The Big Book of Submission Virtual Book Tour
Rachel Kramer Bussel’s latest Cleis Press anthology, The Big Book of Submission, has been on real and digital shelves for almost a month now. If you’ve picked up a copy, I hope that you have been as excited by the sensual stories as I am to simply be included in such an excellent work. If you haven’t yet, then do so soon!
Over the last month, Cleis Press has been celebrating the release by doing a virtual book tour, introducing their readers to the blogs of the other authors in the anthology. Today, naturally, is my day to be showcased, so if you are here as part of the tour, welcome! If you are one of my regular visitors, then please take the time to check out the other stops on the tour and the wonderful writers to be found there.
For my part of the tour today, I’d like to share a couple thoughts about the theme of this book, and how my story for it came together.
Why this anthology?
Some of my first experiences with print erotica happened in the dark corners of bookstores, furtively flipping through anthologies that I was too nervous to actually take to the counter and buy. The first anthology I ever owned was given to me by my boyfriend just a few years ago. The book is Please, Sir, and it is also a Cleis Press anthology edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and it also happens to be about the topic of submission. Since then my private library has expanded, but that one remains my favorite, so when I saw the announcement for this new anthology, I knew I had to pull myself out of my own dark corners and actually submit to it.
Where did you get the idea for your story, “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”?
As much as I love the sensuality of darkness, in my heart I am a sun-worshipper. During the summer months, I take as many opportunities as possible to lay out on my meager deck and get some reading and vitamin-D production done. For me, the experience is an intoxicating combination of warmth and luxury, juxtaposed against vulnerability and the thrill of the taboo. Throw submission into the mix and, well…it’s easy to see why sweat isn’t the only thing soaking the skin of my main character in the story.
What is it about submission that appeals to you?
It’s hard to say, really. Hard to categorize and rationalize the feeling, the fluttering thrill that arises in my chest when I feel truly overwhelmed by someone else, someone whom I feel deserves such power, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the same things that are the foundation of all relationships: communication and trust. Submission, obviously, is the ultimate gesture of trust, but it is also an elegant form of communication, where movement, body language, and tone can mean just as much as a spoken word.
And I don’t mean just in sexual contexts. A few years ago I took up Argentine tango and fell in love with the elegant physical communication it represents. I easily saw the connections between the interactions of D/s and leader/follower. One of my teachers eloquently described the moves of the leader as being an “invitation” to the follower, an invitation that doesn’t force an action without first letting him or her choose to surrender first. It is a beautiful, subtle communication (and, sadly, one that a lot of people who are too focused on the shoes and the clothes and trying to memorize the steps, miss out on entirely).
Finding the right people to practice such submissive communications with—with sexuality, with dance, or elsewhere—is often a challenge for me, so I am delighted to explore these ideas further within my writing.