I heard about Salacious Magazine through a friend who knew someone on the staff. She described it as a “feminist, queer, kink and comics magazine” and suggested I give it a look. I did so, immediately, because that combination of words gives me a large ladyboner, and because I couldn’t quite fathom what a magazine based on those words would look like. I’ve seen queer comics before (a la Vid Tuesday) and I’ve seen dirty magazines, but when you get a bunch of queer feminist kinksters together, it’s a tossup as to whether they’ll all forget to make the magazine at all due to drinking too much wine and getting lost in a discussion the postmodern condition of daddy relationships as seen through the lens of Dostoyevsky, or by raging against the establishment in a pile of naked, pierced bodies on someone’s floor. There’s middle ground there, but I couldn’t figure out how it would look in a print mag.
Here’s the answer I came away with: It’s like Penthouse Forum back in the day, except if Penthouse was a particularly horny sub boi with a thing for comic books and sleaze, and had a bunch of super-queeny theater kid friends who all wrote dirty love letters to each other. Kind of drunk. And covered in glitter, leather, and Vaseline.
And… what more can I say? If you can’t picture a publication like that (and I’d be surprised and impressed if you could), then hie thee to the Salacious website and check it out!
Well, let’s be honest: I can say a lot more. The high-minded queer feminist ideology the magazine is based on shines through in every written piece and every image, but I found that even though some of the stories and comics assumed a level of comfort with terminology and community, the common denominator that makes Salacious understandable to anyone is that it’s hot. Sex, sex appeal, and plain old horniness translate across barriers of gender, sexual orientation, and ignorance, and Salacious provides a hard handful of options for the reader to access whatever gets him/her/them off, likely due to the (truly) wildly varied editorial board and list of contributors. These people are smart as hell, but they come from all kinds of backgrounds and represent a huge diversity of ideologies, identities, specialists, fetishists, thinkers, writers, and so on. You can’t help but relate with some of it, which opens you up to relating to more of it.
Rather than feeling like I was on the outside of a super-thinky community looking in, I found that Salacious made me feel comfortable with my own freak flag by showing me stories and pictures of everything from gender-neutral erotica to hardcore fetish action, with no judgment or expectations. You might not personally be into anal fisting under the gaze of two rutting bears in a back alley, but you can read about it and see what you think. And that’s what the queer community is all about — Dostoyevsky aside. It’s about inclusivity and experimentation and enjoyment. And it’s all. So. Hot! There are smokin’ pictures — drawn, painted, and photographed, of lots of bodies doing lots of dirty, delectable things… and other bodies watching them. (The issue I’m referring to is all about voyeurism, btw.) There are super-thinky erotica stories that spew as much high-minded metaphor as they do bodily fluids. There are shorter, more to-the-point snippets of sexy scribbles. There is sex advice! There are coupons for Smitten Kitten! There are comics! There’s poetry! Salacious is a mash-up of Molotov-cocktail sexy, and it’s all so goddamn hip I feel motivated to submit something, just so I can be part of the hotness.