By Liah Paterson
I want to tell you about something dear to my heart: smut. Specifically, I’d like to go on and on about erotic comics made specifically for women and non-binary people. I’m talking about series that feature women whose sexuality is used as a facet of their personality, rather than a tool to rope in (you knew this was coming) members of a primarily male audience.
Because the world of comics has been historically male-centric, even the most mainstream female characters are often sexualized through the lens of the male gaze. We all know the typical comic audience reads stories about chicks saving the world primarily to stare at their big cartoon tits. And don’t get me wrong, I love cartoon tits. This article, however, is going to be about how cartoon tits — when drawn in for the right reasons — are important to a medium of feminist comics that value women as so much more than just eye candy on the side.
Is your interest piqued? Great. Please find some of my favorite smutty comics below. I hope they reach you at just the right time.
Insexts, by Marguerite Bennett (with art by Ariela Kristantina)
Probably the wildest on this list, this series is definitely not for the faint of heart. Here’s a short description of the plot : two lesbian, bug-like aliens become serial killers in Victorian England. Still with me? This series depicts an extremely touching romance, super hot (but sometimes also sort of gross) sex scenes, and the power of sexuality in ways I’ve absolutely never seen it wielded before.
SAGA, by Brian K. Vaughan (with art by Fiona Staples)
Alright, if you read comics I know y’all have heard of Saga. Saga is a space-y, adventure-y, sexy comic about a husband, a wife, and their child as they stumble through a Star Wars-like epic. What’s incredible about this series is the way it normalizes sex, showing the married female character enjoying it (often at inopportune times) within the confines of a monogamous relationship. There are other characters whose sex lives help drive them as characters as well, a sex worker who is trying to normalize romantic sex in her life for instance. A number of the most notable sex scenes take place while every day events are taking place, whereas those involved discuss work as they uncloth or admit that they want to give or receive oral sex in the middle of a small argument. SAGA is great for those who are looking for cartoon tits (both sexualized and not) and a whole lot of plot.
Someone Please Have Sex with Me, by Gina Wynbrandt
This book took me places: hot places, fantasy places, and places that already existed within my own head. Someone Please Have Sex with Me is the story of one girl as she tries to find love, watches tons of porn, cries a lot, and stays horny as all hell. Does she sound like someone you know? Spoiler alert, she sounds exactly like me. You will seriously regret not reading this one.
Small Favors, The Definitive Girly Porno Collection, by Colleen Coover
Small Favors features two main characters — a girl named Annie and her sprite named Nibbil. Long story short, Annie has quite a taste for fucking, which she and Nibbil explore in ways that are highly erotic, sometimes extremely graphic, and eventually deeply moving. There is an incredible sense of play in Small Favors which, coupled with consensual experiment sex, makes for a long, light hearted journey of the heart (and groins).
Dirty Deeds, by Megan Gedris
Megan Gedris is a personal hero of mine. Her work (Lesbian Pirates from Outerspace, Yu+Me Dream, Meaty Yogurt) features believable female characters who are unabashedly erotic and often queer. Dirty Deeds is the BDSM roleplay story of your dreams.
Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
I wasn’t sure if this one would make the cut, as it’s a) technically a graphic novel and b) not exactly sexy, per se. After rereading it, though, I’ve decided it’s an important piece of visual literature for women. Embroideries is a myriad of scenes overheard by Marjane Satrapi throughout her childhood and young adulthood, of Iranian women on faking virginity, forced marriage, and other taboo topics. The stories told are second hand, passed down (though not always on purpose) by her grandmother, her aunts, and great aunts. The characters share their most awkward sexual experiences, the feelings of dealing with the pressures of arranged marriage, and the joys of their most forbidden relationships. It’s raw, at times dark and illuminating, and absolutely the stories of real women with real sex lives existing under the thumb of the patriarchy.
Smut Peddler, by Iron Circus Comics
Smut Peddler is a curated erotic anthology series written by women, for women. It features stories of consensual BDSM, wet dreams, and threesomes with no shortage of sex toys, lube, and breasts spilling from bras into eager mouths. Yes, seriously, it’s that hot.
Liah Paterson is a Queens-based illustrator, writer, and professional crier. Find her full portfolio at www.liahpaterson.com.