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Best Women's Erotica 2011 Paperback – December 1, 2010
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This book is a wonderful collection of sexually ambitious short stories from some of the top female authors in the erotica genre. --Portland Book Review
Unapologetic for its explicit tales of lust and fantasy. At times shocking and risqué, in Best Women's Erotica 2011 readers will find themselves awash in corporally rich and emotionally authentic stories. --Examiner
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My primary thought after finishing Best Women's Erotica 2011 is that it's filled with fetishes. I can guarantee that there's at least one story in here for everyone, but with that grand-sounding promise comes my regret that several of the stories did not please me. To put it another way, I love to visit Baskin Robbins for ice cream, but that doesn't mean I want to have a bite of every flavor in the house. I wanted chocolate and strawberries, and what I got was a lot of weird, fruity flavors that were interesting but not the sort of thing I'd want to consume beyond that initial taste.
Even though some of these stories did not turn me on, they were all beautifully written, without exception. I have yet to read a collection by editor Violet Blue (Just Watch Me: Erotica for Women) that fails to impress me in terms of the storytelling and the sex, but this one didn't have much romance. I don't expect to find all that many sweetheart stories in such a wide-ranging collection, but I was disappointed by the utter lack of softness (with one exception - I adored "Abigail's Ice Cream" by Janine Ashbless). The overriding theme of this collection is defiance, and it was embodied in story after story about women who were brave, and aggressive, and bold in their sexual encounters. They asked, no demanded, to have sex their way, and while it was kind of exciting to read, it was also a bit overwhelming for me.
In "Pictures of Lilly" by Chrissie Bentley, four teenage girls sneak into an X-rated theater and one of them blows a surprised patron to finally experience the taste, smells, sensations first hand. In "Rainbow Night" by Giselle Renarde, a stogy old dinner party becomes vastly more interesting when an idle discussion about "rainbow parties" leads the wives to lipstick up and go down on the guys. "Fresh Canvas" by Donna George Storey portrays the kind of wild, group encounter that is both erotic and alien, and what can happen when a "normal" woman finds fulfillment this way. In the most startling example of a woman taking control is "Skinheads" by Jacqueline Applebee. The characters essentially swap race and gender roles with shocking results.
In every single story the woman is exactly where she wants to be. This collection is all about the woman being in control of her fantasies and her realities. To say that some of the fantasies are unconventional is putting it lightly, and while the variety is impressive, I would have been pleased with a little more focus and a bit less mélange.