I wrote a review of “Best of Women’s Erotica of the Year,” volume 2, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel for the Hudson Reporter last week.
Unfortunately, the review had to be very tame because of the general audience the newspaper serves, and so I could not give an adequate flavor of the stories the book contained, even though I made my own notes after reading each story to reflect what I thought the story was about. I intended to use them for a blog essay, and may still. I’m including a handful of these short pieces along with a link to the news review so you might get a better idea of what the book is actually about.
She came alone, naked, thinking no one might see her.
World's End, a last survivor, she thought and then saw the two men fishing, wondering at what they were about before realizing she needed to cover up since at the end of the world can be as dangerous as when all that went on as usual in the world before.
This story conveyed in print by someone who seems to want to imagine a world without the usual rules, where love doesn't mean shackles, where people can make new rules or live without any as long as all involved agree
And so she makes love to one then, the other and then both at the same time, feeling them together inside her in a way she could not imagine, somehow giving birth to a new world in which she can, they can, explore and she/they mingling limbs and seed, touching and being touched, finding out what it means to go beyond the borders of the Old World by leaping off its edge into one brand new.
He plays her like he might his instrument, drawing out of her music even she does not know she has inside, each touch filled with harmony and pain and intensity of lust
Alone in a crowd at first to watch him on stage and later a private performance in which she is the instrument into which he injects himself bow and all and she taking it all in stir-fried magnified Turtle soup boiled up and served still in its shell also out of it, her pain also her pleasure, her need met and compounded like interest in a bank book she has come to collect.
He knows how to play her and she lets him, his fingers on her key and the key she keeps hidden deep, all the notes played hot but never sour, each reverberating elsewhere in her like harmony or echo or part of some instrument she alone knows of yet which needs him to set loose, a moist duet she aches four, hearing it all with every part of her not just her ears, his mouth blowing into her, his flute stirring up a haunting sense of something beyond hearing felt instead, powerful and complete.
Remote cold, she retreats from a warm place to escape herself and the baggage of a relationship that no longer works in her life, asking the woman she meets in the mist of the snow and the Northern Lights how she keeps romance together with her man for more than two decades and, after hearing this woman make love with a man in the kitchen on the counter top the night before, is told she has no hold and so does not strangle love the way others might in other relationships and so she the Sun Queen makes love with the same man and then makes plans to become an ice queen instead, choosing to move to a place where she might continue to share this, stretching the limits of traditional romance, loving by letting go, preserving by not clinging, this need to have and have not, to love but not so much as to strangle the love itself, permanence that is not permanent or rooted in concrete.
On his knees
She is surprised when he asks to marry her; she a lady in a society where people do not cross class lines and he someone she hired to lug her gear as they go in search of artifacts, treasures in remote places. He says he needs the money when he doesn't and she wants someone to serve her and so needs this more than she apparently needs love, to maintain control, needing a man who will do what she wants him to do and rather than imposing his idea of Love or passion on her, this last lingering on the tip of his tongue and in the passion that he brings into her at her insistence and also as a surprise, she needing control of each aspect even as she spins out of control inside herself, his touch setting free something she did not know as caged and though she keeps him down on his knees she is the one set free and then once free can agree at last to what he asked in the first place, though they're both know who is the real master and how he must willingly continue to serve.
What does it mean to surrender completely, to trust enough to let someone do whatever they want whatever they think you need, to give pleasure or withhold it, to lead you places you may not go on your own, you need not speak to give in and perhaps such lessons can be best given with a touch, the soft caress, the kiss, the movement in the moist corners of your world, stirring up fire and then letting it linger, unabated, with you craving for the touch or kiss or more, trusting that the person to whom you've given all, will give you what you ache for, what you beg for, the idea that in surrendering you become free left with no need to choose only to obey, no need to think, only to accept and in accepting, feel drawn in, doing what you are asked to do and realizing in this you like it and feel it and sense the intensity of pleasure you would not have felt if left to choose for yourself, surrendering, trusting, feeling, and easing that ache you never knew existed until it is gone.
You always wanted them to do what they eventually do to you, they taking charge after you've been in charge for so long, this taboo lingering in the air even after it ceases to make sense, you've always lusted after what youth gives them and they know it and they invite you back after they’ve ceased being under your control, where they might finally give you what you want and what you need, two of them, one after the other, or both at the same time, each touching you in ways you always needed to be touched, yet could not ask for and do not now, both around you like a duality you don't completely understand, unable to tell whose touch is whose when it no longer matters as if the two of them are one but can provide you with double the pleasure inside and out, moving over and round you a serpent plunging into the depths of you, so deep you do not know where or when or if it will come out and do not care and want it never to stop yet when it does you feel satisfied in a way you only imagine, they are perfect gift to the teacher they finally had.
He doesn't lift a finger; she does all the work, he watching remotely, the perfect voyeur, while she roams strange rooms naked, seeking something in places like this even she doesn't completely understand, some sense of satisfaction she can't find fully clothed in the world beyond such walls, who she is and what she wants and how maybe to get these, giving herself the pleasure she knows she deserves and in a shock giving him pleasure, too as he stares at some screen somewhere, watching, then speaking to her, asking her to do what she does so he can see it and this relationship somehow stirring up passion, crackling like static on the radio when lightning flickers and lights dim and she hears distant voices of people she will never know and yet somehow in touching herself with him watching she knows him and herself.
Some things are worth waiting for especially when it comes to an office romance she knows she shouldn't have, yet craves for, and gets at the moment when she most needs the comfort, sharing more than love making as she and he create a parting memory in a private personal party amid an office party where all others are oblivious to what they do, clicking off photographs in an old style photo booth, the way teenage lovers do, trying desperately to remain serious and stern and like teenage lovers, they can't keep it up, this serving as foreplay to that final moment when they both come to what was inevitable from the start, not love certainly, but romance, absolutely intense, knowing each other literally from the inside, out no cigarette ending moment just a heavy sigh.
Sometimes an old line is the best line when you really mean it, and when you have the look to make up for it, and she hears him and knows he doesn't mean a drink when he asked if she tastes as good as she looks and is no cannibal in the ordinary sense, and something stirs her to life, needing to be tasted, this line like old wine, perhaps even better with age, making her ache and wet, making her need to be sipped, spread hipped to let him in, just a taste and then another, so hot as to live up to her name, circling it all to make it all happen in one sitting, drunk on it, aching for him to come again so she could be, too, this brief encounter, parked in a parking lot not a Lover's Lane, burning, wanting more, this old line like fine wine, making her feel as if she has served him a full meal, just to taste, just a sip of the sap that flows out from her, she does taste as good as she looks maybe better, good enough for him to want to come again, anytime, she says.
When you wake to find a slice of lime on your pillow, you remember his mouth tasting you in ways you only imagined, his body pressing into you in ways you can still feel, the stranger you met on this trip you didn't expect to meet, needing to meet, feeling yourself before you are brave enough to go to him and demand he take you and aching when he does, this contrasted to the loneliness you felt before and how puzzled at his thinking lime makes pure what may not be pure and you wonder if the lime works when he goes to taste those parts of you you claim as unclean then he bangs you like a bell until you yell, this brief meeting in a place you never expected to meet anyone, your need lost in this taste of lime where his mouth goes, and then other parts going to that place in you of other need “please, please me” the Beatles once sang and he does, lime making everything pure, lime making it alright and you waking to a slice on the pillow beside you, a reminder of what was and a promise of what might be again.