‘Art, For Fuck’s Sake’ by Leone Ross

Come Let Us Sing Anyway is one of my favourite collections and I could have chosen any of the stories from it, but I’ve decided not to shy away from erotica here. When any writer asks about sex scenes I direct them to Ross. This story in particular is sensual, sexy, powerful and beautifully written. “We have no co-ordination. It doesn’t matter. It’s okay. We’re purring. Cleaning whiskers.” I particularly love this description of orgasm – “I’m up the ladder. I am at the top of the fucking ladder, I am falling over the ladder.” The sex scene comes late in the story and it is graphically described, but it never feels voyeuristic. It’s triumphant, as we witness the woman who has been celibate for a year find a joyful sexual encounter on her own terms. 

first published in Brown Sugar 2: Great One Night Stands – A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction, Simon & Schuster, 2002Collected in Come Let Us Sing Anyway and Other Stories, Peepal Tree Press, 2017

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