What would you do without batteries? If you wanted a little extra fun and didn’t have a flesh and blood partner, your options before electricity and batteries (rechargeable or not) were pretty limited. But what if, in the Steam age, energy was being harnessed to power sexual devices and fuel carnal dreams? Such is the premise of Carnal Machines, one of the July selections of the Naked Reader Book Club.
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I love being a part of Sexis’ Naked Reader Book Club, which has exposed me to an amazing amount and variety of erotica. The more I read, the more I find I enjoy the ones that have to do more with dominance and submission. Whether physical or mental, these stories – if they’re well written – really turn me on and excite me when I’m reading them, which is what I feel good erotica should do. Please, Sir, one of the June Book Club selections, is the second collection I’ve read recently on this topic, and one of those great collections that delivers multiple satisfying reads, particularly if, like me, the idea of submitting or reading about submission is something that excites you.
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.
A long time ago, when I was still in Junior High, I read The Story of O by Pauline Reage. It was the first erotic novel I’d ever read (Us by Anonymous being the second), and I have to say it made an impression on me. While the idea of slavery and BDSM didn’t make a lot of sense to me then (and even after reading through most of the Gor books it still didn’t), reading about it certainly turned me on.
Now that I’m older and exploring BDSM during playtime (for us it’s “only in the bedroom” and not a lifestyle by any means) with a willing partner, I’ve been more actively seeking out both movies and books that deal with the subject. I’ve since read some short story collections that deal with the theme, but I hadn’t read any more novels. When Carrie’s Story was chosen as one of the Sexis Naked Reader Book Club selections for April, however, I knew this was one I had to read. Continue reading
I’m a bit of a voyeur. I don’t mean just watching others have sex in porn – I certainly won’t turn a blind eye if I see a couple sharing a kiss or grope in public, or even where they don’t think they can be seen. I’m also a bit of an exhibitionist. I’ve had sex in public places before, or out in open places, where I could have been seen, and may have been. It’s definitely a thrill, and I looked forward to reading Hide and Seek (Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists), one of the Sexis Naked Reader Book Club selections for March.
Hide and Seek is an erotic collection published by Cleis Press in 2007, with a new forward from Jo Weldon in 2010. It’s an oversized paperback with a shiny cover and holds 187 pages. It has 21 stories, a forward and two introductions, as well as about the authors and editors sections. The book is edited by Alison Tyler and Rachel Kramer Bussel, two women whose stories I’ve enjoyed in other collections.
Jo Weldon is the founder and headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, and she’s worked with a variety of performers. She’s even been featured on television news magazines and TV shows. In Jo’s forward, she talks about what fuels passion and imagination, and how it’s often what leads to the sexual encounter that makes it so satisfying. She also tells about her early experiences with masturbation and her troubles finding a private place, which led to her releasing her fear of being caught and enjoying both watching and being watched. Continue reading