Reviews of my story “Strong”, printed in Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica

(You can find “Strong” in the anthology Say Please.)

Angel Propps at Lambda Literary Reviews:

“Some of the best transgressive erotic fiction to come along in recent years has been authored by Xan West and in the story “Strong,” Xan is working at top form. Gender itself is the beating, bleeding heart of the play between a transgendered butch and a genderqueer submissive. Using language that shows all too clearly the terrifying loveliness that is vulnerability, Xan delivers characters who willingly choose to go places where others fear to tread and the result is incredibly, satisfyingly filthy and erotic. The caning scene within this story literally made my thighs ache, and not just in sympathy.”

A review on Amazon:

“There are a handful of dungeon scenes, and also some exhibition/voyeurism scenes. One of my favorites of the latter was Xan West’s “Strong.” It was a thrill to get to ride along in the head of the protagonist, engaging so complexly the erotic potentials of gender, power and pain.”

Butchtastic Kyle:

“I sighed a happy sigh of recognition as I began to read this story.  These were my kind of people, characters most like me, trans and genderqueer, using gender as a tool for play and exploration.  Control, head games, intelligent complex topping, appreciation of the strength of the sub, I like that a lot.  And, ah yes, riding through the pain to reach joy.  Also, of course, a wall plays a pivitol role.  To me BDSM is about breaking down internal walls and barriers, using external ones to hold us up and bound us.  Great description of the toll topping takes on the top.  Mmmm… knife play.. yessssss, crazy sexy knife play.  This story answers the question, “Which one was your favorite”.  Favorite.  Right here”

Danika at the Lesbrary:

In a conversation on Lambda Literary, Sinclair Sexsmith admits that this collection is labelled “lesbian” BDSM erotica for marketing purposes and that she considers the collection queer, and that she is seeking to broaden the definition of “lesbian” for collections like this. (I can definitely empathize with this–I chafe at calling this a “lesbian book blog” and in name excluding lots of people I want to include, but I can’t find a better word.) There is definitely a lot of gender dynamics at work in Say Please. One of my favorites was “Strong” by Xan West, which features a trans butch dom and a genderqueer sub that switches between playing girl and playing boy in a scene”

Nina Potts:

“‘Strong’ doesn’t just give you the scene, but why the characters must be in it, how they are driven, their conflicts and roles. It made me smile, thinking ‘Finally! Someone delves into the how and why of themselves.’ I feel as if I could take that story as use it as an answer to why we defy gender roles, societal rules, and enjoy BDSM.”

Lula Lisbon:

“One excerpt from another story that will stay in my head (and other, lower regions) for a very long time is this amazing passage from Strong, by Xan West:

It’s a rule of mine. When she’s my girl, she is required to keep her thighs apart. They never touch in my presence. It makes her constantly aware of her body, the position she’s in. She is always conscious of her cunt. Exposed just by her own awareness. With this one simple rule, I claim ownership of her body, her cunt, her focus. From across the room I am inside her, spreading her thighs, exposing her cunt, deep inside her head.

I’m not ashamed to admit that this is something I’m going to have to incorporate into my sex life and I’m slightly annoyed I never thought of it before myself! Erotica is of course all about getting into the mind, and this illustrates my point beautifully. The elegance with which the author has the genderqueer submissive submit first as a girl, then seamlessly as a boy was a joy to read. I’m looking forward to reading more by Xan.”

Kelli Dunham:

“West’s story is some of the most boundary breaking erotica I’ve heard in a while, and a much more fun way to talk about gender than arguing about it, which is what our community seems to love most”

Helena Swann on Cuntext:

 “Finally, ‘Strong.’ I cannot even. This piece is nothing short of perfect. There’s the fact that it’s intense BDSM that pushes most of my buttons: public humiliation, blowjobs, knives, orgasm control, being (someone’s) (good) little girl, being pushed to take more. There’s the fact that this is a tribute to bottoms, to what we give to our tops, to what it takes to do what we do. That’s not even the half of it. Xan West, more than anyone I’ve ever read, intrinsically gets what I do at my core, as a femme and as a bottom. Reading this piece crystallized my thoughts: What I do is build gender. More specifically, I build gender through relationships–the way I talk to people, the way I touch them, the way I fuck them. This story is a precise, graceful, crushingly hot portrait of how that happens.”
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6 thoughts on “Reviews of my story “Strong”, printed in Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica

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