VIP Interview With Janet W. Hardy Writer, Illustrator, Sex Educator & Editorial Director Of Greenery Press

Janet W. Hardy is well known for being a force within the sexual lifestyle industry. She has published The Ethical Slut which has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. Janet is also the editorial director of Greenery Press a book publisher which was established in 2002, her company has published well over 100 books. Greenery Press specialise in the publication of non-fiction sexuality, BDSM, fetish and kinks books.

Janet is a passionate sex educator and has traveled to speak at a multitude of classes, workshops, discussions and demonstrations. She has also stared in documentaries including Beyond Vanilla, Vice and Consent, Slut and BDSM: It’s Not What You Think and TV shows including SexTV and The Dr. Susan Block Show. This is a VIP Interview With Janet W. Hardy Writer, Illustrator, Sex Educator & Editorial Director Of Greenery Press.

Tell me about yourself

I am a writer, illustrator and sex educator. I also serve as the editorial director of Greenery Press, a small publishing company that I founded back in 1992, specializing in alternative sexualities.

What is it like being a book publisher, author and a documentary film star within the sexual lifestyle industry?

In some ways it’s a bit schizophrenic. Although I write and publish about outrageous sexuality, I am a physically rather reserved person, not a big toucher or hugger. While I certainly spent a lot of years as an active participant at play parties and dungeon parties, I no longer have much interest in that kind of play (although I still do attend such events on occasion). I call myself a “sadomasochist emeritus.”

And yet, I still have knowledge and wisdom to impart, and I still take great joy in passing along what I know so that others can have fun with it.

What inspired you to create a publishing company that specialises in BDSM, fetish and kink books?

Desperation! I had just been fired from a job in my previous career as an advertising copywriter (apparently because they knew a bit too much about my “other life” from listening in on my personal phone calls). My then-partner, Jay Wiseman, had a manuscript he’d been working on for years – which is now SM 101: A Realistic Introduction. And I had a long article about female domination for beginners, which I’d written in hopes of magazine publication, and which would later be expanded into what is now The Sexually Dominant Woman: A Workbook for Nervous Beginners. We hustled them both into print (they were at that time quick-printed and spiral-bound) because we weren’t sure where our next meal was coming from. And from that rather shaky beginning grew what is now Greenery Press. I never intended to become an alt-sex publisher – it just happened!

What do you love most about your work?

The letters I get from people who have been helped by my work. So many people think they’re the only ones who want whatever they want, whether it’s kink or poly or fetish or whatever – and then they read a Greenery Press book and learn that not only are they the only ones, but there are enough others that someone wrote a book about them/us – and often they sit down to write a letter or email letting us know how profoundly they were helped by our work.

Writing is a solitary profession, so hearing back from readers is enormously gratifying.

What do you look for in a good fiction and non-fiction book?

I don’t publish fiction. I tried it for a while back in the late 1990s and it turned out I suck at it – I just don’t have a good sense of what makes a good fiction book or how it finds a market.

As far as nonfiction goes, I’m interested only in those that teach a skill or approach (which is not to say I don’t personally love a good memoir or biography or whatever; but I’ve learned through the years that what I know how to publish is how-to, so I’m sticking to that). I look for a book that is knowledgeable, responsible, utterly clear, and with a strong authorial voice. A sense of humor doesn’t hurt either – many people are threatened by alternative sexuality and relationships, and humor helps pull the fangs on a scary topic.

What are your best sellers?

SM 101 is still at the top of our list, with The Mistress Manual and Jay Wiseman’s Erotic Bondage Handbook following closely.

Sex, BDSM And Fetish Book Covers
Buy Now | BDSM Store With Spankers And Ticklers

The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book are perpetual top sellers as well.

Sex Education Books From Greenery Publishing
Image: The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book

The Ethical Slut, which was originally published by Greenery in 1997, is now published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, where it continues to sell extraordinarily well.

Sex Education Book From Greenery Publishing
Image: The Ethical Slut

What are your favourite memories?

My best memories tend to end up as fodder for memoir, so I’m attaching an excerpt of a particularly lovely scene for you. Excerpt from Impervious: Chronicles of a (Semi-)Retired Deviant, © 2017 Janet W. Hardy:

“Something kind of fun going on tonight, my friend says. I think you’ll enjoy it. You in?

I don’t know very many people in the city where this conference is being held, but I trust her to know my tastes and limits. Sure, I shrug.

As it turns out, the “kind of fun” thing is a group effort to enable a tall, heavy-boned husband to fist his tiny blond wife for the first time. He is the only man in a roomful of half a dozen women. All except the wife begin the female version of dick-measuring: each of us holds our hand up next to each of the other women’s, and then we arrange ourselves in order, from the smallest hand to mine, the largest.

The wife arranges herself comfortably on the hotel bed, legs splayed wide. As the first, smallest woman begins to stimulate her with gloved fingers and a vibrator, the rest of us arrange ourselves around her, supporting her pale body and petting her into boneless relaxation. The husband, with a ringside seat against the wall, watches avidly but does not yet touch. We feel her twitch as the first well-lubed hand slips past its knuckles and into her.

She writhes, wails, comes. Smiling, the first woman relinquishes her place to the next one.

And so it goes, until it is time for me, the penultimate. By the time I take my place between her legs, her cunt is so gooey and accommodating that it takes almost no effort to slip in. Slyly I press the heel of my left hand into the area right above her pubic bone, so it presses her g-spot down toward my questing fist, and she convulses and roars into orgasm.

I smile, withdraw slowly and gently, and relinquish the seat of honor to her husband. It takes almost no time for his enormous paw to slide into her for the very first time. The rest of us, the midwives of joy, place our hands around her torso and share the love that connects them – the ecstatically fucked-out wife and the husband who loved her enough to make this thing happen.

I feel their devotion burning in my own body. I turn to my friend and whisper, too low for the couple to hear or care: I love my life.”

What do you feel people should do more of to live happy and healthy sexual lifestyles?

Shame is the biggest obstacle to any kind of happy and healthy sex or relationship, with ignorance a close second. Ignorance is easy to solve: read books, peruse websites, ask questions of people who have been around longer than you have, and understand that you will make mistakes – everybody makes mistakes.

Shame, however, is harder to eradicate. Most of us learn sexual shame from earliest childhood – there’s video of fetuses masturbating in the womb, yet if we touch our genitals in infancy or toddlerhood, adult reactions may range from embarrassment to rage. About all we can do with shame is pay close attention to it when it surfaces, and then do our best to move past it – preferably with the help of a few accepting friends or lovers.

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