Topmost of my criteria is,
Play safe - darling, we are in the 21st century. Help fight the battle against AIDS/HIV. Make safe sex normal by ensuring you include it in your story. We are creative writers, for the Goddess' sake! Yes you CAN ... make it sexy, you can describe putting a condom on a merman / alien / cowboy in a way that makes it a great part of the story, you are that talented.
I cannot believe the number of people who think a story is safe sex as long as people are not impregnating aliens / mermaids / people. That is so heterosexist it is making me larf! In your Real Life practice, you should think very carefully about the risks of pregnancy and also Sexually Transmitted Diseases. To encourage you to think before you ... do stuff, I will only accept stories for review which use condoms for penetrative sex (vaginal and anal). Thrills without spills. The risk for oral sex is so small that I will let that go, cuz even I would not like to suck on a condom (ewww!). The Terence Higgins Trust has good guidance on respectful sexual practices. (Link straight to sexy advice here; leave a donation after you checked it out.)
# 2 rule is:
Consenting adults only.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - as Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin put it. In your story, men and women should treat each other with loving respect and consideration. Feminism means don’t be a self-centred bastard or bitch.
Vanilla thrillers – when I first started this review blog, I wasn’t sure if BDSM could be regarded as feminist. Now I’m sure it can so I often review bondage and Dom/sub stories. SM I am still not quite sure about. I am still pretty sure I don’t want to include incest, gang-bangs or rape. A very very interesting and well-written story about non-consensual sex might sneak in if it was done in a critically feminist way.
(You can always ask me if you think your story is so good it bends the rule-book.)
With a cherry on the top – go for it, do anal, oral, finger-fucking. Have toys. Have multiple partners, just make it consensual, pleasurable and
Keep it real - include characters who are plausible and realistic. Does your female lead have to have the body of a film star? Does she have to melt submissively in the arms of an alpha male who knows it all? Strong sexy women and sweet shy men are warmly welcomed here. (I don't mind welcoming the occasional film star. Alpha males are not my thing but I will give them house room if they tidy up after themselves.)
Confident women - there is so much dreadful stuff around about wimpy women having pleasure forced on them by rugged sex machines of men that we can do with something to counteract it. Enough of the Mills & Boon/Harlequin with fluffy handcuffs pap! Years ago I read an M&B in which the woman beat on the man's chest with her fists until he said: “Are you going to stop that or do I have to stop you?” She fell weeping on the bed (in her negligée). I don't care how fragile you are, if you are seriously beating on a man's chest he will say: “Ow, ow!” and he won't find it nearly as arousing if you keep throwing yourself around weeping in a negligée as he will if you have a surreptitious fumble at his bits and pieces. What do we women want? Freud says women want penises. (He meant it in a different and rather complicated way. This is a silly question, nobody says What do men want because we know men want a beer and to watch the football without being interrupted and Sunday lunch cooked like their mother did it; some men want a new jumper and others a CD of Bach's cello concerto, some want promotion and others a fishing holiday and others want to go to the moon.)
Self-respect ≠ chastity - do we need to say it? Feminist erotica should be explicit, sensual and hot hot hot to trot!
I run a rating system on here of 0 to XXX.
Zero means just romantic. Maybe there was a kiss (eeek! snogging tee hee hee).
X - probably there is a bit of naughtiness, if there is sex it will be very vanilla.
XX - probably there is penetrative sex, and we may be getting into the realms of taboo topics or domination.
You should also be able to tell from the tags at the bottom (<snerk>) of the review what sort of sexiness we are talking about: oral, masturbation or just a soft focus romance.
Have fun! (Play safe.)