Ever want to travel and see the world? I have. I haven’t been that many places really, either inside the US or out. A lot of destinations call my name, though, places I’d want to escape to with my partner for our own private, or not so private, erotic getaway. This is, in a sense, the premise of Foreign Affairs (Erotic Travel Tales), one of the August selections of the Naked Reader Book Club – getting away and experiencing the culture of an unfamiliar place or a place you don’t call home, and maybe having a sexual encounter while you’re at it.
Foreign Affairs was published by Cleis Press in 2004. It’s a large, oversized paperback, quite a bit larger in size than many of their other publications and has 267 pages. The glossy cover is fairly discreet. Inside are an introduction by the editor, Mitzi Szereto, about the authors and about the editor sections, and 21 stories that take place around the country and around the world.
In her introduction, Mitzi asks if it’s possible to combine the genres of erotic writing, literature, and travelogue while keeping them true to themselves. The collection of stories, which feature authors both new and old to writing, will make you ponder that a bit. The answer is, it depends on what you’re looking for in erotic stories. If you’re looking for a well-written read, that has great descriptions of locales you may or may not have visited, with sex fairly secondary to the story, these stories may be very appealing. If you want to read erotica that has a splash of traveling and, well-written or not (although I’ve never run across a poorly-written story in any publication from Cleis Press) gets your juices flowing as you read about steamy escapades…well, this is probably not your collection.
The locales are quite varied, and meticulous detail goes into describing the locations and cultures in most of the stories. The people in the stories, however, don’t seem nearly as well fleshed out or interesting, with a few exceptions. Many of the stories also end on a sad, or bittersweet note, which I’ve never found conducive to pleasure or enjoying myself after enjoying reading.
I did like a few of the stories herein, which seemed more erotic and exciting to me than others (or more unusual in one case). The standouts for me:
”One Day on 375” by Helena Settimana The two decided to drive from San Francisco to Roswell in Alonso’s convertible. After stopping for gas north of Las Vegas,the two pick up a hitchhiker. Gretok looks a bit out of the ordinary, and what they experience with her in the car is more than extraordinary. Is it an extraterrestrial encounter, or just some very good peyote that provides them with an unusual sexual experience in the desert?
”At the Falls” by Opal Palmer Adisa 42 year old Evelyn springs a breakup with Frederick at dinner. She’s done with their marriage, and heads off for 5 days to an island paradise. The Cane Man picks her up at the airport and transports her to her private bungalow. He isn’t quite what he seems, and Evelyn discovers something wonderous about him and herself at the falls. Will she remember his ministrations and her ecstasy when she has to head home?
“Continental Breakfast” by Holly Farris Melissa and her husband Ned were in France for a vacation. As a flight attendant, they often spent a lot of time apart and they were trying to spark their marriage at a farmhouse cottage/bed and breakfast in the countryside. Ned’s not thrilled, but Melissa is intrigued by the notes she’s finding all over the house from A., B., and C. and the eye candy from the windows of the workers. Are the notes meant for her, or from a bygone time? And will Melissa discover the passion she can’t live without?
Overall, if you’re more interested in the details and the exotic (or more local) locations than hot and steamy sex, and well-written stories are more important than arousing tales, you’ll likely enjoy this collection of stories a bit more than I did.
Thank you to EdenFantasys for sending this to me for free tor review as a member of the Naked Reader Book Club! The Book Club meets every other Tuesday on the EdenFantasys forum – you’re welcome to attend! If you’d like to read Foreign Affairs, or any of the Club’s past selectiions, you can get your copy at EdenFantasys today.
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 unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.