Read a F*cking Book: “The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (With Cats!)” Is Everything You Care About

Feature image by Kelsey Beyer

If your three main interests are other queer women, cats, and poetry — which: duh, of course they are — I’ve got some good news for you. Writer Anna Pulley and artist Kelsey Beyer have tag-teamed to create a miraculous little tome called The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (With Cats!)It’s exactly what it sounds like, my friends: 146 pages of hilarious, heartbreaking, wise, and wondrous haikus and punny, funny cat illustrations to accompany them.

Before the poems, though, a story: Anna started writing haikus after her fiancée broke up with her because her fiancée wasn’t quite as into women as she’d originally thought when she accepted Anna’s proposal, and Anna was so heartsick that she couldn’t write. Which was a problem because writing is how she makes her living. The only writing she could emotionally manage in the wake of her breakup was the number of characters in a tweet. 140 letters and numbers and symbols and spaces. She convinced herself to write one tweet a day. And then she convinced herself to intellectually engage with that single tweet enough to make it a haiku. And then she wrote one haiku every day for an entire year. Through them she found healing and hope and her now-girlfriend, who also happens to be the illustrator of the adorable cats in this book.

Everything comes full circle!

The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (With Cats!) isn’t just a hodgepodge of tiny, poetical ditties — it’s divided up into handy chapters. Lesbianism 101. How Lesbian Sex Works. Look Both Ways: Demystifying Bisexuality. My Ex Is Your Ex. And more! And while the foreword and chapter titles hint at introducing straight people into the mystical world of Being Gay, the haikus are very much written for queer people. They are full of inside jokes, winks at tropes, gentle clowning on stereotypes, and references to beloved queer artists and writers and musicians.

Anna is probably most well known for her self-deprecating advice columns and podcasts, so there’s a lot of hard-won wisdom in her haikus and a definite self-help vibe to a lot of them (which I mean in a good way). And of course, sex. Sex jokes, sex stories, sex advice, sex help, sex puns, sex sex sex sex sex.

Kelsey’s cat illustrations are brilliant. Pairing vintage Golden Book-style drawing and coloring techniques with sex, puns, and queer lifestyle allusions is one of the most subversive and hilarious things I’ve ever seen. Imagine The Shy Little Kitten with a whip in her mouth, or The Poky Little Puppy nosing around a sex dungeon, or The Lively Little Rabbit with a lively little rabbit vibrator. The best part is that Kelsey obviously knows cats because their faces are so unabashed about all their sex hijinks; they preemptively scorn your judgment!

No matter where you are on your gay ol’ journey, this book has something for you. It walks you through every stage of falling in love and breaking up, comforts you as you struggle with queer-specific existential angst, validates your identity, and provides hours of queer entertainment. If you buy it as a gift, you’ll end up keeping it.

A sampling of pickup haikus:

Pronnounce Annie Proulx’s
name correctly — watch lady’s
cargo pants fall off.

Perfect the art of
leaning on things. Once mastered,
hook thumbs into jeans.

Don’t label me — I’m
a non-het identified
poly pagan witch.

Visit a witch store.
Not for spells, just to support
local queer business!

It has been MANY
years, but I’m not done griping
about The L Word.

Buy Tipping the Velvet.
Don’t give it to her! Hope
she gets the “message.”


Are you following us on Facebook?

Profile gravatar of Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 506 articles for us.

22 Comments

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!