After reading a lot of erotica anthologies now as part of the Naked Reader Book Club, I’ve found that, for the most part, I really enjoy the ones with a bondage or master/slave theme. Not the ones with the women dominant over the men, but rather the men over the women (a reflection of what I prefer in real life, I think). The women in these books aren’t shallow timid things, but rather strong women who tend to delight, in many instances, in relinquishing the control they maintain every day and give it to the man they love. When the May book selections for the club came out, it was no surprise to me that I chose to read and review He’s On Top (Erotic Stories of Dominance and Female Submission).
He’s On Top was published in 2007 by Cleis Press. The book is an oversized paperback with a glossy, indiscreet cover and contains 17 stories in its 178 pages. Also included are an about the authors section, about the editor, and an introduction by the editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel.
Rachel is a woman of many talents: among her many hats she’s an erotica writer, blogger, editor, and journalist. She’s edited numerous anthologies and has had her own erotica stories appear in more than 80 anthologies.
In her introduction, Rachel talks about how dominant men get a bad rap in society. She wanted to lessen this rap and give tribute to the power that goes into being a top, whether that power is physical, mental, or emotional. Through the chosen stories, Rachel wanted to show that S&M is not always a matter of whips, collars, and chains but can also be a matter of mind games. It’s equally pain and pleasure, and the top doesn’t have any power that the bottom hasn’t given him.
The stories here are told from the point of view both master and slave, as well as first and third person (and even one second person). The women are willing to submit to their men and give them what they need while receiving what they need as well. While some are defiant, all willingly join in.
One story I didn’t find erotic, although I liked it quite a bit, was “The Sun is an Ordinary Star” by Shanna Germain. In this story, a man recalls the fun he’s had with his wife and bondage, but now that she’s come back from cancer treatment he’s not sure how to act, and he struggles with his desire to bind her and his fear of causing her harm. It’s well written, touching, and sweet.
For the erotic stories, I enjoyed these the most:
“Confession” by Gwen Masters Clarice doesn’t love her husband Max anymore. After confessing to a priest, who tells her she must be honest, she confronts him. As they grapple with being dishonest and falling out of love, Max reveals he’s had an affair and then takes her in a brutal and dominating way. Will confessing her sins to him manage to bring some life back into their marriage?
“Yes” by Donna George Storey He sees her, wants her, and gets her, all the while drawing out her need to submit to him. When his old friend Sean comes to visit, he starts a game called Secret Desires. Will his girl be too embarrassed, or will she really do whatever he wants her to do and say yes?
“Boardroom Etiquette” by Lee Ash Kirsty was the acting head of the finance department, but her secret boyfriend Carter shows her no respect in the board meeting. When everyone leaves, will he make due on his promise to give her the thrill of a lifetime, or does his career have a shorter ending than he anticipates?
Thank you to EdenFantasys for sending this to me for free to review! If you’re interested in reading erotica, check out the Naked Reader Book Club on the EdenFantasys forums, where discussions occur on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month with host Kristina Wright.
Book by Collection of Stories by Various Authors
Publisher: Cleis Press Inc.
|This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer.|
This product was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.