Mind Caviar

"We are made whole / By books, as by great spaces and the stars.

~ Mary Carolyn Davies (1924)

Mind Caviar, Vol. 3 Spring Issue, 2002

A Staff of Spring Literate Sluts!

What makes a person worthy of being a Literate Slut? Only a fabulous reader who appreciates the finest work in the sexuality-erotic-sensual-indulgent genre may have the honor. You know, someone who -- in a pinch-- would willingly stand on any busy intersection wearing a hand-scrawled sign that reads "Will Work For Books".

This month we have a whole staff of Literate Sluts, including a guest Slut, Jenesi Ash. Jenesi Ash writes erotica and erotic romance, but she is also known as Joli Agnew when she writes lesbian erotica. Her work has appeared extensively in print and on the web. She was a contributing author for Best Women's Erotica, Wicked Words 3 and Herotica 7 anthologies, among others.

Ms. Ash's latest book, Beckon, is now available online in CD rom format at Amazon.com or in various mediums at Ellora's Cave. She is also the Founder and Managing Editor of Amoret Journal, the flash fiction sensual/erotica webzine, and she is consulting editor at The Emerald Collection, an erotic poetry site.

Also on board are two of our most popular regular Mind Caviar staffers, Aldonza the Diva and Sabrina Qedesha, all here to tell you their favorite Spring picks for reading.


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Erotic Fairy Tales: A Romp Through the Classics
A collection by Mitzi Szereto
Cleis Press
Paperback, 316 pages
USD $14.95
ISBN 1-57344-124-4

Reviewed by Jenesi Ash

Erotic Fairy Tales: A Romp Through the Classics is entertaining and gloriously sensual. The tales are familiar, but fresh due to Mitzi Szereto's original approach. A myriad of sexual situations from masturbation to fetish to BD/SM can be found in these pages. Szereto has

taken fairy tales out of the nursery and back to the realm of entertainment for adults. She cleverly highlights aspects overlooked by her predecessors, and she doesn't rely on happily-ever-after endings. Szereto gives a brief but fascinating history of the fairy tale genre in the introduction. A more detailed background of each particular tale is given before the adapted story, allowing the reader a better understanding of themes, symbolism and cultural expectations.

The collection consists of fifteen fairy tales from around the world. Each is retold in the traditional storytelling style, while emphasizing the eroticism that had previously been quashed. The sexuality is strong in this collection, but never overpowering. Szereto presents the eroticism in a coy manner, usually describing body parts and actions with the ambiguity of a naïve maiden. 

While most of the tales are inherently sexual, one or two may have been poor choices for the anthology. On rare occasions, erotic situations were stuffed into the story with the same awkwardness as the stepsister's foot was crammed into the glass slipper. There were also a few moments of confusing settings and time periods, but the vivid storytelling ultimately carries the reader through to a satisfying read.

For those who enjoy sensual literary fiction, Erotic Fairy Tales: A Romp Through the Classics will delight and foster hope for a second collection.

Copyright © 2002 Jenesi Ash. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post in whole or in part. 

The Lazy Cross Dresser

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The Lazy Crossdresser
by Charles Anders
Greenery Press
Paperback, 160 pages
ISBN: 1890159379

Reviewed by Sabrina Qedesha

As I write this, I'm dressed to the nines. My face is properly tinted and shadowed, my hair carefully brushed and coifed, and I'm wearing an off-shoulder, pink taffeta gown with corset, 

petticoat, and stockings, and, naturally, four-inch heels. I spent three hours bathing, cleansing, moisturizing, shaving, plucking, primping, and powdering so I would look perfect as I sit at the computer and type, manicured pinkies poking out daintily. 

Schyeah, okay. 

In reality I've never spent three hours preparing to dress up. I don't even wear mascara -- evil stuff that gets everywhere except my eyelashes, and even when I have it on, my eyes are so deep-set you can't tell anyway. I don't "tuck," I don't like high heels, and I don't wear a garter belt unless I'm on a date.

Because I consider myself a lazy crossdresser, I was already prepared for the underlying message of Charles Anders' book. This is a how-to book for crossdressers of all experience levels, with a twist -- it is on a mission. In the introduction Anders writes, "This book is a manifesto disguised as a how-to book."

It takes a tremendous amount of time and money to transform the average male into a convincing simulacrum of the average female, and to learn how to start dressing up in the early evening and finish before the sun comes up. Anders has a simple message for you: It is not necessary to make yourself look like a woman to be stunning. Read that again and let it sink in. He underscores this message with a simple reminder that one of the major goals of dressing up is to have fun -- so it should be fun, not work.

Some of the suggestions early-on made me wonder if indeed I was reading a book for the "lazy" crossdresser -- for example, he describes a typical routine of showering, using a loofah, moisturizing, shaving, then showering again and moisturizing again. That's lazy!? He swears this takes him twenty or thirty minutes, but in my universe, that's at least an hour of work. Soon I realized, though, that Anders was not telling his readers which corners to cut -- he was instead giving out his best hints in a way that the reader can pick and choose that which is helpful to her.

His makeup, fashion, and wig suggestions have no surprises; the advice given is sound and reasonable, with a few things I didn't know before. Relationships are another area where crossdressers can run into difficulty, so Anders has some down-to-earth advice in this area too. Body image is also a serious issue for many crossdressers, so Anders took this head-on, advising against padding -- yes, even for boobs -- while explaining that there are ways to soften every male body type, selecting clothes that will de-emphasize height or shoulders. As anyone who has worn it knows, padding is uncomfortable and usually doesn't look very natural unless you've spent a lot of money. I have to echo the author's recommendation.

Anders' advice has a lived-in feel; it comes from the perspective of experience, not fantasy. For example, for the crossdresser who wonders if people will laugh at her, he has this answer: "Yes." But, for the most part, you will find that people tend to be accepting and tolerant, if you accept yourself and act like you deserve to be accepted.

Copyright © 2002 Sabrina Qedesha. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post in whole or in part. 


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Goddess: Inside Madonna
By Barbara Victor
Hardcover, 432 pages
ISBN: 006019930X

Reviewed by Aldonza

Goddess: Inside Madonna by Barbara Victor is well-written if you can ignore the presumptuousness of biographies as a genre. I really admire Madonna, so I'm an insatiable voyeur of all details given, all the while feeling kind of guilty for intruding. It is filled with facts

that all die-hard fans, such as I, already know about Madonna's early loss of her mom to cancer, her disruptive stepmom, and the escape to New York at age seventeen with "forty dollars and a dream" (I think that's from the made-for-TV biopic). 

Ms. Victor never judges, and had she been judgmental it would have caused me to fling the book into my bedroom wall immediately. The author is also a well-known journalist who I feel has respect for Madonna. Since Madonna has never been reticent about her sexuality and strong opinions, there is nothing new or shocking here, just more details of the brave journey of an arrogant individualist who never tried to hide anything from us, in the beginning anyway. She now has a right to her privacy and this biography doesn't attempt to slander.

The book greets you with a cover of M. in a black lingerie gown I remember from one of the award shows that displayed her lovely "milk breasts" from the birth of one of her children. Her face is simply pretty and relaxed. Ms. Victor then opens the book with Madonna's trip to Buenos Aires to start filming "Evita". 

Madonna is greeted in Argentina by effigies of herself being burned because some native Argentineans felt she was desecrating the memory of their Santa Evita. Then, our spunky Miss M. dons her loveliest frock and makeup and charms the President of the country into giving the motion picture production company carte blanche. What a gal! 

Turns out Madonna has been fascinated with Eva Peron since she read about her as a teenager. The parallels between Evita's life and Madonna's are repeated throughout the book: the climb from obscurity to fame, the loss of a parent, their rags to riches stories and criticism from those who profess to "know". 

The author ends the biography at the Drowned World Tour, during which, "she [Madonna] is allowing us in, inviting us to share in her nostalgia, to reminisce about her career, even if we are no longer crucial to her survival, no longer necessary to validate her existence, no longer required to function as the substitute mommies who give her unconditional love and approval."

Love her or hate her, you've got to admit Madonna has lived it all on her own terms.

I enjoyed the book, it but I think you must be a devoted fan, like I am, to plow through so much detail. I wonder if Madonna read it and/or liked it? Let me know, Miss M., if you read this... I love you!! 

Email Aldonza. Visit her humour column in Mind Caviar called Rant & Rave Reviews where she rates then tells you all about wacky things she's likes or hates that you can buy or visit on the Web. (and some stuff you won't believe exists!)

Copyright © 2002 Aldonza. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post in whole or in part. 

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