Image by Arslan Truelove (also).
This week’s column was such a pleasure to put together; since I’ve edited erotic anthologies for nearly ten years, I love, love, love sex books. The end-of-year posts are always a treat because I get to re-experience my encounters with various media; put the two together and you’ve got my San Francisco Chronicle article, The Best Sex Books of 2009: Erotica and sex nonfiction in print (and in pixels) that made 2009 divine. And yes — I have a vampire erotica collection on the list! Here’s a snip:
I hate to be the one to remind you, but books are not just those things you set the lube bottle on so you don’t leave rings on your nice coffee table, or your date’s lower back. Nor are books just for holding up the laptop in bed while you watch YouPorn.com. And even though they seem designed for it, these things with pages were made for a purpose other than making a neato place to rest the round vibrators when not in use, so they don’t roll away under the bed. Again.
Books are these ancient artifacts that people once used to learn and entertain themselves, via a text interface, and often, to turn themselves on. I know, it’s hard to imagine that people can actually get off from something so clunky and antiquated. You also probably think I’m huffin’ off the pipe if you saw the Literary Review’s 2009 bad sex in fiction awards, and especially if you took the winner Jonathan Littell’s “The Kindly Ones” as any indicator of what sex writing was like this year. Don’t judge all the books by one bad cover.
Seriously, if you checked out any of the super-hot erotic books that came out this year, you’d take my word and quit waiting for that poorly-shot amateur video to buffer and get your eyes on a book already. Not surprisingly, several came from local publishing powerhouse, Cleis Press (buy books direct from their Web site to support indie publishing). Some of this year’s sex titles are so outstanding, you’ll want to move the lube off the book stack, but keep that Liquid Silk handy.
I’ve followed UK author Walker’s work since her first published piece of erotica, and without a doubt, Walker is one of the best erotic writers, period. “Unleashed,” while only on Kindle, is a stunner of a collection, and gives readers a taste of why Walker is published by everyone — talent, Eros and magic combine on each page of her writing. Hopefully this one will get picked up and I’ll have a paper copy to toss in my suitcase for the next business trip, when I need a pickup…
There’s something about the way that Marsden tells an erotic story that is absolutely unforgettable; the very explicit experiences and emotions of her complex characters, even if just glimpsed, resonate and stay with the reader for days, and sometimes weeks afterward. “Kinky for Christmas” contains two short stories only available on Kindle but require recommendation before the holidays; “Lucky 13” is the long-awaited new collection of the author’s finest recent work, and is highly recommended for idle erotica readers and the adventurous traveler.
8. Nylon Girls: Erotic Fashion Photography by Christine Kessler and Eric Kroll.
Soon to be released, this gorgeous coffee table book has all the glamour, gloss, and jaw-dropping sexuality that Kessler’s fetish photos are known for. The most beautiful and uninhibited fetish models all over the world have spent time in front of her lens, and what they do for her camera is surprising and always arousing. Samples from her book have been online and excerpts from the book were shown at local retailer Madam S in a recent show. (…read more, sfgate.com)