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Erotique 1: The Wapshott Journal of Erotica Paperback – November 5, 2009
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The first story is very clever and may have been my favorite of the bunch. You just have to love the central character.
As in any collection some were stronger than others but I can honestly state that I did not find a bad story in the bunch. I enjoyed them all and several I enjoyed a great deal. If you are interested in very well written erotica this, my friends, is the place to go.
The very nice cover art makes a nice little bonus for the volume.
My second impression was apprehension, as it quickly became apparent that the first story ("I know what you want" by Allison Reeves) was heading to gay (male) erotica, which I had never read, or been inclined to read before. However, the story was well written and kind of fitted into the genre of sci-fi a little, which is one of my main reading areas, so I continued. I'm glad I did. The fact that it depicted a female-male-male threesome meant that I found some of it arousing, as Erotica should do, the other parts made me realise how similar gay relationships can be to heterosexual ones. I doubt that this was the intention of the author, and I certaintly wasn't expecting it, but this erotic story had a good moral. In addition, the plot was fairly interesting too, something which lots of erotica fails to acheive.
"After the Gallery" by Karmen Ghia was an interesting story, a gentle introduction to certain pleasure of one man by another. I didn't dislike the story, but there isn't much I can say about it. The relationship in this is much more tentative and more emotion-based than in the previous story, but still works well. I found the later story "Bandmates" by Amy Throck*-Smythe to be fairly similar, but with less sexual description.
"Quite Desperation" by Fred Skolnik is, unfortunately, Strange, Boring, and unerotic. It is the worst story of the collection, and I found myself wondering why it was there. For an erotica journal, the story skips an awful lot of sexual content. For instance, the first suggestion of sex between the main characters occurs on the eleventh page (out of 19) and Is a single paragraph and two lines of dialogue. Most of that paragraph is a description of the removal of her makeup. Add to that the confusion towards the end of the story, and I was severely disappointed by the first Heterosexual piece in the journal.
"Quick Change" by Shelby Devlin is what Erotica should be. It begins with lesbian unreturned attraction, and when the main character is taken from the object of her desires, she is faced with a man who she then becomes attracted two. The scenes between the woman and the man are the best in the collection, descriptive in the right places and leaving imagination to do the work in others. The later lesbian sex and threesome is also arousing, although the unfortunate use of the words "Squealed" and "Yelped" here spoilt the effect a little.
Finally "Oh, Margaret" by Lene Taylor was what I have now come to expect from the author. Having Read "More Minimalist Fiction" in Storylandia (also published by Wapshott Press), I should not have been surprised to find this story amusing as well as arousing. The story was from the first person (as was "I know what you want") and uses the narrators opinions to inject humour into the situation, and give us more insight into the character than is often gained in erotica. The eroticism of the story is average, perhaps fourth out of the six stories, but overall it is my second favourite story of the piece.
In general, the collection was well chosen (With the exception of "Quiet Desperation"), and is not only stimulating sexually, but also provides some insight into areas of eroticism that some may not normally venture, while still having stories that will keep the reader in their comfort zone. It would be perfect for someone looking to expand their erotica-reading horizons.