I was given a digital ARC of the Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year vol 3 for review and it was probably the best early holiday present I’ve received in a long time!
Trying Submission by Xan West Blew My Femme-Fat-Subby Mind!
Xan West is the one who sent me the ARC for the Best Lesbian Erotica of the year vol 3, so I of course wanted to give it my attention when I opened the book on my computer. I am so grateful for the chance to read this story. It is one of the best D/s pieces I’ve ever read. In fact, when I approached writing this review I was a little nervous about how to best write it, its just that good and I wanted to do it justice.
Trying Submission is a non-sexual look at a D/s scene. It begins with negotiation in a comfortable public space and leads into the actual scene itself. Xan does give a content warning for the story:
“D/s, mild pain play, service. Autistic MC goes non-verbal during negotiation and during play, they find ways to continue. Autistic MC also gets sensorily overwhelmed and does things to process that. “
I fell in love with the story in the first moments of reading it. The main character, Lillian, is a fat, femme, submissive that speaks to my heart with her Ursula t-shirt and joint issues (knee). Even her dark lipstick and the way she imagines her barriers strengthening through tentacles made me grin with joy when reading. I related to all of these aspects so much but don’t want to brush past the fact that this story is also about Women of Color – Lillian is Latina and Roz is Black.
These descriptors are actually one of the great parts of the story. Xan delivers them as facts – the characters are fat, femme WOC in the kink lifestyle. It is never brought up as a problem, as a source of insecurity, or related to any conflict. Parts are delivered as a source of pride (being femme and Latina/Black) and parts just are there and shared because that is how they navigate in the world (fat, disabled).
As an erotica writer and advocate for fat reps in erotica, I talk to a lot of readers and this is exactly what many of us are looking for in representation – state that they are fat, show how they move in the world, and move on. Trying Submission does that beautifully.
I’m also a fan of how Xan shows the non-sexual D/s scene. It was realistic and appealed to my own submissive nature. I could easily see the way each action and moment helped slide Lillian into sub space. I could feel it myself as I read how Roz took control of the scene while still taking care of her submissive. It was just what Domination should be, as far as I’m concerned and it left me craving more from the author.
I would highly recommend this piece for those seeking realistic D/s stories and beautifully written characters.
Rainbow’s End by Emily L. Byrd Rocked My Goth Socks!
My other favorite story was Rainbow’s End, a short cute scene by Emily L. Byrd that focuses on adorable, short, goth writer Lizzie as she attends a reading at a LGBTQ+ book store for the first time. Content Warning includes mild violence and hate speech at the very beginning.
Oh how I can relate to Lizzie with her goth clothes, eyeliner, paranoia about walking around alone in a big city, and clumsy interactions with others in the queer community. Her story gave me all the feels especially in that, while it doesn’t explicitly say she and A.J. live happily ever after at the end, I can believe it.
The scene felt real from the casual introduction including pronouns and Lizzie’s bashful insecurities to A.J.’s charming push pull of consent in the courtyard to the sexy tights tearing. Ah those early fumblings of our first times with another girl.
I recommend this story to just about anyone that enjoys lesbian first time stories. Its a sweet addition to the volume that I truly love and appreciate.
Overall Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year vol 3 was a Great Read
A fantastic book to add to your erotica collection or keep at the bedside for one handed reading (snuggle it with your favorite toy and you’ve got a hit). The stories here really open up suggestions for your own fantasies, which make it a hit for me. Even the stories that didn’t do it for me, like Where There’s Smoke and Fuck Me Like a Canadian, had great parts that got my gears turning and expanded my mental fap-folder. I can’t wait to see what future volumes bring and what these authors come up with next.