So we have come to the end of the blog tour for my first book, Show Yourself To Me. It’s been an amazing ride for me, doing all these interviews, writing guest posts, reading what these fabulous bloggers and writers have to say about the book. We are wrapping up by coming back home, so to speak.
Annabeth Leong has shared an excerpt from her introduction to the book over at her site today. It’s a gorgeous personal introduction, that talks about what the book means to her. an introduction that feels like such a match for the book. I’m honored and deeply touched by her words, and you get a taste of them ahead of time. Below, my editor at Go Deeper Press, the brilliant Jacob Louder, shares what this book means to him. Another gorgeous and brave match for Show Yourself To Me, one that I am intensely moved by. I am so lucky to be met in the risks I take as a writer by two such amazing writers and courageous people.
For me, there is something very scary about reading the stories in Show Yourself to Me. There are challenges here that I seldom find in erotica or lit porn of any type. For example, the characters that are grounded in their sadism, and the ones who aren’t grounded enough and ask their submissives for assistance, to help them stay present in the scene—I find them challenging. Or the characters who need a continuous stream of pain to feel release, to feel love. The characters who negotiate scenes like they are the Presidents of fucking Scene Negotiation: They know what they want and they ask for it, and, if necessary, they make adjustments: jeans are removed, not cut from of bodies with a sharp blade; or a submissive is allowed room to breath after taking too much soft sensation from a pack of hungry “tigers.”
What scares me is that these characters and these stories are serious black hanky territory, and these characters are living lives that I only allow myself to fantasize about.
Actually, I don’t. I often think my fantasies are “too much.” Go on and fill in the blank: too sadistic, too brutal, too bloody, too pissy, too demanding, too cruel. Oftentimes, I don’t allow myself to fantasize similar scenes to what’s found in Show Yourself to Me. I don’t allow myself these desires because I feel like I wouldn’t be able to control myself if they were to actually happen in my bedroom. I feel like I’d never come back. If I give myself too much rough fantasy, if I allow time to fantasize as the dominant I’d like to be, wouldn’t it affect my sexual play in real time?
See? This scares me.
Then here comes Show Yourself to Me and its characters with all their beauty in every size, shape, and gender; their own fears; their wild, rough-as-fuck desires. Wait, I think. Other people imagine this shit? And, yes—not only do they imagine it, but they capture it in fiction and publish it for all the world to see. And I read them. Together, story after story, these characters live out my darkest, most sadistic daydreams. They enter these scenes with honesty and openness and integrity and loving compassion.
And it’s strange, right? But somewhere along the lines, between the story about the two queer men of color and another about humiliation play, I’m not feeling scared anymore. I’m not feeling ashamed or like I am once again “other.” Strangely, I’m not feeling turned on by the fiction. What I’m feeling now is brave. I feel embraced by Xan’s stories, by Xan’s openness and willingness to share Xan’s own fantasies with us. I feel affirmed by them. To be completely honest—and maybe a little too emo, but still—I feel like the stories in Show Yourself to Me are actually 24 ways that Xan West tells me that what I think and feel is completely okay, and if I don’t want to act on it, that’s cool, too. But if I do, there are ways. Here: Watch Rickie and Jax in “My Pretty Boy.” Watch the players in “Dancing for Daddy.”
What Xan West has given us—or, more specifically, has given me—is a work of art that allows me to not feel alone or ashamed. Xan has given me reasons to lift my head and own my desires. Xan has made me brave, and there’s a hot, sizzling element to this bravery that is similar to arousal. “Here is where the magic builds,” Xan writes in “My Precious Whore.” Exactly. It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before, but something I hope to feel again and again.
In Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica, Xan West introduces us to pretty boys and nervous boys, vulnerable tops and dominant sadists, good girls and fierce girls and scared little girls, mean Daddies and loving Daddies and Daddies that are terrifying in delicious ways.
Submissive queers go to alleys to suck cock, get bent over the bathroom sink by a handsome stranger, choose to face their fears, have their Daddy orchestrate a gang bang in the park, and get their dream gender-play scene—tied to a sling in an accessible dungeon.
Dominants find hope and take risks, fall hard and push edges, get fucked and devour the fear and tears that their sadist hearts desire.
Within these 24 stories, you will meet queers who build community together, who are careful about how they play with power, who care deeply about consent. You will meet trans and genderqueer folks who are hot for each other, who mentor each other, who do the kind of gender play that is only possible with other trans and genderqueer folks.
This is Show Yourself to Me. Get ready for a very wild ride.
To celebrate the release of my first solo collection of erotica, Show Yourself To Me: Queer Kink Erotica, I have organized a virtual book tour. Follow along each day in October as these wonderful folks post interviews, excerpts, my own ramblings on the book, reviews, and more!
- October 1: Xan West Queer Kink Praxis
- October 2: Book Birthday! Go Deeper Press To Celebrate the Launch of Show Yourself to Me, an Interview with Xan West
- October 3: Heather Elizabeth Show Yourself To Me
- October 4: Sinclair Sexsmith The Tender Sweet Young Thing
- October 5: Hermia Swann Reading in Cuntext: Show Yourself To Me
- October 6: Dilo Keith On Knights, D/s and Service — Guest Post by Xan West
and Cecilia Tan Xan West: Kinkster scribe of viscerally thinky erotica
- October 7: Kinky Brits Show Yourself To Me
- October 8: Stella Harris Show Yourself To Me
- October 9: F. Leonora Solomon Xan West Shows Themself to Us With Their New Book Release!!!
- October 10: Tasha Harrison Writing Disability Into Erotica
- October 11: Benji Bright The Dervish Dance of Gender: Reading Xan West’s Show Yourself to Me
- October 12: Tamsin Flowers An Interview With Xan West and Karida Show Yourself To Me
- October 13: Cassandra Perry The Beauty of Falling for Essex by Xan West, My Favorite Quotes from Xan West’s ‘Show Yourself to Me’, and The Vulnerable Sincerity of Queer Kink Erotica
- October 14: Peep Scoop Review: Show Yourself To Me and Radical Access Mapping Project Making My Kinky Erotica Accessible to Survivors
- October 15: Sugar Cunt Show Yourself to Me by Xan West
- October 16: Emily Byrne Where Matters: Writing Queer Public Sex
- October 17: Oleander Plume Guest Star: Xan West Show Yourself To Me Blog Tour
- October 18: K. A. Smith Show Yourself To Me
- October 19: Giselle Renarde On Doing, and Writing, Blood Sports
- October 20: Butchtastic Kyle Interview with Xan West and Book Review: Show Yourself To Me
- October 21: Lisabet Sarai Liking It Rough (A Post for International Fisting Day)
- October 22: Syrens Nuts, Bolts, & Decisions: An Interview on #Writing #Erotica with #ShowYourselfToMe Author Xan West
- October 23: Anna Sky Editing to Include Top Vulnerability
- October 24: Jade A. Waters For The Love of Boots
- October 25: Ashley Young Review of Xan West’s Show Yourself to Me: Missing Daddy
and Erin Kyan Show Yourself to Me, Xan West’s New Anthology
- October 26: Rebekah Weatherspoon The Spaces Between Desire and Action
- October 27: Malin James Review: Show Yourself To Me and Dario Dalla Lasta Show Yourself To Me
- October 28: BD Swain Book Review of Xan West’s Show Yourself To Me and Jillian Boyd Show Yourself To Me
- October 29: Kaleigh Trace Reading Show Yourself To Me: Queer Kink Erotica
- October 30: Kiki DeLovely Review of Show Yourself To Me, and Show Yourself To Me: Decolonizing Erotica, Transparency, and Accountability
- October 31: Xan West hosts Last Stop: A Guest Post by Jacob Louder and Annabeth Leong Excerpt from the Introduction to Show Yourself To Me