AS G.W. HEADS for the White House, a group of Texan women writers come to Seattle this week to give new meaning to the phrase "bush campaign." They are Gynomite, a Houston-based literary performance group whose just-released book, Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn makes for some great bedroom reading, as does the locally produced Sex & Single Girls: Straight and Queer Women on Sexuality, edited by former Seal Press staffer Lee Damsky. Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn
edited by Liz Belile (New Mouth from the Dirty South, $14.95) Sex & Single Girls: Straight and Queer Women on Sexuality
edited by Lee Damsky (Seal Press, $16.95) Taking after Susie Bright's Herotica series, both Gynomite and Sex cull erotic writings from a good variety of women—straight, lesbian, top, bottom, vanilla, kinky. Inevitably, not all stories will appeal to every taste, but there's bound to be something in here for just about everyone. My personal favorite in Gynomite is Melissa Hung's "Good Clean Fun," in which Olivia, a young Asian-American woman, takes a job as a naked housecleaner. Deftly mixing the serious with the humorous, Hung manages to be wryly funny while contemplating issues surrounding racial fetishes and the power, and compromise, of taking off one's clothes for money. "Being naked on the job required a certain upkeep of one's looks. Olivia had to shave regularly. She began to tweeze her eyebrows and the stray hairs around her nipples . . . then there was the quagmire about her pubic hair. Should she shave it all off, do the Brazilian triangle thing, or what?" Later, hot and bothered after a day of being nude, Olivia goes straight to her boyfriend and makes love to him in a bathroom stall: "Jacob bit her at the junction of the neck and jaw line before untying her robe, tasting her breasts. He thought she smelled vaguely of Comet, or maybe it was coming from the restroom." Cleaning also acts as foreplay in Pam Ward's "A Clean Comfortable Room," one of Gynomite's longer and more accomplished stories, in which a city girl spends a sultry night in a run-down desert motel. Written like a noir film, with a punchy, surprising end, the story smoothly references Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby while lingering in the sensuality of all-night driving, cigarette smoke, voluptuous breasts—which "gleamed under the moon"— and the gaze of a handsome stranger. Ward's final bedroom scene is as hot as the Geena Davis-Brad Pitt interlude in Thelma and Louise. But if all this sounds a little tame, read editor Liz Belile's no-holds-barred "Thing Fer Skinny." Despite a slow start and an overall need for sharper editing, "Skinny" escalates into a steamy S&M scenario between the narrator, a tattoo-artist, and a second man with a penis "the size of a small building." Belile's narrator prefaces the hard-core action with a lascivious manifesto that turns the tables on Lolita: "I used to only like men with bodies like 12-year-old boys. Flat and muscular, sinewy and hairless. The skinnier the man-boy, the better. Men in their earlier twenties are sexier to me because they're just starting out and I can wow them pretty easily. Basically, I'm no better than Johnny Depp or Donald Trump. But I'm also kind of a teenage boy myself, stuck at about age eighteen. So I'm a homosexual male pedophile." As Belile commends Gynomite's contributors for "having the clit" to express their erotic selves in public, not all women are eager to prove that they're wildcats in the sack. In the heftier Sex & Single Girls, former HUES satirist Susan Jane Gilman confesses that she's the "queen of erotic mediocrity" in her humor-spiked essay "I Am One Lousy Lay." Going against the Candace Bushnells of the world, who boast about their "sexcapades," Gilman professes that it's easy to end up feeling "inadequate" or that "something is fundamentally wrong with us if we walk around . . . in sweatpants and don't have sex on a motorcycle every day." Perhaps heralding a new wave of not-tonight-honey feminism, she proclaims that "real sexual liberation means having the freedom and self-esteem to be one truly horrendous lay . . . to be indifferent, or lazy, or even to—gasp—actually be interested in something other than giving a fabulous blowjob." Gilman, however, stands pretty much alone in Sex, which includes stories by seasoned erotica writers Michelle Tea and Cecilia Tan and, most enjoyably, "Flat," a poignant tale of breaking up by Bethany Jean Clement, copy chief and contributing writer at Seattle Weekly—as well as Kidd Valley's outspoken feminist Burger Babe. Gynomite perform, along with guests Typing Explosion, at Speakeasy Caf頓aturday, December 9 at 7pm.