Best Women’s Erotica 2012 edited by Violet Blue

9th Aug 2012


Ms Blue has been putting together collections of this type since 1999, and won numerous awards for her work.

Keen to bill itself not as porn, but rather as intelligent and erotic fiction for women who don’t think that sex and intellect are two separate things, Best Women’s Erotica 2012 is for readers who don’t subscribe to the view that the only two labels a woman can have are either Madonna or Whore.

In her introduction, Ms Blue makes the case that women are entitled to – and should demand – both ‘hot sex and sublime romance’, and who can argue with that? The collection of tales that follows aims to deliver on that promise, and, in the most part, succeeds.

In this volume you’ll find stories as diverse as ‘Tweetup’ (a tale of what happens when those 140 characters open a door to the real world), ‘My Nylon Curtain’  (a sad tale with a twist about a middle aged man’s stocking fetish) and ‘Neighbourly Relations’ (where a drink at the neighbours’ turns into something else entirely…), with is a mix of subjects and styles from the multiple contributors.

Occasionally the language is crass, and the similes sometimes downright hilarious, but then I suppose in the throngs of passion sentence formation and linguistic structure are not the foremost thought of the mind.

All the stories touch on physical, emotional and intellectual desire, of the hearts, minds and bodies of their protagonists, and are able to make the reader smile – although not always for their intended reason.

But although all these tales have a shared aim, the outcome is often very different. What makes one woman squirm in delight will make another squirm in distaste, and there’s a fetish or situation in here to cater for all tastes.

The sheer nature of short stories means that building in a back story is never really possible, and when delivering the erotic goods is the aim of the game, there is little depth, making it hard to care about any of the characters.

But that’s to rather miss the point. This is a good little collection, with the woman at the centre of every pleasure – and for that, you can’t knock Ms Violet Blue’s spirit.

Published by Cleis on 12th August, the paperback is priced at £8.39, or it’s available at £7.43 for Kindle.

Rating: 3/5

Recommended for: Everyone. I think that’s the point.

Other recommended reading: Last year’s compilation, Best Women’s Erotica 2011, also edited by Violet Blue, offers more along the same lines.

Other collections you could try include The Mammoth Book of Erotic Confessions by Barbara Cardy, or Mitzi Szerato’s The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies.

Francesca Baker