I hope those of you who have read my new book are enjoying it, and each of its vivid, arousing, and complex time-capsule stories. But if you haven’t picked up or borrowed a copy of Best Women’s Erotica 2014, I hope you do and that you love it as much as I continue to, three months after publication. (I keep revisiting the stories, and am still stunned by the talent and richness imparted by the authors I got to work with).
The unbiased, independent review by Peep Scoop managed to both win my admiration as an editor by unpacking the male characters in Best Women’s Erotica 2014, but also won my attention as a new fan of their reviews with a writeup that is a compelling and clever read on its own.
What I like about collection as a whole, is how many of the women demand what they want and aren’t afraid to speak their own truths, define their own boundaries, and get what they want—while remaining vulnerable enough to easily identify with.
“Monsoon Season” tickles the part of me who is obsessed with the paperboy scene in A Streetcar Named Desire (the play, not the film). Not for narrative similarities but for the arrangement of power. An older woman and her young submissive and feelings and age and all the things that both tend to complicate our relationships and provide the tension which makes them so sexy all at the same time.
What struck me overall were the male characters in Best Women’s Erotica 2014. Where insecure, “I’m-so-broken-and-tormented-please-fix-me-but-you-can’t” male archetypes abide in mainstream romance and erotica, BWE offers male characters who are assured, curious, vulnerable, and mindful. They also manage to escape the bland generalizations that sometimes occur when authors try to create good, feminist male characters. Some are submissive, others dominant, some blending these designations, others trying new things, speaking up for what they want but feel ashamed about. These characters make for a really refreshing read. (…read more, peepscoop.com)
Sex blog Kinkly recently published a story from the collection, Nyotaimori. It seems like a perfect treat on this rainy day (it’s -finally- raining here in San Francisco, buckets). Even if it’s not raining where you are, I recommend snuggling up under the duvet today with this sublime little treat. Pretend it’s raining, pretend the rug is lava, just imagine any reason at all to lose yourself into Rose De Fer’s exquisite short story, and I promise you won’t regret it:
I am lying as I have been trained. On my back, perfectly still. My knees are bent, my legs open and rotated out to the sides by 180 degrees. My feet are pressed together, sole to sole. Red silk ropes bind my ankles and wind gracefully around my knees to where they are fastened underneath the table, keeping me open, exposed. My arms are crossed in the small of my back and bound beneath me. The position forces my back to arch, pushing my chest up and out.
I feel like a butterfly, pinned and displayed for a discriminating collector. A connoisseur. They have given us all Japanese flower names and I am secretly pleased with mine: Oniyuri. It’s the word for tiger lily, my favorite flower.
The table beneath me is warm, but the food presented on my naked skin is not. A rainbow of sashimi is fanned across my belly: salmon, tuna, mackerel and yellowtail. Across my ribs is an array of sushi. Between my breasts are cuts of eel, drizzled with rich teriyaki sauce. And carefully arranged around my nipples are clutches of salmon roe, the eggs vibrant and bursting. Soft purple orchids frame my sex, and in the diamond formed by my spread and angled legs is a painted flask of warm sake.
I breathe slowly, shallowly, so as not to disturb the presentation of food. The smell is intoxicating and I long for a bite of fish, the tingle of ginger and wasabi on my tongue. But for now I am merely a decoration, an attractive display for the artfully arranged delicacies. In other rooms, other girls are bound as I am, their bodies serving the same erotic aesthetic. From somewhere I can hear the melancholy notes of a shamisen being played by one of the hostesses.
I feel the cool touch of Ayame’s fingers as she gently lifts the flask from between my legs. My body heat has warmed the sweet wine and I close my eyes, listening to the soft splash as she fills each guest’s cup. The sleeve of her silk kimono brushes my skin as she moves past me. When she is done she replaces the flask, pressing it firmly up against my sex.
(…read the whole story, kinkly.com)
- Order: Best Women’s Erotica 2014 (amazon.com)
- Read another independent review: Best Women’s Erotica 2014 (geekynymph.com)