Cover Image: Heckin' Lewd: Trans and Nonbinary Erotica

Heckin' Lewd: Trans and Nonbinary Erotica

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this collection of naughty shorts.  There were more paranormal elements than I (perhaps naively) expected, which is not generally my preferred flavour of romance, but I still enjoyed most of the tales.  A few did feel a little under-developed, due to their required length.  I was really enjoying 'The Pink Lady' but it felt like it ended too early and abruptly.  I'd like to see that expanded into a longer tale.

Stand-outs for me were "Something's Happening to Rylen" and "Redgum", as I felt the strongest emotional connection between the characters in those entries.
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There are some truly tough reviews for this collection, and unfortunately I have to agree with them. I went into this really, desperately wanting it to be so good- but the stories are truly hit or miss. The introduction of the story, written by Mx. Nillin Lore alluded to a truly different collection than I actually experienced. As the desired audience of this book (queer, non-binary, enjoyer of sex, underrepresented in a lot of ways) I wanted more than was given. Mildly disappointing, though I suppose the sheer creativity(?) and outlandish story premises should be complimented on? Overall, the stories were very short, often jumbled, and questionably edited. It was not what I expected, and other reviewers have made some great points that should be taken note of if there are publications of future collections.
Thank you to NetGalley, and the publisher, for allowing my access to an eARC.
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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

A truly remarkable book of erotica. You'll be dazzled, awed and maybe turned on. The stories cover all ranges of intimacy and sex. Hopefully this won't be the last of the installment.
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This was a fun and interesting read! I love reading erotica but have never seen stories focused on trans or nonbinary people, so I was really excited to read this. I also have never read a fiction book that's made up of a bunch of short stories, so this book was a first for me and several ways!
I loved the fantastical elements to some of the stories. It made it super fun and interesting to read! The short story format is not my favorite, but it worked in this context to give the reader a taste for several different themes and romantic partners.
If you're looking for nonbinary or trans erotic stories, this is definitely for you!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free ARC!
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First of all, full disclosure: I did not finish this book. I will put it down to my own asexuality though rather than the content or writing. I did get around 100 pages in though. It's good, it's gritty, it's honest, and it has a lot of scenarios. For me, I couldn't vibe with it because I need a strong connection with characters before I care about anything else. Each story is about 2 pages long, so it didn't give me the opportunity I needed to become invested. I know that's not really the point of the book though, so I'm still rating it highly. I think it does what it set out to do, I just didn't get what I wanted from it. I liked concept of some of the shorts and I would probably recommend this to some of my friends who might enjoy it more than I did. It's diverse, genderqueer sex which is underrepresented, so I still appreciate this book.
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I was looking forward to this anthology because Chace Verity, one of the contributing authors, is one of my all time favorite authors, but I’m happy to say I enjoyed every story in this anthology, where only Chace and Rien Gray were familiar-to-me authors. I’m going to describe this book as a sexy hug because it’s so affirming and lovely and sweet, while also being extremely sexy and arousing, a perfect blend. There is something so intrinsically queer in every story, and that fills my heart with such joy. I loved all the different gender expressions and the different iterations of kink and the various ways characters interacted with their bodies. I really had a lot of fun with this anthology, and I’m so extremely glad it exists, and hope many folks needing more trans and nonbinary erotica in their life find it and enjoy it as well!
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The spice in this books was amazing. As someone so used to a heteronormative spice scene, I loved reading about trans and non binary. 

Definitely a fun read with the different authors and writing styles!!
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I'm so glad this book exists!!!!!!

As the intro states, this isn't the first collection of trans a nonbinary erotica, and I sincerely hope it is not the last. The stories had a lot of variety and elements at play so there's going to be something for (almost) everyone in here. I had a great time reading this, and hope to see more collections like this in the future. I will absolutely be submitting this for addition to my library's collection as we could definitely use more diversity and variety in this genre.
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How „good“ smut is obviously mainly determined by personal preferences. How many details you want, which words are used, if/which kinks are included, the interplay between characters – there really isn't an exact formula. For short stories, there are some general guidelines to help make them good. Not too explosition-heavy, use your word count wisely, sparse but effective worldbuilding...

Therefore, I was surprised at how... average this anthology is.
First, so many of these pieces feel rushed which is just not the experience you want to have while reading. Second, I don't feel many of these stories were actually that erotic. Maybe it's my bias but I have read some incredible pieces by queer authors, some even included in here, that were better than what was presented in this. There was no place to feel sexy because of often quite terrible writing.
Many of the authors do not have any titles listed on Goodreads which only supports my assumption that they have written few if any short stories before...

Aside from the queer rep, we don't have much other diversity.
The POV characters are usually, thin white, and conventionally attractive (or the narrative simply does not contradict my assumption). The body types are all pretty similar and characters seem to easily pass if they want to. There are few characters of colour. There is no religious or disabled character. And many of these stories tended towards having the trans AFAB person on the bottom which is not really that groundbreaking?

For an anthology like this, I wish there had been content notes in the back for every story since I am of the opinion that your hard limit should not be a surprise. It would have been so easy to include the list of kinks.

A full breakdown of the stories, couples and my opinion behind these spoilers.
Idle Hands & Dirty Minds by Jaymie Wagner | ★★★✩✩
(f/f/f, two witches summon a succubus)
A little bit of a mixed start. Sarah and Dina had great chemistry together and I loved the lighthearted atmosphere but I felt like the sex came in the way of the plot which is the opposite of the problem I want.

Welcome Aboard by Quenby | ★★★✩✩
(x/x/x, kinky pirates welcoming a friend back into their midst)
This one had a lot going on, mostly to its detriment. I was not really feeling the established dynamic at play, I would have needed a bit more info on their relationship for that but it still works for this escapist fantasy if a little juvenile.

Only the Good Die Young by Ash Reilly | ★★★✩✩
(f/x, planning and executing a heist with your bratty lover)
Maybe a little too heavy on the non-sexual plot? Or maybe I just loved their teasing so much I wanted it to be a stronger focus.

This Fragile Little Affair by Kelvin Sparks | ★★★★✩
(f/m, another private meeting in the library)
Okay, this one really got to me – I love it when a couple has different sexual needs and both choices are treated with respect. Adding in this frenemies/colleagues setup that had them sniping at each other? Ticked all my boxes.

Past Midnight, Before Dawn by Anne Stagg | ★✩✩✩✩
(m/x, comfort sex)
This was so exposition-heavy. This did not read like an established couple being comfortable with one another but like a 101 class on communication. The author overexplained every little detail as if we would not pick up on it otherwise. The tonal shift was also terrible, starting a short story with a nightmare about queer-related fears only to go straight to sex is – a choice.
I read this one twice because it has explicit ace rep but, uh, Stagg did not convey what I think this was supposed to be.

The Earth Within Me by Lilith Hill | ★★✩✩✩
(m/x, rope play with a ghost)
To quote the story: this felt like a bad movie.

Stray by M.J. Moréo | ★✩✩✩✩
(m/m, roleplay in the forest)
I could not get lost in the fantasy because the author had to remind me every two pages that yes, this was all negotiated beforehand. I understood it the first time, thanks.
The setup was so elaborate but the end result is, once again, time. Why not do actual catboys.

The Devil You Blow by Rien Gray | ★★★★✩
(m/m, gym buddies, fuck buddies)
I should not have been afraid cause I can count on Gray to actually deliver what this anthology promises: great smut. There is actual buildup, the small wordcount used wisely to create tension and

Something's Happening by Mx. Nillin Lore | ★✩✩✩✩
(f/x, the partner is going through a furry transformation)
The entire flashback could have been cut to actual give us the monsterfucking we were promised? I am confused, how did this happen.
The fact that this was written by the editor explains a lot.

redgum by Ash Orlando | ★★★★✩
(m/x, kinky camping getaway)
a pretty good mix of background information that grounded the story and emotions without treating the reader like an idiot.

The Pink Lady Bar And Social Club by Sam McAuliff | ★★✩✩✩
(m/f, time travel to a speakeasy)
Boring. Where was the passion?
Didn't help that this has two things I actively dislike.

Immersed by Chace Verity | ★★★✩✩
(f/f, meeting a mermaid)
This is exactly what I expected from them but you can tell this is either too short or too long. It does not really fit in this book.

Better By Half-Elf by Sally Bend | ★✩✩✩✩
(f/x, a public sex show)
This has way too much unnecessary worldbuilding, the most confusing/graphic depiction of a sex change and a gender reveal as shock factor. This is what I would point to when trying to explain to people that simply including sex into your story does not make it erotic. Ironic.

Forbidden Fruit by Sienna Saint-Cyr | ★✩✩✩✩
(x/x, tentacle rape fantasy turned reality)
Why build tension when the main character could just go shopping instead. And I am begging for author to learn how to make negotiation sexy. It's possible, I swear!
This CW is also incorrect because CNC actually means the partner will stop. If this alien can't, why are we discussing safewords and why did the author not commit to their premise.
The asexual comment in this one is fine?

Sex With Your Ex by Quinn Rhodes | ★★★✩✩
(m/x/m, negotiated hatefuck)
Nothing mindblowing but it could have been worse.

When I hear #ownvoices trans erotica, I do not expect a 101 guide on safe sex practices and the basics of transitioning, hormones and such. I do not expect so many other things that the erotic content takes a backseat.
Aside from Ash Orlando, Rien Gray and maybe Kelvin Sparks, the other authors really missed the point of this.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for offering me an arc in exchange for an honest review!

I greatly enjoyed some of the stories in this book, and some of them were not for me. This is to be expected of a short story collection with many different writers and types of stories, but some of these stories I could not enjoy even with the stipulation that they just might not be for me. I did enjoy that a lot of these stories contained an element of sci-fi or fantasy as that added depth to the story and the characters. However, I wish there had been more diversity in the bodies and presentation of the characters and their positions, and I also wish I had felt more chemistry between most of these pairs. Of course, that could be down to a difference in writers- some couples I felt a lot of chemistry from, others I did not feel much.
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Honestly, I'm so glad this collection of short stories exists, simply to have had the pleasure of reading 'Redgum' by Ash Orlando. I felt transported to the Australian outback, and I loved the relationship and chemistry between these two characters. Although I applaud the mission behind the collection, to gather gender diverse erotica written by Own Voices authors, I wish there had been a little more diversity of internal experience and presentation amongst the characters. With one or two notable exceptions, many of the stories lean on somewhat tired tropes, and I was hoping for something a little more fearless. With that said, I think this anthology offers a strong jumping-off point for readers looking to dip their toe into trans and nonbinary erotica.

I am grateful to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC of 'Heckin' Lewd: Trans and Ninbinary Erotica'. These opinions are my own.
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First, before I begin: I am the target audience for this anthology. I am nonbinary and gay. Every three months I get a nurse to stick me full of anabolic steroids. I also enjoy having sex.
I put all of those first to underline that I wanted this collection to be good. The foreword by Mx. Nillin Lore underlines the dearth of inclusive queer erotica, how for most young queer people it must be subliminated through what little scraps the violent heterosexist porn industry throws to the side. I would like to access written erotica that is both inclusive and good. It would be doubly nice if this came from a small queer press. 
Unfortunately double of zero is zero. 
This anthology is not good. The degree to which it is not good upsets me. Inclusive is up for debate. 
I’m going through this story by story. 
1. Idle Hands & Dirty Minds – Jaymie Wagner
The first story of an anthology should pop. This is a story about two trans women partners summoning a succubus through sex magic. It is, unfortunately, okay until the succubus turns up and turns them into demons. One of the women ejaculates red cum and I looked at the screen and slowly scrolled up and then back down to make sure I had not read that incorrectly. There’s a Cannibal Corpse song called I Ejaculate Blood. 
Not a good start. It’s inoffensive enough, and the two main characters have chemistry as written, but it’s not very interesting. 
2. Welcome Aboard – Quenby
Gangbang on a pirate ship. Main character’s name is Samphire. Nope. You can’t do that. This is my protagonist, Sheet of Nori. Samphire internally refers to themselves by their nickname, “Sexy Badger.” I personally don’t enjoy the Age of Sail black leather corset aesthetic and I let out an audible groan at the purple “pegging leg.” The sea vegetable says “Hngggggggh yeeeessss, breed me, Daddy!” I’m incredibly annoyed at the editor for letting that stay in. The dialogue sucks but if you’re into gangbang porn it’s fine. I am a little miffed that the first story in this anthology to feature a nonbinary character has them bottoming for characters who identify as male and/or call themselves “Daddies” and use “breeding” terms but eh, that’s just a me thing, probably. It probably will not be the overwhelming tenor of the sexual pairings. 
3. Only The Good Die Young – Ash Reilly
Switch f/nb couple steal nanobots or something. I was interested in the nanobot stealing plot but it didn’t go anywhere. The main couple have some chemistry together, some nice banter, but this is a story that is trying to manage six of one half dozen of the other and ends up less than the sum of its parts. It ended rather abruptly; I feel like this is a chapter and a half of a longer story about a criminal couple in a book that perhaps makes a few too many jokes about how transfems are all computer geeks, but it kept my interest. 
This had a few throwaway lines about consent that ruined the flow just because that’s not how people talk. It also had a character wearing a “not gay as in happy but queer as in fuck you” shirt. Yes! I am aware! I picked up a book called Heckin’ Lewd because it was a trans and NB erotica anthology! Why is this character wearing a bumper sticker that says “I spend too much time on the most anodyne parts of queer Twitter”?
4. This Fragile Little Affair – Kelvin Sparks
Why does this have so much worldbuilding in it? It’s just hatesex between a man and a woman who both have two sets of genitalia. This could – possibly should – have been set in an office or the houses of parliament or something instead of a fantasy world. I neither know nor care what an Archon is and there isn’t enough time to either explain or make me invested. All the other details are distracting. 
5. Past midnight, before dawn – Anne Staggs
And this is where I went from mild irritation that this collection wasn’t better to jawdropped horrified. 
I'm not asexual. I understand the vocabulary around this might be different. However. I don’t think me being asexual or not has any bearing on the deeply upsetting core of this story. 
My first impressions: If my partner was worried about me accepting that they had a lower and different libido than I did, I would simply not have sex with them immediately after they voiced this concern. Sorry to Dillon but I'm different. I am especially perturbed by the transgender, asexual partner being the submissive.
As I finish the story:
If my newly-out asexual, transgender partner was worried about me accepting they had a lower and different libido than I did, to the point that they had nightmares about it, I would simply not have sex with them immediately after they voiced this concern, nor would I encourage to describe their body in sexually humiliating ways, because I am not a fucking sociopath. 
This story is unsettling, and unpleasant. No one involved - not the author, not the editor - seems to understand that this is a story about a coercive sexual relationship. 
Like all the other stories so far, this is graceless. The difference is that the clumsiness trips from uninspired to repulsive. The requisite consent-speak dropped in from space worsens the effect. Dillon has mastered buzzwords to insist on their libido's primacy. Of course they don't care that you don't enjoy sex, he coos. As long as you let me fuck you anyways, Connie, it doesn't matter. I like you for you!
Vile. Hate it. Hate especially that it's being offered to me as if this is acceptable. Run, Connie, run. 
6. The Earth Within Me – Lillith Hill
A nonbinary afab person (bottom) fucks a cis male ghost (top). 
That's it. There's some bondage or whatever. He calls them peach because their pussy is wet. I don't care. How do you make ghostfucking boring. I will give it points for not accidentally being a story about an abusive relationship filled with sexual coercion. I will then take away those points because actually that’s not a bar that requires any difficulty to clear.
7. Stray – MJ Moréo
Look, I have no interest in catboy stuff. I understand other people do. If they write about it well enough I can read it. I can’t read this with any interest, not even the horrified fascination of something I don't get. A guy and his partner set up a scene where they do some catboy roleplay. Fine. But god almighty can we stop with the high church kink protocols bracketing any sexual acts? This is a book of erotica. I know what I'm getting into. This is boring. I don’t know why a story using a double-ended vibrator and kitten play and a quite convoluted fantasy is boring. Maybe it’s because the author thinks it’s acceptable to write sentences like “I kissed his head, and his shampoo, the shampoo he’d always used, was erotic and familiar.” Yes, we are aware it is familiar, you just said he always used it, but why is it erotic besides you saying that it is?
8. The Devil You Blow – Rien Gray
Gym buddies fuck. I have no idea why the author introduces the name Dantalion and then cowers back into Danny. Dantalion rules. It sounds like the name of an insane Eurovision entry that mishandles the pyrotechnics and nearly kills the presenter. This story was the one that most resembled fun erotica. Another bottom-afab top-cis man pairing, alas, but the author is pleasantly aware that erotica is located in the body. This is bright and earthy and sunny and the prose snaps. I want to relocate it into a better anthology.  
9. Something’s Happening To Rylen – Mx. Nillin Lore
"Dee wasn’t sure what to make of her enboifriend, Rylen, suddenly going radio silent on her, but the half-hour drive up to her parents’ cabin was giving her plenty of time to think, and to worry." No, no, no, no, no. No. Who edits these, I bay to the sky, and realize that this person does. This is the editor. My nemesis, Mx. Nillin Lore.This could have been a boilerplate werewolf-monster thing without the atrocious prose. Rylen has no personality. Dee is an idiot who didn’t notice her enboifriend growing a foot taller than her. The creature design, such as it is, sucks. I have the sinking feeling that the author has either produced or consumed a lot of omegaverse fanfiction. Honestly that's no excuse. Please master the rudiments of show-don't-tell before you edit an anthology, Mx. Lore. Unreadable. Past Midnight Before Dawn was creepy and offensive, but this is just bad. 
10. Redgum - Ash Orlando
Two self-made boys, impact play, bondage, sex, Australian outback. This one has some lovely scene-setting. I'm not a fan of the throwaway line about trauma - jesus christ can we just have sex here, please - but the rest of it goes in with Dantalion. I am carrying this to a better anthology and setting it gently down among the eucalyptus leaves. Orlando's prose conquers every other author in the book. No contest. A gem in a heap of rags.
11. The Pink Lady Bar and Social Club
Jesse hits his head and time travels to 1911. Jesse is a bisexual trans man. He meets Molly, the bisexual propertier of the aforementioned bar and social club, and goes down on her. Jesse has to give himself brain damage to try to get back there. The concept of a guy trying to give himself a head injury so he can travel back in time to eat out a flapper is ridiculous but this isn’t fun at all. I will weakly applaud for that it deals with Jesse’s identity quite smoothly and doesn’t harp on it so much that it gets either annoying or weirdly fetishistic. Otherwise, boring. I think this one would have been better if it was just a one-off where Jesse fucks Molly and is like hm did that happen and then finds her lipstick in his pocket or something. The sex could have been less rote, that would have helped. 
12. Immersed – Chace Verity
Another supernatural tale. This one has a trans lady in her early forties getting fingerbanged by a mermaid. This needed so many more passes to trim it down. There’s some nice sentences but it’s just overwritten. The breathplay and giantess kink elements exist. If the author had gotten to the sex quicker maybe they could have actually explored them.
13. Better By Half-Elf – Sally Bend
Oh, another fantasy public sex story. Please someone explain to me why anyone would think it’s appropriate to start a short erotic story with elves walking through sewage. Maple uses hir/ze pronouns and the author is clearly using their DND group’s Magic Tavern. Elf precum is sweet. Oh my god there’s a very graphic self-castration scene. I think? What in the fuck just happened there. I reread that paragraph about eight times. I think that’s a very clumsy Ye Olde magical transfem gender confirmation surgery/chastity cage…thing, but it comes right the fuck out of nowhere. “Reborn of the demon grove” seems to refer to having one’s gender. I got stuck on the worldbuilding and the frankly offensive treatment of transfem people and I’m outski.
14. Forbidden Fruit – Sienna Saint-Cyr
This one comes with a content note for consensual non-consent. Cedar wants to find a tentacle alien and be fucked to death by it. I’m totally fine with this premise. I am not fine with more tedious kink negotiation warnings.  You have already said! Why does the bepenised tentacle alien use he/him pronouns? Why why why once again do we have sub NB afab/top maledom and why is it with fucking murder by tentacle rape? Cedar drops that they’re asexual and yet want to be fucked to death oh my god that seems incredibly offensive to asexuals. Again, the author does not seem to understand what their premise demands, even ending it with a sweet little note where the tentacle alien does not rape the afab NB person to death and goes out to get them food. Except the afab NB main character has committed to being the tentacle alien’s pet, and the tentacle alien has warned them that it will get harder and harder not to rape them to death. This isn’t CNC! This is Sharon Lopatka, Armin Meiwes territory. This is a person attempting to commit suicide via tentacle rape. This is erotic horror, or it’s splatterpunk. WHY IS IT SO DULL.
15. Sex With Your Ex – Quinn Rhoades
Content warnings for CNC, degradation, “queerphobic terms used by trans queer characters in a self-actualizing and affirming BDSM context.” First sentence: “You want him to fuck you like I haven’t given my consent for you to fuck other people?” I am staring at this sentence and it is looking back at me and I want to feed it to a nearby owl. Tedious. There are better ways to tell the reader that the character is experiencing gender euphoria than saying “I am currently experiencing gender euphoria.” Queer elder joke. This one at least has some sexual charge to it but like all the others it’s bogged down by tedious rote kink negotiation, paper-flat characters, pedestrian prose. 
Back in undergrad, I read a Samuel R. Delaney short story for a class. I enjoyed it enough to go down to the basement library stacks, where they kept the fiction, and look for anything else he'd written. For some reason the only one of his novels on the shelves was Hogg, plain jacket, nothing on the back cover. I expected science fantasy. I did not receive science fantasy. 
I finished the book. It was compelling, in a horrible way. Delaney builds glimmering little cities out of words. I understood what in it he found erotic. 
I'm not entirely sure if the authors of these stories find them erotic. I am in fact unconvinced by any of the text in front of me as anything other than desperate checklists, couched in enough pedestrian prose to present themselves as "stories." A story about fucking a ghost should not be so flat. A story about wanting to be raped to death by alien tentacle monsters should not need drawn-out kink negotiations. 
These are allegedly ownvoices stories. I don't hear any unique voices. There is a shockingly juvenile quality to most of these stories. They reek of young queer people who think their limp sex lives are fascinating because as queer people they must be uniquely fascinating. These stories talk down to the reader, assuming you haven’t heard words like girlcock or safeword. Penetrative sex takes precedent. The nonbinary experiences here are almost uniformly afab transmasc. 
And underneath all that there’s this troubling disassociation from the actual body. This is especially prominent with the stories featuring transfem characters. Many of these stories feel like they’ve been produced by people who aren’t intimately familiar with the possibility and variety of transgender bodies – or if they are familiar, they just don’t have any idea of how to express these bodies on page without offending some glaring Constant Reader. Scars are in the same place. Everyone is magnificently furred after a brief time on testosterone. There’s no smell of sweat, only precum. There’s no spontaneity. Everything must be carefully tagged beforehand, and then even more carefully arranged to show that it has been tagged. Look! Look at this lovely #ownvoices #queer #trans #nb gruel that we have served for you!
I'm depressed. 
It is appalling that Mx. Lore, the worst of the lot, got the editor’s cap on this. It is erotically and aesthetically worthless, except for Redgum and The Devil You Blow. I wish those authors had saved those for a better collection. They outshine the other stories so hard that it ends up embarrassing for everyone involved. Ash Orlando and Rien Gray do not deserve to be stuck slumming in this dross.
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