Now I know I’m not the only one with a cock-sucking, lip-licking fetish. As if it wasn’t clear enough from Sommer’s deliciously smutty Blow Hard tour, and the fact that my name is on everyone’s lips (-snerk-), along comes the news that two anthologies with a “going-down” slant have just been been named as Finalisits in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The finalists in the Erotica Category are:
Tasting Him/Tasting Her: Oral Sex Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Cleis Press); Flagrante Delicto, by Santillo (Santillo Photography); In Deep Waters 2: Cruising the Strip, by Radclyfe and Karin Kallmaker (Bold Strokes Books).
Tasting Him and Tasting Her are two fantastic anthologies, with lots of amazing stories by top erotic authors (and, also, my own little self, I should add) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one of them takes the cake, so to speak. Or maybe that’s the cream…
In other news, I ran across this delightful review of Best Lesbian Romance and Best Gay Romance in Passport magazine. Sweet giddiness, oh yes.
Over the past decade, readers could depend on separate annual anthologies of the year´s best gay and lesbian erotica for easy-reading horn-ucopias of sexy stories; plus a chance to catch up with established authors between full-length books and to discover new writers using salacious tales for training wheels as they rolled toward more nuanced work. That writerly desire for nuance—better-developed characters, stronger plotting, subtler symbolism—has driven constant improvement in these series, moving the collections from the realm of stroke books toward Lit Lite. At the same time the writing in the erotica series has improved, Cleis Press has initiated two new series: Best Gay Romance, edited by Richard Labonte, and Best Lesbian Romance, edited by Radclyffe ($14.95 each, http://www.cleispress.com). The 2009 editions of each are fun, lively reads, chockfull of work by writers familiar to LGBT erotica buffs: Karen Kallmaker and Rachel Kramer Bussel among the women, Simon Sheppard and Rob Rosen among the men. But there´s a rub (ahem): virtually all of the stories in these collections include sex scenes—many quite hot, and some made hotter by virtue of the well-wrought romantic relationships between their characters. Perhaps the blurring of distinctions between LGBT erotic and romantic stories indicates a positive evolution in our community´s perspectives on sex and relationships…and perhaps the ongoing publication of separate series nominally dedicated to separating erotica from romance has more to do with brand marketing than human nature. A final twist of ambiguity: perhaps the best story across the two new romance volumes is “What We Leave Behind” from the men´s book, in which a grieving cancer widower and a pet hospice worker form an emotional bond and have supercharged sex; the author, Shanna Germain, is a woman.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
PS — Don’t forget that your independent publishers need you. Buy books. Buy lots of books.
PPS — And if all of this isn’t enough reason to consider going down, look at this study I just found from back in 2003. -grins-