When Rachel Kramer Bussel put out a call for blogs to take part in her "Passion" virtual tour, I jumped on it, and not just because her anthologies--all of Cleis Press, really--are beautifully composed, but because this was subtitled "Erotica For Women."
What differentiated that from the more traditional literary erotica collected by Cleis? I just had to find out. Within the first few pages, it became clear. "Erotica for Women" is less edgy, maybe, more about the romance and female fulfillment than some other erotic stories I've read. The female point of view dominates, for sure.
But what I've found is that each story centers on building relationships, new or old, which definitely falls within the purview of many female readers. Though it may be stereotypical, women, as far as I've found, seek out new relationships as a matter of course. We feel energized and fulfilled by these new connections--I certainly do. And add a healthy dose of arousal and eroticism to the mix? Female heaven.
I was particularly taken with Angela Caperton's "Dear in the Headlights" because I feel it embodied not just the raw lust found in most erotica, but that indefinable touch that makes this story "erotica for women." It was not only sexy, but made me think about erotica and its possibilities in a new way, both as a reader and a writer.
The only issue I take with the anthology is this: though it may be erotica for women, this should definitely be required reading for men. Definitely. I will likely be slipping this book into the hands of some well-intentioned but misguided men I know in hopes that they'll learn a thing or twenty (one for each story) about how to bring passion to their relationships.
Curious? Well watch the trailer below, and get your hot little hands on a copy of "Passion: Erotica for Women" ASAP.