I found this memoir to be incredibly vulnerable, cleansing and healing. While I might not identify with every aspect of the author's experiences, I do identify with the part of them that wants to heal past traumas and believes that there are a variety of ways to go about such healing. Mx. Sly gives us a glimpse into the world of kink, play parties, sex clubs and discusses the importance of consent, knowing your own limits, aftercare, boundaries and navigating the variety of needs of others.
This was a very interesting deep dive into kink with amazing sexuality and gender representation. The trigger warnings are very real and should be taken seriously - but they are important to the story and felt proportional to the rest of the story.
I truly believe that this book should be required reading for anyone who likes to read fictional romance books that deal in kink (especially when those books are primarily hetero). While in no way a how-to guide, this book provides a needed look into the world of kink and pleasure--especially just how queer it is--and the various people that you'll find inside.
Of course, this book isn't *just* about kink, and includes a lot more context around and stories about who Mx. Sly is as a person. I really loved the way that the whole narrative was organized, not entirely linear but still making sense as you went along.
I also read this book in audio form, and thought that the audiobook was very well done!
Thank you to NetGalley and ECW Press Audio for providing an advanced listening copy of this book.
I enjoyed this book as it gave me some more insight to the psychology behind kink, which is a real interest of mine. I loved the way Sly described. At times, I found the book was a little TOO explicit but that is my own issue and not the author, as I knew I was getting into a book about this. Enlightening, endearing and funny at times. A good listen.
Part memoir, part fiction (I think?), tale of transitioning, trans joy and trans hardship. Out of all the trigger warnings at the start of this book, I love that Donald Trump was included.
This was a dark and sexual book about unpacking trauma and the various ways control can help or harm that journey. This is a queer dream to read and discusses the complex emotions and experiences of being in the BDSM community.
Thank you very much to NetGalley for the audiobook.
This was a raw and honest memoir from someone who is no binary and trans and is honestly just trying to find a way to fit in a world that doesn’t generally accept people like them.
It dives into kink as a way of exploring your needs and although it made me think that my life is extremely vanilla I did find it quite interesting as it explained in a lot of detail the importante of consent and how often this is broken as they explore a world where consent is super important even though it might seem non-existent to the external inexperienced eye.
The author was very open about their experiences as well as that of their partners as a trans person and someone processing trauma not only from their trans identity but from a fairly messed up childhood and how this can be perceived by different people and demographics
Overall it felt like a very interesting read that explained the importance of acknowledging people for who they are and not just for how they fit in the mould that we think they should fit in.
Even though the world of kink is one I knew very little about I think the book is written in an approachable way as it’s told from the personal point of view of the author and my only suggestion would be that you read the disclaimer before you start as it is very graphic at times
A lot of fun, a lot of trauma, a lot of sex and a lot of honesty.
I highly enjoyed this and would recoA lot of fun, a lot of trauma, a lot of sex and a lot of honesty.
I highly enjoyed this and would recommend it to everyone, but check your triggers before starting.
The author gets into many different kinks and why they work for them. What it can feel like to enjoy them and how it can feel when it's not done well.
Safety, comfort, consent, are just a few of the views we get from Sly.
This is a very open, non judgmental book about various bits of the BDSM world.
I found this new perspective fascinating. Anyone already in the lifestyle, curious about the lifestyle, or just want to know what the lifestyle is can enjoy this.
Much love to NetGalley & ECW Press Audio for my ALC.mmend it to everyone, but check your triggers before starting.
Another profound, daring queer book from Arsenal Pulp Press—I can always rely on this publisher! Readers be aware that you will not be coddled into entering the world of kink and do not expect justification—which is part of the point. I found the author’s reflections to be incredibly poignant and insightful.
The audiobook narrator did a great job injecting the narration with authenticity and empathy.
Disclaimer: I received an audiobook ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I have been reading more gender diverse voices and I’m glad I have as they can be extremely validating. The topics covered in this book range from childhood trauma to the BDSM communities across Canada. Being close to some of the locations mentioned expanded my understanding of my local queer community. I appreciated, not only, an insight into the realities of the kink and fet communities, but the tenderness and care in which the author carries through the topics. This was not an easy read at times, be sure to check out the trigger warnings, but if you can manage those it’s an important read.
First off, absolutely heed the trigger/content warnings if you need them, because this memoir is EXPLICIT. That's not a bad thing, I don't think- it's true to the writer's own life, and in a work that is about sex and kink and how the experience and performance of those things is both heavily informed by trauma and a way of working out said trauma, dulling down and softening those experiences is untrue and disrespectful to a lived life.
This book, broadly, is 'kink as trauma processing' and written so very beautifully, so real and raw I as someone who only listens to audiobooks while driving wanted to spend more time in the parking lot or driving around to just keep pressing the story into my own skin. The non-linear format really works as that's how memories and experiences shape us! And any time jumps make sense in context.
Transland was masterfully performed by Sebastian Marziali (they/them) and at first I was surprised because I'm so used to self-narrated memoirs, but THEN I was surprised because the performance is SO GOOD, it feels as if the person reading is the person who really experienced all of these things, from the most transcendent pleasure to the most uncomfortable familial conversations.
I've listened to a lot of hard memoirs this year, a lot of really great memoirs performed fantastically but this... this is definitely up there.
Thank you to NetGalley and ECW Press Audio for the ALC, and honestly the whole country of Canada for providing funding and support for artists to be able to create works like this, and the art and theater spaces that Mx Sly references and is currently part of.
I hate giving negative reviews but either I misunderstood what the synopsis described or this book was very misleading. I went into this book thinking I was going hear about the trials and tribulations an non-binary person goes through trying to find themselves and figure out their place in the world. Instead I was listening to very graphic depictions of sexual acts the entire book. There was very little about the main character figuring our their place and more about them finding their kinks
The contents were out of my comfort zone but I fully enjoyed this memoir. Mx. Sly is so personal and open in Transland. A great read but be sure to take the content warnings seriously.
Thank you so much to NetGalley + the publishers for this ARC! Transland is an absolute gem of a memoir. Both steadfast and forthright, Mx. Sly refuses to flinch when revisiting traumatic reflections and (figurative and literal) climactic recollections. Where some chapters are incredibly intense in subject—from fraught relationships to identity exploration to sexual abuse—Mx. Sly staves away from sugarcoating details or intellectualizing anguish; this brutal candor is what allows the book to transcend its initial impression of solely kink + identity analysis / sexual anecdotes into an unearthing of the relationship between trauma and sex, fantasy and reality. And that's not to disregard the very important stories of sex work and kink communities that Mx. Sly strikingly relays. It is not despite these experiences that the book is so very raw and intimate but rather because of all these memories and the inquiries they pose in reflection.
One of the questions that arose in reading this is: in what ways am I changed by the sex I choose to engage in? Heteronormativity and western puritanism would have us believe that notions such as "losing our virginity" would impact us in indecipherable ways. But Mx. Sly proposes something far different than the concept of post-sex awakenings in the puritanical vein of "losing our innocence", "becoming anew", etc. Instead, they frame these experiences as explorations of the self. It's such a beautiful concept to consider all the ways we develop when we fulfill our curiosity and desire (and adversely discover what we dislike and don't want to do again). Mx. Sly says it perfectly: "In the fetish I explore, I want to be reinvented in the ways that surprise me."
All in all, this was lovely and I feel very lucky to have read it. I hope Mx. Sly continues to be unafraid and unwavering in both their life and writing.
This is a well narrated and excellently written account of a life via experiences in kink and sexual relationships, consent in more than sexual settings. The author shares their experience of being trans and NB in these spaces and of their relationship with others and with themselves.. This was an eye opening listen, confronting tough emotions head on, the author shares so much with us and it feels urgent and raw.
A truly unique take on a memoir.
I initially requested this because of my career as a social worker and my need to understand other communities. The trigger warnings at the beginning were well placed. They gave me an opportunity to pick a time/mindset to be able to read this. The author uses a straightforward approach with a hint of humor. This is a memoir that alludes to trauma but doesn’t create a graphic remembering that some memoirs have done. The author instead shows the many layers that have impacted who they are and the decisions they make. I appreciated having the added insight into a community that has its flaws and virtues. It creates a picture that is more neutral than the image general society would place on it. I came out of reading this with a better understanding of this community and the author. I usually dislike rating memoirs but I truly did gain from this one and believe that I will find myself reflecting about some of the subjects later on.
I found the stories told in this memoir to be eye opening and thought provoking, giving me an insight into experiences and lifestyles I know very little about. I loved how I could view these experiences as an outsider while seeing parallels with my own life and shared experiences and feelings as a trans/NB person.
I learned a great deal listening to this book. It's written by a transman who was very active in the BDSM and kink communities. These were worlds that I didn't understand before this book. I learned from Sly how they used their sexuality to overcome trauma and to understand themselves better. We got to hear bits and pieces from other people involved in the lifestyles. (And there are real differences between the trans / femme group and any group that is dominated by cis men.)
This is not the book for everyone. It contains detailed sex that many will feel uncomfortable with. It also is open about Sly's and other's backgrounds of abuse. There's lots here to come with a trigger warning. Still, I enjoyed learning from Sly, and if you are open, you may learn a lot as well.
Review: This is a very told, heartbreak and sexual story. Be sure to check the triggers. The author isn’t shy. I enjoyed the emotional parts and the parts about how the author and those she knows approached life as a transgender person. The sex scene sure were interesting but they soon took over the book and there were just too many.
Recommended For: Those who want a sex kink filled memoir.
Where to start? This is a compelling and unflinching memoir, a powerful clarion call to queer identity, a call out of misogyny, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, and very definitely not for the vanilla community.
Beautifully written and performed with emotion and humour by the voice actor, it's a book that swept me up and forced me to experience the memories being narrated.
It's told in non-linear fashion, with specific kinks and fetishes used as jumping off points to explore parts of Sly's life - past, present and future. The (kink) scenes are described with unflinching attention to detail, delving not only into the sexual feelings they produce, but emotional and spiritual, too. In particular, Sly's love of shibari rope bondage and being a rope bottom is told with an almost transcendent joy, yet at the same time Transland doesn't flinch from describing and addressing the cis privilege at play in many kink communities, and the persistent prejudices that even these spaces can hold towards gender non-comforming folks.
Powerful, beautiful, raw and provoking, Transland is a brilliant memoir that will stay with me for many years to come.