My turn next! I’m Vinnie Tesla. I write dirty stories, some of which owe a very big debt to the Victorian pornographic novels that I loved and still love.

Pandemonium Unlimited, or, A Strained Analogy

Trying to assess my battered mass-market paperback of The Pearl is like trying to write a book review of a library. There’s a cacophany of voices, some reciting bawdy spoofs of forgotten drinking songs, one obsessively detailing the blood trickling down birched posteriors, another firing off arch jokes about the chance of catching a glimpse of a young lady’s ankles when she climbs out of her carriage. Originally it was a magazine, illegally printed and distributed, featuring a mix of silly poems, terrible jokes, and serialized novels in each issue. It occurs to me that my love of The Pearl and my love of anarchic online fora like ASSTR have something in common–a pleasure in a messy, exuberant excess that is reminiscent, almost, or real life.

The Taboo, or, The Passage of Time

One of the striking qualities of much Victorian porn compared to most contemporary commercial smut is the casual male bisexuality. Explicit portrayal of any sex at all is so taboo-violating that the border between normative sex and other varieties is trivial by comparison.

The unsavory flip side of this, that has to be acknowledged, is that rape is so routine as to be almost a formality. It appears to have been *literally inconceivable* to many of the authors that any woman might agree to sex with a gentleman friend she has not previously fucked. Once she protests and resists the first time, though, the ice is broken, and she pursues her affair with him with mutual enthusiasm. It’s kind of appalling, but it has about as much to do with the realities of sexual assault as a Road Runner cartoon does with the realities of wildlife predation.

Nostalgia, or, The Follies of Youth

I bought this book at an age where the purchase involved stomach-churning nervousness. Smuggling it into my bedroom was fraught and thrilling. And all this drama before I’d had a chance to do more than flip through it, agonizingly self-concious, heart in my throat, in the bookstore.

He Called it Macaroni, or, A Case in Point

The first story serialized, “Sub-Umbra, or, Sport among the She-noodles” (“noodle” is slang for fool) does a good job of exemplifying the book’s charms. It takes place in a stylized world of idleness and garden-parties that will be instantly familiar to anyone who had read “Importance of Being Earnest” or any P.G. Woodehouse. The protaganist seduces a succession of his cousins and their friends who exist in a state of almost Edenic innocence. Lacking any real notion of the mechanics of human sexuality, their hands-on lessons in the subject are devoid of any shame or sense of consequences.

All Cats are Grey, or, De Gustibus Ain’t What They Used To Be (with apologies to Henry Taylor)

Yeah, it’s cool that The Pearl is a glimpse into the raging id of another place and time. But what really makes me come back to it again and again is that it works for me–the silly, stylized seductions; the waltz parties that segue into orgies; the after-hours dormitory antics get me hot, they push my buttons, even a quarter century after I first found the collection. Will it push yours? Perhaps. Browse through–you will certainly find something to surprise and amuse you.

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Nobilis Reed is renowned as the host of the greatest English-language science fiction erotica podcast the world has ever known. In addition to often featuring Circlet fiction on his ‘cast, he has contributed to several Circlet anthologies. His story “A Vision in X-Ray and Visible Light” was part of Circlet’s recent best-of collection, Fantastic Erotica.

At the bottom of this post, you can do social media stuff to win free books from us. And come back tomorrow for my…uh… I mean Vinnie Tesla’s appreciation of, surprising no one, a Victorian classic.

My Secret Garden is a work of nonfiction, cataloging and
analyzing women’s sexual fantasies collected during the author’s
extensive research in the early 1970′s. Its scientific and scholarly
rigor has been challenged over the years, but its place in the women’s
liberation movement can’t be denied; it was an extremely important

Here is an example of one of the fantasies documented in My Secret

I am on an absolutely deserted beach, lying on my back, sound
asleep. I am wearing only a bikini, the bottom part fastened on each
side with only a tiny bow, and the top fastened in front only with a
bow, too, between my enormous breasts, which are already almost
overwhelming the little bit of cloth that is the bra. I breathe deeply
and evenly, shifting positions lightly as I sleep. A man’s shadow
falls across me; he stands looking down at me as I sleep. He’s very
tanned and wears only swimming trunks. He watches, and as he watches
me sleeping he gets excited. He kneels beside me, very softly and
gently so as not to awaken me, and very carefully unties the bow at
one of my hips, then reaches over me to untie the other side. He lays
the bikini back, exposing me to his gaze.

For a moment he just sits there, taking me all in. I murmur in my
sleep and shift position slightly, separating my thighs somewhat,
which angles my slit upwards. His erection grows enormous; he slips
out of his shorts and then kneels over me with one knee on each side
of my thighs. Although I don’t even open my eyes, I glide one hand out
to his penis and caress it gently, and then glide it, to his surprise,
right into my cunt. He then fucks the bejesus out of me and I rock
along with him. But I never open my eyes, just murmur as if I were
sleeping and enjoying a good dream.

I discovered this book fairly early in my own sexual awakening. Like
many of the “dirty” books that I discovered around that time, it
belonged to my mother. The bedside table in her room had this,
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort,
and a number of other books whose titles have escaped me in the years
between. Whenever my parents left for an evening out, after my little
sister had gone to bed, I would go into my parents bedroom to read.
My Secret Garden was like a box of assorted seeds. I could open
the book to pretty much any page and find a little nugget of forbidden
thrill that could inspire my own fantasies for an entire evening. I
became quite adept at sprouting those seeds into full-grown scenes in
my imagination. Those evenings spent alone with those books were, I am
certain, one of the foundation stones upon which my writing career has
been built.

In addition to provoking my imagination into the sexual realm, the
book also taught me to see women and women’s sexuality differently
than most popular culture wanted me to. They weren’t really all that
different. Women craved many of the same things I craved. The girls
and women around me weren’t these mysterious creatures who could never
be fully understood, they were, by and large, sexual beings very much
like me.

My Secret Garden also taught me to treasure my own fantasies.
It wasn’t long after encountering this book that I began keeping a
notebook, hidden away under my mattress, for scribbling down the
details of these imaginings. One of them, I still remember to this
day: a half dozen or so of my high school classmates, all of them
girls, were on a trip, when their vehicle breaks down in an isolated
part of the woods. In a series of highly unlikely mishaps, their
clothes are lost or destroyed, revealing their bodies bit by bit to my
mind’s eye. I would repeat this exercise in college, and then again
when I took my first job after graduation. There were others, many
others, but that one was among the most elaborate.

In thinking back, I can see how this book interlocked with the other
titles. Fear of Flying taught me about how sex could serve a
story, complimenting narrative, character and setting. The Joy of
taught me about the mechanics of sex, in all its variety,
before I had any actual experience of it for myself. And My Secret
taught me about the importance of the erotic imagination.
All three of those aspects are critical to who I am as an author

P.S. Mom, if you’re reading this? Thank you.

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Julie Cox is the woman of the hour. Her West Texas erotic fantasy serial Capricious just came out as a downloadable ebook (you can also still read all the episodes for free on this site); she is the featured writer on this month’s Circlet Presents podcast; and of course she is the author of today’s Dirty Book essay. This is the first Circlet book to appear in the series, and your ever-humble Dirty Books Series organizer is struggling not to squee too distractingly about this extremely gratifying appreciation.

After reading it, (or re-reading it five or ten times if you’re me), be sure to participate in our book giveaways at the bottom, either by connecting with Circlet on social media, or by leaving us an appreciation of your favorite Circlet book in the comments. And come back tomorrow for podcast maven Nobilis discussing our only Dirty Book usually shelved under nonfiction.

As an erotica writer, I read a lot of dirty books. People sometimes ask me why that’s my thing. I suspect my reasons for loving this genre of storytelling are a stark contrast to what draws people to video porn. Part of it is that it’s physically or emotionally exciting, of course. A massive part of the draw, however, is that the stories people tell when they are out to thrill each other are so much more intense, and frequently much more creative, than other kinds of stories. I get to experience emotions that I just don’t get to feel in my Real Life. My brain doesn’t know the difference, the chemistry is the same. The thrill of the first kiss, the first caress – or the last. That spark of initial interest, and the inflated sense of ego that comes with realizing the attraction is mutual. Passion of great intensity, rage leading to great angry-sex, make up sex, relief sex, comfort sex, they’re all allegories for catharsis, amped up by the creativity of a science fiction or fantasy setting where the characters are not only having great, explicit, detailed sex, they’re having IMPOSSIBLE sex.

One of my favorite examples of truly impossible and thrilling sex is Vinnie Tesla’s book, The Erotofluidic Age. I downloaded a copy of Tesla’s book on a particularly bad day, when I really needed to indulge in blatant escapism. It delivered on that, better than I had hoped for. The pseudo-Victorian atmosphere was pitch perfect, the characters were distinct and easy to attach to, the voice was consistent, the grammar was outstanding, and the sex was not only impossible, but at times perfectly, magnificently ridiculous. It involves shape-shifting, engines powered by sexual desires and expression, dimension hopping and Geoducks. Trust me. They’re grand.

It includes such lines as, “If we happened to have brought along a giant trebuchet, that would do very nicely indeed” and “I shall be yours, and you shall scream for mercy,” and “What is a gentleman’s club without buggery?” And they save the world. It’s delightful fun, at one moment stuffy and English, then ribald and wanton, but still English.

What makes it top the list as perhaps my FAVORITE dirty book, however, is exactly what drew me to the genre in the first place. The emotions and stakes of the story are amplified by the sexuality. The sex is not only necessary to the story but fulfilling and emotional. There are so many cathartic moments in this book it ought to be called “The Erotocathartic Age.” Unlike video porn, or bad erotica, with really good erotica you show up for the sex and stay for the story. With this one, I keep coming back for both.


Um… What was I…?

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I’ll just stay here and re-read this a couple times…


For many of us, one… seminal… scene, read at just the right age, can shape the development of our imaginations forever after. For today’s Dirty Book, critic, academic, and Friend of Circlet Dan Kimmel tells us about one such scene from his own formative years. At the bottom of this post, you can sign up for updates from us to win free ebooks. And come back tomorrow for Julie Cox’s appreciation of one of Circlet’s own publications.

For those of us of a certain age, dirty books didn’t mean “Tropic of Cancer” or “Fanny Hill” or “The Story of O.” It meant what mainstream books we could sneak out of our parents’ rooms: The Sensuous Woman, Fear of Flying, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask, “Naked Came the Stranger” (the last a hoax novel written by a group of journalists to cash in on the mainstreaming of sexlit in the ’60s and ’70s).

For me it’s not even a book—although I did read and enjoy the whole book—but a page. Page 27, to be exact, of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. This is the notorious scene where Sonny Corleone (memorably played by James Caan in the movie) sneaks off with one of the bridesmaids during his sister’s wedding. They head to an upstairs bathroom and then go at it against the door in what, to my fifteen year old and virginal mind, was explicit detail.

Pretty tame by today’s standards but if you were in high school in the early ’70s, “page 27″ was an erotic landmark.

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For our second Dirty Book, Annabeth Leong considers writer/blogger/activist Greta Christina’s Bending, and gives us a tour of both its kinks and its big ideas. Scroll to the bottom and do social media stuff to win free books from us. And come back tomorrow to read Dan Kimmel’s appreciation of a particularly… affecting… scene from a famous mainstream novel.

Long before I read Greta Christina‘s book Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, I was lucky enough to encounter its title story. This was early in my career as a reader of erotica, and it pushed buttons I didn’t even know I had. Though I got off a great deal, I also found myself moved by the story of shifting desires, love as insufficient, and exploration as paramount. Reading “Bending” was one of the first times I realized that erotica isn’t the low form it’s made out to be.

Fast-forward many years, and “Bending” has become one of a handful of stories I return to again and again. It’s not just for the filthy, lovingly fetishized, obsessive ass play, though I do still love that. It’s also that few pieces of writing have been wiser about the issues I’ve faced in BDSM as I’ve come to practice it, not just read about it. When I’m distressed about having changed in a way I swore I never would, it’s to “Bending” that I turn.

When I read Christina’s entire collection, I recognized the fearless gaze I first met in that story I have loved so well. In her introduction, Christina explains that she hopes each story conveys the respect she has for sex itself. And Christina respects sex enough to visit hot and uncomfortable places, to trust that adults understand what it means “to imagine things we wouldn’t actually want to do—even things we think are immoral.” She respects her audience enough to believe that we will sort out the difference between fantasy and endorsement. “If we have any freedom at all,” she writes, “it’s between our ears: the freedom to think about whatever we like.”

So Christina gives her reader a section on the “borderlands of consent, where the victims are technically free to leave but feel like they can’t.” This chapter turns me on and disturbs me because I recognize aspects of myself in it, ways that safewords aren’t as simple as they seem, ways that I’m sometimes not as honest as I should be because I don’t want to ruin a good time.

I also love her definition of “Sweet Stuff,” a section I almost decided not to read because I wasn’t in the mood for vanilla. Christina reminded me that “vanilla” and “sweet” aren’t synonyms, and neither are “sweet” and “traditional romance.”

I love this book for both its philosophical underpinnings and its unrelenting transgressive hotness. I will say that if you don’t have a spanking fetish, you may find sections of this book repetitive. If, on the other hand, you get a shiver up your spine when someone says, “Raise your skirt, and lower your drawers,” you and Christina will get on just fine.

And read the one about the unicorn. Christina suggests in her introduction that it’s silly but I found it oddly delightful.

Annabeth Leonghas written erotica of many flavors— dark, romantic, kinky, vanilla, straight, lesbian, bi, and ménage. Her work has appeared in more than thirty anthologies, including Circlet’s Like a Chill Down Your Spine, Like Hearts Enchanted, and Like a Trip Through the Mirror. Sweetmeats Press will publish her novel Untouched, a story of exhibitionism and voyeurism, in summer of 2014. Annabeth loves shoes, stockings, cooking, and excellent bass lines. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, blogs at , and tweets @AnnabethLeong.

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Beyond the Softness of His Fur: Volume 3
by TammyJo Eckhart
ISBN 978-1-61390-113-7
Word Count: 50,000
List Price: $3.99

Formats :

Circlet Press digital titles are also available at the Amazon Kindle Store, B&, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple’s iBookstore, Scribd, and many independent booksellers via Google ebooks, as well as specialty ebookstores like All Romance eBooks and Rainbow eBooks, to name just a few! (Please let us know if your favorite source for digital books does not carry this title and you want them to.)

Domme Emily Potter and her brilliant submissive pet—white fox morph Wynn—bring their edgy, sexy story to a thrilling conclusion, navigating the complex path of their own unique relationship in an increasingly dangerous world that does not understand them. Wynn’s self-awareness threatens the status quo. and the fears of the established order pose a threat to Emily and Wynn’s very lives.

Beyond The Softness of His Fur Part Three: Private Revolutions is the third and final installment in TammyJo Eckhart’s provocative erotic science fiction trilogy. A tale of genetics, sex, and love between owners and pets, Part Three concludes the exploration of Emily and Wynn’s dystopian society. Corporations influence every aspect of life in their world, where animalistic-humanoid hybrids known as “morphs” are commonly kept as pets. Emily and Wynn’s lives are now fraught with more danger than ever, coming from all sides. Although Emily first procured Wynn under orders of the company she works for, her own reticence to share him and Wynn’s increasingly intelligent behavior have brought them under intense scrutiny and suspicion. The supposedly like-minded Dr. Vevern insists she wants to help save Wynn and Emily by extension, but it quickly becomes apparent that she is keeping secrets of her own. Natural resources are dwindling fast enough that chaos is beginning to erupt, with widespread fears that the conditions that began the brutal Water Wars might recur. And to top it all off, Emily must confront her assistant Lindsey with evidence of his betrayal with surprising results that Wynn is none too pleased with. With all of these outside factors threatening their own little world at home, Emily and Wynn must work harder than ever to preserve their love—and their very lives!

Sample Chapter:

For at least the twelfth time since we arrived at the Jungle I look down at him kneeling by my feet under the table. It’s an upscale club-slash-café that I was shocked to learn I could get into simply because I had a customer ID from ISM. Is meeting in one of their own employee clubs Doctor Vevern’s idea of safe? I’m sure we’re being filmed as we sit here.

It is a nice café, however–less crowded, more light, roomier than the ones Inandirmak operates or co-sponsors. The list of companies on the place’s board of directors outside looks like a Who’s-Who of life sciences, though the one at the top of the list, Genius, I’m completely unfamiliar with. Metro Thunder Bay has a tight hold on the lake, so I suppose everyone wants a piece of the action here. The water attacks my father spoke about seem to have spread to a few other locations, if the news reports are correct. Who can tell? The corporate media spins one direction while city media spins another.

I reach down and scratch behind one of Wynn’s ears when he lifts his head and lays it on my lap. I can feel him looking up at me, but I’m just trying to act like any other morph owner.

Because all other morph owners have to be convinced by their pets to meet with a mysterious scientist promising she’s on your side.

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Our series starts with Dame Bodacious‘ appreciation of a classic Victorian erotic novel. Scroll to the bottom for a chance to participate and win Circlet books, and come back tomorrow when Annabeth Leong writes about a much more recent work.

Like most good suburban girls back in the days before the internet, I learned about sex from a series of less-than-reliable sources. Whispers behind cupped hands, bad B movies, and baffling pronouncements from worldly older sisters. But mostly I learned the same way my friends did — purloined romance novels, their spines conveniently cracked by our moms to automatically spread wide to the good parts. My teachers were Johanna Lindsey, Jean Auel, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and VC Andrews.

But I always sensed that I was getting a sanitized version of sex. Or at least only one flavor. I wanted … not more, exactly, but something different. I sensed, in my ‘tween mind that some essential spice was missing from the well-thumbed pages of throbbing manhoods, slick folds, and tiny heroines. Surely I wasn’t the only one getting a little frustrated at the gentle stroking, the soft touches, the delicate caresses?

None of my friends seemed to feel the same way, though. I must be a freak.

Then one day I found a cheap pulp paperback copy titled The Way of a Man with a Maid. I was standing in the romance section of my local WaldenBooks, and read a random chapter.

There were a couple of different girls. And these weren’t sighing eager girls. Our narrator kidnaps and takes them to the Snuggery where he rapes them, devising elaborate and arcane sexual tortures. They are strapped down, humiliated, and carnally punished. The women sob, writhe, plead, and scream. And, just as shocking, sometimes the women (I glanced up from the book, eyes darting furtively at the other shoppers)… sometimes the women did things to each other, too!

It was like a supernova in my brain.

And in my panties, of course.

I had to own it. Even if it was just the one chapter and the rest was all like the romance novels, I needed this book. One chapter would be enough. Buying it was no mean feat, though. The cover was white with a lascivious picture that seemed even more erotic because of the faux-Victorian outfit the woman wore. Even the author byline — “Anonymous” – seemed to scream out loud that this was a dirty book. I almost expected the book clerk to shout, “This girl, this 14 year old girl, she’s buying a pervert book!”

I’ll never know what she actually thought. Head down, I handed over the book and a crumpled $5 bill, palms sweating and cheeks hot. Once she rang me out, I shoved the book in my school bag and ran out of the store without ever looking her in the face.

At home, alone, I discovered that it wasn’t just the one chapter. In fact, the whole book was chapter after chapter of flagellation and bondage. I wasn’t the only one who thought about sex like that! Even better, in the back was a whole catalog of books that seemed to be in the same vein. My life was never the same again.

Almost thirty years later, I have read more dirty books than I can count. The Way of a Man with a Maid isn’t to precisely to my adult taste anymore. But in my mind, it’s still the book that opened the world for me — intrinsically linked in my memory with that silent burst of white heat and that dawning understanding that there was more to sex than bodice-clad heroines and square jawed heroes. It will always remain my favorite dirty book.

Dame Bodacious writes the Lilith Club books about a private club in Boston for ladies of very particular tastes. The maids are thoroughly punished for naughty behavior and the secretaries offer very specialized services. She also has a story called “Crow Luck” in the upcoming Like Fortune’s Fool.

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Coffee: Hot
An anthology of café erotica
Edited by Victoria Pond

Deadline: September 15, 2014

When you visit a coffee shop, you use all your senses. You hear the whir of steaming milk, smell the hot roasting beans, feel the glazed ceramic mug, see the latte art, and taste the dark glory of your daily addiction. 

In the 1600s, coffee shops inspired academics and philosophers (who worked faster and stayed sober longer). Now it is a place of writers, homework-doers, and first dates. One hardly blinks at an infatuation with Taylor, the latte boy.

This anthology gives you the chance to expose the excitement in the ‘mundane’ world of coffee. Maybe your local is run by a succubus, or Cupid has traded in his arrows for a smock (and that’s not nutmeg he’s grinding onto your foam). Perhaps that guy who has “been in the shop forever” actually has been (well, at least for the last 400 years), or there’s something ‘special’ going on in the first Starbucks on Mars. So long as your story is science fiction or fantasy erotica and a café is strongly featured, we want to see it.

All sexualities and gender expressions are welcomed.

This ebook anthology is being edited by Victoria Pond for Circlet Press. Victoria’s stories have appeared in numerous Circlet anthologies.

For submission details, read on. Read the remainder of this entry »


New call for submissions: MakerSex

By Cecilia Tan | Filed in News & Notes | 7 comments

MakerSex: Erotic Stories of Geeks, Hackers, and DIY Projects
Edited by Annabeth Leong

Deadline: September 30, 2014

Maker culture mashes together technological enthusiasm and a DIY punk ethos. It is about learning and doing, shaping the world, getting around the system, and making strange new things because you can. Skill is powerful, subversive—and sexy. Send me stories infused with the scent of hot solder, the flash of fabric sewn with conductive thread, the thrill of ingenuity, and the hotness of all things becoming possible. Your DIY stories could be near-future science fiction or cyberpunk, but they could also take place in far-flung galaxies, in the garage of a ham-radio enthusiast, or in the shadowy workshops of hacker mages. I want to believe in the plausibility of your DIY world, but that doesn’t require a technical manual. Give me a story that’s as much driven by hot sex and changing characters as it is by compelling projects and technical acumen.
All sexualities and gender expressions are welcome. Kink is welcome. I would particularly love to see worlds that recognize characters of color and people of all genders as participating in Maker culture.
This e-book anthology is being edited by Annabeth Leong for Circlet Press. Annabeth has written stories for many anthologies including Circlet’s Like A Trip Through the Mirror, Like a Chill Down Your Spine, and What Lies Beneath.

For submission details, read on. Read the remainder of this entry »


Ten Dirty Books #0

By VinnieTesla | Filed in Reviews, Sales & Special Offers | No comments yet.

We recently asked our writers to tell us about their favorite erotic works–books that shaped their thinking about sex and sex writing.  We got ten awesome appreciations of books old and new, fiction and nonfiction, kinky and vanilla, queer and straight. We’ll be posting one of them per day for the next ten days. We hope they provoke discussions here and elsewhere of beloved smut both from us and from elsewhere.

Simultaneously, we’re running a contest/giveaway. Click below to do various like-y/follow-y things to enter the raffle for a free ebook, or post your own appreciation of a Circlet book in the comments here to enter a contest for the print collection of your choice.

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