‘Clean Doily’ and ‘Dirty Doily’


I’m in the process of dividing Doily Is My Safeword into two books; a book of fiction and a book of smut, which I’m jokingly calling ‘Clean Doily’ and ‘Dirty Doily’.  At some point I realized that the intersection of folks who like to read queer BDSM smut and folks who like to read queer fiction was small, so making it into two books seemed like a great way to make Behrouz and Lucky’s story more accessible to more people. I wrote Doily Is My Safeword the year of the election when so many beloved entertainers were dying, yet we were totally naive about the horror of the future, actually finishing it November of 2016.  I’m startled by my foresight.

Oh no, not at all! My worries are more nefarious. Well, maybe not nefarious, but more extensive at least. I worry about Theo with her Marfan Syndrome. What if her heart tanks in some unlikely place and she can’t get to the hospital in time? And what if that fiend, Trump wins the election? What about that? Will I ever get the chance to return to Tehran? Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful we got to spend a month here; it’s been a dream come true. It’s just that everything feels unsteady. San Francisco is tilting into a modern Gold Rush spurred on by technology. My dad used to take me to a local fossil pit to hunt for artifacts when I was a little girl in Virginia, and I remember my boots getting stuck in the mud, pulling them up with difficulty, the mud making a suctioning squishy noise. I’d panic, convinced that I was going to be sucked into the pit and stripped of my flesh until I was nothing but a pile of white bones. That’s what the world feels like right now.” – Behrouz talking to Lucky in the first page of the book.

About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a queer butch San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran.
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