Gender Bending, Erotic Books, Non-Binary Fashion & Social Change

This morning while I was reading about the discovery of Maya artifacts in a cave under Chichén Itzá, another article caught me. Gender-bending fashion rewrites the rules of who wears what on the National Geographic website.  Direct links to my morning reading are at the bottom of the page. BTW, the site doesn’t capitalize the first words of titles. I’m still hoping that my erotic gender-exploration book, All the Firemen will find its audience, so this article heartened me. Greater freedom for LGBTQI and non-binary, aka enby, expression is happening—and so is more personal flexibility for everyone. The clue train arrived: people’s lives don’t have to be restricted by roles assigned according to genitals or assumptions about genitals.

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My gender-busting erotic collection wants your love now.

In this review of the Gender Bending Fashion exhibit at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cathy Newman writes:

“In an era of gender fluidity, all bets are off. As the binary of male/female falls by the wayside, fashion follows suit—and has done so periodically since 1507-1458 BCE, when the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt as pharaoh wearing male regalia and a false beard. More recently, the Italian designer Alessandro Trincone created an elegant ruffled dress that so captivated rapper Young Thug, he wore it on the cover of his 2016 album: No, My Name is Jeffery. The subject of gender and fashion takes on particular immediacy in the current setting of LGBTQIA+ rights and the impact of social media in community building and self-identification.”

I’ve been fascinated with all forms of gender expression most of my life, and I have an obsession with clothing and accessories. One of my favorite exhibits featured antique underwear at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor. From ancient to contemporary, our choice of jewelry, foot wear, underwear, and outer wear signals details of culture, social position, life role, taste, and at times, erotic desires.

As an author of erotic books, I’m free to consider paying attention to fashion ‘research.’

Many of my favorite musicians rocked gender-bending looks throughout their careers. I’m delighted by stunning models who challenge traditional gender labels.

The gender-bending fashion article includes new trends toward removing binary labels from clothing and stores. It celebrates celebrities who make non-traditional fashion choices, and traces some of the history of non-conformist clothing.

There’s a lot of imagery in certain ancient cultures that doesn’t adhere to rigid male versus female roles.

As tempting as it might be, applying contemporary labels to other eras and other cultures risks over-simplifying and obscuring the context of different people and individual lives. Usually, we have no way of knowing if a person from the past would have identified as lesbian, gay, trans, non-binary, or had a role we may never discover.

Having just settled in to my latest Yucatan apartment, I enjoyed taking a couple of hours off to read about archaeology. It’s one of my passions, and even though the desire to see ancient Maya sites inspired this trip, writing, publishing, and marketing to afford this adventure leaves me little free time.

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My curvy Cinderella isn’t the passive type. Ash the Witch is a multicultural post-conquest fantasy novel. Her journey to a gateway to the underworld includes dressing as a guy, a strategy people have used throughout history for many reasons.

The gender-bending article gave me a lift. I’ve been spending a lot of time analyzing book categories in hopes of improving my visibility. My risky firemen menage series and its recent collection, All the Firemen, proved to be a financial low point. As I suspected while I was writing the erotic singles, it wasn’t a good business move.

Still, I’m glad I did it. Eve/Stevie is a courageous protagonist. I had a blast going all out with a Gothic haunted house, historical ghost story, diverse cast of hot-as-hell firemen, and an older fire chief capable of offering true love to a non-conformist younger beloved. If you’re curious, check it out.

If you’d like to support books about outsiders with heart, grab a copy of All the Firemen. This 200-page ebook is the complete collection of all five episodes. No cliffhanger, poly HEA for readers 18+. It’s on sale for $2.99 and available in Kindle Unlimited for a limited time.

March 10, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I’m finishing a new billionaire and virgin book that should appeal to a larger audience. It’s a wicked book. I’m debating whether I need to create a separate version for a retailer that removed some Dark Romances from sale this year. As usual, the authors were unable to get any clear answers as to why those specific books were banned from sale.

As much as I enjoy writing dark books, I’m not going to risk my livelihood. My belated discovery that Dark Romance can be a risky category has cast a cloud over this book. After my fabulous first readers take a look, I’ll decide whether I can publish it in its original form.

It might work best to publish an unexpurgated edition on Smashwords—my favorite online bookstore, thanks to its clear guidelines for sexual content—and then release a ‘safe’ version for the other stores. Of course, five years into watching other authors have books dungeoned, banned, and recategorized, along with watching authors lose their publishing accounts entirely, I get a knot in my gut when I try to imagine what might be ‘safe’ this week.

As much as I wish it were otherwise, invisible policies about erotic content, my book sales, and reviews tell me what I get to spend my time writing this year.

Enjoy your day, and please support independent books, whether or not they’re mine.
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Celebrating five years of self-publishing high-heat books. Dirty Hot includes older men, blue collar alphas, one-on-one, and menage for virgin heroines. A dirty dozen hard and unprotected first times.

What I read this morning: 

I started with the Minoans…. are you ready for a dirty erotica short with a huge alpha?

Erotic Ebooks with Archeology (both spellings of archaeology are correct, BTW) 

My books that explore archaeology along with all the dirty parts. You can find most of these at your favorite online bookstore, except for one too risky for most retailers:

Dirty Knight—this forbidden older man billionaire and virgin novella is set in the Yucatan and includes jaguar baby lore. It captures my excitement with this land and its cultures.
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The Submission Island series, starting with Spanking. Spanking is free on all major online bookstores. My listing on BookBub has the links. Click View Price to choose your bookstore.

Virgin Captive—the unexpurgated singles and a toned-down collection are exclusive to Smashwords. You can find all the Virgin Captive books here. Beware: These include detailed bloodletting rituals, fantasy torture, heroine in peril, nasty group acts, and a forbidden older man sharing the heroine with his demon lord lover. MMF menage and beyond. 18+, strong trigger warning. This is not a romance, it’s Dark Fantasy.

Innocent Captive—A virgin and forbidden older man at an ancient site. There’s a sequel I want to finish once I get the wolf off my ass. This is another dark novella. It breaks taboos, but manages not to cross any hard no-no lines.

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My lover Lena’s missing and my expedition to find her feels cursed.

Deep inside a hidden Mayan temple, an ancient Evil with an unspeakable hunger for virginity and blood waits to hear Blair scream. Even the most trusted mature men have breaking points, cracks that give way to the inner beast. On a secret quest in the jungle’s heart, her godfather and former priest change beyond recognition. No one is safe. 

Doesn’t that make you feel all warm inside? 

Thanks for reading!
Cleo explores ancient cultures and secrets at an island sex resort. She finds a master and dangerous enemies.