Although it starts out as a standard gender-swap revenge tale (only with a female-to-male twist), The Freshman's Curse: The Complete Novel (With ExtraAlthough it starts out as a standard gender-swap revenge tale (only with a female-to-male twist), The Freshman's Curse: The Complete Novel (With Extra Parts) is a rather massive, well-layered story of a romantic threesome and their wider community of kink. J.B. Rogers throws a lot into the story in terms of gender, sexuality, and fetishes, but it all works beautifully.
As it turns out, that revenge aspect is really just the catalyst for the story, although it does have significant bearing on what happens throughout. It is what transforms Jenny/Jimmy into a character we truly care about; it is what propels Sheila into a kinky kind of love; and it is what allows Mia to claim both her identity as well as her own happiness. The three-way relationship between gender-swapped cheerleader, bisexual submissive, and transgender sweetie, is (in a word) glorious. It is honest and sincere, with real emotion tied up with the passion, and just a much romance as eroticism.
On that note, I must say I adore what Rogers has done here with the whole question of gender, gender identity, and gender expression. There is a genuine fluidity to the whole tale that it is hard to talk about without spoiling the story. When it comes to Jimmy and Mia, Jenny and Manuel are never far from their thoughts. There is a lot of crossdressing, reverse crossdressing, and partial gender expression that allows them to better understand one another, and prove that their love goes beyond the state of their bodies. It is a relationship that could become comical in the wrong hands, but here it never strays from being genuinely passionate and respectful.
As for the wider community of kink, Rogers really knows how to explore that defining line between mere bdsm and true dominance/submission. Even when the story is at its most extreme, with rough, public, anonymous, sex, we are never allowed to lose sight of the psychological aspects at work. I don't want to potentially spoil anything, but there is a prolonged scene with Sheila in the second half of the book that is better than most erotic novels as a whole. It is extreme and taboo, with just about every kind of abuse and penetration you can imagine, along with some bondage equipment you probably cannot, but what makes it all work is the emotional and psychological transformation that Sheila undergoes. Powerful stuff.
If you choose to pick up The Complete Novel (With Extra Parts), Rogers has formatted the book with two ways to enjoy it. You can either read the two halves of the novel first, and the three short stories after, or read all five pieces where they fit in the overall narrative. Personally, I recommend the latter option, as those stories (especially the first two) really do have a significant bearing on the novel, and certainly add to the experience.
[Please note, this is an abbreviated edition of Crystal's Genderotica 1 collection]
Oh, yummy, whoopee, wow . . . Crystal Veeyant's first short story c[Please note, this is an abbreviated edition of Crystal's Genderotica 1 collection]
Oh, yummy, whoopee, wow . . . Crystal Veeyant's first short story collection is everything you would expect from her perverse imagination, plus a whole lot more. She really lets loose here, indulging her most imaginative fantasies, while also revisiting some of her most popular characters. That gorgeous cover promises a lot, and Genderotica certain delivers.
The General’s Sissy is classic Crystal, a tale of crossdressing, feminization, sissification, and female domination. I loved that way she 'encouraged' her crossdresser, taking advantage of his secret passion to transform him into a sexual servant for his commanding officers.
It is with The Shemale Witch that Crystal really lets her imagination run loose. It all starts like one of her normal tales, with a sissy submissive and his dominant wife, but then a plane crash leaves them at the mercy of an Indio witch. Cindy's wife is forced to discover the pleasures of being submissive, aided by three magical tentacle-tails, her husband's magically enhanced manhood, and a witch who can become whatever she wishes. This was hot, over-the-top, and glorious in its kinky delights.
Next up is Feminized By My Boss, another new tale that puts a different twist on Crystal's favorite themes. Here were have a young college grad, deeply in debt, who is about to lose his job. Of course, his boss has a different position available, provided he is willing to be forcibly feminized and used to service her and her shemale assistant. What I loved most about this one was the final twist, in which we once again discover the joys of finding one's secret self.
Genderotica offers up a nice sampling of genres and fetishes for fans who are new to Crystal's work, while also rewarding long-time fans with something different to go along with revisiting old friends. I did not want The Shemale Witch to end, and The General’s Sissy ended just as it was getting really good, but the rest were just perfect.
Charley is a transsexual CIA informant. Frankie is a lesbian police sergeant. Pamela is a Manhattan socialite tuned high-profile Dominatrix. Randy isCharley is a transsexual CIA informant. Frankie is a lesbian police sergeant. Pamela is a Manhattan socialite tuned high-profile Dominatrix. Randy is an evangelical Christian fundamentalist. All four are experiencing something of a crisis in their lives, leading them to question their identities. Precisely how and where those lives intersect will leave them Transformed.
Suzanne Falter & Jack Harvey have crafted an intriguing novel that is both funny and disturbing, thrilling and romantic. It is origins are rather dark - a “Kill the Fags” campaign has birthed a terrorist plot to destroy the ‘hedonists’ of San Francisco - but the characters serve to bring some light (and even some romance) into it. It is a very emotional story, as you might expect, but be prepared for those emotions to shift over the course of the story.
While the terrorist campaign and overlapping CIA/SFPD investigations serve to propel the plot forward, it is the characters who make it worth following. Charley is brilliantly portrayed, capturing the fears and the doubts of a man still on the edge of his final transition, while Pamela is a warm, engaging, sympathetic woman who is slowly reclaiming her freedom and her sexuality. Frankie was a little too hard-boiled for me, but still a solid character, while Randy has enough depth to overcome our initial hatred as his own identity crisis comes to a height.
The cover blurb calls this a "funny thriller", but I would expand that somewhat to call it a "funny thriller with a lot of heart." Transformed could have played it straight (no pun intended), but the humor and the romance put the darker hatreds in context, and help guide the reader through to hopes of a happily ever after.
QUILTBAG Content: As the title suggests, we have two young transsexual women here, both at different stages of their transition, and with different goQUILTBAG Content: As the title suggests, we have two young transsexual women here, both at different stages of their transition, and with different goals in mind. Sarina is committed to becoming a "complete woman" someday, while Deidre likes "being a girl with a cock." Harry is the most interesting part of the triangle, being a straight man with plenty of doubts and reservations, but enough curiosity to play along.
Fetish Content: In different hands, the whole scenario could have been played as a fetish encounter, but Marlene Sexton doesn't fall into that trap. Hers is a story of two women and a man, and neither their gender nor the sexuality it fetishized.
Literary Quality: Actually, there's a nice bit of story here, and even some legitimate character development. I like the way Harry is established at the beginning, especially with all of his doubts about why two young women are so interested in him. I really didn't expect much from Sarina and Deidre at the start, but they have real personalities, and they're both women you could sit and have a conversation with. There's even a hint of actual romance to the story, with a nice tease at the end.
Spank Bank Rating: Yes, it's sexy and romantic, but there's also plenty of spank bank goodness here. First time exploration, a threesome, oral sex, anal sex, and lots of heavy petting. Everybody gets to give and take, so there's straight, lesbian, and bisexual appeal here.
Overall: I like it when a cover blurb pays off, and Harry and the Transsexuals really is "a hot, sexy and romantic tale of sex on the wild side." It's also sincere and respectful, which I think many readers will appreciate. A good story, well developed characters, and a bit of romance mixed in with the sex? You can't ask for much more from a short story.
At 137 pages, My Life as a Sissy Whore is just long enough to satisfy as a transgender themed erotic novella, but stops shy of being so long that it oAt 137 pages, My Life as a Sissy Whore is just long enough to satisfy as a transgender themed erotic novella, but stops shy of being so long that it overstays its welcome. Cassandra Dahl tells a story that is almost fairy tale in some aspects, with a young man living a dream he never knew he had, but (like all fairy tales) there is some darkness before the happily-ever-after.
Claude is a young hitchhiker who accepts a ride with a charming older stranger, and then naively accepts an invitation to spend the night. When he steps out of the shower before bed, he finds his clothes gone (to be laundered, or so the note says), with only drawers and closets full of feminine things to get him through the night. it is cute the way he sorts through everything, trying to pick the least feminine pieces, but still cannot help but admire the way they may him along. Along with his earlier naiveté, there is a definite innocence to Claude that makes him so adorable as a protagonist.
As we discover, Mr. Blain wants Claude to stay on as his personal sissy whore. In exchange for his room and board, his opulent wardrobe, and his surgical enhancements, all he has to do is serve his new Master and please their houseguests. it is not an easy decision, and I love that he has some real concerns about his debts and friends back home, but the allure is too much to pass up. Before long - with the assistance of Isabelle - Claudine finds herself becoming a new addition to Mr. Blain's wall of erotic sissy pinups. there is some lovely description here of how she feels in becoming so feminine, and the lustful innocence with which she takes on her lovers, completely uninhibited, is just delightful.
The dark twist towards the end is actually something I expected to see much earlier on, and there is still an erotic element to its dark, borderline non-consensual whoring, but what it really serves to do is set up the final romantic twist. It is there, in the arms of Claudine's savior, that the story delivers o its fairy tale promise. There are some awkward moments and some unusual phrasings in the narrative, and I would have liked to see more of the action, but Cassandra Dahl is definitely an author to keep an eye on.
Earlier this year I had the distinct pleasure of taking part in the review tour for His Kind of Woman by Nona Raines. It was a lovely read, a truly roEarlier this year I had the distinct pleasure of taking part in the review tour for His Kind of Woman by Nona Raines. It was a lovely read, a truly romantic tale that demonstrated a wonderful understanding of what it means to be different. While it took on such difficult topics as family rejection, bullying, and coming out, it still managed to be positive and uplifting.
With Her Kind of Man, we get the long-awaited next chapter in the romance between Roy and Venetia. Although it is clear they are both very much in love, things are not perfect between them, largely because their romance is still under wraps. Roy is the kind of man who does the wrong thing for the right reasons, and it drives a pretty deep wedge into the tale. In an effort to protect Vee and the kids of her SPECTRUM youth group, he has kept their entire relationship a secret from the guys at work. In his defense, some of the truckers he works with are homophobic and violent, but when the truth comes out, he does a very poor job of explaining himself.
Raines continues to explore the themes and threads of the first book here, forcing Roy and Vee to decide what they want from each other, and from a relationship. Both have fears to confront, and a lot of them begin with the elephant in the room - the death of Roy's brother, about whom neither is willing to talk.
Needless to say, there is still some pain to this second story, and more than a few uncomfortable moments to be dealt with. Harsh words are spoken, and relationships strained. Fortunately, this is a romance, not a tragedy, and you get the sense that Roy and Vee come out of the story stronger, more in love, and more committed for having faced their fears.
Some stories take their time teasing the reader, while others just dive right in. Roommate's Delight is one of the latter. JC Winchester opens his talSome stories take their time teasing the reader, while others just dive right in. Roommate's Delight is one of the latter. JC Winchester opens his tale with Kylie's surprise discovery of her transsexual roommate, a moment of honest shock on her part and even more honest defensive anger from Dakota.
Despite Dakota's fears of being outed and ousted from the college dorms, Kylie is mature enough to let their emotions subside and discuss the matter later. When they do - fueled with more than just a little alcohol - we learn just how tenuous Dakota's position is, and just how little she has indulged her own femininity.
To say that conversation leads to more is hardly a spoiler, or there wouldn't be a story here. What's wonderful about the story is the way that relationship develops, moving from drunken exploration, to curiosity, to drunken reciprocation, and to something approaching romance. It's a realistic story, and one that deals sympathetically with transgender issues, further distinguished by some genuinely touching erotic moments.
Wow, did J.S. Morbius ever keep me guessing with this! He throws a number of twists at the reader, changing not only the course of the plot but the enWow, did J.S. Morbius ever keep me guessing with this! He throws a number of twists at the reader, changing not only the course of the plot but the entire feel of the story. From Martin to Martina is that rare erotic novella that manages to genuinely surprise and delight from beginning to end.
The development of Martin and the evolution of his fetish/identity is at the core of the story. It all begins with an appreciation for women's lingerie - something his girlfriend refuses to wear it. Before long, Martin isn't just pleasuring himself with handfuls of satin and lace, but actually wearing it. What started out as a simple lingerie fetish quickly evolves into full-on crossdressing, while an encounter with an sympathetic shop owner leads him to question his very identity.
With elements of both transvestism and transsexualism, this is a positive exploration of gender and sexuality. Martin and Mandy are both fantastic characters, and their interactions are really at the heart of that exploration. They only have one truly erotic scene together, but it culminates in one of the most sensual climaxes I've ever encountered on the page. Sally is a hard character to like, especially through the middle of the novel, but the resolution of her character arc is another genuinely satisfying surprise.
I don't want to spoil any of those twists I mentioned earlier, so I'll just advise readers to be patient, and to trust where the story is going. It does get rather dark and sorrowful in the middle, but From Martin to Martina is not a tragedy, it's an erotic romance . . . and the resolution is just delightful.
Of all the transgender stories I have come across, Nicola Jane Chase’s may be the most fascinating. Not only is it a story of acceptance and transitioOf all the transgender stories I have come across, Nicola Jane Chase’s may be the most fascinating. Not only is it a story of acceptance and transition, but one of recognition. Here is a woman who does not remember ever questioning her gender identity as a child, not even in a momentary innocent or playful manner. There were no doubts, no questions, and no discomfort with her gender. By all accounts, Neil was a happy child and a well-adjusted young man, travelling the world as a professional DJ and radio announcer.
She does not remember what prompted it, but her journey began with crossdresssing around the house. It was not an experiment driven by sexual arousal or fetish fulfilment any more than it was driven by gender dysphoria. It was just something that made her feel comfortable, and which opened up a whole new world of experiences. Once her feminine persona begins to take hold, her journey progresses through permanent hair removal, hormones, cosmetic surgery, sex reassignment surgery (SRS), and breast augmentation.
In one of the most surreal moments of the book, she talks at length about considering SRS, and being scared by the burden of dilation - 2 hours a day for the first year (at least). Once she accepts her decision, however, she decides to take charge, own the experience, and memorialize her past life while enabling her future life . . . by making a silicone replica of her own penis for dilation.
Over the course of Tea and Transition, Chase talks about the value of therapy, the validation of passing, the challenge of coming out, and the long process towards transition. She talks about not just the transition of her gender, but of her sexuality as well. The realization that “not only might men find me attractive, but that I may find them attractive too” comes as something of a surprise. Of course, dating turns out to be fraught with challenges, with too many moments of validation ending in heartbreak when men cannot see beyond her past.
There is a lot of sorrow to her story, especially with the cold rejection of friends as well as lovers, and her mother’s initial mourning over a lost son. Overall, however, it is a story of optimism and hope, punctuated by far more humour and happiness than sorrow. She really has had a wonderful life, with a career and travel experience most of us could only dream of. Not surprisingly for someone who speaks for a living (and she does talk about how the voice that was once Neil’s career became Nicola’s liability), she knows how to tell a story, how to pace her words, and how to draw the audience in.
When Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender in April 2015, it was a shocking transition for many. As Bruce, she had been an Olympic athlete, a gold meWhen Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender in April 2015, it was a shocking transition for many. As Bruce, she had been an Olympic athlete, a gold medal winner, and a world record holder – a veritable man’s man who had even gone onto become a successful race car driver. Really, the only things lacking from her story were football and boxing to make that transition truly shocking.
Enter Kellie Maloney and her own story – one that, for many, represents an even more shocking transition. Kellie’s story isn’t just one that began with football before moving into boxing, but one that saw Kellie rub shoulders with the like of Don King while managing Lennox Lewis to the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World. Even if more women have entered the world of professional boxing in the last decade, it’s still a sport that’s traditionally been viewed as the epitome of masculine posturing.
The opening chapter to Kellie’s story is one that strips her bear and lays her emotions upon the page. She talks of pacing her small holiday chalet in Ilfracombe, anxiously waiting for her story to come out in the Sunday Mirror, and wondering what the world’s reaction will be. It’s day of extreme anxiety, but also one of unbridled joy at the freedom to do away with the pretence and discard the illusion that was Frank Maloney.
From there, Kellie takes us back to the beginning, to the life of a 5 year-old boy who lives as a girl inside his dreams. Too young to analyse it or understand what it all means, that young boy was fascinated with the girls around him, studying the way they dressed, talked, and acted. Looking back, with the wisdom of her experiences, Kellie is able to see that she was subconsciously trying to learn from the girls around her.
It’s her fascination with a cupboard full of sequined dresses that first highlighted the dilemma inside her. She paints a heartbreaking picture of a 12 year-old boy who takes such happiness from wrapping himself in the glamor of women’s clothes, knowing all along that being a boy just didn’t seem right. It was reading the outing of April Ashley as a transsexual that first opened her eyes to what it all meant, introducing her to someone with whom she could identify. Unfortunately, it also introduced her to the negative treatment April received, being regarded as a freak by many.
Faced with such fear and prejudice, in a time when there really was no support mechanism for a young transsexual, Kellie did what she felt she had do to survive and began manufacturing a male identity. It wasn’t all fakery and illusion, as she did have a sincere enjoyment for thing like football and boxing, but it did mean supressing a very large part of herself to maintain the overall illusion.
As we walk through Kellie’s life, experiencing it alongside her, it’s hard not to see it in terms of unending conflicts. Unable to resolve the conflict within herself, she sought out conflict within the ring. Unable to talk to anybody about that internal conflict, she unconsciously fed deeper, more hurtful conflicts with the women in her life. Trying to maintain the conflict of privately exploring her feminine side while publicly denying it, she repeatedly came into conflict with herself, purging, regretting, and even contemplating suicide.
There are so many opportunities where, if society had provided her with the tools or the acceptance to come out, you can see how different Kellie’s life might have been. More than once she reaches a point where the truth is on her lips, but where she can’t allow it to escape. It’s almost tragic the lengths to which she goes to outrun the woman inside, even if we’ve all felt it, and all had at least a taste of that struggle.
Maybe it was the culture of the time, maybe it was the world in which she lived, or maybe it was just a natural outcome of trying so desperately to keep it all under control, but when Kellie had her breakdowns, they were often violent and extreme. More than once she shares stories of violent outbursts that scared her wife as much as her kids, leaving her with additional layers of crippling guilt. What adds to the tragedy of it all is the fact that it’s guilt over how she’s hurt those around her that weighs heaviest upon her, fuelling her anger and depression even more than her gender issues.
Ultimately, however, it’s one of those suicide attempts that brings her closest to Emma, the daughter from whom she’d been estranged for a decade. It’s that bond between parent and daughter that allows the first cracks in Kellie’s façade to form, providing her with an outlet for confession. It’s not long after that she comes out to her mother, finding a second source of comfort and support for the years to come, with the two women she loved most in the world promising to be there for her.
The last part of Kellie’s story is, perhaps, the most difficult. Having come to terms with who she was, and having made the difficult decision to do away with that Frank illusion, she still must face the fear of coming out time and time again – with friends, family, colleagues, and the public. Each time the circle of those whom Kellie knows widens, it also contracts a little with people who choose to remove themselves from her life. Watching her come out to Sophie and Libby, her two younger daughters, is enough to bring tears to the eyes of even the most jaded reader, but she deserves full credit for not glossing over such details.
Ultimately, of course, no matter how hard she tried to keep the secret of her transition from the public, the press twice managed to sniff it out and came close to exposing it. After dodging a bullet twice, Kellie decides to go the professional route, hire a PR firm, and ensure that her public exposure is on her terms. It’s a bold move, but one that ensures the public’s first sight of Kellie is through a high quality glamorous shot. Part of that is, admittedly, vanity on her part, but part of it is also wanting to set the stage for a positive, proactive conversation that benefits the entire community, rather than a defensive attempt at damage control.
While Kellie’s story may not get the press that Caitlyn’s did, there’s no question that it’s just as dramatic, or just as important that she has shared it so publicly. By coming out on her own terms, she gets to be an April Ashley for the next generation, but without the baggage of that earlier time.
I’m sorry, but Truth Be Told, I really didn’t like this book. I gave it multiple chances, assuming that my own moods might be interfering with the reaI’m sorry, but Truth Be Told, I really didn’t like this book. I gave it multiple chances, assuming that my own moods might be interfering with the read, but it doesn’t get any better, regardless of the mood.
In all fairness, the blurb did promise that “this is the other side of the story,” but I expected that story to be a little more balanced. Instead, this is a very bitter – and often cruel – bit of venting by the author, who didn’t take the initial coming out very well, and who still hasn’t found a way to deal with it. Despite the years that have passed since Audrey transitioned, Alexandra still can’t be bothered to even refer to her by her proper name, much less use the proper gender when talking about her. It’s deliberate, it’s disrespectful, and it’s insulting.
As for that balance, this is largely a self-indulgent reflection on the author’s life, in which Audrey’s transition is barely a footnote. It’s long-winded, boring, and full of extraneous details about things like horseback riding that we could have done without. Even after the pivotal event, the focus remains solely on the author, although she does go out of her way to show just how judgemental and disgusted her friends and family were towards Audrey as well, just so we know she’s not biased by her relationship status.
Look, I get that the author was hurt by the break-up of her fairy tale marriage. I get that she was devastated by what she saw as a very personal betrayal. I get that she had to deal with a lot, from her own emotions, to her family’s response, to society’s attitudes towards the issue. I would have cried ‘shenanigans’ if she didn’t at least acknowledge that pain, but I also expected her to get past it. At some point, I expect some degree of acceptance, and maybe even a little sympathy for Audrey’s situation.
In case you’re wondering whether it ever gets better, let me share with you what I expected to be a pivotal conversation towards the end. It’s a conversation she had with Audrey about her plans for the book, which Audrey made it clear she wanted nothing to do with. After Audrey shares her concerns about not needing any more problems, and shares her fears of becoming a hate crime murder victim, the author’s response is, “Oh, for pity’s sake! Really? Whining is sooo unbecoming . . . This is bullshit.”
That’s pretty much the point where my dislike soured to hate.
Ever the optimist, I thought maybe - just maybe – there was a lightbulb moment coming when she started sharing some transgender statistics, and recapped some transgender stories she saw chronicled on the Oprah Winfrey Network. This, I thought, would be where she learns some understanding and compassion by viewing the issue from outside her relationship. Sadly, it’s not to be. Instead, she goes right back to the self-pity party, saying the “man” she loved “may just as well have died all those years ago,” since “the person he became is at best a casual acquaintance, at worst a stranger I don’t want to know.”
Speaking of strangers I don’t want to know, you can count the author one of them....more
Virtual Reality Mistress is, for all intents and purposes, a collection of short stories or erotic scenes, loosely connected by the concept of a highlVirtual Reality Mistress is, for all intents and purposes, a collection of short stories or erotic scenes, loosely connected by the concept of a highly advanced virtual reality simulation. For the bargain basement price of $129.99, Jody orders his kit from Amazon, complete with earbuds, wraparound goggles, sensor pads, and even body cavity probes. As for the software, it's rather sophisticated, putting him through a series of personality tests and psychological evaluations to best tailor the experience to his fetishes.
The virtual reality concept is convenient, in that it allows us to leap through a diverse variety of scenes without resting or healing up from the last one, but there were a few continuity errors that distracted me. For instance, he talks about one Mistress "rhythmically deflowering my virgin hole" after he's already experienced his "first anally induced orgasm" at the end of a "long, thick, ebony-colored dildo." It's not important, and doesn't interfere with the erotic enjoyment, but it gave me the sense that these scenes began as short stories before having a connection forced upon them.
Where the concept does work is in allowing Jody to enjoy progressively kinkier experiences by dialing up the fetish level each time. It all begins with a rather innocent sort of fantasy, involving a poolside experience with his college French tutor. There's just a touch of female domination involved, but nothing that would seem kinky to most readers. It ends with an extreme sort of fantasy involving gender reassignment surgery and life as a highly sexualized sissy slave, offered to all comers for penetration or punishment at a party. In between, Jody becomes a human pony slave, is introduced to some extreme CBT, has his first shemale encounter, and is exposed to the concept of erotic castration.
Each scene is well-written, with plenty of sumptuous detail, and some nice insights into the submissive mindset. I liked the evolution of Jody throughout the novel, watching as his fears and inhibitions were stripped away, but I did feel the climax missed an opportunity to take him beyond the virtual environment. Having said that, whether you're talking about the book or the software, Virtual Reality Mistress is a bargain at either price.
Depending on who you ask, the magical curse is either a familiar trope of gender-bending fiction, or an overused cliché. As these stories usually go,Depending on who you ask, the magical curse is either a familiar trope of gender-bending fiction, or an overused cliché. As these stories usually go, an arrogant, womanizing, alpha male hooks up with a beautiful woman, sates his lust, and then walks out of her life with little more than a thank-you. This is where the curse comes in, usually something along the lines of wishing he'd understand what it means to be a woman.
His Womanly Ways certainly embraces the trope, but avoids the cliché by taking the story in a different direction. K. Lynn begins by offering up one of the best morning-after revelations I've ever come across in the genre. After that, she plays to expectations by having Alex desperately search for the woman who cursed him, but she doesn't settle for having the entire story hinge on that search. In fact, that futile search eventually fades to the background, leaving Alex to cope with the changes to his body, his emotions, and his life.
The transformation itself is wonderfully detailed, and deliciously slow. There are so many clichéd ways Lynn could have handled that morning-after revelation, but she forgoes the lusty exploration and settles for a very realistic approach. Alex is horrified to find a fully functional vagina between his legs, and does his very best to pretend it's not there. That resistance doesn't last forever, but it's a gradual evolution of his new feminine sexuality, assisted by an equally gradual erosion of his masculine prejudices and fears. Along the way, Lynn keeps the focus on the realistic consequences of the situation, teaching him the fine art of packing (to fake the 'proper' fit of his pants), binding (to hide his growing breasts), and . . . well, dealing with that time of the month.
This is not just Alex's story, however - it's also the story of Eve, his neighbor and best friend. It's that friendship that guides much of the story, and which keeps Alex sane throughout. Again, avoiding the cliché, Lynn doesn't just make her the instantly understanding, perpetually amused best friend. No, Eve freaks out almost as much as Alex - on more than one occasion - and struggles alongside him. Their relationship is the emotional core of the novel, and it's what keeps things optimistic, with moments of real happiness and contentment to balance out all the fear and the drama.
Where Lynn ultimately takes the story I won't spoil here, but it's a resolution that's both surprising and refreshing. His Womanly Ways is a story that's fun, smart, and sexy.
Coming Out Like a Porn Star. The title says it all, but this is no doom-and-gloom book, full of sad and angry anecdotes about porn stars being shunnedComing Out Like a Porn Star. The title says it all, but this is no doom-and-gloom book, full of sad and angry anecdotes about porn stars being shunned and marginalized for their profession. Yes, there are some heartbreaking stories here, but even more are surprising, inspiring, and even amusing. What they all have in common, however, is their ability to humanize a wider stigmatized community - and to do so honestly.
Jiz Lee’s own story is one of past hurts and future fears, but with a compassionate core of understanding and support. Genderqueer and poly, Jiz talks about how coming out is a process that never really ends. As friends and family become more aware of your work, they also become more aware of your sexual practices and fetishes – it is one thing to know your child is a porn star, but it’s another to know they’re into hardcore BDSM.
Bella Vendetta has a fascinating tale to share, being a classically trained professional lifestyle Dominatrix. She talks about the difference between coming out to parents, your kids, your doctor, your boyfriend, and your banker – and how it changes the way people treat you. No matter how much of your extended family you might lose, however, she praises the adult industry for being “filled with open, loving folks who also want a chosen family.”
Chelsea Poe is a writer, director, porn performer, and trans activist who has led the charge against the term “shemale” in trans porn. She actually came out to her mom before ever setting foot on set, shifting the worry from acceptance to stereotypes. Performing allowed her to express her gender in a positive way, to live out her fantasies, and be proud about being queer. Her relationship with her mom isn’t perfect, but it’s full of love for who Chelsea is, and respect for what she does.
Cyd Nova works at a peer run clinic for sex workers when he’s not directing gay FTM porn for Bonus Hole Boys. He talks about being rejected for being transgender, and about covering his tracks regarding sex work long before that initial coming out. Sex work made him feel powerful and independent, and his body was his tool. Like Bella, he also talks about sex workers being a family, but counters that with sorrow for a society that considers it acceptable for families to “take away their love for their child because of a choice that they make.”
Drew Deveaux is a trans woman who has had to come out as queer, as disabled, and as a porn star. There’s so much about her identity that she’s had to choose to disclose, “coming out as a porn star isn’t as big a deal as you might think.” She talks of disclosure as it relates to her career on and off she screen, and of coming out as an ongoing process. For her, porn is about “activism through the creation of imagery” with that imagery being her body.
Emma Claire is a transsexual sex worker who is currently producing and directing TransLesbians.com, which is dedicated to hardcore trans lesbian sex. Her coming out experience is layered by the years, the experiences, and the traumas behind it. As she puts it, “coming out has never been so much as an end goal as much of a continuous process - a kind of evolution/devolution of my body and self.” Ultimately, coming out as a sex worker is superseded by celebrating herself as a trans woman and a dyke, with her career a fine line pushing boundaries while protecting herself.
Tobi Hill-Meyer is a multiracial trans woman, adult performer, and experienced consultant for feminist and LGBTQ organizations. Growing up in a feminist household, her exposure to porn began (as mine did) with a floppy disc of “grainy downloaded photos” and a “printout of sci-fi BDSM stories.” Her coming out to the wider family was entirely accidental, and actually quite comical, but also supportive. Tobi’s focus has always been on making porn better, culminating in her erotic trans woman documentary series Doing It Online (Patreon.com/DoingItOnline)
There are far more performers who’ve chosen to share their stories in the book – I’ve simply selected some of those that are most relevant and identifiable for me (and, I suspect, for reads of Transformation). It’s a wonderful collection, with enough diversity to keep it from getting at all repetitive. As you’re reading through it, though, take a few moments to pay attention to the biographies of each star. They, more than anything, reveal what a wonderfully diverse word we live in. They may all be sex workers on screen, but off screen they’re gamers, rock climbers, novelists, nurses, and more, with degrees from universities across North America.
Not only that, but many of them are parents themselves, and learning how they’ve raised their children to embrace the openness they may not have always experienced is what’s truly inspirational.
I didn’t realise it when I snatched up a review copy of Memories, but I actually read the first edition of it several years ago. I enjoyed it immenselI didn’t realise it when I snatched up a review copy of Memories, but I actually read the first edition of it several years ago. I enjoyed it immensely, and remembered it as being lovingly romantic, so I didn’t mind giving it a second read. Much to my delight, Valentina Heart has enhanced this version, expanding the memories into full-fledged flashbacks that ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ the history of Gabe and Marlin.
Fortunately, she hasn’t changed the structure of the story itself, which was a huge part of the appeal for me. This is a story that begins with the happily-ever-after, introducing us to Gabe and Marlin as a happy, fully committed couple, who are very much in love. The opening scene is deliciously romantic, and does a superb job of portraying a sexual encounter between a man and a woman, regardless of the eventual reveal that Marlin still has a penis. That reveal is very natural and matter-of-fact, detailed as part of their romantic encounter, but not played for any sort of shock value or fetishistic titillation.
After a few opening sexual encounters, we’re indulged in a little pillow talk, then invited to join them in the kitchen for some more detailed reminiscing about how they met, who they were before they met, and how they came to be together. Some of those memories are sweet and funny, while others are sad and painful, but they’ve all played a part in making Marlin (and even Gabe) who they are today. There’s a point at which Marlin says her friends from the beauty salon like to say “we are complete opposites, but together we're a wet dream,” and that sums up this story perfectly. Their pasts couldn’t be more different, and their paths to love couldn’t have diverged any further, but it makes their pairing that much sweeter.
All-in-all, not only is this a delightful romance, but it’s also a very gender-positive one. Valentina Heart exposes us to all the doubts, confusions, fears, and tragedies of Marlin growing up, but ultimately establishes her as a happy woman, content in her own body, even if it doesn’t match society’s expectations 100%. Marlin and Gabe are as perfect a couple as any gal could ask for, and Memories is just an absolute delight to read.
You know, it’s certainly become something of a romance trope by now, but I still love reading these stories. True love is the most beautiful thing inYou know, it’s certainly become something of a romance trope by now, but I still love reading these stories. True love is the most beautiful thing in the world, and having it threatened by a transgender secret makes it even more significant. It’s like the old saying about not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone – that secret, that fear, that trepidation really accentuates the romance of Coffee Date.
Alice is an absolutely lovely woman, completely comfortable in her transition. She has a career as a librarian that she enjoys, at least one good friend, and what seems like a healthy social life. Things like hormone shots are just a fact-of-life inconvenience, really no different than a diabetic’s shots. He gender doesn’t define her, and she doesn’t obsess over who might know or what they might suspect.
When she first encounters Hank at the coffee shop, their daily flirting is so very sweet. She enjoys being admired, and allows herself to succumb to the fantasy of romance. When he shows up at the library with a coffee to ask her out, she’s so embarrassed it’s cute, but she doesn’t think twice about accepting. Really, for most of the story, Lynn plays it straight (pun intended) as a budding romance between a man and a woman.
Maybe that’s why I had such a sick feeling in my stomach when Alice finally decides it’s time to confess her secret to Hank. Those coming out conversations are always hard, but it’s even worse when you’ve waited so long. His response is pretty much what you’d fear/expect, and I will admit to hating him for a few pages. There are so many ways an author can deal with that revelation, and here it’s not a matter of gender at all, but one of trust issues. Hank has been hurt before, and he feels betrayed that she didn’t say anything before now.
Where Coffee Date rises above the tropes is in its final scene. Lynn concludes the story with a difficult conversation that promises a better day tomorrow, but doesn’t force a happily-ever-after. As much as we might crave instant acceptance, I loved the idea that love may not conquer all, but it’s strong enough to allow a couple to work through their issues together.
I find myself uncharacteristically torn about this collection of B.J. Slippy’s serialized Becoming a Thug Wife stories. It is fun sexy stuff, with somI find myself uncharacteristically torn about this collection of B.J. Slippy’s serialized Becoming a Thug Wife stories. It is fun sexy stuff, with some really refreshing elements, and some lovely development of the main character, but it really feels like the story arc should have wrapped up after the first four stories. The last two stories do add a third character to the mix whom I really enjoyed, but the story itself felt somewhat strained, as if it were working too hard to come up with another twist to top the last one.
Hip Hop Gender Swap introduces us to Tony, an arrogant, condescending, sexist, white boy – a pathetic wannabe who plays at being a nasty gangsta rapper, but who was really raised in the suburbs. It’s his degrading treatment of the women in the strip club that results in him becoming cursed. As for the transformation, it is nicely done, beginning with the discovery of sensitive, swollen nipples, before moving to voice issues (big trouble for rapper), and then into the complete transformation. Of course, Tony’s transformation isn’t just into a woman, but a hypersexual black woman who craves the touch and taste of a man, and who instinctively knows just how to seduce them.
Rap to Pop Gender Swap reveals precisely who transformed him, how, and why. It all begins with Tony (now Rachel), using his new body to seduce the strip club owner into giving him phone number for the stripper who cursed him. His actual confrontation Tamantha is interesting, as she now holds all the power, and her superior condescension is the flip-side of his arrogance, but it is seemingly justified by his past behavior. She has a secret of her own that subtly shifts the tale, and her plans for him are absolutely delicious. Without giving too much away, let’s just say it has to do with illusion, blackmail, and teaching an arrogant white boy a lesson.
In terms of character development, Get Wet Get Rich is really the pinnacle of the series. Here we begin to develop a little sympathy for Tony (now renamed Tanya by Tamantha). We learn more about the lack of self-esteem that lies beneath his sexism, and we discover his blossoming affection for the stripper who cursed him, and whom he loves as much as he fears. With his career as a white boy rapper destroyed, he shifts musical gears to pop music, recording a transgender pop ballad that is destined to explode into the musical scene.
As I said earlier, Return to Sender Gender Bender is really where the series reaches its storytelling climax. Tony is starting to really enjoy his life as a woman, his career is taking off, and the money is rolling in. With Tamantha distracted by their newfound riches, Tony has discovered a new sort of freedom, one that allows him time to seduce the ‘big’ names of rap and hip hop into helping him with his next album. He’s really taken control of his life, and has stopped looking back to his life as a man, but a misplaced comment to Tamantha, coupled with a small act of defiance, suggests that this may not be the happy ending we were hoping for.
White Trash Body Swap throws a pair of significant twists into the story, the first involving a cop who comes looking for information in the disappearance of Tamantha, and the second involving a beautiful woman named Tara, with whom Tony feels he’s made a real connection, making love to one another rather than just having sex. Without spoiling the story, let us just say Tara is neither whom nor what she seems, and Tamantha has one more challenge for her sexualized toy, backed up by a new threat of blackmail. This is where the story lost me a bit. The challenge seemed somewhat tacked on, and the blackmail threat didn’t really make a lot of sense for a man who’d already been exposed once before, and who made his new fortune on the back of a transgender pop ballad, but the sexual deviance it introduces is certainly fun to watch.
The final chapter, Transgender Domination, is a bit odd in that it almost seems like it could have been the first, had B.J. Slippy taken a different approach. Tony undergoes multiple gender swaps here, taking him across the gender spectrum, from crossdressing sissy, to shemale, to female. In the process he loses everything, including a fortune that has grown so big, so fast, that it really does strain the bounds of credibility. It really is too much, and it kind of pulled me out of the story. Where it really leaves me so torn, however, is with the lack of resolution to Tamantha’s story. There are so many unanswered questions as to who she is, why she did it, and what she was looking to get out of it. What seemed to begin as a story of justice or revenge becomes a story of cruelty for cruelty’s sake, and it is not clear why she finally lets Tony go.
Make no mistake, I enjoyed Becoming a Thug Wife very much, and will admit to more than one wet spot in my panties along the way, but the last chapter and a half just seemed unnecessary. They didn’t add anything to the story – in fact, they distracted me from what worked so well – but I cannot argue with the final scenes, which offer a happy element of closure. Having read B.J. Slippy before, I feel she could have done so much more with the concept, but it is still a fun, sexy series with some solid character development, some great gender swaps, and (of course) lots of hot sex.