Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to welcome Xan West today, a writer who has long impressed me as one willing to take risks and walk the edge. Xan’s fiction is always transgressive and bold, and, having had the opportunity to listen to a live reading, I can tell you Xan’s words will make you sit up in your seat.
Xan’s Show Yourself to Me is now out from Go Deeper Press—and I’m honored to be part of the blog tour for this collection. Xan is a writer who empowers with words and emotions that stand out in our genre, and this anthology is full of queer kink that explores power dynamics, consent, play, and community. The tour has been going on for a bit, so please be sure to check out the entire lineup of stops here, as well as Xan’s thoughtful, informative postings at Kink Praxis.
For now, I’m going to turn the floor over to Xan to share not only an intense excerpt, but a musing on a kink involving one of my favorite things: boots.
Take it away, Xan!
For the Love of Boots
By Xan West
Boots are one of my core kinks, and have been since the beginning. Boots are one of those kinks that can be really baffling to people, and bootlicking in particular is one of those things that lots of folks find deeply distasteful. One of my early online screen names was “bootlicker”, and it consistently garnered me both puzzled and squicked reactions.
From the outside it can get immediately read as being about humiliation, and sometimes it is. But there are so many other flavors of bootlicking. It can be about worship, or sex, or begging, or love, or service, or fetish, or submission, or dedication, or stubborn will, or gender, or getting the best shine possible. Like most kink acts, what you bring to it is really where the juice is.
When I write boots into my stories, I attempt to illuminate boot play in its specificity, to give the reader a clear sense of why this character is doing it and what it means to them. In the story “My Will,” a dominant chooses to kneel for the first time in fifteen years. He gave up submission after an abusive D/s relationship, and moved to the other side of the whip. He is drawn to submit to a man he trusts, who has offered a scene for his birthday, and rationalizes that it’s not a forever choice, more like a vacation.
I’m going to share an excerpt with you, that shows what boots mean to him in this particular scene. As a heads up, this excerpt includes D/s, boot care, boot worship, cock torture, rough body play, face fucking, consensual non-consent, and humiliation play.
An Excerpt from “My Will”
When I knelt to do his boots, it was like coming home. I savored every second of it, taking my time brushing on the saddle soap, carefully cleaning every inch of them. I had not even done my own boots in many years, much less anyone else’s. It was too dangerous, I had found: I got too trancey and submissive. I could let that happen in this space and time. I could let myself go there with this man I trusted immensely.
Flaming the polish was a delight. Bootblacking is such a sensual experience, and I wanted to take my time with it, relish every aspect. The scent of the polish, the dancing flames, the warmth of it on my fingers. The ritual was sacred, I knew that, each step vital to the whole. I applied two full coats of polish, shining it vigorously with the brush, pulling off my A-line shirt, ripping it in front of him, and using a piece of it to buff his boot. I lifted my gaze to meet his and asked permission. He stroked my cheek gently as he answered, and I closed my eyes so I might feel every millimeter of his hand on my skin.
I lick boots the old fashioned way: belly on the floor, as low as I can be. As I placed myself on the floor at his feet, I shivered. It felt so good to be here, to be worshipping the boots of this man I deeply respected. I was in his care, and he would be careful with me—I knew that. When I touched my lips reverently to his boot, I felt so full I could burst. This was exactly where I wanted to be. Tears fell onto the leather, and his boots soaked in their due. I could taste salt with the polish as I licked, pressing hard with my tongue, wanting him to feel it.
I had made myself forget what this tasted like, felt like. I concentrated hard on all of it, imprinting the memory of this lest it be the only time I would do it. His other boot came to rest on the back of my neck, and he used it to press my mouth down hard, groaning. He held me there for a good long time, his hand reaching down to stroke my hair, his bootheel digging into my shoulder. I didn’t want it to end. Then he lifted his boot from my neck and pulled my head up, telling me not to forget that the other boot needed care, too.
As I cleaned and polished, his hand stayed on my neck, calmly stroking. At some point, his boot snaked between my thighs and dug into my cock. I held my breath, gritted my teeth, and did my damnedest to remain focused on polishing his boot, to give it just as much care as I had given its brother. It was hard. The heel digging into my cock felt amazingly delicious, flawlessly excruciating. It took all I had to finish, and I could not be quiet while doing it. Growling moans kept fighting their way past my lips.
I lay on the ground again, pressing my lips into his boot, and felt him resting the sole of the other one on my back, pressing it into my skin, my naked belly on the dirty floor. It was heaven, and I began to tremble. So much, so intense, so exactly what I had been yearning for.
He pulled me up to my knees, suddenly, by the hair, tugged out his cock, and thrust it down my throat. It was amazing. I went from fifteen years of nothing to a glorious cock deep in my throat. I was gagging on it, tears seeping from my eyes, aching for him to use my mouth in exactly the way he needed. His hands gripped the back of my neck, and he rammed his dick as deep as it could go, relentlessly, selfishly, purely focused on his own need, growling, until he came, forcing me to swallow it, holding my mouth on his cock as he thrust repeatedly, until every drop was gone.
He released my neck, and his boot pushed me into the floor until I had my head pressed down onto it, his boot kicking my ass, ramming between my legs, stomping my thighs. It was brutal and intense and completely unexpected. I began to shiver, to scream no, and all he said was that no was not a safe word, and I better take it for him. His boots flattened me, kept me in the place I desperately ached to be, the place I feared with all of my heart.
He showed me exactly how much I wanted to be under his boot, how much I loved it. He made me say it to him, tell him I loved being under his boot, repeatedly, as he kicked me, dug the heels into me, hurt me with his boots. When I finally said it the way he wanted to hear it, he rewarded me by forcing my mouth onto the filthy floor. He made me lick it, to show him how much I appreciated his attention, his dominion, his boots showing me exactly where I belonged and what I loved.
I sobbed as I licked that dirty cold floor, the taste bitter and perfect, and he groaned, telling me my tears turned him on, that the sight of me under his boots was making him hard again, that if I did a good job he just might fuck me. Soon, I was licking salty wetness along with the grime on the ground, and I knew that I wanted to please him more than anything in the world. He was good enough to see inside me and give me exactly what I desperately ached for, and all I wanted to do was bring him a small portion of ease or pleasure.
He lifted my head and inspected the section I had been cleaning with my tongue, saying gruffly that I had done a good job on the floor, and on his boots, and that he thought I had the makings of a good boy in me. The universe stopped for a moment. All I could hear was those words of praise, and they slithered their way inside a shriveled place in my chest and watered it, just a little.
About the Book:
In Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica, Xan West introduces us to pretty boys and nervous boys, vulnerable tops and dominant sadists, good girls and fierce girls and scared little girls, mean Daddies and loving Daddies and Daddies that are terrifying in delicious ways.
Submissive queers go to alleys to suck cock, get bent over the bathroom sink by a handsome stranger, choose to face their fears, have their Daddy orchestrate a gang bang in the park, and get their dream gender-play scene—tied to a sling in an accessible dungeon.
Dominants find hope and take risks, fall hard and push edges, get fucked and devour the fear and tears that their sadist hearts desire.
Within these 24 stories, you will meet queers who build community together, who are careful about how they play with power, who care deeply about consent. You will meet trans and genderqueer folks who are hot for each other, who mentor each other, who do the kind of gender play that is only possible with other trans and genderqueer folks.
This is Show Yourself to Me. Get ready for a very wild ride.
Find Show Yourself to Me at…
Xan West is the nom de plume of Corey Alexander, a recent transplant to Oakland from Brooklyn, who has been doing community kink education for over ten years. Xan has been published in over 35 erotica anthologies, including the Best S/M Erotica series, the Best Gay Erotica series, and the Best Lesbian Erotica series. Xan’s story “First Time Since,” won honorable mention for the 2008 National Leather Association John Preston Short Fiction Award. Xan’s work has been described by reviewers as “offering the erotica equivalent of happy ever after” and as “some of the best transgressive erotic fiction to come along in recent years.”
Xan refuses pronouns, twists barbed wire together with yearning, and tilts pain in many directions to catch the light. Xan adores vulnerable tops; strong, supportive bottoms; red meat; long winding conversations about power, privilege, and community; showtunes; and cool, dark, quiet rooms with comfortable beds. Find Xan’s thoughts about the praxis of sex, kink, queerness, power, and writing at xanwest.wordpress.com.
Halloween, Halloween…it’s in the air! This is the time of year when everything starts to get a little bit creepy, fun, and wild—and that’s why today, I could no longer resist giving you a tantalizing preview of the delicious, sexy terror to come!
Libidinous Zombie is a project orchestrated by the fabulous Rose Caraway of The Kiss Me Quick’s. She’s a woman who likes her erotica with a twist, and because of that, I can assure you that the stories within will merge horror and erotica into something mighty combustible. I have so much to tell you about my story, “The Lucky One,” once this is out—but for now, I’m just going to leave you with a few teases.
First, the fantastic art for “The Lucky One,” created by the amazing Dayv Caraway:
Next, check out the incredible lineup of other authors you’ll find included in the pages:
Finally, don’t miss this thoughtful post from Remittance Girl about the psychological reality behind the blending of erotica and horror!
This anthology is coming out for Halloween, which is just around the corner…are you ready?
Photo courtesy of Kilted Wookie
Welcome to Elust #75 –
The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #75? Start with the rules, come back November 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!
~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~
~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~
~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~
*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!
Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish
Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships
Writing About Writing
Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor
I am fortunate to have several close friends who support what I write, but, truth be told, I also have many family members who strongly and vocally disapprove. As we all know and as was discussed in many incredible posts before a few months back, erotica has long been the black sheep of the writing world, regardless of its quality. It’s a shame, really, that so many amazing authors can be slapped with a derogatory label and/or be “on the fringe” simply for writing about sex.
Just before the real heat of the erotica sex writing versus mainstream sex writing conversation arose, a close family member made a point to call out her negative thoughts on what I write, and—perhaps because of the ongoing conversation, or just because of how it all went down between us—it’s resonated in my head off and on all this time. She was not the relative who’d previously crushed me by telling me my talent was wasted; the words of this woman, instead, infuriated me. We were mid-phone conversation when she brought up the fact that her daughter had started asking what I write, and, instead of coming up with an answer, she had apparently called to tell me of her plight. She said, “My daughter is asking what you write. What do I tell her? What on earth am I going to tell her with what you write? Do you ever think about that? You’ve put me in a really weird position.”
Irritation is a gentle way of describing the feeling I had in that moment. Granted, I don’t have children, and of course the appropriate response is entirely dependent on the age of the child—but I’m pretty sure there are a plethora of ways for a parent to approach this without blaming someone else for putting her “in a really weird position.” I said, “Why don’t you just tell her I write fiction?” But the response was, “She wants to know what kind. What do I tell her?”
Again, I’m not a parent, so I said: “Why don’t you tell her what you’re comfortable with?”
Unfortunately, this relative went on to say how awful her situation was because of what I’d chosen to focus on, and I opted to get off the phone rather than be berated. But months later, the real answer I’ve wanted to say still floats around in my head. It’s the easy answer—for me—that I know she and many others might not accept, but that I’m certain is the answer many of us feel, and why so many of us have no issues writing something that is, unfortunately, so shunned:
I write erotica.
Yes, it’s really that simple.
But okay. If we want to go further, if we need to delve into the depths of how powerful and real this genre is, then here’s my official answer:
I write erotica. I write fantasy. I write desire, discovery, and truth. I write love, intimacy, communication, relationships, and connection. I write human touch, empathy, grief, lust, and pain. I write reality, and about how we as people interact and share with one another, and the affect, good and bad, this has on our lives. And—whether or not anyone agrees with it—I’m writing something I love, and that I’ll continue to write because it shouldn’t be villainized when what it’s based on is happening everyday, in so many homes, between the very people who continue to object to it.
It’s sex. It’s real. More than that, it’s beautiful, amazing, deep, painful, transformative, close, and powerful. And you know what else? It’s the most natural thing in the world.
That, my dear? That’s what you tell her.
In the last three weeks, I’ve been through two doctor phone appointments, five live doctor appointments, one MRI, several blood tests, and even one full-fledged panic attack. To say it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster is an understatement—but the good news is, there’s nothing major wrong. Yay!
So what is going on? Well, according to the fabulous neurologist I saw last week, my migraines have morphed into something really goddamn special. I am fortunate in that I don’t generally get the nausea and hammer-pounding headaches of most traditional migraine sufferers; unfortunately, I get all sorts of weird sensory problems instead: depth perception issues, tingling and/or numbness in my arms, mental disconnect, vertigo, occasional vision problems, and sometimes, the headache. This time, however, I developed a bizarre numbness in my cheek—and later, the entire side of my face—paired with completely blurred vision in one eye, which led some doctors to believe I might be having a stroke. (That would be the day the panic attack struck, by the way.) I am thrilled to say that isn’t the case, but it does appear a chronic basilar/sensory migraine took residence in my head for over three weeks—complete with all these fun new symptoms!
I’m getting to a point here, I swear (migraine brain fog is real, people). When I mentioned to the neurologist that I’ve been okay writing in short spurts in the morning, but everything else is sending my head into a spin, he suggested I stop the cycle of migraine with a heavier duty NSAID and a few days off (and yes, I totally followed doctor’s orders there). However, when I asked him how migraines could literally change overnight and cling, desperately, in ways they never had before, his response was the most poetic and frustrating thing I could possibly have heard:
“The life of a migraine is a mysterious and beautiful thing.”
I totally laughed that off. But Saturday morning, as I lay tossing and turning under my covers in a groggy, migraine-clouded and dreamlike state, I was thinking about the bizarre tingles raining over my brain that didn’t hurt at all, but that were making things really fuzzy and weird.
And suddenly, I had this spark of an idea:
What if a person could embody the essence of a migraine? What would she be like, as a lover?
It took me a while to drag myself out of bed to type this one up, but the story below is what happened as I sat down to imagine the mysterious and beautiful life of a migraine.
I hope you enjoy it.
She comes into his life like a comet—a fiery bolt arcing across the skies, haloed and crashing down into the open meadow of his existence. She seems a quiet blip, at first, awakening beneath the sun on a lush bed of grass. She stretches herself out against it, her long, pale body blinding in its innocent beauty. Her fingers clutch the earth as she shimmers in the light, and she sighs at the caress of this world, this new place that surrounds her in warmth.
Instantly, he is drawn to her, knows her otherness and craves it. He takes her in as she begins to bloom, as she shows him that she is, in fact, no innocent at all. She is all curves and smiles, arms that encircle and hold, words of sweetness that tend to him just as he tends to her—but behind her glistening, loving eyes, there is something else. It is furious like the comet she rode in on, unbounded and wild, and it lures him forward in the heated swarm of his mind. It shushes away his fears when she kisses his cheeks, his forehead, his mouth, and when she tugs at his clothes and limbs, she draws him further into her sphere.
In the dark of night he invites her to his bed, for though she is unsurpassed in her beauty, it’s her mystery that has him tangled in her. He finds himself beneath her in the light of the moon, his breath stolen as she rocks above. Her hips grind in swirls of chaos, her hands possessing his skin, her kisses speeding his heart. The way she moves sinks into the chasm of his soul. She seeks all of him—not just his length buried within her, but the depths of every crevice of his being, every utterance of his heart, every glimmer of his mind as she writhes against him and his sheets. Her movements become glorious and pained, ripples on the surface of a once-placid lake when the cries spill out from her lips. He sees her then as what she is—nails sharp over him, and teeth cutting his skin in jagged lines. But her whimpers are all he hears, and they seize him in their rock together, taking him beyond every sensation he knew before.
When she collapses over his chest, they lie in silence.
His days are fraught with tension in his efforts to please her. He bathes her, feeds her, loves her through the pinch of her lips and the furrow of her brow. She will not speak, and she moves like a streak of lightning—stubborn and sharp, illuminating their path and yet setting him on edge, pasting goose bumps on his skin like stars against the deep black sky. He thinks, perhaps, the end approaches, that she is sparing them both the hurt to come, soothing the quiet that will fill his life until she falls to the surface of his earth once more.
They dance, this time, before bed. She swings him out in vibrant bursts, then yanks him close. She grasps him so tight his breath slips from inside and out into the vortex of the room. Her heat builds, scorching, suffocating. Blinding. He thinks as they spin, around and around, how much he loves and hates her. How he craves her, needs her. In her laugh he finds the answer to existence, a blurry question that leads to more questions but that, somehow, lets him settle beneath her in the way she commands.
He imagines curving his fingers around her throat, squeezing her away to nothingness—but she has coiled herself around him so tightly, he no longer knows where she ends and he begins.
When she fucks him again, her moans shatter mirrors and rattle pictures off the walls. Her gasps vibrate the room, the bed, the air trapped inside him, stifling in its icy slide against the innermost parts of his lungs. But he is enraptured with the thrust of her hips, with the sweat breaking over his chest when she sucks the tips of his fingers, with the shift of her body over him in the moonlight, even as he feels himself slipping away with her. He is losing his grasp on what is real, what is good, and when she comes, her cries and shudders render him frozen. She keeps arching until he erupts in her, and every last drop of him becomes hers.
He is still when she curls behind him, tucking herself close to his back. Her hands trace over his side, fingertips painting electric currents that circulate in his limbs, up into his face. She kisses his shoulder, then his neck. And though he cannot move, he feels her words when she breathes them into his ear, a shock of sound bursting inside his soul.
“I love you,” she whispers, “and I’ll see you again soon.”
In the morning, he wakes on damp, rumpled sheets. The evidence of their love has scented his skin, and the pillowcase beneath his cheek. He breathes in clean air, his air, and slowly lifts himself from the bed.
She is gone.