My name is Alexander Cheves. My nickname is Beastly. I write about sex.
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Breakups are hard, and breaking up with a book — letting it go — seems to be no different. But the book is finished. My editor and I just completed the final edit, and now it goes to copyediting. It will soon be a thing with a price tag.
Please buy My Love Is a Beast: Confessions from Unbound Edition Press, scheduled to hit shelves this October.
I can’t describe how proud I am of this book. I had a lifelong goal of publishing a book before I turned thirty, but I never thought I would actually do it. The book is unequivocally my best work. I hope you enjoy it.
Now I have to distance myself from it a bit — I have to switch from the mental space of writing to the business of selling and promoting. I want the book to sell — I want it to justify the work my editor has put into it and the money my publisher is spending to publish it.
I am familiar with having my personal stories become products — I’ve written content for magazines for years — but this feels different. I find it easy to distance myself emotionally from an article or op-ed in a magazine. An article has a short lifespan while a book, in theory, lives forever. Even a good evergreen article with strong SEO and lots of shares only stays relevant for so long and eventually gets buried under new content. But a book should stay on shelves for years — that’s the goal. Magazines have not prepared me for the things I’m feeling.
Like all buyable things, the book could fail. We will never know all the good works that simply didn’t sell — all the good books lost to bad timing and bad markets. People judge books by covers — what else? — and sometimes covers don’t click with audiences. What if it’s too expensive? What if it’s not expensive enough? What if people just don’t like me?
This is my first book, and the process of creating it has been an educational experience. I enjoyed working on it so much. With the advice and guidance of my editor and publisher, I polished a jumble of essays into a synchronized whole. My editor now knows me better than my therapist and for all purposes is my therapist. (A tip for new writers: surrender your words totally, because editors know best). I would like to do this again. Technically speaking, I’m obligated to do this at least once more — I signed a two-book contract — but I want to do it again after that. And again. And again.
When I worked as a copywriter, I was tasked with selling other people’s products, but now the product is incredibly personal — more than it ever has been before. Unlike most articles I write, my book is not beholden to advertisers — it is itself a thing to be advertised. That’s an odd mental shift for me. I once sold sex toys for a company in Atlanta, so I’m somewhat familiar with product marketing, but I feel like a total stranger to the book business — a baby deer just learning how to walk.
My book is about sex, but it’s not Tickle His Pickle by Sadie Allison. (No shade to Allison — everyone should read her book.) It’s a memoir, a collection of essays that involve sex and the lessons I have learned from sex. One essay in the book was rejected by The New Yorker. Parts of another originally appeared in a piece I wrote for Recon, a gay fetish app. But most of the book is made of new material. Like all confessions, mine are sad, dark, funny, and true.
I will be doing a book tour — readings are being scheduled at events across the country. Follow my socials (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) for updates. But all that is coming in the fall. Until then, here are 21 reasons why you should buy it.
- The book should be somewhat arousing, so you might get a good wank out of it.
- The book will physically be very pretty, so even if you don’t read it, it will be a nice decorative object in your room, office, or sex chamber.
- The book will hopefully be condemned — privately or, even better, publicly — by every religious institution.
- The book might even be talked about among conservatives as something disgusting and/or vile.
- Several of the books, taped together, under your clothes might be enough to save your life in a gun or knife fight.
- I believe the book has literary and cultural merit.
- If you want to be a bottom bitch and don’t know how, this book could act as a possible how-to guide.
- If you want to give your parents something that will almost certainly shock them, give them this book.
- If you want to give your book-loving partner, lover, or fuck buddy a present, give them this book.
- If you want to give yourself a present, give this book to yourself.
- If you ever find yourself someplace freezing, awaiting rescue, the book will be flammable.
- If you study sex academically, the book will be an insight into a subculture that will always matter.
- If you like penises, the book should be entertaining.
- If you have a long-held obsession with me, the book will be must-buy, and you should get several copies.
- If you are interested in dating me, the book will adequately explain why that’s a bad idea.
- If you like sex at all, buy the book.
- If you know people who might like sex, buy the book for them.
- If you want to support a small, independent, queer-owned publisher that pushes marginalized and insurgent voices, buy this book. Unbound Edition Press is publishing books by two other authors the same month: bi+ poet and essayist (and former MMA fighter) Carlo Matos and transgender poet Sophia Anfinn Tonnessen.
- If you want to support me financially, please buy the book.
- If you hate me and want to publish a scathing review, you will first need to buy the book to read it, so please do that.
- Literature can be weaponized, quite literally. I don’t know how heavy the book will be, but if you throw it at an attacker hard enough, it should be enough to stop or at least annoy them.