Rachel Kramer Bussel recently edited the fantastic anthology: Baby Got Back: Anal Erotica. What I loved about this book was that the approach was refreshingly different to the sex scenes. Things had to be talked about, strategies had to be employed, devices and lubes had to be present. It was wonderful to read about anal sex because it can shed a different light onto relationships and onto sex scenes. In many ways anal sex feels like a dirty secret still in today’s culture. What I loved when reading this book was that each character had a different story brought to the table when experience or discussing anal sex. It’s taboo. We get fidgety when people talk about anal sex, and we get even more fidgety when we want to be the ones having it.
What I love about this book is that anal sex can be seen as a special gift that one may strive for, but doesn’t always get. It can be a treat, and when someone is opening up him/herself for the partner, it is such a intimate thing. I find that when I bottom I strive to give the other person the pleasure, the climax, the love. I give my all–and my ass–so that my top finds the ultimate release. Let’s not forget the pure thrill the top experiences through penetrating, taking, coming. It can be such a beautiful exchange that anal erotica, and this book, brings to light.
Rachel graciously let me interview her about this book. Here are her responses to my questions:
1. What do you think makes anal sex special in erotica? It’s not something that “just happens,” there has to be at least some degree of planning and preparation, and that means it’s ripe for turning into erotica fodder. Sometimes one person is more confident of the outcome than the other, such as Brad in “Rectified” by Tiffany Reisz, who Lela to try anal sex again after five years. He says to her, “I need to open you up a little so I don’t hurt going in. You still believe I know what I’m doing?” Reisz draws out both her uncertainty and her willingness to trust him despite that, and to me that makes their sex all the hotter. There’s a dance of seduction that occurs when one person wants to have anal sex with another person, and seeing the characters maneuver and persuade and tease and play with that part of the body can make some very hot stories.
2. How does the taboo aspect of anal sex seem to play out in stories? Sometimes it plays out explicitly, such as in “Seat Belts” by Kate Dominic, in which she writes, “Every movement felt like sex to me, taboo, dirty, ass fucking sex, and I was doing it in public, even though nobody but Terry and I knew it. I was doing it because Terry told me to, and because following his orders made my pussy juicy and my nipples stiff.” In others it’s more subtle.
3. What is your favorite thing about anal sex (in reality, in erotica, or both)? I like that there’s so much tension involved, both physically, emotionally and mentally. There’s not a clear start and end point, and there’s such trust involved on both ends (pun intended). I’ve found that being on the giving or receiving end of anal penetration almost always leads to the unexpected, in terms of my expectations and how it plays out. Anal sex, in my experience, isn’t rote and that’s one thing I like about writing and editing stories about it. People have all sorts of reasons for enjoying anal sex and ways they go about it, and I think that comes across in Baby Got Back. I also love that anal sex is something people of any gender can enjoy—not that everyone should or does enjoy it, but that it’s an equal opportunity sexual activity, so a couple could share a butt plug, and experience what the other one is experiencing if they so choose.
4. What is the main difference between fictitious anal sex and real-life anal sex? In any fiction, erotic or not, there’s more room to be fanciful, and in erotica specifically, the focus is on the eroticism of the act. So that’s something to keep in mind when reading. But with this book especially, the authors were very careful to include lube and generally realistic portrayals of anal sex. I wouldn’t recommend this book or any erotica book a strict how-to lesson, but I do know people, including me, get ideas to try out from erotica, so I kept that in mind. On the other hand, there are some deliciously hot scenarios most likely wouldn’t happen in real life, such as in “Body Heat” by Shoshanna Evers, in which a woman has a bondage machine built for her that she uses for her first time having anal sex. “Who needed a cock when she had a fucking machine? Who needed a dom when she had handcuffs and keys in ice and locks on timers?”
5. Why will people enjoy reading Baby Got Back? Because of both the nature of the topic and the specific stories, there is a realistic element even within the fantasies in a lot of the stories. Many of the characters use sex toys that people can try at home. Going along with what I said earlier about it being an equal opportunity activity, there are men and women enjoying giving and receiving. There’s the playful hotness of Laura Antoniou’s “Two Timing,” which opens with these lines: “It’s fair to say that since becoming the man I always was, I’ve gotten more ass than I ever did when I masqueraded as a butch dyke. But now the asses that wind up under my dick or suspended for my hand or over my face are more likely to belong to straight ladies.” These stories aren’t just about “people having anal sex,” but people fulfilling their erotic potential and discovering the ways opening their asses, or playing with someone else’s ass, can be both sexy and transformative. They’re fantasies but also touch on real-life issues such as endometriosis, in the case of “Rectified,” and alcoholism in “The Support Group” by Fiona Curtis. There are long-term couples who’ve enjoyed anal sex before and other couples who are new to it, and first-time lovers. There’s BDSM and vanilla sex, there’s anal sex combined with other sexual activities and both talk and negotiation around anal sex and some very hot scenes that will hopefully arouse readers. This book is for fans of anal sex, but also fans of hot stories, whether or not you personally partake of anal sex.
Thank you Rachel, for allowing me to interview you! Below is an excerpt from this book that I hope everyone enjoys. Thank you to Cleis Press for giving me this book in exchange for a blog post about it.
“Bar None” by Mina Murray
They weren’t from here, I could tell. It wasn’t that they looked provincial; it was more just that there was something foreign about them, even though they’d been at the bar regularly for the last few weeks and spoke excellent, unaccented English. Tonight they occupied the VIP booth they always reserved, discreetly tucked away into a dimly lit corner at the back.
I’d been watching them all evening. It was hard not to. They were seriously hot for each other, kissing and laughing softly and touching every chance they got. He wasn’t what I’d call handsome, but there was something arresting about him all the same, especially when his hand slipped under the table to move between his wife’s legs. I could feel the pulse between my own begin to thrum in response. When his eyes locked with mine, the beat intensified.
He beckoned me over, and I walked slower than usual, taking the time to smooth my expression blank. I was about to ask him for his order, when he gestured to his companion.
“Oh, it’s my wife’s turn to choose.”
He turned to face her. I couldn’t help but notice only one of his hands rested on the table.
“Mila, what should we have?”
His wife was gorgeous, with pale skin and waves of shimmering black hair swept over one shoulder to bare a long and elegant neck.
“I’m not s-sure,” she stammered. “You pick.”
“I couldn’t possibly decide,” he demurred, “not with such a selection. And what if there are specials?”
I took my cue, rattling off the name of every cocktail I could think of, complicit in their little game and enjoying every moment of it. I was halfway through my list when Mila came in a series of shuddering breaths.
“Martinis,” she gasped at last. She looked up at me from beneath her long black lashes and smiled weakly. “Please.”
When I came back with the drinks, they were gone. But they’d left enough to cover their bill, along with a generous tip, and a note that I pocketed to read in private. It was only toward the end of my shift that I could duck away, and by then the suspense was killing me.
My fingertips drifted gently over the buff-colored, monogrammed paper, tracing the variations in texture as if reading Braille. There was a certain ritual to handwritten communication that I missed. I read the words slowly. We’re heading back to Prague next week, but until then the city is our playground. We’d love for you to join us. Alec
The offer wasn’t unexpected. I’d been propositioned by couples before, but there was too much potential for complication. This was the first time I felt able to accept. I glanced at my watch. Not too late to call the number he’d given. When Alec answered on the third ring and I told him who I was, his voice warmed with pleasure. After agreeing to meet at the serviced apartment where they were staying, I raced home to shower and change, and to let my flatmate know where I was going.
It was a long trip up in the elevator. I checked out my reflection in the gilt-edged mirror along the back wall. I looked nervous. I was starting to have second thoughts when the elevator stopped and the doors opened onto the penthouse. I took a couple of tentative steps before Alec came into the hall and greeted me with a kiss on each cheek. I inhaled the scent of his cologne, a spicy and masculine scent of bergamot, pepper and tobacco that warmed my blood. He ushered me inside and called out to his wife.
“Miláčku, Katherine is here.”
Mila had been lounging on the huge bed in the center of the room, draped in a silk kimono so beautiful it made me feel underdressed. I had been expecting the same continental welcome I’d received from Alec, but when Mila rose to greet me, she kissed me full on the mouth. It was a gentle kiss, her lips brushing softly over mine, though it soon became demanding. I wasn’t sure if she had deepened the kiss, or if it was me; all I knew was that her tongue was in my mouth and my hands were in her hair and her breasts were pressed up against mine and I was moaning.
“How rude,” Alec said, interrupting our kiss. “I should have offered to take your coat.”
Mila laughed and stepped back so he could help me out of my jacket. When he pressed a burning kiss to the nape of my neck, the roughness of his beard abraded my skin and I shivered, nipples beading tightly beneath my flimsy camisole.
We sat down on the couch by the window and Alec handed me a glass of champagne. I was grateful for the prop. I suddenly felt shy. It might have been the way they were both looking at me, with such open appreciation. Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t sure of the protocols for sleeping with a couple.
“We’re so glad you called,” Mila said.
“Well, I’d seen you at the bar a few times, and you—”
“Put on a good show?”
“Mila likes an audience,” Alec said, “and so do I. Especially one as sexy as you.”
“So do you two play in public a lot?”
“No, not all the time,” Mila answered, “mostly just when we’re on holiday, away from home.”
“I haven’t really done this before,” I confessed.
“What?” Alec asked. “A ménage?”
“A married couple.”
“Don’t worry,” Mila purred, “we’re good at sharing.”