When people talk about sex it's usually in a very summer blockbuster sort of way. All ripped t-shirts and things throbbing and pulsating all over the place. It's always "the best I've ever had," or "the hottest I've ever had." What's left out is usually the most intimate parts, the little awkward details like those body fart noises that happen when two sweaty people mush up against each other, and how satisfying/painful the hood of a car can feel when you're slammed on top of it after it's been sitting in the driveway, baking in the sun for a few hours. This is what Coming & Crying, an anthology of sex stories just released by Glass Houses, is all about.
The book is the passion project of Meaghan O'Connell and Melissa Gira Grant, who edited the anthology, and whose stories flank the others within. Reading about the editors throwing it back in a bathroom stall, and experimenting with choke sex lets you know that they're far from ashamed of sharing, and welcoming the sharing of, such steamy tales with anyone willing to turn the pages. O'Connell currently works a day job as the Director of Outreach for Tumblr, and her first book shows that fruit can grow from the row upon row of electronic "trees" sprouting up from blogs found on Tumblr, and other sites like it. I tend to think that there's a certain comfort found in the fact that nothing is really private any more. People write the most personal things possible on blogs, the sort of things that were at one time reserved for diaries hidden under mattresses, and now they're readily available almost anywhere you click on the Internet. Some would say this is creepy and intrusive, but others would say that it's bonding. Most of the contributors for Coming & Crying were found on the Internet and stood out to O'Connell and Grant by the writing on their blogs. One standout story called "Bambino" is written by Gina De Vries whose blog Queer Shoulder lays out the sort of gender-free, hot and switchy sexual situations detailed in heartbreaking realism in her piece. Brooklyn based blogger and author phenom Tao Lin also contributes, as well as Jonathan Ames and Tyler Coates.
Coming & Crying got its funding through a platform for artists called Kickstarter, which makes the book sort of a full-circle of helping. People helping people have popular blogs, people helping people have sexy times to write about in said blogs, and people helping people to get books made so that people who don't have the Internet (can you imagine?) can read about them. I'm into it.