Love, Beastly is a blog by author and sex expert Alexander Cheves. Nicknamed “Beastly,” Cheves answers questions on sex, love, and everything else — no question is off-limits. Have a question? Email ASKBEASTLY@GMAIL.COM or use the Ask Beastly tab. Before reading on, know that WordPress has banned the monetization of blogs featuring “mature content,” meaning this site is unable to host ads or generate revenue. For this reason, Love, Beastly is 100% donation-supported by fans on Patreon — please see the donation page for more info. Please help keep sex-positive content online!
Breakups are hard, and taking a book off of the brain is no different. But the book is finished. My editor and I just completed the final edit, and now it goes to copyediting. It is rapidly becoming a thing with a price tag.
Pick up My Love Is a Beast: Confessions, scheduled to hit shelves this October.
I can’t describe how proud I am of this book. I had a lifelong dream to publish a book before I turned thirty, but I never thought I would actually do that. Yet, here we are. I believe the book is my best work, the best thing I’ve ever done. I hope you, my readers, think so, too.
Now I have to distance myself from the book a little bit. I have to switch from the mental space of art-making to the business of selling and promoting. I want the book to sell — I want it to justify the work my editor and I have put into it and the money my publisher is spending to publish it.
As someone who has worked in the editorial business for some years, I am familiar with having my personal stories become products, and now it’s easy to distance myself emotionally from an article or op-ed that appears online or in a print magazine. (That distance is necessary in sex writing, which tends to rile people up and inspire nasty comments.) But a book is a little different. 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 retains relevance for so long and eventually gets buried under new content. But a book is intended to stay on shelves for years — that’s the goal, at least. I want people to be buying it in twenty years.
Like all buyable things, the book could fail. We will never know all the great works that simply didn’t sell — all the Lolitas lost to bad timing and unpredictable markets. People judge books by their covers — what else? — and sometimes covers don’t click with intended audiences. I can’t control the quality of light in the bookstores where my books will appear or where the booksellers will choose to display them. What if it’s too expensive? What if it’s not expensive enough? What if people just don’t like me?
This will be my first book, and the process of creating it has been an incredibly educational and rewarding experience. I enjoyed working on it so much. With the advice and guidance of my editor and publisher, I polished a messy draft — 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 contractually obligated to do it at least once more — I signed a two-book deal with Unbound Edition Press — but I want to do it again after that. And again. And again. I loved doing this!
As a copywriter, I’ve occasionally been tasked with selling other people’s products, but now the product is something incredibly personal. Unlike most articles I write, my book is not beholden to advertisers — it is itself a thing to be advertised. I once sold sex toys for a company in Atlanta, so I’m somewhat familiar with product marketing, but I am a stranger to the book business.
My book is about sex, but it’s not Tickle His Pickle by Sadie Allison. (No shade to Allison — everyone should read her book.) My book is 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 new material, and the subtitle is fitting: the book is a litany of confessions, things I’ve done and felt that I’ve never fully elaborated on. Like all confessions, mine are, at times, sad, dark, funny, and completely true.
I will be doing a book tour — readings are being scheduled at certain Queer events across the country. Please follow my social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) for updates. But all that is coming in the fall. Until then, here are 21 reasons why you should buy the thing!
- 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 exist.
- 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 probably get several copies.
- If you are interested in dating me, the book will adequately explain why that’s probably 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 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, 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.
I’m looking forward to signing my name with a crude penis doodle on the inside cover.