Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms by Sacchi Green

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[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:

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  • 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.

Episode 61: Sweet and Rough

Episode the sixty-first; wherein the Pageist marvels at the wonders of hormones and 3D model clitorises. The book reviewed is Sweet and Rough: Queer Smut by Sinclair Sexsmith.

.44 Intro and Announcements:

  • Thank you to all of my patrons–you make the show happen! Mwah!
  • Big, huge hugs to the newest supporter, Dedria!
  • Two new Facebook likes, from Kitty and E, welcome to the group!
  • The show is now in Bahrain, Belarus and Ecuador.
  • Someone took the survey and had very kind things to say–if you’d like to fill in the survey, the link is here.
  • If you haven’t checked out the BDSM community The Cage–it’s growing. Give it a look.

4.09 My Submissive Life:

  • My 3D model of a clitoris from Lumberjill a.k.a. Shoulda Wooda arrived and I love it! Check out the Etsy shop here. See more of his work on his Instagram. Below are photos of mine.

A post shared by Paige La Marchand (@thepageist) on

  • For an incredibly informative slide show on how genitals are formed in the womb click this link. Thank you to Sinclair Sexsmith for that link!

9.48 Book Review:

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    This episode’s book is Sweet and Rough: Queer Smut by Sinclair Sexsmith, which is a collection of short, very sexy, very well-written pieces of erotic fiction featuring butch/femme relations and packing scenarios.

  • ‘Packing’ is when a female-bodied person wears a dildo–either soft or hard–in a harness as they go about their day. This collection explores gender and celebrates the female form.
  • Sinclair did a bonus interview for my Patreon subscribers about packing–what it is, why people are into it and so forth. It’s available here.
  • Sinclair’s Patreon is here. Their blog is sugarbutch.net and has some great writing. Fiction and non-fiction.
  • You can get the book from here. Or by supporting Sinclair’s Patreon.

16.35 Sexy Section:

  • The section this episode is about a strap on blow job. It’s the short, short piece from this week’s book ‘Her Mouth on My Cock’.

19.45 Closing Remarks:

  • Thank you for tuning in!
  • In the next episode I’ll be interviewing the author of today’s book, Sinclair Sexsmith!
  • 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.

Leather Ever After

This is the text of the book review from the previous episode of The Pageist for people who prefer to read their book reviews.

This episode’s book falls under the Paige is on Top category of books, as it’s somewhat recent having been released in 2013. Look at me, reading something written within the last five years! Much modern! So wow! It’s Leather Ever After: An Anthology of Kinky Fairy Tales, which is edited by Sassafras Lowrey. It has a foreword by Laura Antoniou because of course it does—that woman is everywhere (it’s not a criticism, I just hope she’s getting enough sleep. I worry, you know?)

I read one or two before bed—as you do with fairy tales—and it’s the perfect set of bedtime stories. Lots of different kinks are covered and many were not my kinks, but they were all well-written and still hot.

Lee Harrington has a story—someone else I really hope is getting enough rest. As do other established writers of the kinky words, as well as some newcomers.

One of them–‘Down Under’ by Raven Kaldera I recognized neither the story it was based on, nor the kink—perhaps sploshing? But it was fucking HOT. There’s needle play, knife play, blood play, boot worship, branding, electricity play, and no collection of BDSM stories would be complete without spanking and bondage. And some hard fucking. Oh, the hard fucking.

The Rapunzel-based story ‘Hair Like Gold’ by Nalu Kalani was nearly one long sex scene—again, not a criticism, I was considering it for the section to read and realized I’d be reading the entire story. In it Rapunzel’s hair is her bondage. What makes her hair grow is delicious. What her savior has to do in order to release her is even more delicious.

Fairy tales covered include the Little Mermaid, Little Red Riding Hood, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, The Frog Prince, Cinderella and the Wicked Witch makes and appearance. You know, the Wicked Witch. The one who appears in everything. There’s only one and she’s perpetually battling the Good Witch in her various guises. But in Ali Oh’s ‘The Good Witch’ the Wicked Witch—this time in the form of Baba Yaga—gets more than she bargained for, as the Good Witch tries her hand at being bad and does as pretty good job of it. Much to the Wicked Witch’s delight.

In ‘Snow Fight’ by Rob Rosen two princes show up to save Snow White but end up more interested in one another. It’s a stand out…stand up? Story. Wowwee that one was good.

‘House of Sweets’ by Miss Lola Sunshine was about that person who takes up so much space at the dungeon because their scene is just that elaborate. But little Hansel and Gretel—they needed to learn their lesson about not eating stranger’s houses. It’s an important lesson.

‘The Seven Swan Princes’ by D.L. King was a beautiful retelling of The Six Swans with masochism worthy of original fairy tales (those things weren’t fluffy and sweet, let me tell you) and some sex magic thrown in.

Fans of The Marketplace will enjoy ‘Iron Henry’ by Karen Taylor, which had a similar tone and was very sexy. It was interesting to hear about the kink experience from a black male submissive point of view, which isn’t the typical p.o.v. presented…anywhere.
‘Lady Leporine’ by Mollena Williams will please anyone who’s dealt with ‘that guy’ in their local kink community. I found myself grinning, I must admit.

The sex is gay, straight, lesbian and whatever else is required at the time. There is cross-dressing and gender-fluidity, fairies and furries, Daddies and bootblacks, bears and FemDoms, and lots of magic. Just magic out the wazoo. Some are humorous and some are more somber in tone. All the stories belong.

The only quibble I have is with the number of typos, which was more than the usual number.

I still give this a 5 of 5—for excellent bedtime reading.

1601 by Mark Twain

1601

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The year is 1601 and a poor lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth is waiting on her lady, who is chatting with some of the well-known writers of the day—Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare. Other Elizabethans of note are lolling about.

Suddenly, someone cuts one.

I mean, they really let one rip.

A fart. Someone farts.

Then, Queen Bess interrogates each person in attendance about the thing, which was both quite loud and impressively noxious.

No one is admitting to it at first and she asks,

‘Hath it come to pass yt a fart shall fart itself?’

I laughed out loud.

When asked, Shakespeare says it wasn’t him, but he thought perhaps Hell supplied the smell and Heaven shook Earth in appreciation of the stench.

Just as the Queen is getting round to Sir Walter Raleigh, he admits it was indeed he, but he can do even better and proceeds then to do so.

Once this has been settled the conversation turns to sex and what people have heard about various tribes or singular people. Everyone has a little obscene story to share. There’s a discussion about the correct spelling of the plural of ‘bollocks’:

Then spake ye queene of how she met old Rabelais when she was turned of fifteen, and he did tell her of a man his father knew that had a double pair of bollocks, whereon a controversy followed as concerning the most just way to spell the word, ye contention running high betwixt ye learned Bacon and ye ingenious Jonson, until at least ye old Lady Margery, wearying of it all, saith, ‘Gentles, what mattereth it how ye shall spell the word? I warrant Ye when ye use your bollocks ye shall not think of it; and my Lady Granby, be ye content; let the spelling be, ye shall enjoy the beating of them on your buttocks just the same…’

Good ol’ Lady Margery. Reminding everyone what’s really important.

The ‘story’, as it is, doesn’t go anywhere, as it’s a diary entry of the lady-in-waiting. It’s quite short—it took less than half an hour to read. It’s written in Elizabethan English but is understandable. There’s no kink, just ribald fun.

Originally called Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors, it was published anonymously in 1880 and claimed by Twain in 1906. The history of the publication is pretty interesting.

I’ve always enjoyed finding risque and out-right pornographic pieces by people who are considered ‘classic’ writers. Part of the fun of this one is that it’s written by the person who wrote Tom Sawyer. You know. Wholesome Mark Twain! We read him at school! Ahem.

My copy was $3 and was bundled with Venus in Furs, Forbidden Fruit, Romance of Lust, My Secret Life and The Memoirs of Fanny Hill, which was worth it, in my opinion. You can also get it for free from Project Gutenberg.

4/5

Secretary: The Film vs the Short Story

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Secretary: A Comparison of the Film and Short Story

–This essay has spoilers of both the film and short story.—

Quotes from the short story are in block quotes

[Film notes are in brackets.]

*General commentary follows an asterisk

The Mary Gaitskill story was published in her collection Bad Behavior in 1988. I reviewed it here.

[The screenplay was written by Erin Cressida Wilson and the film was released in 2002. The story was adapted by Cressida and director Steven Shainberg.] I reviewed and recapped the film here.

Because this post is a long one, the rest will be after this break.

Continue reading

Bad Behavior

Bad Behavior

Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior is a collection of stories about some truly unlikable people. Really. I wouldn’t want to have lunch with one of them. Reading about them was engaging, though–Gaitskill captures the grimy, complicated reality of life, but this isn’t feel-good material. It isn’t redemptive reading, either–where someone triumphs over adversity. It’s a collection of people who live odd little lives and interact with others living odd little lives.

Now that I’ve sold you on it, I’ll tell you the good part: Several stories feature sadomasochism. It also has the story the film Secretary was based on, though the differences between the film and source material are legion. It’s one of the few times a film was better than the story, though the story fits perfectly with the others in the book. (I’ll be doing a post about the differences between Secretary the Film vs Story in a couple weeks with, just, all the spoilers if you don’t want to read the book.)

The S/M in the book isn’t the stuff of sexy fantasy, though. It’s realistic in that it’s about people who don’t communicate properly or don’t know what they want and end up in situations they don’t actually like. Particularly ‘Romantic Weekend’.

It’s similar to Something Leather in that there’s a small amount of kink in comparison to the rest of the book, except I’d still recommend reading this one, as long as you’re not looking for new best friends.

4/5