Best of Best Women’s Erotica is, unsurprisingly, a compilation of what is allegedly the cream of the crop of the Best Women’s Erotica series. Edited by Marcy Sheiner, it features twenty-eight short stories by twenty-eight different authors and covers a wide range of sexual fantasies, fetishes and subjects.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I see a book hailing itself “best of the best” I automatically set my expectations very high. “Best of the best” means, to me, that these stories should kick some serious erotica ass. I should be titillated, turned on, perhaps even able to get myself off using these stories as fodder. I’ve always been a word-oriented person and often use erotica as fodder for my self-pleasure sessions, so I know I have the ability to be aroused and achieve orgasm with the help of the erotic written word.
However, not one of these twenty-eight stories came anywhere close to even turning me on, much less getting me off. In fact, many of the stories went so far as to turn me off, disgust me, and even outrage me. A few of the stories were written from such an insanely unenlightened viewpoint that I couldn’t believe that not only were they written for women, but they were written by women.
For example, one of the stories featured a woman whose sole existence revolved around one rather dull example of a man to the point where she quit her job and lived in a hovel of a motel with him, not even caring that they didn’t have any resources with which to continue any kind of livelihood. In another story, the woman hides her boyfriend’s Tourette’s medication because his verbal tics, though they shame him greatly, get her off.
Let me repeat that.
Her boyfriend’s neurological disorder gets her off.
Yeah. I was rather dumbfounded too.
I was also a pretty disappointed in the range of sexuality featured as well. There were a few more queer-oriented stories but they were buried in the back of the book behind all of the hetero stories. Now keep in mind that this could be counted as a personal preference since I am of queer orientation, but I really expected a little more inclusion in this book and less, well… segregation. With twenty-eight different authors, I expected just a little more variety not necessarily in subject and setting, but in sexual preference.
At the end of my reviews I try to consider two things: whether or not I will use the product again, and whether or not I would spend my own money on the product. This book fails on both counts. The only way I would recommend this book to anyone is if they had a well developed case of Trainwreck Syndrome and needed an incredulous laugh or two. For a book labeled “best of the best,” Women’s Erotica falls very, very short of that goal and makes me extremely hesitant to ever try any of the other books in the series from which these stories were chosen.
Despite my disappointment I give thanks as always to Babeland for letting me review their products—word needs to get out on all products, good and bad.