Ella’s first anthology: Pre-order Chemical [se]X!

ChemSex-Hi_Res (1)I have an important announcement. Are you ready for this important announcement? I AM IN AN ANTHOLOGY. AND IT IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER.

When the lovely and terrifyingly inventive Oleander Plume invited me to contribute to her project Chemical [se]X, my first thought was: me? A lowly, never before seen in print new kid on the block? And then I saw the list of authors she had also contacted and my jaw hit the floor: Tamsin Flowers. Jacob Louder. My erotica big sister Malin James. The notable list goes on. Authors I had only seen on Twitter or in the Tables of Contents of “Best of” anthologies I’d read during my internship at Cleis Press. Me, with these actual real adult professional author people? Was this some sort of elaborate mistaken identity situation?

But it wasn’t, and now a few months later I’m gracing the same pages as some remarkably talented folks. I’m still freaking out about this. Like, a lot. I am not dignified. This will be me for all of November:


This anthology is one of the wildest, weirdest collections I have ever encountered, and I am so excited to share it with all of you. Chemical [se]X is populated with characters who encounter a very special type of chocolate… a chocolate spiked with aphrodisiac properties. Built around Oleander’s short story about its creation, the thirteen other entries answer the prompt of just what havoc this product wreaks on the world when made available to the general population.

My story, titled “Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealer,” is a shout-out to Wesleyan’s proud tradition of… experimentation. Sophomore Steph finishes her final exams and decides to pay her adorable dealer Aaron a visit. Whether or not they’ve been flirting gets clarified when Aaron asks Steph to help him test out a new product.

I love this story because it presented a tempting challenge: how do you incorporate consent in a scene about addled states? I won’t spoil it for you (because you will of course go pre-order your copy of the ebook now), but I’d like to think I rose to the occasion. Also challenging was writing about drugs in general—I’ve never actually been high in my life. Drunk, sure, but my drug experimentation is limited to… accidentally dating multiple drug dealers. Believe me, it’s an easy mistake to make at Wesleyan.

So here’s an excerpt of “Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealer” to give you a taste:

I discovered the flaw in my post-finals plan to unwind when I got back to my dorm room and found my Altoids tin of weed empty aside from a few rolling papers. I dimly recalled smoking up my hall-mates before finals prep began a few weeks ago. Everyone came back from Thanksgiving break needing to unwind from family time, and I’d been the generous benefactor. But rather than being disappointed by my lack of weed, my mind lit up with possibilities; this meant an excuse to see everyone’s favorite dealer.

Aaron lived in a single occupancy room upstairs. Usually I would text him to arrange a delivery direct to my suite, which prevented noticeable foot traffic from collecting around his door. But our RA was off duty tonight and it seemed stupid to text him when he was probably a flight of stairs away. He was spending more time in the dorm than normal this week to write a constitutional law paper, the details of which he filled me in on while we brushed our teeth side-by-side in the communal bathroom a few days ago

Plus I had an ulterior motive for paying him a visit. In addition to offering fair prices and being absurdly nice, Aaron was gorgeous. It wasn’t his short brown hair or his broad shoulders, or even the whole bad boy drug dealer thing—agricultural investments aside, he was pretty much the boy-next-door. No, it was his mouth. Aaron had the most exquisite mouth I had ever seen: two flushed bee stung lips that arched and curled into a beautiful smile. I spent most of our brief exchanges trying not to stare as he worried his bottom lip between his teeth while calculating costs. I couldn’t tell you the color of his eyes or exactly how tall he was, but I knew every crease and corner of that mouth.

When alone at night I often wondered if he tasted like smoke, and how his face would look between my thighs. That was something I didn’t include in my emails home to mom: I had a crush on the friendly neighborhood drug dealer.

Please support this awesome anthology by pre-ordering the ebook on Amazon! We should have a paperback edition available in a few weeks as well (details to come). If you pre-order, I will make this creepy smile:CreepySmile

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Ella Dawson is a sex and culture critic and a digital strategist. She drinks too much Diet Coke.

4 thoughts on “Ella’s first anthology: Pre-order Chemical [se]X!

  1. You are so fucking sweet and adorable, I could fly out there right now and squeeze you. Then take you out for pizza. Gluten free pizza, cuz, yeah, I’m one of those freaks. 🙂 I’m thrilled that you’re thrilled because I think your writing is brilliant. I see big things coming your way, sweets, BIG GINORMOUS THINGS!!!

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