Review: Best Women’s Erotica 2011

I have been a fan of the volumes published by Cleis Press for quite a while. In fact, not long ago I reviewed (and loved) Best Women’s Erotica 2010, also edited by the fabulous Violet Blue. Like the 2010 volume, Best Women’s Erotica 2011 is an anthology of short stories by various amazingly talented writers, covering the widest possible range of topics you could think of. That’s one thing you’ll never find lacking in these anthologies: the creativity is absolutely astounding. Sometimes I just have to sit back and wonder how these writers coming up with such inventive topics!

All that being said, however… well, I couldn’t help but find this volume a little disappointing. But I’ve been doing a bit of thinking and I believe I can place most of the disappointment on myself and not on the book. Here’s why.

What I seem to remember about the 2010 volume is that there were actually a couple of queer-themed stories mixed in with all of the more heterosexual or “cock-centric” stories. The 2011 volume isn’t so diverse. While not all of the women featured in the stories identify as straight, all of the stories do involve genetic-male penis. This can be rather off-putting for someone who isn’t so much into genetic-male penis. However, this book is not marketed as lesbian or queer erotica. It’s not even titled as such. So it’s not like I was a victim of false advertising or anything. In fact if you look on Babeland’s website, it’s under a section titled “books – straight.” So despite the previous year’s volume including a few queer-themed pieces, I should not have let that color my expectations of Best Women’s Erotica 2011.

I should also not be disappointed by how, well… cock-centric this book is because Cleis Press and Babeland are not lacking for lesbian- and queer-themed erotica. So it’s not like the Best Women’s Erotica volumes are my only chance at getting some excellent lesbian and queer writing into my system! So in the end, it was my own expectations and preferences that led to me being disappointed in BWE2011.

NOW. All that being said. Obviously this book is not for you if you’re not so much into genetic-male cock. But if you are? Well, you should definitely think about picking up a copy! Like I said earlier, the creativity is excellent. The ideas detailed in the stories are hot no matter what genitals are involved. The quality of writing certainly leaves nothing to be desired. Just take a lesson from my mistake: pay close attention to book titles and don’t make assumptions about current volumes based on what was in previous volumes! “Women’s erotica” means only that the erotica is focused on the woman (or women) involved, not that there are only women involved. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Thanks to Babeland for keeping me well-supplied with sexy writing!

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