Best Bondage Erotica 2012 is a collection of bondage-themed short stories by 21 authors. The majority of the stories are written from the female protagonist's point of view (POV). Readers can gain an insight into the woman's mind as she enters into bondage either by herself or with her partners (there is also one menage MMF story). Most of the bondage is light and involves ordinary rope (a few have no physical restraints). Most of the relationships in the story have casual BDSM elements. Most of the stories involve or end with sex.
There has been a criticism of the collection because the bdsm is predominantly female domination (Femdom) of mostly male partners (9 out of the 21 stories - see below), but there are only slightly fewer male domination stories (8/21). The bias, if there is any, is that the majority of the writers are women (even for a M/M story). In my opinion, the gender of the authors does not affect the quality or the themes of the stories. It just may happen that there are more women than men writers of bondage erotica. Some of the authors have made contributions to previous collections.
The other criticism of the book is that the bondage and bdsm is light and mostly rope bondage. Besides being an easily obtained bondage device, rope bondage takes time to apply. The writers have used the setup time to explore the feelings of both the dominant and submissive partners or the solitary individual in self-bondage. This is the strength of the collection: feelings about dominance and submission are explored, however briefly (because of the story length). The stories have an insight into how the characters entice or nudge their partners into the risky but arousing acts of bondage, and how it enhances the intimacy of their relationships.
The editor, Ms. Bussel, is an advocate of bdsm and rope bondage in particular (she also includes a foreword by Midori, a rope bondage specialist ). Readers will find a sex-positive theme devoid of the murky aspects of bdsm in most of the stories.
Best Bondage Erotica 2012 gives the reader an insight into the many ways that bondage is incorporated into people's sexual activites and their relationships.
Details of my points and the ratings (combined story and erotica) are presented below. Caution: topical description of erotic activities may contain spoilers.
Best Bondage Erotica 2012 contains 21 Short stories mostly about rope bondage themes. While various aspects of the collection and some selected stories have been reviewed previously (see the above amazon link), this following paragraphs are about each of the stories.
Shoshana Evers - Melting Ice. Self Bondage by handcuffs of female character. The main character cannot reveal her interest in bondage to another person but instead relishes in risky self-bondage and the excitement from a sex toy. F POV 3/5
Elizabeth Coldwell - Night at the Opera. A dominant woman gets off with her partner pleasuring her in bondage while she watches an opera. The story takes the reader through the drama of the operatic performance and the character's arousal from her partner as told from the perspective of an experienced Domme. It was somewhat of a fantasy (can he really pleasure her through an entire opera?) but the pacing was exciting. FM femdom, F POV. 5/5
Andrea Dale - Darlene's Dilemma. A story of a male Dom who directs rope bondage sex between his two female slaves. A combination of bondage, pain and sex. MFF, menage, MaleDom, F POV . 4/5
T. R. Shannon - Snow White. Story of a female who is placed in bondage and spanked before a webcam. Public (online) humiliation. MF, Male Dom, 3rd party POV. 4/5
Lucy Felthouse - Trophy Boyfriend. The female protagonist decides to have a last affair with her boyfriend by reversing their usual kinky play style. She places him in bondage and has an incredible experience. In one part of the story there was a little confusion about a blindfold or a gag, but overall it was easy to follow this erotic tale. FM femdom, F POV. 3/5
Salome Wilde - Spider and the Fly. A story of a man who is goaded into volunteering for a public exhibition of rope bondage from his girlfriend. The story starts with an irrelevant scene of his female roommate suggesting that he submit to the spidery web of his recently acquainted girlfriend in a BDSM club where she is performing. FM femdom, M POV. 4/5
Elise Hepner - Tied Down . An exciting integration of intimate bondage and sex between two women, one of the most erotic stories of the group. A lesbian genre story. FF femdom, F POV.5/5
Kay Jaybee- Cupboard under the stars. A story of a threesome with sensory deprivation in a homemade dungeon. The wife is lead into the dungeon, blindfolded, her hearing blocked as two guys have their way with her. The plot was somewhat typical of the "I didn't know what I was getting into" type stories. MMF, MaleDom, 3rd party POV. 4/5
Teresa Roberts - Suffer for me. A women introduces an eager young man to the BDSM lifestyle with (for him) what will be a peak experience. After succeeding in controlling his mind over his physical desire for her, her heart becomes snared by his submission. While the bondage and erotic content was mild, this was one of the most emotionally engaging stories in the group. MF, Femdom, F POV. 5/5
Giselle Renarde - Dry Rub. A wife gets revenge on her husband when he comes home after a night of drinking. While he's too drunk to resist, she ties him up and satisfies herself. A story of dubious consent, or consent while intoxicated, and a woman getting what she wants in the end. MF, Femdom, F POV. 4/5
Craig Sorensen - Worthy Redemption. An introspective look at a man's effort to redeem himself to his partner with a mixture of wax play, body oils, tickling and switching. One of the most poetic stories of the group, readers might need to re-read this story to get the hidden meanings of the religious symbolism and the edging experience of drugs. It was not clear to me who was redeeming who and for what reason(s) and the relationship of the bondage to the redemption. The partner's switching of roles at the end was intriguing. MF, MaleDom,Switch, male POV. 4/5
Elizabeth Silver - Laced Corset. This is story of two guys who discover their attraction to each other when one dons a corset and has his hands bound to it by his partner. Friends and roommates for a long time, the bondage changes their relationship. One of two gay/lesbian genre stories. MM, male POV. 4/5
Bille Thorun - Pawns. A story of a man who forces his partner to expose herself to his reluctant friend. A story of obediance and "mental" bondage. MMF, MaleDom, 3rd party POV. 3/5
Helen Sedgewick - Cumana. A woman's adventure into bondage and sex while attending a wedding in a Latin American country. The story also reveals the love/hate feelings that many submissives have for their dominant partners. MF, Male dom, F POV. 3/5
Lana Fox - Good British Steel. A woman learns the excitement of bondage and terror from abandonment while in captivity and knife play with a childhood friend she meets years later. MF, Male dom, F POV. 3/5
Tenille Brown - Parting Ways. A woman's story of searching for one of her "friends with benefits" after being rejected by her boyfriend. She expected to find her friend interested in dominating her as usual but is surprised to find he is interested in someone else in a different way. An intriguing story about relationships and the "switchy" nature of BDSM. MF, Femdom, F/3rd party POV. 4/5
Kathleen Tudor - Knot Alone. The arousal a woman finds from rope and a vibrator. An insight to the feelings one has from rope bondage. rope self-bondage, F POV. 3/5
Valerie Alexander - The Insurrection. A woman returns to a resort island and turns the tables on an older man who dominated her when she was young. A well-crafted story. MF, Femdom, F POV. 4/5
Lolita Lopez - Turning Point. A story of how a man entices his partner to surrender completely to him through suspension and predicament rope bondage. A revealing insight into the gradual deepening of a relationship of a couple by bondage. MF, Male dom, F POV.5/5
Niel Gavriel - As Long as You Don't Wake Me. A man's tale about his adventure as he is seduced by dubious consent into the world of BDSM by his kinky partner. This story appeals to guys who are wary about the mindset of kink but might enjoy it's many pleasures. MF, Femdom, M POV.4/5
Rachel Bussel - The Weight. A woman's monologue about how she makes a fetish of her partner, the difference between the fantasies she expects from him and what is possible. It is how the accumulation of experiences she has with him has made him into her fetish. MF, Male dom, F POV. 4/5
In her introduction, Ms. Bussel describes the beauty of bondage and how the characters may not know if they are attracted to it, but their bodies often respond in these stories to the arousal that bondage brings. Consensual bondage has suffered a bad rap because of earlier taboos and religious, social or moral rejection. This collection indicates that bondage could be a component of healthy sexual activities that individuals or couples could engage in. Even if erotic bondage is not your "cup of tea", you may find this collection an insight to the many ways people engage in it for intimacy.
For more discussion about the stories, see my other review blogs.
Reviewer has received a complimentary copy of the book but no other consideration.