Show Yourself to Me by Xan West

I don’t read a lot of erotica anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I like erotica okay. I’m going to be reviewing a couple erotic novels in the near future. I can masturbate to the written word. But for the most part, erotica usually feels like it’s missing something for me. I can get on Literotica and read some short stories, but they always seem to lack body, depth, characterization, and passion. With that deficit in mind I was thrilled when I started reading Xan West’s Show Yourself to Me.


Book cover for Show Yourself to MeShow Yourself to Me
is a book of queer kink erotica that goes above and beyond what I’ve been conditioned to expect from erotica. I agreed to review it because I’ve read some of West’s blog posts about writing diverse characters in erotic stories, so I expected inclusivity, but nothing could have prepared me for this book, because it is so damn good.

West’s characters are gritty and empowered – they fill up the page, and feel real on a visceral level. Over the course of just a few pages I can go from being introduced to a new character to feeling like I actually know them. I know this seems like a strange thing to say – after all, when you’re reading a novel it can take the span of the entire book for that level of characterization to occur – but West’s descriptions are rich, and they really give me a sense of what makes each character tick.

The scenes are beautiful, and many of the stories talk about BDSM as more than just play, addressing the transformative aspects of it as well. BDSM is a way that many people explore their limits and identities, work through trauma, and strive to become better, and West’s stories demonstrate this. The stories are sexy and engaging, and they don’t feel detached or clinical at all. They are dark (but not in a morbid way) and heavy, and I love that.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with light ‘n fluffy BDSM or tales that only focus on the outer sensations, but that just isn’t what Show Yourself to Me is. The stories are deep and the play is intense. Heavy sadism, rough body play, and edge play are regularly featured throughout the book.

West does the reader the courtesy of including a content guide section after the table of contents, so the reader has forewarning of which stories include potential triggers such as trauma, knife play, humiliation, or consensual nonconsent. If you find that certain types of play may trigger you or simply aren’t to your taste, I urge you to use the content guide. On the other hand, if you’re specifically in the mood to read about blood play, the content guide will tell you which stories are up your alley.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the diversity in writing. West’s writing introduces you to disabled, fat, and transgender people. There are people of color (PoC) in the stories, and they acknowledge some of the baggage that surrounds PoC and BDSM play. Part of what makes the characters feel so real is that acknowledgement of the different people who participate in BDSM: people of different ethnicities, people of a larger size, people with canes and scooters, people using neutral pronouns, people who embrace stone sexuality. Instead of being as vague as possible, West specifically mentions the things that make characters part of minority groups so you don’t automatically assume everyone is white, cis, able-bodied, and thin… and that is beautiful.

I also learned a lot about different areas of kink from this book. Until I read this book I had never been exposed to certain BDSM cultures and fetishes like leather, Daddy/boy, or rough body play. Reading about these subcultures and kinks was fascinating, and really gave me insight into the appeal of some things that I’d never considered before. If you like these things, then this book is definitely for you, but if you’ve never given them any thought and would like to then this book is a great place to start thinking.

My favorite stories were The Tender Sweet Young Thing (which you can read here!), Falling For Essex, How He Likes It, Facing the Dark (you can read Xan’s backstory for it here), and Ready. You can view the Table of Contents for Show Yourself to Me and read little excerpts from the stories in this post on Xan’s blog.

I highly recommend Show Yourself to Me for kinky queers that love the written word. You can get eBook or print copies from Go Deeper Press and you can buy the book on Amazon. You can read more thoughts from Xan West at https://xanwest.wordpress.com/.

Book Description:

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.

Blog Tour Stops:

Sugarcunt Reads: Jack’s Blowjob Lessons

Subtitle: “The Bigot’s Better Blowjob.”
Sub-subtitle: “Driving You To Drink.”
Sub-sub-subtitle: “Can’t Tell If Trolling…”
Written by the man who has had over 1,000 blowjobs, and counting.

If you want to skip to the drinking game, in which my dastardly machinations promote death via alcohol poisoning, just scroll to the cut.

Jack Hutson e-mailed Epiphora asking her to review his book.  She had heard of his attempts to snag a review, and had also heard that all of her fellow bloggers had either declined or just ignored the e-mail.  Appalled that no one had told him off for being a moron, she said, “Hell to the no.  You’re a sexist pig.”

He then proceeded to solicit every sex blogger that she links to on her site.
I’m on that list.

We knew about Jack Hutson and the book because we’d been ridiculing the site a few months earlier.  “It’s so misguided that it’s funny,” we said.  “It’s gaudily designed! The information is crap!”  We NEVER expected that he’d e-mail us asking us to review it.  I invite you to formulate your own opinions about the site – his marketing method, his design, and the contents of his book cited there!  To my understanding, you can find it by googling it. (At least, that’s what Jack told me to do when he introduced himself and mentioned his book.  If you click the link to Epiphora’s tumblr, you can see the e-mail he sent to all of us.)

Jack Hutson: The Moron Behind the Masturbation

He seems pretty legit, you guys.

We, two 20somethings having relations with cisgender males, wondered, “Are we supposed to take blowjob advice from a poorly-vectored man with a mullet?” The answer is the same that it would be if you replaced “blowjob advice” with “candy”: No.

Instead of curling up in a corner and wailing, “I NEED AN ADULT,” repeatedly, I agreed to review his book because I didn’t really expect it to make me do that.

(Spoilers: Sometimes, it does.)

But really.  Surely I don’t know every blowjob technique in the book.  Surely I can improve.  That’s what I told myself when I responded.

 

Jack selflessly dedicates the book

to women all over the world.  I genuinely want to help them to free themselves, learn how to give great head, and have the best time ever with the men they like.

Jack sells this book hard.  It’s a $47 book that is only available as an eBook.  Jack tells you that “buying this book is probably the best investment you’ve made in the last few months.”  His endorsements read a little bit like something out a pageant, as if he’s hoping to be crowned Miss America: Blowjob Queen.  But the site says it wants to teach you how to be “The One.”  <insert tired Matrix reference here.>

So enter the world of Jack Hutson, the Man of 1,000 Blowjobs.

Jack Hutson writes in a style similar to Tucker Max, who aims to be the 21st century’s Bukowski without wasting his time on poetry.  He thinks nothing will get your man off more than you (an assumed cisgender female) taking your role in the “natural order of things” by being a “submisive slut.”  In fact, in the book and the website, he tells you that if you don’t give good head, your man will find someone who will.  He says most guys will leave you for a girl who gives better BJs than you.  He says his divorce was necessitated by that fact that she gave bad head.  On his website, he utters the “horrible truth,” that, yes – that other person your man could go to might even be a prostitute.  (GASP!

My friend Elle M. summarized it best when she was reading his website, “So if you don’t suck it right he’ll hire a hooker?  And it will be YOUR fault?  HIS DICK WILL PULL HIM TO A SEEDY CORNER OF TOWN LIKE A MAGNET.”

Elle is convinced that the man who drew up a contract of wifely expectations even though there was no consensual master/slave dynamic must have written this.  I agree with this theory, and we intend to investigate extensively.

The biggest thing Jack stresses is “the winning attitude.”  Why?  “You have to be horny if you want him to get horny.”

As I already said, how you feel is how he will feel.  So, let’s recap – you have to change

“He should be happy that I made the effort to be on my knees and suck his dick, I hate doing this”
Into >>>
“I looove sucking his dick, mmm, it feels so good, I love the taste of it, I wish I could keep on sucking it forever, God, I’m so happy he let me suck on it, it’s the most beautiful thing on Earth, Aaaah”

I am giving him head”
Into >>>
He is giving me incredible pleasure from letting me suck his hard, tasteful cock”

Okay, y’all.  Here’s the thing.  I don’t hold back.  I go down there without asking.  I voluntarily stick my face down his pants when I’m ready to roll.  And yes, he is letting me suck his cock, and yes, I am getting pleasure from it.  But let me be totally honest.  While I care for my partners, and find them sexually appealing, the opportunity to put a cock in my mouth isn’t exactly a privilege that I had to pry from his cold, dead fingers.  Sure, he’s letting me administer fellatio, but it’s not like I had to beg him for the chance to make his eyes roll back in his head.

 

Jack admits that he’s homophobic, sexist, and generally an asshole.  (I haven’t even scratched the surface in that list.  He’s a bigot in all ways, and this book is one entire cissexist tirade of crap.)  He’s actually kind of proud of it.  That just makes you want to punch him more.  When he says that it’s hard to get STDs from giving a blowjob and says he never got anything from getting blowjobs from hundreds of different girls?   I want to spit on him for thinking he’s the authority on this.  He tells you to know who you’re dealing with, make sure he’s clean or make him go get a test, and don’t swallow his load if you’re not sure he’s clean.  WHAT ABOUT CONDOMS, JACK?  He has a section on how important it is for you to look good.  He has some sections on… oh, fuck it.  You don’t care.  Neither do I. Let’s just cut to the chase.

If you buy this book, you’re basically paying $47 to hear one guy talk about what he likes to see in porn and what he looks for in a woman (winning attitude!  submissive and gentle in all ways!  feminine!  slutty!  swallows unless it’s a facial!).  I only recommend making “the best investment that you’ll have made in the last few months” if you intend to find Jack Hutson and convince him to marry you so that you can kill him and inherit all the stuff he’ll leave in his mom’s basement.  (If that’s your plan, I apologize that you’re that hard-up.)

I’d like to share some of my favorite gems from the book:

Blow jobs are in some way a method to convey male dominance over the female.  It is natural for a man to be dominant in sex, and by giving him a blowjob you are showing ultimate submissiveness – and thereby giving him ultimate pleasure.  Remember girls – this is NATURAL, that’s the way it should be by nature.  So forget about feminism when giving head.

You’re right, Jack, I’ll just put equality out of my mind while I’m sucking dick to promote the “natural order” of the world.  After all, anthropologically speaking, blowjobs are a much stronger human biological imperative than penile-vaginal intercourse.

And be feminine… you have to be a real woman, not some feminist. I don’t know how a lot of you girls got the impression that guys love tough, dominant chicks – no, we don’t. And the guys that tell you that only tell you so you’ll think they’re nice. These guys make me throw up.

Because real women can’t be feminists.

No, we don’t want a manly woman; we want a woman to be a real woman, feminine, gentle and loving – and most importantly, sexually submissive to her man.

Oh good, I’ll keep that in mind when my boyfriend is begging me to tie him up, sodomize him, and call him a little slut.  Sorry if  we made you barf a little, Jack.

You can also have great sex with soul and r’n’b music – I love music made by black folks, they really have a sense for music and they know how to make really good grooves for sex.
what.

If you really master giving blow jobs, all doors will be open for you.  I can’t even explain how many girls suck at giving head – just by being better than them, you are in a major advantage.  Sex is important, and sex without blow jobs is like driving a car that has really small space for gas.  It gets boring to go to the gas station every five minutes – so sooner or later, that guy will want to buy a new car – a car that has A LOT of gas space.  Funny example, but that’s how it is.  I never cheated on girls that gave amazing head – because all my needs were satisfied – so I didn’t even need to think about cheating.  I broke up with them for different reasons, and it was always hard for me to leave those girls – because a good blow job is hard to find.

So is a good blowjob instruction manual.

Let me strip the shit I slogged through down to advice that you could have paid a psychic hotline for:

  • Men like foreplay too.
  • Men generally prefer that you enjoy administering oral sex rather than acting grossed out or unenthusiastic.
  • You can suck cock in more than one position.
  • Your sex life will be more interesting if you’re relaxed and open about your sexuality.

 

The cool thing is that when you empty out all of your “fun” money for the week to buy his book, you also get a REALLY long FAQ.  In the post-script after he finishes the text of the book, he tells us that the FAQ is BETTER than the book, and more than worth reading.
Then why the fuck did I just buy the book, Jack?
He also states that he’s writing “a new book about sex, anal, talking dirty, and other kinky shit.”

Oh please god no.

 

While reading this, my brain actually needed something to do.  (That tells you how much brainpower the text required.)
I’m not a big drinker, but this book made me want to pick up the bottle… and smash it over his head.

Instead, I proudly present to you the Jack Hutson Drinking Game!

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