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sex books by black authors

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Sex and sexuality is about much more than reproduction or having orgasms. Within it, sex contains elements of power dynamics and cultural expectations, and for that reason there is no denying that Black sexuality deserves its own conversation. Likewise, books by Black educators and authors, about the sex lives of Black individuals, are critical if we’re going to say that our sex-based literature options are inclusive and well-rounded. With Black authors historically being welcomed into mainstream literature on a delayed timeline compared to their white peers, their acceptance in the taboo subject of sex came even later. Black authors who write about sex are some of the boldest and brightest minds around not only sex but sex that involves Black people. Here are some essential reads from Black authors about sex, from BDSM and pornography to masochism and sexuality.

 

Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities

By Mollena Williams and Lee Harrington

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This book was co-penned by sex educator Lee Harrington and BDSM educator and former “Ms. Leather” Mollena Williams. It answers every question you ever had about the BDSM community at large, including what to expect at a leather bar, what to do at a sex party and what exactly a fetish night looks like. It also helps readers discover their own desires and learn how to introduce themselves to their local BDSM community.

 

The Color of Kink: Black Women, BDSM, and Pornography

By Ariane Cruz

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Written by a professor of women’s gender and sexuality studies, this book is more of an academic read. But it is a fascinating and analytical look at the representation of Black women in porn and BDSM throughout the ages, starting as early as the 1930s. It includes interviews with performers, brings in themes of queer theory, critical race theory and feminism and draws on thorough archival research for a comprehensive look at the intersection of race, femininity and kink.

 

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

By Adrienne Maree Brown

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If you never saw a connection between sex and climate change or feminism and drugs, Brown will show it all to you in this book. It’s a compilation of conversations with some of the greatest feminist thinkers of our time, discussing everything from race to politics to activism and how they’re all interconnected. It’s all centered on Brown’s theory of “pleasure activism,” which asserts that changing the world can be, well, pleasurable instead of laborious. Vice praised Brown for “Dropping wisdom about alternative ways to live at this deeply fucked-up moment.”

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