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Best Women's Erotica 2006 Paperback – Large Print, 28 Dec 2012
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Paperback, Large Print
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About the Author
Violet Blue has appeared in dozens of publications and radio and TV programs; the following is a selected list. Violet has been interviewed and quoted by national and international magazines including O, The Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Jane, First for Women, Glamour, Grace Woman, Maxim, Marie Claire, Women's Health, Essence, Vibe Vixen, Bust, Redbook, Girlfriends, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Wired, Playboy, Blender, Penthouse, and more; TV appearances on The History Channel's Sex in History series and Playboy TV's Sexcetera; radio interviews including The Dr. Laura Berman Show, The Sunday Night Sex Show with Sue Johansen, and a regular monthly guest appearance on Sirius OutQ Radio's Derek and Romaine Show; and selected websites including CBS Healthwatch, Salon.com, MSNBC.com, Wired.com News, and Jane's Guide. She has been the subject of feature articles in the Village Voice, San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been quoted extensively in several books including 365 Days of Sensational Sex by Lou Paget and The Guide to Getting it On! by Paul Joannides.
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As a guy, I expected stories of female power and strength, of tables turned on traditional sexual roles and expectations, featuring empowered and deliberate women. I expected the women to be demanding and straightforward, completely in control, knowing what they wanted, when and how they wanted it, with no vacillation. I didn't expect raging butch--well, I did expect some, and you get enough--but I was surprised by what to my reading was a preponderance of women sure of what they wanted but not spelling it out, willing to be the bottom, willing to give up control and direction for the sake of becoming a sexual object. I guess one could argue that behind this is a true position of power, realizing one's value and power in the sexual context, deciding to be taken and then allowing it to take place. Being conscious of this as I read, I really didn't see this come out in most of the stories. I saw women who like it hard and rough, who are just as randy and ready as men; maybe in the end this really is the attitude I expected, just presented in an unexpected manner.
So, if you like stories of the torrid takeover, the struggle and surrender, the drippy-quiet longing at last requited fast and hard, then many of these stories will work for you.
Coffee figures often, as does leather, and spices. Clothing gets a lot of descriptive attention, as do interiors. There's a lot of sensuousness in these stories, attention to tactile and other sensory experiences. Scent plays a major role, with characters remembering smells distinctly, or being immediately drawn in by a scent. This seems to me to be a uniquely feminine perspective, and for the men reading and paying attention, is highly instructive.
One can't help but notice that most of the adult fiction in the US comes out of San Francisco, and this Cleis Press release is no different. The author bios at the back show a range of author locations, from Canada to Maryland, Seattle and the UK. But, it struck me that a great many of these stories are set in the UK, and are written using British English. The use of "arse" and "wanking" are dead giveaways, as well as references to UK locations, motorways, etc. I tip my brimming pint of Guinness to Elizabeth Coldwell and her story "Heat" for including a line about a new boyfriend, who is "a burly prop forward for the local rugby team." Good on ya, Lizzie; every woman should date a rugby player. I have to interpret these British settings as a deliberate editorial decision. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it strikes me these settings are--yes, this is sexist--an unfortunately stereotypically female contrivance to situate the action in a place exotic yet still familiar and therefore safe. There are no stories featuring Macao or Sao Paolo; everyone speaks English, and I'm hearing most of it with delightfully sexy British accents.
Ah, yes, "wanking." This seemed to be a favourite term of many of the authors, with one story in particular featuring it on almost every page and even three times in the space of two paragraphs. In my mind, I conjure this term as a distinctly male undertaking, if anything for its onomatopoeic qualities. Maybe this is part of the authors' plan, reclaiming the term for ladies as well, as the stories more than amply demonstrate.
The stories are all enjoyable. I enjoyed the opener, a story of an artist's model asked and then forced to do quite a bit for the sake of the "art," and who takes it all and wants more. There is more than enough power play, some light femdom, a threesome or two, and a few interesting stories which take full advantage of the myriad erotic opportunities afforded by today's instant communications and the Internet. Good stuff, all.
Thankfully, and wonderfully different than most of the adult fiction I've read lately, I noticed only a few editorial oversights, most of them in technical edit and not content. There was a line about walking "in synchronicity," of which I'm sure Jung would be proud, but which doesn't describe walking in step. There was a line about fixing drinks with "Kettle One," when it's Ketel One which is the trendy alcohol. There is a line about "serpentine black leather pants," which conjured an interesting mental picture of black leather pants that just went on and on, twisting and curving and undulating, when I think the author was trying to communicate that the pants either fit like a serpent's skin, or that they were embellished with a serpent design. I'm just niggling here; given the horrible technical and content editing I've seen in other books, this was truly minor stuff.
All in all, the 20 stories go quickly, all of them thoroughly enjoyable. None are bad or were a turn-off. All were entertaining, some much more than others; that's owing to personal taste, really. It's a well done book, worth the purchase price and worth the time to read, singly or with an acquaintance you might want to get to know a little better.
It'll create feelings deep within that you probably wouldn't even expect.
Absolutely and completely mind-blowing!