Women in Lust: Erotic Stories Paperback – Nov 8 2011
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"From the objects of their desiring to how they want to be wanted, the collection offers a delicious array of women's lust to choose from." --Sal & Tal Erotica "Many of the stories showed the female characters really going exactly for what they lusted after, and the stories all were unique and individual from one another while still united by strong female characters. I definitely think Women In Lust has a story for everyone, and if you enjoy hot and pleasurable erotica that's well-written and features a strong female character, this could be a great book of erotica for you. I definitely would rate this hot read above some of the other erotica books I've read." --Pop My Cherry Reviews "What I love about Women in Lust is that it's a mixed bag of delicious, sinful erotic stories. The title insinuates its a lesbian anthology, but it has all sorts of stories--straight, lesbian, couple, threesome, etc.--that all women will be sure to enjoy. Stories: I love their diversity! Not only in storyline, but also in heat level and theme. Some are sizzling, some are vanilla, some are intense--just reading them form bruises on my flesh--and some are heart-tingling. This book is a great collection of such a broad assortment of stories that you'll never get bored with, and one that certainly won't dissatisfy. Rachel Kramer Bussel is among my favorite Cleis authors/editors. She does a fabulous job picking the PERFECT stories for her anthologies, so of course Women in Lust didn't disappoint! The quality of the writing conventions-wise is also fantastic; typo count, zero, which is so hard to come by in erotica these days." --Caffe Vitale "It's wonderful to read about women in lust - women who are bold, free, shameless (in a good way), women who know how to reach satisfaction. It's nice to read a book full of heroines unburdened by guilt, with very few obstacles between them and their fondest desires." --Pagan Spirits "If you're looking a totally sexy, so-hot-it'll-burn-your-fingers book, then you should definitely add Women in Lust to your shopping list." --Erotica for All "Each tale is a snippet into a life or lives and each presents a titillating vision into perceptions of lust, so everyone can find something that will appeal." --Fresh Fiction "I was impressed with the overall quality of the writing, and I will certainly be reading more erotica from Cleis Press. I'm thrilled to see so much diversity in the stories -- younger women's lust and older women's lust, leading to straight, gay and kinky sex, and in all cases to hot sex. Highly recommended." --Whole Sex Life "Erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel's newest anthology Women in Lust is juicy and bursting with the passionate flavors of many voices...Fresh and wonderfully compiled, twenty erotica authors combine their literary gifts and mix it all up into a lusty book...gives the reader a bouquet of delights, all clamoring with lust, displaying its words, paragraphs, and letters in sinuous sentences and wanton descriptives." --Erotica du Jour "Wishes and thoughts, ideas and machinations of women in the throws of lust, for men or women, release or adventure, be it to take or be taken. It was an enjoyable and recommended read." --The Eroticist "These lusty women enjoy a rough and wild romp. Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, the anthology Women in Lust plunges headfirst into spanking, multiple partners and switching genders. For me with erotic writing, it's not about the gender of the individual but the overall person, and I enjoy anthologies that embrace this diversity." --Louisa Bacio Blog In praise of Passion, "Rachel is superb at selecting stories with a theme. Passion is at times touching and tender, naughty and hot, and completely true to its title: erotic, romantic and universally appealing to newbies and connoisseurs of lusty language, the sort of anthology that encourages sensual living." from Modern Love Musings by Tinamarie Bernard. In praise of Smooth, "Unfulfilled just to let sex happen, these women are active participants and explore every sensory experience, especially those to do with that largest and most erotic organ: the skin. Sensuality exists alongside the animalistic, showing both sides, indeed many sides, of being bare." from the Sacramento Book Review.
About the Author
Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, reads at packed venues, writes a featured column in SexIs, and formerly wrote the "Lusty Lady" sex column for The Village Voice. She has edited the Best Sex Writing series since 2008. A prolific erotica editor, her titles include Spanked, He's on Top, Yes, Ma'am, Crossdressing, and Bottoms Up. Visit her at www.rachelkramerbussel.com.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Most of the pairings in these stories are heterosexual, but otherwise, a spectrum of scenarios is presented, from complicated triangles to initiation stories to black-leather-and-steel BDSM scenes to cougar stories of middle-aged women getting their second wind with younger men. Several of these stories could be classified as "travel erotica," since the heroines discover new sides of themselves while visiting exotic locations.
This collection is not advertised as "true stories," but the first-person narrators give it an aura of authenticity. None of these stories seems strictly factual, but they all seem to express sincere lust, as the title suggests. The rising sexual tension in all the characters seems spontaneous, genuine and revelatory. "I never did this before" is one of the phrases that gets repeated like a mantra in several stories.
These stories are all competently written, well-paced and engaging. Finding favourites is hard to do, since they're all good. However, several are noteworthy for their playfulness and creativity.
In "The Hard Way" by Justine Elyot, a female solicitor in a British police station acts out her fantasy with a detective sergeant whose job is to interview suspects. She asks him to "interview" her and he is glad to oblige:
'His sorrowful smile looks so genuine. It always does. He always looks as if the felon's fall from grace is breaking his heart.
I jut out a lower lip. "I didn't do it, officer."
He takes my chin in a hand, leans down to kiss the lie from my lips.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
RKB writes in her introduction, "we embrace our lusts even when they are maddening, even when they make us do things we might otherwise consider reckless." There is recklessness in this book -- encounters with strangers and with duct-tape and with nettles (brrr) -- though there are also prophylactics and conversations and solicitations of consent. There are "zipless" encounters as per Erica Jong, and hilarious self-aware interior monologues akin to Jong's own prose.
It's hard to *review* erotica; I didn't love every story, and some of that was due to the It's Not You, It's Me factor (Lucy Hughes' "Bite Me": it doesn't matter to Flightless what else happens once there is a naked razor blade in the unnegotiated bdsm scene; she is shielding her eyes and waiting for someone to tell her it's safe to look again. It turned out it was safe for most folks to look all along, but I had to go for a walk). There is also a knife-play story, "Beneath My Skin." Unlike "Bite Me," "Beneath My Skin" is female-submissive, as are about half the stories in the collection. Oh and it also has spanking in it, as do at least 1/4 of them. (Did we mention that RKB likes spanking?) Let's see, approx. 1.5 lesbian tales, one male masochist, one hot strap-on pegging scene, and three threesomes (all M-F-M). Several protagonists are over 40 and several of their lovers are younger men, which our aged Collective members quite liked.
There's even one story ("Unbidden" by Brandy Fox; do we think that's her real name?) that ventures wonderfully into seldom-charted territory -- this reader can remember only one other story, by Michael Chabon, that dared to do this: it describes hot, intimate, passionate sex between two people who are married -- to each other.
I don't know how anyone manages to write erotica without any terrible porny cliche phrases, but (as with the other RKB anthologies I've read), this one did its darnedest. (Apologies to "Ride a Cowboy," but I cannot read the phrase "balls deep" without thinking of Helms Deep and wondering whether they've ever done a sequel to Bored of the Rings.) At least two stories -- "Queen of Sheba" and "Ode to a Masturbator" -- had interesting enough prose that I'd recommend them even on non-prurient grounds, although the latter did take me out of the moment with lines like "She is blonde with enough curves to appear like a cursive lowercase q." It turns out that I have no idea how one is supposed to make a cursive lowercase q, and never did.
There are a few gorgeous descriptions of male bodies here (thank you, Elizabeth Coldwell's "Smoke"!), but I wanted more. Many of the men were invisible ("I hear his zipper, the rustle of fabric") or were merely their penes and hands, while female narrators lingered over descriptions of their *own* bodies. Sure, that hyperawareness stems from our society's relentless depiction of female bodies as objects of desire, decorative rather than sensory, but I had hoped to get away from that for a bit. But we all bring our brains with us, and one of the most winning aspects of this anthology for me was the moments when it does get intimate with women's squirmy gray matter. I dug the whole sequence in Jen Cross's "Queen of Sheba" about being *looked at*, the uneasy and complicated feelings of a young woman when her male lover is gazing at her naked -- first her whole body, while she resists the urge to pull up the sheets, and then:
"...He wanted inside me and sure I know that as a whole person, I didn't exactly exist anymore when he got into that wet fleshy focus, but at the same time I knew in that moment that I was being revered." (Jen Cross, "Queen of Sheba")
The whole book is fun, though I do recommend getting an actual paper copy and not trying to crash through it in one sitting just because you have a blog post to write. You'll laugh, you'll quiver, you'll turn down page corners.
Lust is one of the Deadly Sins.
Lust is one of the precepts that Buddhist practices abjures.
Lust is an intense longing, not necessarily sexual, but often categorized as such.
Lust is one of the most powerful of the emotions. Women in Lust is an anthology of erotic stories edited by Erotica anthology impresario Rachel Kramer Bussel exploring the idea, consequences, motivations and geography of lust, specifically from a woman's point of view.
Lust makes people do dangerous, reckless, even trangressive things.
Women in Lust is an anthology that embodies those principles in 20 stories, many of them veterans of Bussel's anthologies before. Bussel herself has a tasty story, anthologist's privilege, you bet, in "Hot for teacher". No laws are broken in this story, but it does play with that very classic trope and plays with it well.
Speaking of tropes and themes, while the overarching theme of lust might not give you a clue as to what truly is in store, I discovered a variety of scenarios, kinks, motifs and interpretations of the theme. The stories range from a pretend interrogation ("The Hard Way" to a dominance and submission themed threesome ("Her, Him and Them") , There is even, much to my surprise, a knifeplay story, "Beneath my skin".
What was the strongest story for me, you might ask? Besides Hot for Teacher, which pushed my buttons in all the right ways? Probably the "anchor story", Donna George Storey's "Comfort food". Yes, the story involves food, but nothing as simple or straightforward as using food in kinky ways.
The thing that detracts from the anthology, and it's a strength nearly as much as a weakness, is that with such a broad theme and such a variety of participants, the anthology is extremely broad and shallow in terms of the types of stories here. Although Bussel has curated anthologies like this before, in this case it seems especially spread out. This means that while your kink is probably guaranteed to be here in some form or another, it also means that the lack of overlap in that respect of the stories in the book might make you think the book has less value than it truly does. I think the stories could have been a little tighter together.
Women in Lust is a well written anthology, don't get me wrong. I don't think it is quite the best collection Bussel has put together, but I've never been disappointed in one of her anthologies, and Women in Lust is no exception.
What I liked/loved...
1. Good writing. This is not to be taken for granted with Erotica, imho. I've read more mediocre to bad writing in this genre than with any other. When you find an Erotica author you like, treasure them, stalk discussion boards for recommendations on other authors like them, whatever it takes to avoid wasting much moolah on stuff you wish you not wasted the time it took to read.
2. Some extremely hot stories, especially Orchid, Cherry Blossom, and Strapped, all of which would have been longer if I'd had any say in the matter. And this leads into what I didn't love so much. There's a definite "it's not you, it's me" problem.
What wasn't my cup of tea...
1. While I read a lot of erotica, what I don't read are short stories. Not a fan of the format, though I do make an occasional exception, as with this book. My usual fare runs more the to "epic" end of the scales. Not that easy to find in Erotica.
2. The stories are varied enough that if your tastes in erotica aren't fairly broad, there might be a few "ick" or "eewww" moments for some readers. I got a little turned off by stories like Beneath My Skin, Ode to a Masturbator, and Bite Me. Nothing wrong with them. No insult or slight to the authors intended. Just not my flavor.
To sum up, if you like well written erotic short stories with a broad range in "styles", this is a good choice in anthologies.