I could go on and on about how important Patrick Califia’s Macho Sluts is to me. At 18 years old, it was the first book I ever bought that described, in dizzying, illustrious detail, queer women having SM sex. Actually, it was the first book I ever bought that described sex of any kind, so let’s say Califia was the first to introduce me to erotic lit. But there’s more: Macho Sluts was the first book to introduce me to the word “leatherdyke.” It was the first to prove that the fantasies in my head were shared by others, and that, if I just hung in there, I probably wouldn’t feel so lonely in bed.
I just bought a copy of Macho Sluts for my Nook. I read these stories obsessively when I was younger, and just coming out as queer and punk, and then—look at that!—kinky. I haven’t read the tales in this collection for years, but funny how sentence after sentence will ring true in my head, like I should have known the words that followed because they’re so familiar. Califia’s visuals, the voices, of all these seriously bad girls still exist in my subconscious. When I think about externals that have had influence on the woman I am today, on my sexuality, on my politics, there’s a very short list, but Macho Sluts sits high on it. So, here’s just a snippet—and it was hard to pick just one—from “Calyx of Isis.” Here are the words of Alex, who is the calmest, coolest, most deviant top ever looking to set up a very, very specific and very, very heavy scene for her submissive, Roxanne.
“I want a gang, a pack, a bunch of tough and experienced top women. I’ll leave the exact number up to you, but I don’t want just a threesome in a warm leatherette…I want to give them Roxanne, and if she makes me proud I want her to belong to me, wear my rings. If she still wants me. She might decide it’s too much, or maybe she’ll tumble for one of the other tops. I have to know where she’s at before I fall any more in love with her. I want somebody I can perfect with hard, constant training…So pretty and alive and responsive to me it will make all the other tops, boys and girls, gnaw on their arms. It’s makin’ me crazy, what I want.”