Rachel Kramer Bussel reads a lot of porn. Her fingers are in a lot of erotic pies, metaphorically speaking. She’s edited (or co-edited) too many erotic anthologies to count. Okay, I confess. I counted. There are thirty, thirty books full of dirty stories she has personally read, or written, and approved for your personal consumption and one-handed enjoyment.
The newest additions to her burgeoning list of erotic anthologies are Orgasmic and Fast Girls (Cleis Press). For erotica specifically by women and for women, there were surprisingly few entries involving women and women. Scattered honorable mentions and some drive-by side action, sure, but only three of the combined 45 stories are Sappho-specific. Of those, the standout is a very hot gender bending contribution by Tristan Taormino titled Winter,Summer.
Personally, I think most porn, or erotica (which is really just porn with its pinky extended), should steer clear of dialogue whenever possible. Both books have a few awkward conversational patches, but the collections really excel in stories of bondage, discipline, humiliation and control, including the very erotic Whore Complex, by Bussel herself. Maybe, when all is said and done, control is that fine line that separates the erotic from the romantic, hot & heavy from hearts & flowers. Even Angela Caperton’s romantic coupling of two devout Christians waiting for the Rapture and finding ecstasy instead, is about giving up control.
Control is the thread that winds itself through most of the stories in both collections, binding your hands tightly over your head, just the way you like it...but might never ask for out loud. Voyeurs, exhibitionists, bored housewives and college students, good girls gone bad and bad girls gone wild--you'll find yourself here someplace either giving up , losing or taking control. Probably more than once.
Jodi Sh. Doff is a New York-based writer and photographer. Her work frequently includes autobiographical elements of drug-use, alcoholism, and the strip clubs and nightlife of New York City’s Times Square. As part of the harm-reduction/street-outreach movement, she educated and advocated for active addicts and street prostitutes, while working towards the decriminalization of prostitution. www.onlythejodi.com