Review of Xan West’s Show Yourself to Me: Missing Daddy

GDP022-ShowYourselftoMeCover (1)

I had the pleasure of being asked to review Xan West’s new book of erotica Show Yourself to Me (Go Deeper Press, 2015).  It’s been quit some time since I’ve blogged, but I’m excited to re-launch this space with a review of Xan’s work.  I’ve seen Xan perform and read Xan’s work in various erotica collections. Xan’s words are beautiful, poignant, true and titillating.  Xan’s ability to express various gender and sexual expressions of  the queer experience are words that both queer and sexual alternative communities must read to truly feel.  Xan speaks to our passions and our struggles and tells stories that not only stimulate our brains, but wet our pants.

‘Missing Daddy’ was a story I was immediately drawn to.  I’ve been struggling with concepts of manhood.  As a woman who is starting to experience herself as both male and female, I’m only beginning to understand the way masculinity plays a role in our society, how it effects my female body and woman representation and how one can mold masculinity to be an expression of themselves regardless of their gender.  Inside of this space, I am starting to have the urge to explore what it means to be a Daddy, in kink, in leather, and in life.  To nurture a person to become their greater self through both pain and pleasure, mind, body and spirit.

What better way to investigate this work by starting with Xan’s. ‘Missing Daddy’ is a story of a Daddy reflecting on a time when he was a boi, when he was raised in leather and queer-hood by a Daddy who initiated him into a life of submission and Dominance he would one day bestow on another.  He illustrates their precious sexual experiences, painful, loving and dirty; being bend over Daddy’s bathroom sink, taking Daddy’s cane not for his own pleasure but for his Daddy’s, being fucked by a gaggle of faggots while his Daddy watched, the feeling of Daddy allowing his boy to belong in a queer world longed for.

I especially appreciated in the inclusion of dykes in this story, the once boy being offered to a variety of people, not just those who identified as men.  In my queer, leather community, my Lady, who I also sometimes refer to as my LadyDaddy, shares me with those of all genders and embodies both male and female presence with ease and grace.  We are dykes, but there is a certain energy she gives me when she assumes Daddy, rough, quick, silent but gentle.  In those moments, I like to consider myself her boi and learn from her to one day can become a Daddy to another.

Xan captures this so clearly in this story and reminds me that with permission, I can become a boi and maybe one day, a Daddy.

Check out Xan’s book blog:

Pre-order Xan’s book here:

Crash Pad Series Review: Nina Hartley and Sara Vibes


Sara and Nina “working”


Two stars shine in this new CrashPad clip – Episode 172 starring Nina Hartley and Sara Vibes play Boss and Assistant of Raven Clawz Studio in a steamy after work session. These two beautiful woman are my personal favorites and seeing them in action makes more then just my writer brain tingle. Hartley’s been a boss since the 80’s, bringing us hot instructional porn we’ve all gotten off to and Vibes, up and coming star brings her cute mischievous smile ready and willing to every scene.
This episode Hartley relies on her adoring assistant for her busy schedule but makes sure to pencil Vibes in to show her appreciation for all her hard work. Bunny slipper clad Hartley disrobes to a nude bodysuit and undresses Vibes. What happens next is for those willing to get hot and bothered!
Three things I like about this scene: Colors, Chemistry and Content. The color red is used to highlight not only clothing but Hartley’s strapon. Red contrasts even more beautifully with both Hartley and Vibes skin shades that dance bright on the screen. Both have amazing chemistry, from their playful whispered dirty talk to deep moaning, Hartley and Vibes perform like they play in front of more then just the camera. The content was excellent, many shots artfully captured through the slated headboard and, in Crash Pad tradition, the camera becomes the eyes of the hungry voyeur.

A Penny for Christmas

Me and Penny on the first day we got her in Austin, TX

Me and Penny on the first day we got her in Austin, TX

Last month, Sara and I flew out to Austin, TX to pick up our new puppy, Penny.  Penny was living with a lovely family along with her litter mate and her puppy parents.  Penny’s father is a handsome Boston Terrier/Pug mix and her mother is a feisty Chihuahua/Pug mix.  The day we went to get her, she played with her sister and her parents, running around the house with chew sticks, while we chatted with the dog breeder.  The breeder is a lovely mother, wife and dance teacher who has raised three litters with the pair and housed six dogs total.  Before the left, they packed a bag with food, a blanket and some stuffies that smelled like her old crate, and they hugged Penny goodbye.

Penny and her sister

Penny and her sister

We promised we’d be back for a little doggie family reunion next year.  Penny’s sister will stay with the breeder for a while until she finds another home (it was so, so, so hard not to take her home too!!) and Penny has another sibling living in CT who will be in town, so the whole family will have a chance to reunite.

I have to say, the moment I saw Penny I knew I was going to love her.

I loved her even more when she puked all over me in the rental car twice before we got back to the hotel.

Penny was great in the airport and on the plane all the way back to New York.  She came home to a new crate, a playpen, a patch of grass for a pee spot, so many toys and curious cats wondering just how long the new dog was going to stay.

Honestly, I was really resistant to getting a puppy (ask Sara – I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it) but Penny has been a dream.  She’s got Boston Terrier smarts and a great little bark, she passes out like a Pug with the cutest sleepy eyes I’ve ever seen, and her little Chihuahua leg “paw up” thing she does, lets me know when she’s interested and alert.

It’s mighty cold outside, but in her plaid jacket, Penny is getting used to walks.  She’s great on the leash and still learning to walk at my side. I love our walks.  They help her get out the puppy energy, interact with dogs and people and desensitizes her from the city sounds. The walks also tire her out until she is snoring on the couch opposite her sleeping buddy Sarge.

And the walks calm my own anxiety.  Walking with Penny is so great because I have to remember if I’m nervous, she’ll be nervous too.  So when she gives me those pug eyes to ask if it’s okay to say hi to another dog or another human, I tell her with confidence “it’s okay Penny, go say hi” and then give her a “good girl” when she does.  The walks tire us both out, as you can see:

Nap Time

Nap Time

Penny’s starting puppy classes in the New Year.  She already knows “sit, down, jump, (thanks to her recent playdate with a lovely Pit puppy from the Upper West Side), and roll over” with or without a reward treat.  She knows how to keep herself busy in the house, playing with both her toys and the cats toys.

Speaking of the cats, of which we now have three, they are actually okay with the dog…right up until Penny starts joining in their chasing games.  But Charlie, our playful Nebelung cat, has accepted the fact that if he runs throughout the house and no cats follow, Penny will be running close behind him.  Penny and the cats have even eaten in the kitchen together and as long as I watch them, they don’t sample each other’s food.

Unfortunately, we’ve found Penny near the litter box chewing on the cat waste. :(

If any puppy lovers out there have advice on how to keep puppies from eating other animals poo, feel free to inbox me!  (Penny’s amazing but puppies are honestly like the grossest little things in the world.  Thank goodness, she’s so fucking cute)

I can't handle how cute she is...

I can’t handle how cute she is…

Adding a puppy to our tribe of cats has made me think more about Sara and I’s non-traditional family and the “when are you two going to have a baby conversation?” that everyone tends to bring up whenever we are in the presence of children.

Sara had the perfect response to the baby conversation the other day: “Having three cats and a puppy is kind of like having a six-year-old.  You know, they can kind of do their own thing but you still gotta pick up their poo, occasionally take something out of their mouth they shouldn’t be chewing on and remind them of their name when they don’t wanna listen.  See. Family.”

My Lady is the smartest and Penny is such a great addition to our family.

Even though the last few years have turned me into a Girly Gringe on Christmas, I can’t help but smile when I think about the home we’re creating with love and animals.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Loss, Grief and Service

For Jane and Chuck, C.J., Evangeline, Debbie and Joy

This autumn season has reminded me what it looks and feels like to be in service to both the living and the dead.


Sara’s parents, Jane and Chuck – we celebrated Chuck’s birthday in September, hence the birthday hat!

Sara and I share many losses this season – the death of my grandmother, who passed from her fourth and final bout with cancer in November 2004, and the death of Sara’s father, who passed in September 1997, a year a week after her mother, who passed in September, 1996.  But we never imagined experiencing the loss of family members together.

C.J. - August 2013

C.J. – August 2013

The last week of summer, we lost our black cat C.J.  When Sara and I moved in together in 2010, we merged both sets of our cats in typical Brady Bunch fashion to create a pride of four cats, three boys and a girl.  C.J. was a cat Sara adopted during a brief breakup between us.  The two of them had a special bond, Sara often referring to him as her “boyfriend,” and the very skittish C.J. who cowered at the sound of approaching steps, would run to Sara’s call.  He took after my own heart with his fondness for stuffed animals.  We’d often catch him pacing the house with one of our stuffies in his mouth (usually one he stole off my desk) and with staccato meows, he’d gather them in the living room for what I can only call midnight recess.

C.J. was a sweet, sweet boy.  He was the loudest mouth at the food bowl and sometimes when I feed the others, I can still hear him chiming like a bell for the canned stuff.  And sometimes in the shadows of our house, I can still see his question mark tale slinking around the corner.

I’ve grown accustom to feeling ghosts this season and the presence of one only prepares us for the next.

Losing C.J. reminded me of losing my first cat, a Tuxedo named Maverick.  He passed a few months after my grandmother proclaimed she was done fighting cancer and ready for death.  My mother and I beat ourselves up for not taking notice to how thin and sick my kitty at gotten.  We were too busy watching and waiting for my grandmother to pass and because she left this earth so painfully and slowly, we couldn’t break our gaze from her.

Eve Program

Evangeline Moore

When my mother left my father in 1990, she became a single mother struggling with both a four-year-old and a bout of divorcee depression.  When grandma caught wind, she moved in with us immediately and occupied the role of caretaker for both me and my mother until my late teens.  My grandmother was my first elementary and Sunday school teacher, she was the first adult that played pretend with me and genuinely enjoyed it, the first woman who taught me to dress elegantly in jewelry and dresses, and she was the first woman I knew who could push her love for me right through her relentless depressions.

When I lost my grandmother, I lost my first mother. I lost a woman who gave the last decade of her life to raise me.

I dissociated like never before when my grandmother passed.  I lost complete ownership of my body – crying became screaming became puking became blacking out with grief.  As if high school was torture enough, I was seventeen and I could not fathom the fact that the woman who taught me how to write my name would not live to see me graduate from high school.  And the day they put her in the ground, it took every bit of strength I had not to jump into the open plot with her.

I dealt with my grief alone, the way I thought was the safest but having Sara now, I realize that grieving silently is just another way of walking dead minded amongst the living.  Grief is for those of us still breathing.  It’s for those of us dealing with the fact that our loved ones no longer have a fleshy vessel but somehow, are still present for us day after day, and grief is something us humans have to do together.


Joy – August 2013

Five weeks after C.J. died, we lost a close family friend Debbie.  She was the best childhood friend of Sara’s parental guardian Cheryl and a mother figure to Sara during her upbringing. Debbie left behind her daughter, Borah, who was also raised alongside Sara and who Sara considers family.  Borah’s mother had been admitted to the hospital but was expected to come home to recover a few weeks later.  During her stay, Cheryl and Borah made the decision to put down Debbie’s Yorkie, Joy, who at the age sixteen, had started to deteriorate after a bad dog bite.

I am convinced that the deaths of family animals is what warns me of human loss.

Debbie died in a hospital on September 20th from a weakened heart and for a week up until the funeral, we became an army of Black woman preparing for burial. Sara, Borah, Cheryl and I paraded around New Jersey making arrangements, ensuring that Debbie’s final wishes and Borah’s requests were respected and granted.

We buried Debbie in a canary yellow sweater and snake-skin pants, just the way she would wanted it.  We had her nails painted silver to match her coffin and shaved the hair at her temples to mimic the peacock spiked hair-do she wore in life.  We buried her in a plot alongside her parents and when her coffin hit the dirt, the sun broke through the Friday morning gloom as we said our last goodbyes.

Deb Program.jpeg

That week, I committed every waking moment to being in service to Debbie’s burial.  This was a much different service from packing bags and hanging leathers, it was a service that has changed my perception of how I deal with loss and I work through and with grief.

Thanks to the acknowledgement of our beloved sisterwife CoCo Monroe, Sara and I realized we held space for the living to grieve and for the dead to rest.  We did it together, stronger than we ever could on our own, and though we wish death was not what makes us so resilient, it is something we are learning to live with every day.

Writerly Updates: Articles and Event Highlights

This month has been busy, busy, busy as Lady Sara Vibes and I are starting to wind down from IMsL and prepare for our next adventure.  I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few articles and interviews I’ve had published since the beginning of the year and an event coming up where I will be reading dirty poems and book excerpts!

Rvkery Winter Issue, Vol X, No 1; cover image by Marilyn Sears Bourbon

Rvkery Winter Issue, Vol X, No 1; cover image by Marilyn Sears Bourbon

Interview with Anais Surkin on Rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by dear friend and fellow activist Anais Surkin on my piece “The Light Keeper (for Sonya)” published with Rvkry Quarterly’s Winter Issue.  Anais asked all the hard questions that  helped me dive deeper into the themes of my novel, touching on issues of race, class, storytelling and healing.  Check out the interview and read my piece The Light Keeper for an excerpt of my novel.

Autostraddle Article - Race, Class and White People's Beach Houses: On Talking to Privileged People About Privilege

Autostraddle Article – Race, Class and White People’s Beach Houses: On Talking to Privileged People About Privilege

Autostraddle Article: If It Takes Comparing Beach Houses – A Message to White Feminists on Acknowledging Class to Talk about Race

I was inspired to write this article after witnessing a talk back conversation following a staged reading of Sarah Schulman’s Roe V Wade.  This piece had actually been “cooking”  – in the words of Audre Lorde – since before Black history month/after Women’s history month, but it did not pour out of me until I was in a conversation with white folks about class.  Check out it and continue the race and class conversation.

Butch Fest presents “Dirty Panties – A Queer Erotica Reading”


I am delighted to be reading as a special guest  at the Dirty Panties, queer erotica reading, sponsored by Butch Fest, a weekend-long celebration of lesbians and queers who identify as tomboys, butches, studs, machas, aggressives, bois, genderqueers, transmen, two-spirits, and all other identities masculine of center (MoC*).

The Dirty Panties Reading will be held at Resource Center Dallas, Saturday, May 4th at 6pm!  I am excited to share the stage with such fabulous performers such as Joe LeBlanc, founder and board chair of Butch Voices and spend the weekend attending Butchfest Events including the Unicorn Party!  Check out the site for more event details:

Stay tuned for a future post ImsL 27, Service and Self-Care and two self-published book reviews, Sassafras Lowrey’s “Roving Pack” and Allison Moon’s new novel “Hungry Ghost”.