Review: Best Women’s Erotica 2012

I haven’t had good experiences with erotica in the past; it has never really given me what I wanted to get out of it and some of it just just plain bad *coughWetcough*.  I thought I would try again with the Best Women’s Erotica 2012 from Babeland.  I figured Violet Blue would only put the most awesome stories in the anthology.

The Run Down:

  • Toy Type:  Erotica
  • Editor:  Violet Blue
  • Publisher:  Cleis Press
  • Pages:  193
  • Size:  8″ x 5.5″ x 0.5″
  • Price:  $15.95
  • Pros:  Normal sized book; Lots of stories; Lots of diversity in fetishes and kinks
  • Cons:  Some of the language is romance novel-esque; Some stories had elements that bothered me (lack of female domination, etc)
  • Overall Rating: 3.75/5
  • Recommended: Yes, if you like erotica

The book

The Best Women’s Erotica 2012 is a small paper back book.  It seems to be a fairly standard book size (8″ x 5.5″ x 0.5″) so it will easily fit on your shelf or tuck away in your nightstand.  The binding of the book does say “best women’s erotica 2012″, so I wouldn’t put it on your shelf if you don’t want people to know you have erotica.  The cover of the book  has an image of the lower half of a woman’s body (her hips and legs) wearing just a thong on  a red sheet.  The back has the same image, but it’s whitened out a bit.  The front cover says the same thing as the binding and a short blurb about the book:

Violet Blue knows what you want:  smart, literate, pulse-racing women’s erotica.  Each year she sets the bar impossibly high, searching for the very best in explicit stories that tell the truth about women’s sexuality, in all its variety and emotional depth.  Best Women’s Erotica 2012 will astound you with its surprises, twists and turns – and send you running to “try this at home.”

I know the blurb is supposed to grab your attention to make you pick up the book, but it is something I always tend to use to judge the book or product.  The back also lists all the authors in the anthology.  The book is 193 pages long and has a short introduction, sections about the authors and about the editor, and 18 stories.

Each story in Best Women’s Erotica 2012 is written by a different author.  The first few stories seemed fairly vanilla to me, so I wasn’t expecting much.  They included a woman masturbating in a field while fantasizing and another meeting a man at a Twitter meet up for a hot night.  The next few stories get a little kinkier.  Many things are included from public mutual masturbation, nylon fetish, sex in front of a group, human dolly play, power play, threesomes, and more.  I was not expecting anything besides fairly vanilla material so it was quite surprising.  One thing I did notice is that most of the stories involve female submission.  There are a few where the woman says she’s in control, but it doesn’t feel believable.

The most surprising story to me was Dolly by Amelia Thornton.  It took me a while to figure out what was going on in the story, but it actually mentions two fetishes; human dolls and daddy/little girl play.  This story was quite difficult for me to get through because it actually pushes my limits of what I am comfortable with.  After reading it though, it was interesting to have read and learned a bit more about this type of fetish.

One thing that did bother me a lot was in the story No Rest for the Wicked by Jacqueline Applebee.  The woman meets a man at a wedding reception and they go up to her room to play.  She likes the thrill of things and there ends up being knife play.  The story itself was fine, but to me, the situation seems crazy.  It was a fairly hard BDSM scene (in my mind at least) and she just went along with it.  Nothing was negotiated and all of that.  I suppose no one really wants erotica that has that, but it did bother me a bit. Another thing that got to me a bit was how the women are described.  In most of the stories the women are described as fairly average to slender and the words “ample breasts” are used quite a lot.  The woman in No Rest for the Wicked is described as being plus size, but it felt almost as if it went out of it’s way to point out that fact.  It’s not only the women that are described like this, but most of the men are mentioned to be rather well endowed.

I wasn’t a huge fan of any of the stories, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Neighborly Relations.  The story ends up with a woman having a gang bang with a downstairs neighbor in her apartment building and three of his buddies.  This one appeals to me because group sex and gang bangs are something that really interest me.  Aside from that, none of the stories really appealed to me that much.  None of them are bad; I just don’t think erotica pushes my buttons they way I want it too.  The wording in many of the stories still seems very flowery and romance novel-esque which is a turn off for me (e.g. ‘soaking channel’, ‘throbbing member’).  Some stories were even a bit confusing.  In The Skin Doctor, they man and woman in the story are fucking doggy style and then it talks about his balls slapping against her ass.  Perhaps it is just my experience, but when I’m in doggy style with a guy, the balls are usually towards my clit, not my ass.  Maybe the guy just has some wacky anatomy.

Overall, the Best Women’s Erotica 2012 is a fairly inclusive with a very wide range of topics.  It did have some flowery language, which is not my thing.  I did enjoy some of the stories, but it wasn’t really the same as porn for me, I suppose I’m more visual.  If you’re a big fan of erotica and like a diverse selection, I think this would be a great anthology to pick up.

*This review was sponsored by Babeland, the product was sent to me free of charge to provide my honest opinion with no form of compensation

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