What do you get that special someone on your holiday shopping list? Maybe you’re not ready for jewelry, lingerie is too difficult (not to mention a sizing pitfall), and a sweater or a kitchen appliance just doesn’t send the right message. Just between us, have you considered smut?

I’m not talking about porn, here. I’m talking about actual literature — just, you know, smutty. I ask you, is James Joyce’s Ulysses porn? Or D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover? Or pretty much anything by Anaïs Nin? Certainly not! If you’re looking to elicit a sly smile with your thoughtful gift, though, it’s just the thing.

Since we’re all about buying local this season here in the East Bay, some local smut is even available. Here are our three favorite sources.

1. Oakland-based author Lori Selke produces some very fresh, interesting fiction, a fair amount of it sci-fi, a fair amount of it a full panopoly of queer-focused, a lot of it feminist, and all of it unique and engaging. Some of her work has been published in books put out (so to speak) by the below-mentioned publishing houses, but much, much more is available from so many sources that the best place to look for a complete list — and check out the sheer diversity of titles reflecting an extraordinary erotic mind — is on her website.

2. Cleis Press, located in Berkeley, is already up for your search. Right on their front page (upper right-hand side), there’s a quiz you can take to determine which book might be just the thing: “Choosing the perfect gift for a loved one can be surprisingly difficult, but never fear — we’re here to help! Let us help pick out a present that your significant other will absolutely adore. From literary fiction to kinky to queer, there’s something here for every taste. Take our Holiday Quiz and find out which of our books is perfect for your partner (or which book you should buy to treat yourself).” So in addition to the a great variety of orientations and tastes Cleis represents, there’s even a built-in navigation technique to help you find your way to just the right item.

3. Also in Berkeley, Seal Press has a diverse catalog of erotica and fiction (click here and then scroll down) that ranges from saucy science fiction to collections of short stories and erotic novels, with a fair few fetishes and orientations touched upon (so to speak). While you’re scrolling, you’ll notice a good variety of offerings, from gender studies to travel literature to parenting and politics. Each listing gives a good description of the book and a quick author bio, as well as a range of spots where you can purchase the book — so you can even shop around.

While everyone’s taste is different, you already know a good deal about what your sweetie likes: you, for one. There are so many choices when considering holiday shopping for said sweetie, but smut is certainly a gift that keeps on giving.

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