And thank goodness it has. Their frequent entries into the world of erotica are pretty high-quality now, but this tacky, cheap, and embarrassing 1996 collection has little to offer. I read it to prepare for a job in which I'll be writing outside of my gender, but it didn't help much.
What really puts me off is the amount of rape, coercion, and degradation in these stories. A good half of the pieces here focus on eroticizing molestation and non-consensual S/M. I get that people open this book understanding that it's fiction, but I can't get behind trying to portray violation as hot and glamorous. Role-playing, sure, but that's not what's happening here. It's especially disturbing when it appears in the stories by gay men about women (as it mostly does). Is this any more empowering than female-humiliation porn by straight men, really?
There are a few bright spots: Matthew Rettenmund's first-time story, "I F'ed a Girl," is sweet; Thomas Roche's story of a trans woman in a sex club, "Cowgrrrl in the Darkke," is fairly unique and convincing; and editor Carol Queen's "Poster Boy," about a young gay man's journey toward finding his prostate, feels authentic. Unfortunately, all three are in the first half of the book, leaving a long slog of violence and tepid sex until the final page.
If nothing else, this collection proved that the world needed WAY more authentic lesbian erotica, as the gay male authors repeatedly proved their cluelessness about cunnilingus. Luckily, in 2012 we have lots of high-profile woman-on-woman stuff... especially from Cleis! Switch Hitters is a chapter in their history that I'm fine with forgetting.