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Zine - Writing Our Desires- DIY Smut for Self Liberation
Writing Our Desires: DIY Smut for Self Liberation
Zine, Fannie Hustle, loremipsumpress@gmail.com, $2 

Fannie Hustle’s call to create DIY erotica brings together poetic language about empowerment with frank assertions about immediate utility. “Writing about sex,” she claims, “is affirming and transcendent” and allows us to “name ourselves and our desires.” It is also “just good old-fashioned dirty fun; a cheap thrill, a fun way to get yourself off.” Accordingly, this zine aims to be both inspirational and practical — a manifesto and a workbook.

The zine comes out of a workshop on DIY erotica that Hustle ran in 2012. She has since continued to think about the value of erotic self-expression, especially for those whose desires are not reflected in mainstream erotica and pornography. She devotes the first section of the zine to providing motivation for her readers, peppering her own commentary with quotations from other writers. The strength of this section is Hustle’s emphasis on the highly individualized nature of arousal. “What turns me on is so cerebral, contextual, ephemeral, and specific,” she writes; “Maybe it’s like this for you, too.” Hustle suggests that we know the sources of our excitement better than anyone, and we therefore have the capacity to be our own favourite authors of erotica.

The last few pages of the zine include space to test out some writing, as well as charts of verbs, various body parts, and “places / stuff” that readers can use as prompts. Throughout the zine, Hustle has insisted that anything goes — the erotica can be “cheesy, funny, filthy, and shameless” — and she ensures that her charts encompass this wide range of tones. This portion of the zine felt a bit too brief, however, after all of the introductory work that leads up to it. I would love to see an expanded version with even more of these brainstorming exercises. (Norah Franklin)

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