This book is so delightfully woah. Violet Blue, editor of Best Women’s Erotica 2014, has done a fabulous job in developing this outstanding anthology. This anthology has women’s pleasure at its core; it has everything I could want in an erotic anthology, and even then it surprised me. This book got me off. Multiple times. But more than that–it rung as true to women’s sexuality because it mirrored my experiences of relationships and pleasure.

BEST

It is probably redundant to state that this book of erotica for women depicts women’s sexualities so darn well–but it is true! As a sexuality educator, I really appreciated that the stories in this book paid critical attention to women and their experiences of pleasure, stimulation, intimacy, and so on, from the get-go through to the satiation of those desires. This is not to say that this book is the be-all, end-all of women’s sexualities–far from it. What I mean is that these stories, while fictional, speak true to form when it comes to what the women are experiencing in this book.

Often our society fixates on one question: “What do women want?” Here’s Violet Blue’s answer:

Explicit erotica authored by and for women, as it turns out, refuses to be pinned down into neat categories…what women want, it turns out is high-quality porn woven into their high-quality fiction, and every year we break new taboos in our shared quest for thrills and satisfaction.

What women want cannot be captured in a singular reply–it’s complicated, and with the complications there exists an evolving, growing number of things that women want, in various combinations. What these erotica and romance stories depict are creative tales that challenge the norm, break taboos, and explore exciting new ways that we might experience pleasure.

And if the stories in this collection are indeed a barometer for the range of lovemaking, masturbation and fucking that women fantasize about, in a dizzying and sometimes shocking range of fantasies and combinations, then this quest is deliciously never-ending.

As Blue warns, do not make the mistake of thinking that this large variety means that women can’t make up their minds about sex–on the contrary, women know exactly what they want. These wonderful authors know what they want, and so do the readers. Violet Blue is very much aware that once women start thinking about what gets them off, the desire to create and locate new, different stories in which to find pleasure is a never-ending journey. These “yes-no-maybe laundry lists of sexual fantasies” are very much a component of women’s experience of sexuality.

From Valerie Alexander’s Moonsoon Season, here is a quote that caught my eye:

“I don’t even understand how that all works,” Renee went on. “I mean, it’s not very dominant of you to suck him off. You’re giving him control when you do that.”

I laughed. “If that’s your experience, you’re doing it wrong.”

The quote above resonated so powerfully with me. People don’t appreciate the power play that sex can involve, especially when they haven’t experienced it themselves. The same goes for dominance/submission kink–it can be (and often is) totally equal, fair, wonderful, feminist, progressive, empowering, sexy, erotic, what have you.

Rose de Fer’s story, Nyotaimori, is beautifully written:

Lady Jasmine carefully plucks the last eggs from my right side, collecting them one by one and eating them with little sighs of pleasure. Each time her chopsticks come teasingly close to my nipples I hold my breath, longing to feel the touch of the cool, lacquered wood. But she manages to avoid even brushing me. Her control is maddening. My breasts are bare now. Only a thin sheen of salmon oil remains.

Here’s another quote from Catherine Paulssen’s Punishing Desdemona:

Jerome closed his eyes and drew a short breath. He loved her with all he had. She was doing him wrong. He was furious. He was hurt. He would tame her. He would mark her. He wouldn’t let her forget who she belonged to.

Most of all he would show her how precious she was to him.

It is very often the case that reading erotica results in my acts of masturbating and orgasming. Not always do I plan this, but with this book it is hard to resist. What I’m trying to say is that this book is a book that women will find very erotic and empowering. I think that readers of other genders will really love this book too because these erotic tales are written so damn well.

And the variety! My, the variety of hot stories in this book range from the artistic to the sadistic, from the slow-paced romance to the quick, needed lust. And I loved every single bit of it. From a woman displayed with sushi across her body to another woman sitting down on a delicious cake. This book has sailors, sex toy stores, Shakespeare, cafes, elves, and barbershops. All so very different. All so fucking erotic.

Thank you Cleis Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my review of it! xoxo

 

Best Women’s Erotica 2014a heart-pounding collection of the year’s best erotica as edited by renowned author and editor Violet Blue, is a wide-ranging celebration of sensations. These steamy stories revel in erotic adventures that will leave you aching for more.

Edited by Violet Blue
$15.95, Trade Paper
216 pages, 5 ½ ” x 8”
ISBN 978-1-62778-003-2