Best Lesbian Erotica 2013
Kathleen Warnock (Editor)
Raw, Romantic and Unforgettable
From the trembling pleasure of anticipation to consummated lust, sex between women has never been hotter. Curated by Lambda nominee Kathleen Warnock and judged by literary legend Jewelle Gomez, Best Lesbian Erotica 2013 is both surprising and intensely delectable.
Sonya Herzog’s younger femme finds her heart’s desire at a multiorgasmic writer’s retreat in “I Have a Thing for Butches” and the tattoo artist in Nikki Adams’s “Nothing If It Fades” holds on to an indelibly erotic memory of a beautiful woman she once inked, only to find her attraction was more than skin deep. A pretty new neighbor has a surprise or two up her costume sleeve when she turns out to be not-so-submissive in Amelia Thornton’s “Kitty and the Cat.” Test your erotic boundaries with Best Lesbian Erotica 2013 and let it take you over the edge into a world where fantasies become reality.
With contributed stories by Maggie Veness, Nikki Adams, Helen Sandler, BD Swain, Rebecca Lynne Fullan, Amelia Thornton, Sid March, Maggie Morton, Fiona Zedde, V.C. Clark, Anamika, Zoe Amos, Sally Bellerose, Andrea Dale, Tenille Brown, Penny Gyokeres, Valerie Alexander, Sonya Herzog, Anna Meadows, Rachel Charman, and Kirsty Logan.
Like my recent book review on a heterosexual erotica anthology, this, too, is outside of my personal experience and was an adventure to read. I’ll be leading a workshop on how to write a steamy scene at a writers/readers conference this August and I thought it’d be best to read up on sex scenes I’m not familiar with (aka anything involving a woman). I had found the heterosexual anthology, Heat Wave, to be an entertaining read. But this lesbian anthology? Utterly fascinating and completely enjoyable.
This anthology was 100% out of my experience range as both a reader and as a human being, as there are no penises to be found. (Or, rather, no real penises to be found, as there are a number of dildos.) I found each of the stories to be enthralling. I personally didn’t find it all that erotic, but you can chalk that up to me being gay. I think that a lesbian or straight reader would be sweating as they read through these stories.
With each of the entries being of such a high calibre, it’s hard to pick a couple standouts. After long consideration, I greatly enjoyed two of the stories in the blurb above best.
“Nothing If It Fades” by Nikki Adams brings together the intimacy of tattoo art and sensuous eroticism to create a captivating personal exploration into the mind and life of the tattoo artist. And “Kitty and the Cat” by Amelia Thornton was an absolute delight. Yes, it was sexual and erotic, but it was also humorous and entertaining. I read though “Kitty and the Cat” with a broad grin on my face from the first sentence to the last.
I think that the simple fact that I, as a gay man, enjoyed this anthology immensely signifies the strength of the writing throughout.
And, as part of my upcoming workshop will explore some of the differences between straight, gay, and lesbian erotic literature, I can’t help but analyze what I’ve read. In Heat Wave, the straight anthology I read a couple weeks back, I found a heavy emphasis on the actions and physicality of foreplay, but the act of sex was turned into a sensuous passage focussing heavily on connection, heat, and the rush of emotions. In gay erotica, it tends to be the opposite — foreplay is often glossed over and it dives right into the sex, which is described explicitly, focussing on physical sensation and the raw erotic energy. Lesbian erotic writing seems to combine the best of both worlds — the physicality of foreplay and sexual intercourse is vividly described throughout, but the emotions and non-physical aspects of sex are deeply interwoven throughout.
Best Lesbian Erotica 2013 is a high-calibre anthology of lesbian sex. It is, I feel, a must-read for erotic readers of any sexual orientation, as it shows clearly what sex writing can and should be like.