As one of the contributing writers to Best Gay Erotica 2008, I am humored by your puritanical stance on what is known as the best gay erotica collection in contemporary gay men's lit--and for a reason--its EDGE. If candlelight suppers and boxes of chocolate are what you seek in sexual writing, I suggest you check out one of the numerous "gay romance" titles that are sweeping the market these days. I read the entire aforementioned collection--and as a reader--was not put off by these loaded criteria you listed. Things that are not permissible in "real life" have the opportunity to exist in literature for a reason--it's only writing. You strike me as a grudging assimilationist type and if you--as you mentioned--refuse to check out anything from these editors in the future, your exposure to renegade gay literary culture will suffer. I suspect, however, that you are trying to tango in a mosh pit and should keep your incendiary, clean-butt, evangelical criticism where it belongs--with you. Meanwhile, the rest of us will revel in our artistic freedom as unapologetic queers.
Charlie Vazquez, NYC