have to worry you’re pregnant.’ Yup. Totally worth being treated like a trophy by men and women. [Read on]

Not so positive responses include:

The aghast. ‘Don’t make a pass at me!’ Well, gee, I wasn’t interested until the scent of scorching homophobia wafted around you like a Death Eater cloak. Now I want to jump you like whoa.

Or they tell you how much they like dick. Like, so much. ‘I could never be with a girl because I like dick sooooo much. Strictly dickly, you know!’ I get it. Good lord. I’m not going to do anything to you. Relax.

But then there’s this other group of women. The one’s that say, ‘Eh. Never really been into girls…’

Then you become ‘that one girl’ they thought was hot.

Something happens in the minds of these women. I don’t know what it is. Some sort of insanity takes over.

You become Lesbian Neo. You are the One.

You see, they’ve never wanted sex with another woman before. So this is their chance. The Entitlement takes hold. It’s almost as though you owe it to them. As solidarity to the sisterhood.

There is no one so aggressive as a straight woman who wants to sleep with the Lesbian Neo in her life.

The hormones coming off of these women are so strong they make everything around them wavey like hot asphalt.

Why This is Confusing

What gets me about it is that these are straight women—you know, the people who most deal with dudes. They must know what it feels like to have someone not listen when they say, ‘Yeah, I like you as a friend, but not really that way.’

[Sidebar: There’s a misconception that lesbians hate men, but no one hates men more than people who have to deal with them intimately. You want to hear some man-bashing? Listen to women who have asked a guy to pick up his socks for the 800th time and been ignored.]

I say something must happen in their brains because this has happened with women I’ve been friends with and have had rational conversations with about why I’m not interested and they’ve continued to try to talk me into sleeping with them.

Again, something they must have experience with with guys. They must know what it feels like to have a guy just want them for sex. Somehow, because we’re both women it’s…different? [See next section for more on this.]

I mean, if a guy said, ‘You’re the only brunette I’ve ever been attracted to, you have to have sex with me.’ They’d be pissed. But I’m supposed to be flattered because I’m one step closer to a toaster oven.

Of course, I wouldn’t be allowed to tell anyone, because they wouldn’t want anyone to think they were gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay, they just aren’t so they wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.

Oddly, if I slept with a guy once it would only make me bi, but if a straight woman slept with another woman once people would think she was gay. How does that work? This was the fear some had.


Perhaps women think it’s different because sex between women isn’t ‘real sex’?

Perhaps they think lesbians will go for no strings attached sex because we’re like men and a lot of guys would probably be all for it. Which would explain the most popular DEFCON 1 tactic [see next section].

[I’ve known men who think I’m just a guy with boobs so they think it’s a huge turn on to be able to objectify the hell out of women in front of me. ‘Uh, no, there, guy. I wasn’t thinking what you were thinking. Wow.’]

Perhaps it has something to do with the way society views non-hetero sex as novel and therefore anyone practicing it must be open to being asked intimate questions at any time. Minorities of any type are often viewed as teachers by the majority and are expected to be cheerfully willing to answer invasive questions. Perhaps this is an extension of that.

Tactics [DEFCON 1]

We’ve had conversations. They’ve exhausted their arguments. Perhaps they’ve ‘accidentally’ had porn playing when I’ve arrived (is that supposed to get me in the mood?)

I’ve assumed I’ve made myself clear and (because they’re women and know what it’s like to be pressured are finally fine with being friends). We’ve hung out and gone to movies and had dinners and just done the friend thing like it was before they decided my pants were really boring on my body.

When suddenly. All her clothes fall off.

Once, I was at a friend’s house and she went into the bathroom to change and forgot to put her clothes back on before coming back out.

Another time, a friend answered the door naked. ‘I was just getting dressed!’ She cheerfully exclaimed, before bouncing off.

You know, grabbing a robe on the way to the door wouldn’t have been difficult. And your bedroom is upstairs.

The third time this happened I laughed out loud. (I do not recommend doing this to a naked woman.)

I wasn’t laughing at her. I was laughing at the absurdity of the situation. It was an ‘again?!’ laugh.

It makes sense—these are straight women—who were all quite attractive. That would probably work with a straight guy.

Woman: Look, I only want to have sex with you. No strings.
Guy: I don’t really want to.
Woman: My clothes just fell off.
Guy: Well…

Here’s a newsflash: Lesbians aren’t men. (Though that may work with some women. I don’t speak for all of the gay ladies.)

The People Who Really Confuse Me

Okay. Friends I can get. I have red hair and women like that. I’m funny. Women like that. I’m smart. Women like that.

It took me a long time to get enough self esteem up to get it, but I do now. I get why someone who knows me would be like, ‘You’re swell. I would like to do things with you I’ve never done with another woman.’

It’s sort of a compliment. In a way. Up until they don’t stop asking and don’t listen when I say no. That’s just a lack of respect. And only want to have sex and not date. Really? I’m funny enough to fuck but not date? Cheers.

It’s when random acquaintances ask for the sex that I don’t get it.

The first experience of this was in high school when a person who was absolutely dreadful to me (and who spread all sorts of delightful rumors when she found out I was gay) then asked a mutual friend if I would be up for a threeway with her and her boyfriend.

Uh. No.

This goes back to the ‘minorities are here for your amusement’ theory. I was the only lesbian she knew. She wanted a threeway. ‘Hey! I know! I’ll ask her! Who cares that I’ve been terrible to her since we were fourteen! She won’t care—she’s not even a real person, right?!’

I’ve been out of the dating scene for ten years, but when I recently opened an OKCupid account—even though I explicitly stated I was looking for a Mistress or D-type…the responses I received were from married women. Yeah, funtimes are ahead.

Lesbians are not bisexual.

And bisexuals are not here to fulfill your threeway fantasy. (I do not speak for bisexuals—please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is what I understand from listening to them.)

Not All Lesbians

Not all lesbians will turn down straight female friends looking for their girl-on-girl experience. I was speaking with a friend of mine who slept with a hetero friend of hers but offered the friend the caveat: ‘You’re not really getting the full experience because we’re not in love with each other.’ I love that she offered a disclaimer so she knew lesbian sex was usually better than that.

So, ladies, if you are attracted to your lesbian friend, I’m not saying don’t ask, I’m saying, don’t press the point if she says no.

A Question for the Readers

If a friend of your preferred gender, but to whom you were not attracted, said that you were the first person they had ever been attracted to of your gender, would you sleep with that person?

What about an acquaintance?

For example: If you’re a straight woman—a gay man approaches you.
If you’re a gay man—a straight man approaches you.
Lesbians, how have you handled the straight women who only want sex?
Straight guys, gee, if a lesbian only wanted to try sex with a guy, want would you do? And how many billboards would you take out afterwards?

Bisexuals: so you’re not left out, if you had a dollar/a pound for every time you’d been invited into a threesome without being asked if you were attracted to either party first, how many islands could you buy?

[I would also like to add that this post makes me sound like a total Shane from The L Word. I assure you I have not been converting the straight ladies all over the place. It’s simply a bizarre little phenomenon I wanted to share with my readers for humor’s sake. I have many straight friends who are perfectly decent people.]

Mango Kiss



Lou (Michelle Wolff) and her best friend, with whom she’s in love, Sassafrass (Daniele Ferraro), move to San Francisco after university in order to pursue their performance art. Sassy has recently come out and is a bit promiscuous (we are told this, but don’t see it).

Their next door neighbours are a cliche of a couple, Leslie (Dru Mouser) and Val (Max Miller) and it’s only now that I’m looking at the IMDB page that I realise Val was actually played by a man. I knew he was supposed to be a guy, but the film is so weird I thought perhaps they’d got an androgynous ciswoman to play the role.

Anyway, Leslie and Val have been together since high school, I suppose, and she wears curlers and vacuums like she’s Donna Reed. This is shorthand for them being ‘traditional’. She also has a ridiculous Southern accent because Southern women are more complacent?

Eventually Lou tells Sassy she wants to be a couple and Sassy says she wants to be a princess and they get into a Daddy/princess deal, which morphs into a Sea Captain thing…somehow.

Then they get into the local BDSM scene and non-monogamy and blah blah blah. Who cares. The writing is terrible. Which was a shame because they explored some things that aren’t generally shown in media like kink families. Lou becomes someone’s puppy and Sassy becomes someone else’s Mommy.

Oh, and, for some reason, somehow, Sally Kirkland is in this thing. As Sassy’s mother. What. She’s supportive of her daughter, but confused by her, as well.

I knew I was in for a bad time when it started with a voice-over full of trite observations about life and love. Always an indicator of Painful Lesbian Films(tm).

The vanilla sex scenes were even boring. Not because they were vanilla, which can still be hot, but because there was no chemistry. Give me something, people.

While it was nice to see all the kink, the overall message for the main couple was BDSM wasn’t their thing, nor was polyamory. Other characters got to end up in kinky and complex relationships–though those also seemed to be fraught, as well, so it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, there, either.

Apparently, this is based on a play, which was based on someone’s real life experiences. This is probably where everything went wrong. They say to ‘write what you know’ but reality makes just dreadful fiction.

Mango kiss reminds me of lesbian films from the 90s when we were happy to have any representation of ourselves in the media. And in that way, the kink was nice to see. Since it wasn’t forced submission and everyone was, mostly, enjoying themselves. But this was released in 2004–we have choices now–we no longer have to torture ourselves to see two ladies kissing. And thank god for that.

If the writing and acting was better…and…everything else too, it would have been nice to see kink represented in a more complex light for once, but it was just…bad painful. Red. Spare yourself.


Lesbian Porn for Men vs for Lesbians

Lesbian Porn for Men vs Lesbian Porn for Lesbians: An Annotated List

I’ve seen one or two films of the grown-up persuasion in my time. And I enjoy the ladies who enjoy the ladies, so the majority of those films have been of ladies enjoying other ladies’… ladyparts.

When I first stumbled out into pornland, though, there was just so much of it–and it was all so shameful and dirty—and you had to go into actual physical stores (it was a dark time, kids)—so I’d blindly grab whatever I could get my hands on and run away. I’d consume my little bit of whatever I’d found and usually be partially aroused and partially appalled.

Kids, you'd wade through and take home whatever stuck to you. It was terrible. (credit)

Kids, you’d wade through and take home whatever stuck to you. It was terrible. (credit)

Then the internet arrived (blessed be the gods of perversity! all hail their filthy gifts from on low!) and I learned about the radical concept of lesbian porn made for lesbians, by lesbians. I started watching films made by Girlfriends Films and Sweetheart Video. Those just made me feel tingly in the pants region—without being appalled. (Well, until I started recognising some of the furnishings from one video to the next and realised I should probably take a break.) The films by lesbians were of a very different nature than that with which I had started my porn diet. I knew what lurked out there in the darker waters and lo, I was afraid.

So I stuck with what I knew and kept to the girly waters and all was well.

Very recently I started watching some of the Girlsway offerings. The Business of Women videos are right up my alley. But then I watched another one of theirs and it had several of the THIS WAS MADE FOR MEN signifiers. That started me thinking about the porn I watched early on and the ways porn made for two different audiences (but with the same subject matter can differ).

So here is a (no doubt incomplete) list of differences between lesbian porn for men (LPfM) vs lesbian porn for lesbians (LPfL). (And I mean between only women; no men arrive to ‘assist’ at any point in the proceedings.)

1. And I really cannot stress this one enough: NAILS. I’m at the point now where I turn off ‘lesbian’ porn if one of the women has long nails. It hurts me to look at it. And not good pain. One of my favourite porn actresses is bi and very occasionally will do a lesbian scene with slightly long nails (not Freddy Krueger length, but long enough to hurt) and I’m just, ‘Maggie, Maggie, why do you do this to me?’ (Magdalene St Michaels for those of you playing along at home.)

When some poor woman is being fingered to within an inch of her life by another woman who has two inches of vinyl attached to the ends of her fingers… Oh god. RED! RED! My eyes are tearing up as I type this. I do not consent.

We get it, lady. You're straight. Congratulations. (image from here)

We get it, lady. You’re straight. Congratulations. (image from here)

2. Foreign Objects, use of. Dudes just canNOT believe women don’t want something jammed in them. There’s a hole there (there’re TWO!) shove something in it, dammit! Or else it might seal itself shut, never to be penetrated again! Shove something, anything in there like your very lives depended upon it! Something huge, if you don’t mind.

Guys have to be in the porn even when they’re not in the thing.

There’s a hilarious ‘Lesbians React‘ video of lesbians reacting to ‘lesbian’ porn. We don’t see what they’re watching, but they describe it and, apparently the woman in the film they’re watching eventually has a stiletto heel inserted into her.

Lesbians do not do this. First of all, the vast majority of ladies who like ladies wear more sensible shoes and so wouldn’t even have one around and secondly, no.

Whilst I have not personally seen LPfM with non-sex toys used as dildoes, I’ve never seen a LPfM without a sex toy.

Yes, some women do like penetration. Just like some women don’t like oral sex. And yes, some lesbians like watching one woman with a strap-on riding another like she’s in the home stretch of the Kentucky Derby. (Ahem, this one right here.) But not every single time, men.

I wouldn’t mind there being a bit more of it in LPfL. The two groups need to get together and divvy up the amount of sex toy time so it’s a bit more equal.

'Hey Heather, why don't we go to the farmers' market. They always have really fresh courgettes. And organic is best, you know.'

‘Hey Heather, why don’t we go to the farmers’ market. They always have really fresh courgettes. And organic is best, you know.’

3. Foreign Objects, quality of. This is a weird one. But, in my viewing experience, the sex toys used in LPfM tend to be of higher quality than the ones—when you get to see them—in LPfL. You’d think that since actual lesbians are the ones who’d be using sex toys that on the rare occasion they broke one out for a porn they’d bring something nice. But I get all excited for some strap on action from actual lesbians and then they bring out plastic pinky the wonder winky. Seriously. I don’t know where they find these things, but, again, go talk to the props people for the straight guys.

I’m not asking for some monster thing that makes me think, ‘There is no way that’s going to f… holy hell that fit… That woman is straight. Straight straight straight. And she normally does elephant porn.’ But at least give me something that doesn’t look like it would cease to exist on a visual plane if I glared at it.

And something that doesn’t look like it fell off the back of a truck in Chinatown, while you’re doing me favours. You’d think they’d have nice stuff from Babes in Toyland or Good Vibes rather than what you’d get out of a naughty toy dispenser for spare coinage. Come on, ladies.

To see how it’s done properly, I suggest Kylie Ireland. She works with Girlfriends Films and brings her own gear and yes. This is how you do it.

'What do we need for this scene?' 'Just put in some change and we'll use whatever comes out.'

‘What do we need for this scene?’ ‘Just put in some change and we’ll use whatever comes out.’

4. Dialogue. Having watched gay porn, straight porn and lesbian porn I have scientifically observed an inverse correlation between testosterone and dialogue prior to the viewing of genitals.

Porn written and directed by straight people—no matter the sex of the people having the sex—gives a certain amount of porn-level dialogue and ‘plot’ before the humping kicks off.

Gay porn, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a couple lines to set the scene—mostly you just have to work out the ‘plot’ by what people are wearing and the set. ‘They’re soldiers. Soldiers having sex with each other.’ ‘They’re firemen. Firemen having sex with each other.’ ‘I don’t know what the… The setting is just a bedroom and they weren’t wearing clothes long enough to establish… They’re two dudes having sex with each other.’

Lesbian porn… everyone has a Dickensian back story and they’re all best friends with their exes, unless their ex is crazy (this is true-to-life, though, so props to realism), and each film has to be set up by twenty-five minutes of talking. No joke—I was once forty-five minutes into a Girlfriends Film before I saw a boob. I thought maybe I’d got the wrong film, but I knew who most of the actresses were so I stuck with it. And I must say—their actresses are pretty good. Once the sex got rolling it was even better! I was a little snarky by that point. ‘Oh, you are going to have sex. Bully for you!’

So. More oestrogen = more talking. More testosterone = less talking. Science!

'Maybe they'll stop talking soon and I'll get to see a nipple. That'll be worth the four hour wait.'

‘Maybe they’ll stop talking soon and I’ll get to see a nipple. That’ll be worth the four hour wait.’

5. Noises; Or: Sounds other than dialogue that issue from the mouths of women in porn.

These sounds vary depending on the porn the person is accustomed to performing in. Lesbians in LPfL make sounds people make when having sex—moans and hums that are particular to each woman.

Women in LPfM or who do a lot of crossover work make ‘sexy’ sounds they’ve all learned in a class somewhere.

One that I find especially odd is the intake of breath through the teeth. It’s a sound you’d make if you stubbed a toe on the way to the loo in the middle of the night and didn’t want to shout. If air was being exhaled rather than inhaled you’d say: ‘Shhhh’. At some point someone decided that a woman sucking air through her clenched teeth was sexy so now it’s common with bi/straight female porn performers.

Is it supposed to be a ‘fierce’ thing? ‘I’m so turned on I just can’t ooohhh, you just wait’ [reverse hissing sound]

That’s the thing that prompted this list—the actress in question was making that sound every (no kidding) ten seconds or so. Nope. Couldn’t do it. Turned it off. Because I was turned off.

Another sound you hear a lot is a moan/whine that could be coming from any porn actress out there. It’s the same pitch and notes, I swear. And it’s usually emitted at regular intervals.

Look, I know it’s a fantasy. I’m willing to work with you. All you have to do is not sound like a porn actress. That merely requires not making the exact same sounds every other actress makes. At regular intervals… in exactly the same way.

There could be another explanation. 'And now the mmmmyeah sound every three seconds.'

There could be another explanation.
‘And now the mmmmyeah sound every three seconds.’

6. Spitting. Guess which one it happens in. Guess which one it doesn’t. Spitting is not my kink so it just kinda grosses me out. It’s particularly jarring when it’s supposed to be vanilla sex.

No image available for this entry

No image available for this entry

7. Fake breasts. This isn’t a judgment on people who have breast implants—I’m all about people doing whatever they want with their bodies. This is about the differences between porn for lesbians and porn for dudes. And fake boobies are sort of a straight person thing. Especially the egregious ones. The ones that look painful. My friend Bug said, ‘I can’t get off while I’m busy being concerned about your surgery.’ I tend to start focusing just on body parts. Well, two body parts especially. I start thinking about how un/proportional they are, how un/naturally they sit or hang, what sort of job the surgeon did. There are some really nice boob jobs out there, I admit! And also some… well, I’m just sorry for those girls and I hope the money they’re making is to fix the other jobs.

The point is, I shouldn’t suddenly be focused on aesthetics and wondering if all the women with good breast jobs went to the same place or the one with the unfortunate set just caught the surgeon on a bad day. I should be enjoying the sex. Which is easier to do with natural boobs.

'The breasts themselves are equally proportioned, but they're a bit asymmetrical.'

‘The breasts themselves are equally proportioned, but they’re a bit asymmetrical.’

8. Non-conventional beauty. Even in my beloved Girlfriends and Sweetheart videos the women are pretty high femme. (I don’t know what that makes the average porn woman—stratospheric femme?)You have to look to the Crash Pad series to find a truly impressive assortment of female bodies having all kinds of sex. Aside from Crash Pad, LPfL still employs women that you’d never see in LPfM. (If you’re unfamiliar with Crash Pad, Oh Joy Sex Toy has an excellent review of their services.)

Some of the women in straight lesbian porn can be a little...plastic. (credit)

Some of the women in straight lesbian porn can be a little…plastic. (credit)

9. Shoes. This was pointed out to me by my friend Bean, but she was correct—LPfM lesbians keep their shoes on sometimes—something they never do in LPfL. Which is true. I guess straight girls like wearing murder heels. Unless they’re putting those heels in other women.

'No, no, I'm absolutely comfortable. Let's have sex standing up!' (Kronier Creations)

‘No, no, I’m absolutely comfortable. Let’s have sex standing up!’ (Kronier Creations)

10. Enthusiasm for the V. In LPfM you often see the enthusiasm for the V that ten-year-olds have for the first day of school. ‘Oh yay. This thing I have to do. Joy illimited.’ They then poke it with their tongue: poke, poke, poke like trying to ring a doorbell. It’s so sad. No wonder there’s all the spitting. In LPfL the ladies have the enthusiasm for the V that ten-year-olds have for the last day of school. They’re in there like they’re looking for their lost inheritance. They’re going down on a porn star and it’s the best damn day of their lives. As it should be.

'Girl parts. They are my favourite parts to put my face very close to.'

‘Girl parts. They are my favourite parts to put my face very close to.’

So what do you think? On the mark? Did I miss something?

The Duke of Burgundy

DoB Landscape Boot

Graphic by Julian House

This review is free of spoilers, though in some ways this film is better if you know nothing about it going in. It may sound odd, but I recommend not reading this review, or any review. Just watch the film—it’s incredible.

A young woman, Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna) arrives at her employer’s house—Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen)—a cold, demanding woman who makes her stay late at work and punishes her severely when she makes mistakes.

In the next scene we find out the women are lovers who play sadomasochistic sorts of games. This isn’t a spoiler—we learn this in the second scene of the film.

The women go through their normal lives—the older one is a lepidopterist—and they attend talks at the library, as well as do scenes at home.

But all is not well in kinky-land.

And then the end happened and I was: Whaaaaaa?

Also by Julian House

Also by Julian House

I know that seems like a short plot synopsis but it really is better to know less rather than more. Also, the film is more of a character-study than plot-based.

The Duke of Burgundy was written and directed by Peter Strickland in the 20-teens, but feels like it was based on a 1970s novel. In an interview Strickland says it was an homage to 70s films, and that’s apparent in both look and feel. The cinematography (by Nicholas D. Knowland) is lush and luxurious.

The setting is somewhere non-specific in Europe and the time could be any time after the 70s. (It was filmed in Hungary and Budapest). The soundtrack is by Cat’s Eyes and compliments the film perfectly.

The Duke of Burgundy is about what happens when Dommes and subs don’t negotiate what they both want. (And something called topping from the bottom.)

There are some trippy sex scenes and music cues that are very 70s. And there’s an entire sequence roughly three-quarters of the way through that’s that sort of LSD weird-out sort of thing you’d see in the 70s.

Even though it’s surreal and artistic, it’s a more realistic depiction of a BDSM relationship than Secretary, as it shows how far the fantasy is from the—often boring or hilarious—reality.

Basically it’s my favourite film now. 5/5