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Velvet Nightmares by China Hamilton. Published by Erotic Review Books. ISBN 978-1904989592

Velvet Nightmares by China Hamilton. Published by Erotic Review Books. ISBN 978-1904989592

Review by Christopher John Ball Pending

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The Gift of Girls by Chloe Thurlow. Published by Nexus. ISBN 978-0352345202

The Gift of Girls by Chloe Thurlow. Published by Nexus. ISBN 978-0352345202 Thievery, promiscuity and (soft) slavery all feature in this latest acquisition. Its heroine Magdalena Wallace has a head for figures and this helps her secure a great summer job as an intern at City accountants Roche-Marshall. Here she is trusted to check accounts but she doesn't tell her boss that she works at night as a waitress, dressed in fishnets and a corset, at Rebels Casino. Magdalena is desperate for the extra money the job brings and she sees an opportunity to earn more when she learns about a 'secret' system from a high-roller, she plays the tables but loses her university savings. Sure that her system will eventually pay out she dips into the accountancy firms clients' money - losing that as well. Her boss finds out. Should he go to the police and report Magdalena, or will she agree to be his slave until the debt is paid. He proposes that she act as a slave for the next six weeks and her debt will then be paid. Could The Gift of Girls be Ms Thurlow's most daring novel to date?

This novel could definitely be described as 'racy' and Ms Thurlow leaves nothing to chance. My only concern is that when I first started to read The Gift of Girls I mistakenly believed that I was again reading her previous novel, Being a Girl. The similarities between the two novels at the start was off-putting and, I have to say, it did affect how I perceived the novel to begin with - though some may find the familiarity comforting.

Aside from this, this latest addition to her repertoire will be sure to keep active imaginations working overtime and the blood flowing to the most sensual organs of the body for many hours to come.

Review by Carrie White

***Rating

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Dark Enchantment by Janine Ashbless. Published by Black Lace. ISBN 978-0352345134

Dark Enchantment by Janine Ashbless. Published by Black Lace. ISBN 978-0352345134 Take a journey into the darkness that is the erotic paranormal with Janine Ashbless’ Dark Enchantment. I love to read stories or novels that are different from the usual and this anthology definitely fits that bill. Cold Hands: Warm Heart, one of its stories, left a definite impression on me purely through the behaviour of its characters and its resulting conclusion; it carries a nerve-jangling moral within.

This collection of short stories is dark, and it does enchant but it also gives a lot more to its readers. It brings the power of raw imagination and pure unadulterated lust to the forefront. It will chill you and excite you and, without a doubt, you will find yourself drawn into the very being of the characters that inhabit the sinister, lustful world of Dark Enchantment.

This anthology is definitely the way to go if you want something sizzling with the contrast of something icy to while away a few hours; a highly recommended read.

Review by Carrie White

****Rating

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Over the Knee by Fiona Locke. Published by Nexus Enthusiast 2006. ISBN 978-0-352-34079-5. On the Bare by Fiona Locke. Published by Nexus Enthusiast 2009. ISBN 978-0-352-34515-8

I am reviewing these two books, by the same Author, as they form a satisfactory pair for the ‘Erotic Literature’ review section of the Association site.

On the Bare by Fiona Locke. Published by Nexus Enthusiast 2009. ISBN 978-0-352-34515-8The number of books covering 'corporal punishment' fiction writing would fill a library. Though the male bottom often gets considered, in 19th and early 20th century writing on this subject, historically it has always been the female bottom that has so intrigued those who love this eternal passion. Historical texts, which travel back through history, so often speak of how chastisement of the female, upon her bottom, provokes her lustful emotions.
For this reason, the written, fictional fantasies, usually, as they do in these two books of short stories, exclaim the virtues of the reward of sexual arousal, at the end of obvious but ‘necessary’ suffering. It is ‘erotic’ literature, for in truth, the experience can, for many, prove most erotic, when practiced consensually in real life.

Fiona Locke, in these two collections of first person short stories, illustrates with eloquent candour, her obvious, personal and detailed knowledge of this complex subject. I say complex, because the CP world is as formal and as controlled by etiquette, as that mythical school room or head master’s study, so essential to this genre. The cover pictures of these paper back books, white knickers, enshrining an offered, perfect bottom, with white ankle socks completing the picture, together with their titles, leave nothing to ambiguity.

Over the Knee by Fiona Locke. Published by Nexus Enthusiast 2006. ISBN 978-0-352-34079-5.What is essential to such tales of woe, of the frequent, misbehaviour and correction of a young lady, is the quality of writing. Fiona Locke writes with command and with an engaging style, that avoids the common trap of repetition and inevitable boredom that can happen, with such a narrow field of interest. These are not harsh stories of dark, Victorian cruelty but rather stern, yet caring scenarios, where correction by the rod is regretfully the most suitable solution for the miscreant’s failings. She also is subtle and informative, in the way that she lays out the psychology of the emotional complexities of the victim, examining and dissecting the powers of the hidden forces of anticipation and fear that are the engine of this private and secret world. It is this balance that Fiona Locke carries off so successfully and therefore creates instant classics for a world that craves for such tales. The rules of the strict and to outsiders, mysterious world of CP are always in place, however at times they are tested by little treats that push at their invisible boundaries.

If this is you taste, either as a voyeur, a practitioner or a recipient, then I must commend these two collections of stories as they rate amongst the very best of such work.

Review by China Hamilton

*****Rating

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Fairy Tales Can Come True - Edited by Natasha Brooks. Published by EmergingEdge_Publishing. ISBN 978-144046019-7

Fairy Tales Can Come True - Edited by Natasha Brooks. Published by EmergingEdge_Publishing. ISBN 978-144046019-7Fairy Tales Can Come True is an anthology of erotic fairy tales that feature some childhood stories you will undoubtedly recognise. However, these once familiar stories have now been spiced up tremendously and, after heating up ready to be served, are accompanied by a side dish of tenderness and passion. But, as with true fairy tales, there could well be a moral within these stories. The question is: can you find them?

This collection has been lovingly smattered with humour sprinkled throughout like fairy dust and as such makes this particular offering from Editor, Natasha Brooks a definite joy to read. Just when you think it’s all over you will find an added bonus at the end of the book: read up about the authors, take a fun trivia test about other fairy tales and read through an extract of Pussy Tales written by the editor of this anthology. Brilliant!

Review by Carrie White

****Rating

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A Country Girl by Jeanne Ainslie. 2008. Published by Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1436331791.

A Country Girl by Jeanne Ainslie. 2008. Published by Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1436331791.'A Country Girl', a sequel to Canadian author Jeanne Ainslie's 1975 novel 'Angela', is a very frankly written account of an innocent girl's experience of both love and sex in a rural community. It is published as erotica but I have difficulty regarding it as such due to its very explicit descriptions of the sexual act. For me, erotica is passionate and romantic; two things that I feel that this novel lacks. Ainslie's writing has been touted as 'classic erotica in the tradition of Anais Nin' but I feel that it is missing a little of the warmth to be found within the works of Nin.

To get the most out of 'A Country Girl' it's necessary to read it carefully as the style in which it is written can be confusing at times. The lack of quotation marks can make it difficult to distinguish between speech and narrative and it does appear a little too clunky at times - almost as if it is a text book exercise in style. I have to admit to not liking this approach at all. Given also that it is a sequel I wonder how much one needs to have read the first novel 'Angela' and in not having done so how much have I missed?

Although I give 'A Country Girl' an average 3 star rating that is not to say that it does not have some redeeming qualities - and to be fair it is perhaps just not to my taste. So, if you have read the first book and are keen to know how Angela's story progresses or if you're looking for something raunchy, clear in its intentions and dripping with sex at every page turn, then this novel is definitely for you.

Review by Carrie White

***Rating

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Dances with Werewolves by Niki Flynn. Introduction by Ramsey Campbell. Published by Virgin Books. ISBN-13: 978-0753512289

Dances with Werewolves by Niki Flynn. Introduction by Ramsey Campbell. Published by Virgin Books. ISBN-13: 978-0753512289 This is a most unusual autobiography. It is unusual for three reasons. The first is that it is exceptionally readable, a real ‘page turner’ for Niki Flynn is a gifted writer. The second is the extraordinary candour of the writing, Flynn quite literally peels herself open for the reader. The third is that it is written while she is still very much in the prime of her life and still the story continues its often disturbing journey beyond the last lines of the book; leaving us wondering as to the new directions her passions will take her. I must admit some bias in that for some time now, Niki has on occasions, worked with me and my camera to produce perhaps the most significant work of my career; though others must judge. This is no surprise as the enthusiasm for the exploration, of the often darker sides of sexual expression, that is communicated so vividly from the book’s pages; translates into the energy that she brings to all the many creative activities she is still involved in.

This autobiography not only reveals her experiences and motivations - in the many aspects of the corporal punishment world in which she so often works, films and writes about as successful fiction stories - but it also permits us some intimate glimpses of her private life and relationship. Few people have the courage or the intellect to reveal the depths of their sexuality in such a psychologically analytical, yet emotional, first person, story form for others to dissect and certainly learn from. Much of the book is written as actual accounts, ‘blow by blow’ of filming moments, described so vividly we could have been there.

For some people reading this book will be quite a shock, quite disturbing. For others, of a more voyeuristic turn, it could possibly prove deeply arousing. The reader will learn much information they either didn’t know or didn’t understand about a world that is so often encountered only superficially, down to exactly what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a well applied cane. Some will certainly identify with the fantasies and the serious, real, sexual needs that have driven Niki since she was very young.

There is also a most erudite introduction by Ramsey Campbell, well known for his horror writings, that contributes a great deal to many aspects of this complex subject of sexual power play, society and censorship.

Like Niki Flynn, her autobiography is above all, enormous fun, with just a hint of a much more serious side.

Review by China Hamilton

*****Rating

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Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women's Rights by Nadine Strossen. Published by Abacus. ISBN-10: 0349107653

Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women's Rights by Nadine Strossen. Published by Abacus. ISBN-10: 0349107653In 1991 Professor Nadine Strossen became the first female president of the American Civil Liberties Union. Founded in 1920 - the ACLU seeks "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." In addition she sits on the 'Council on Foreign Relations' and she is a founding member of 'Feminists for Free Expression'.

'Feminists for Free Expression' use feminist principles and arguments to counter censorship in the United States and preserve the individual's right to view and create materials of their choice without the intervention of the state "for her own good" - believing that freedom of expression plays an important role in the quest for women's rights: -

"While messages reflecting sexism pervade our culture in many forms, sexual and nonsexual, suppression of such material will neither reduce harm to women nor further women's goals ....Censorship traditionally has been used to silence women and stifle feminist social change. It never has reduced violence; it has led to the imprisonment of birth control advocate Margaret Sanger and the suppression of such works as The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, The Well of Loneliness, and the feminist plays of Holly Hughes ...Women do not require 'protection' from explicit sexual materials ...Women are as varied as any citizens of a democracy; there is no agreement or feminist code as to what images are distasteful or even sexist. It is the right and responsibility of each woman to read, view or reproduce the sexual material she chooses without the intervention of the state 'for her own good'...This is the great benefit of being feminists in a free society" - reprinted in 'Defending Pornography'

Published in 1995 'Defending Pornography' was written as an attempt to counter the influential pro-censorship texts produced in the 1990's by the likes of Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin. Given that MacKinnon had refused to take part in debates with feminists who are against censorship it was also intended as a way to force a debate with her. Strossen believes that Mackinnon and Dworkin have misinterpreted studies investigating the effects that pornography have on men and have ignored other factors. Indeed Strossen shows that both MacKinnon and Dworkin have made errors as they jumped to conclusions in their attempts to justify censorship.

Where laws, inspired by the work of both MacKinnon and Dworkin, have been introduced Strossen provides evidence to show that there has been an adverse effect upon the rights of free expression for women. The Canadian laws, introduced in 1992, made no allowances for work that had serious literary or artistic value as said laws were based upon MacKinnon and Dworkin's strict definition of pornography as 'sexually explicit material that subordinates or degrades women' and their insistence that it causes discrimination and violence against women. Indeed some feminists, who had pushed for the laws to be introduced, were shocked to find said laws enacted against themselves. For example - in Canada such laws were used to censor and seize artworks/literature produced by lesbians, homosexuals and feminists.

Despite this both MacKinnon and Dworkin saw the introduction of the censorship laws in Canada as a victory for women. In a novel twist - it appears that amongst the material held for inspection by Canadian customs agents were the books 'Pornography: Men Possessing Women' and 'Woman Hating' both written by one Andrea Dworkin.

In 'Defending Pornography' Professor Strossen argues that attempts to censor pornography in North America are actually hindering the advancement of women's rights and are in fact aiding the conservative right in its attempt to control the media. She shows how MacKinnon and Dworkin have hypocritically formed an unholy alliance with the conservative/religious movement to try and chip away at the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

One element that is often missing within an analysis of the pro-censorship feminist argument is the incredible amount of misandry (what Judith Levine has called "the hate that dares not speak its name") to be found within texts by the likes of Andrea Dworkin. For example in her book 'Letters from a War Zone' she states:

"One can know everything and still be unable to accept the fact that sex and murder are fused in the male consciousness, so that the one without the imminent possibly of the other is unthinkable and impossible ... ...In everything men make, they hollow out a central place for death, let its rancid smell contaminate every dimension of whatever still survives. Men especially love murder. In art they celebrate it, and in life they commit it. They embrace murder as if life without it would be devoid of passion meaning, and action, as if murder were solace, still their sobs as they mourn the emptiness and alienation of their lives"

How would Dworkin have felt if the word 'men' in the above were replaced with black, gay, Jew or dare I say women? Many of the calls, from some quarters, for greater censorship are simply sexist attacks on men, based upon bigoted interpretations, on what is perceived to be male heterosexuality. For example - Catherine MacKinnon has written:

"In a patriarchal society all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent...Compare victims' reports of rape with women's reports of sex; they look a lot alike....the major distinction between intercourse (normal) and rape (abnormal) is that the normal happens so often that one cannot get anyone to see anything wrong with it."

Dworkin and MacKinnon seem to be blind to the fact that countries that impose rigid censorship are often the very ones that socially, sexually and economically repress women - whereas women who live in countries that operate a more liberated view on censorship tend to have a higher level of freedom and rights. They are also equally dismissive of the fact that women themselves produce and consume pornography and erotica - as the number of female artists within the Association membership testify.

Essays within 'Defending Pornography' deal with contentious elements within the debate such as 'Positive Aspects of Pornographic Imagery', 'Posing for Pornography: Coercion or Consent?' and 'Revealing Views of Women, Men, and Sex.'

Though first published over 10 years ago 'Defending Pornography' still holds up as a great universal counter argument to those that want to restrict freedom of expression and should be read by all.

Review by Christopher John Ball

***** Rating

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The New Black Lace Book of Women's Sexual Fantasies Edited by Mitzi Szereto. ISBN-13: 978-0352341723

The New Black Lace Book of Women's Sexual Fantasies Edited by Mitzi Szereto. ISBN-13: 978-0352341723 At first glance it would be easy to assume that this book would not be something that one would think to pick up to casually while away a few lost hours on the beach but, really, Women's Sexual Fantasies' holds a minefield of information. Erotica and romance authors, students needing research material and sexperts are just some of the people who, I believe, would benefit from reading 'Women's Sexual Fantasies.'

It has been said that the brain is the biggest sex organ we possess and its capabilities to carry out our greatest wishes and desires is hampered only by our body’s' failure to keep up. It would be a shame not to use it to its full potential for pleasure and judging by the assortment of ages, sexualities, relationship status and culture of female contributions published in this book, this is being achieved tenfold.

I love this book simply because my own fantasies are proven to be not so unusual or boring after all. We are all 'normal', we are all very sexual.

Black Lace is celebrating its 15th anniversary in style with this title.

Review by Carrie White

****Rating

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Lured by Lust by Tania Picarda. Published by Black Lace. ISBN-13: 978-0352341761

Lured by Lust starts off strong and hot as Clara, our protagonist, sits perspiring at her desk at work. But, is the heat she feels due to the stifling temperatures outside of the Gallery or the lustful gaze of an unknown admirer?

Lured by Lust by Tania Picarda. Published by Black Lace. ISBN-13: 978-0352341761 Either way, she finds herself on a journey of sexual discovery, led by the mysterious Mr X and facilitated by the countless number of eager men just waiting to take her to bed. There’s no denying the novel is packed with steamy sex scenes but without doubt this is purely erotic. Where is the romance in these liaisons? It would fit in with the classification of erotic romance better if Clara would hold true to just one of her willing suitors and not every single man she came across.

I have to say, despite this discrepancy, I enjoyed the novel immensely though I found as I read nearer the end the action became rather hurried as if the author felt it was necessary to get in as much sexy action in the remaining chapters as she could.

Lured by Lust is a novel that will definitely make you as hot as Clara herself, as it’s packed with raunchy sex scenes. A book certainly well worth reading for this alone.

Review by Carrie White

***Rating

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Tie Me Up - 20 Erotic Stories Edited by Cathryn Cooper. Published by Xcite Books. ISBN-10: 1905170947

Tie Me Up - 20 Erotic Stories Edited by Cathryn Cooper. Published by Xcite Books. ISBN-10: 1905170947 I’d started to read this collection with some degree of trepidation as anything that could involve pain doesn’t float my boat, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Despite the rather descriptive title, Tie Me Up doesn’t involve excessive use of bondage; in many of the stories the use is subtle, a tease of what could be discovered in this particular world of fetishism.

The stories are well written and a variable mixture of storylines but I also felt they were very uninspiring as a collection. I suppose, though, it all depends on what you’re wanting to get out of a novel or anthology and for those seeking to be thrilled and entertained, Tie Me Up will most certainly do the job.

Regardless of its apparent lack of ‘kick’ for me, Tie Me Up provides escapism, a gentle lead up into the private life of bondage and tantalising erotic scenarios. I couldn’t fault it for anything else.

Review by Carrie White

***Rating

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Nexus Confessions: v. 2 by Various Authors. Published by Nexus. ISBN-10: 0352341033

Nexus Confessions: v. 2 by Various Authors. Published by Nexus. ISBN-10: 0352341033For various reasons, many people are reluctant to reveal their most private of thoughts and fantasises usually because of other’s less than supportive views; Very often, but not always, this part of a person’s sexuality tests societies acceptance and tolerance to the limit. However, this collection of true confessions which feature fetishes, beautifies the writer’s desires with remarkably sensual results.

Even though the contributors to this anthology are readers of Nexus, their accounts are surprisingly readable. Nexus Confessions feature a variety of boundary pushing delights which include ‘spanking, cross-dressing and corporal punishment’, a plethora of stimulating stories which has something for everyone.

Even better, there are plenty more of these anthologies in this particular series, so there are no excuses not to try them.

Review by Carrie White

****Rating

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One Breath at a Time by Gwen Masters. Published by Black Lace. ISBN-10: 0352341637

One Breath at a Time by Gwen Masters. Published by Black Lace. ISBN-10: 0352341637 Occasionally, reviewing erotic fiction can be likened to embarking on a new relationship: the excitement of the first meet, the anticipation of that first kiss and caress. Learning about how and what turns your lover on and whether you will cherish each other for years to come or will you dump one another in a charity bookstore when you've taken all you can? This is how I would describe my experience with One Breath at a Time.

This novel has been written with so much care and feeling that it literally drips off the page. You can understand the emotional pain and the physical pleasure that Kelley goes through from the first moment she comes face to face with a hunting rifle to its romantic conclusion.

As so many people will be able to relate to Kelley's predicament and therefore glean so much more than pleasure from reading it, I feel that the novel should be awarded the highest rating we can give.

Review by Carrie White

*****Rating

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Uniform Dolls - Kinky tales of women in Uniform by Aishling Morgan. Published by Nexus. ISBN-10: 0352341599.

Uniform Dolls - Kinky tales of women in Uniform by Aishling Morgan. Published by Nexus. ISBN-10: 0352341599. If uniforms are your sexual pleasure and you take delight in dressing up as various personas or maybe you prefer others ordering you around, then Uniform Dolls is well worth considering as inspiration in your request for that ultimate thrill.

Uniform Dolls is, in fact, a combination of both a novel and a collection of short stories, which provides a natural break in the action if you're finding things are becoming just a little bit hot and sticky!

For me, the fetish of uniforms isn't something I would personally think about but I can see where the attraction comes in. The ability to have power over anyone you choose and the knowledge that many wouldn't dream of defying you would appeal to most people, I should think!

I like Uniform Dolls for its sheer daring and in some parts, pure cheek. Even if Uniforms aren't your thing, you can still find plenty of lustful action in this novel.

Review by Carrie White

***Rating

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The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN-10: 0747560595

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN-10: 0747560595 Rarely does a book come along that holds the reader glued to the page by the sheer seductive force of the narrative. Jeffrey Eugenides - like Patrick Suskind in Perfume - achieves this rare feat as we follow like voyeurs the lives of five girls aged 13 to 17 trapped in the suffocating confines of the American middle class of the American fifties.

The power of Eugenides's prose allows us to glimpse inside the bedroom windows of these five young virgins, each small carefully related detail, a bra hanging from a crucifix, a discarded pair of knickers, the 15 year old wobbling on her first pair of high heels both innocent and dark: the essence of the erotic. Viewing the outcome as a metaphor rather than a tragedy will add a further level of sensual pleasure to this clever and brilliant book.

Review by Chloe Thurlow

****Rating

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Black Lace Quickies - Volume 10. Erotic Short Stories by Women. Various authors. Published by Virgin Books. ISBN-10: 0352341564

Black Lace Quickies - Volume 10. Erotic Short Stories by Women. Various authors. Published by Virgin Books. ISBN-10: 0352341564 The phrase ‘quickies’ usually conjures up visions of opportunistic 60 second sessions of sex, designed purely to keep the passion high and needs satiated. Black Lace has taken this to another level with its most recent addition to the collected works in its Quickie range. ‘Quickies 10’ is a snapshot into the sexy lives of 6 fictional protagonists, who can only be described as sassy, self assured and willing to go to any lengths to get the kicks they crave. Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less from this particular publisher ;)

My only concern with Quickies 10 and probably others in the same series is that the book itself is incredibly short. The problem being: where and when would be the best time to read it? Long train journeys, etc., are out unless you have a stack of them to plough through. My only thought would be that they would be ideal for a pre-requisite to foreplay. Fire up your lover with raunchy texts before he gets home for work, wear your sexiest lingerie and settle down on the bed with the latest Quickie volume to get yourself all hot and bothered, ready for his arrival.

The quality of the fiction published by BL is unrivalled. It’s very rare that I come across a story, novel or author that doesn’t keep my heart thumping and my fingers turning the pages. I believe that’s all you need.

Review by Carrie White

****Rating

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Eroticism by Georges Bataille. Published by Marion Boyars Publishers. ISBN-10: 0714528722

Eroticism by Georges Bataille. Published by Marion Boyars Publishers. ISBN-10: 0714528722 The plunging neckline, suspenders through soft fabrics, the four-inch heels that shrink the waist and shape your breasts disguise our deeper desire for children, sex in clean sheets, back straight, knees apart. By contrast, the erotic is a 'psychological quest' alien to that urge. The erotic is the hidden attraction to bondage, discipline, sadomasochism, the orgy; our predisposition to fantasize on sacrifice, incest and, ultimately, 'assenting to life up to the point of death.'

These are the themes set out and meticulously explored by Georges Bataille in his masterwork Eroticism, a controversial study that first saw the light of day in France in 1957 and is published now in a new edition in English by Marion Boyars Modern Classics with a brisk, no nonsense translation by Mary Dalwood.

Once described as the 'metaphysician of evil,' Georges Bataille (1897 – 1962) is one of the most important French thinkers of his generation. A librarian, pornographer and devout Catholic, he came in later life to regard the brothels of Paris as true churches and wrote, as Jean-Paul Sartre put it, 'about man's condition, not his nature…In him reality is in conflict.'

Bataille is at his most convincing in the way he connects the underlying sexual basis of religion and philosophy to death. Erotic sex, he argues, is surrounded by taboos which we must struggle against in order to overcome the sense of isolation that surrounds us all. The erotic is life on the high wire, liberating, energizing, uniquely human. 'It seems to be assumed,' he writes, 'that man has his being independently of his passions. I affirm that we must never imagine existence except in terms of these passions.'

For anyone who writes, reads, sketches, photographs or enjoys any or indeed all aspect of their erotic life, Eroticism through 276 pages will ease the pain, heighten the pleasure, clear the mind and put you in touch with the you you really are. With references from De Sade, Freud and Saint Theresa, Georges Bataille strips away the veneer of what he sees as an imposed morality to take us into the heart of man's erotic impulse.

Review by Chloë Thurlow

**** Rating

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My First Time: Volume 5. Edited by Jack Hart. Published by Alyson Books. Paperback: 245 pages. ISBN-10: 1593500300

My First Time: Volume 5. Edited by Jack Hart. Published by Alyson Books. Paperback: 245 pages. ISBN-10: 1593500300 Anthologies usually bring a variety of styles and talents to one book and this particular edition is no exception. It can be difficult to find authors that compliment one another and Jack Hart almost succeeds in doing so. Occasionally, whilst reading, I come across stories that feel to me a little weak in their style and composition and without a good piece of editing, it's these stories that will make or break an anthology.

My First Time Vol 5, unfortunately, has not escaped this problem, entirely. The good far outweighed the not-so-good, however, so very little of the eroticism or intentions were lost.

So far my experiences (however small) with gay literature have been pleasurable and I've found many of the liaisons between the men involved to be sensual, respectful and sensitive regardless of whether the encounters depicted are fact or fiction.

This particular volume of first same sex experiences contains the ingredients of a well-balanced and enjoyable mixture and not least because one of my favourite gay fiction authors has also contributed ;).

Review by Carrie White

***Rating

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Being a Girl by Chloe Thurlow. Published by Nexus. ISBN-10: 0352341394

Being a Girl by Chloe Thurlow. Published by Nexus. ISBN-10: 0352341394 Being a Girl follows the first few tentative steps of Milly into the world of eroticism and film. She's young but surprisingly in touch with her body for one at such an early stage in her sexual development (she's a virgin) and she is also posessed of an innocent quality which could be said to be endearing. With this combination Ms Thurlow succeeds in creating a 'hook' in an important section of the novel.

As with her previous novel, Ms Thurlow places her characters within sexual acts and situations that teeter on the fringes of what is considered acceptable in society. I do admire authors who are willing to cross that line of conventionality; to bring our attention to other aspects of sexual lifestyles in existence and maybe introduce us to alternative forms of pleasure.

I can't help but feel jealous of some of the protagonist's upbringing, though ;) If we'd all had the opportunities presented to Milly maybe the world would be a more open and accepting place with regards to sexuality.

So, in summary, Being a Girl is a well written novel with copious amounts of eroticism to keep the fires burning in more places than one. I look forward to future offerings from this feisty author.

Review by Carrie White

**** Rating

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Hot on His Trail by Zavo. Published by Alyson Books. Paperback: 221 pages. ISBN-10: 1555839754

Hot on His Trail by Zavo. Published by Alyson Books. Paperback: 221 pages. ISBN-10: 1555839754 After spending most of my time reading gay anthologies, I finally had the chance to read an erotic novel in the same vein. Although, westerns are not usually my thing, I put my feelings to one side initially so I had a completely open mind.

Hot on his Trail, as a novel, is a good read creating ideal circumstances within the story to facilitate plenty of hot, erotic action. My one reservation about this particular book, and which I believe would have made a marked improvement in the believability if it had been corrected, is how every single man is described in the same way.

Not only is every single guy that the protagonist came in contact with gay or seemed to have no problems with sleeping with another man but they're all handsome, all have amazingly fat cocks and all have balls that hung low and heavy. Even the action, to me, became rather repetitive after awhile but that's something you would need to find out for yourself.

For this reason alone I don't feel I could give the novel top ratings because I feel a majority of readers of whatever sub genre of erotica would appreciate some variety in the characters, settings and erotic scenes.

Review by Carrie White

**Rating

Purchase from Alyson Books


Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revolt Against Nature by Susan Griffin. Published by The Women's Press Limited. ISBN 0-7043-3877-7

Review by Christopher John Ball Pending

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Histoire de l'oeil (Story of the Eye) by George Bataille ISBN-10: 2070728501

Histoire de l'oeil (Story of the Eye) by George Bataille ISBN-10: 2070728501First published in 1928, under the pseudonym of Lord Auch, this classic philosophical erotic novel is a 'Tour de Force' of sexual depravity enacted between two teenage lovers - the unnamed male narrator of the story and Simone. Two other key characters exist within the text - Marcelle, a mentally disturbed sixteen year old girl, who ultimately is driven insane and hangs herself, and Lord Edmund, a voyeuristic English aristocrat. This exploration of extreme human sexuality starts from a position of sexual immorality and descend to the depths of sexual evil. The sexual explorations of the characters are set out in a number of well crafted vignettes that drag you mentally screaming through a roller coaster ride. You want to get off, to stop reading further lest you yourself become embroiled in their ultimately disastrous entanglements but the shear fascination of the sexual horrors keeps one reading, praying and hoping that you at least may survive the journey.

Like punches from Mike Tyson - the deprived sexual episodes keep coming. Acts of threesome exhibitionistic sex, orgies and obsessions with inserting eggs into vaginas. There is a wonderfully erotic moment of sitting bare bottomed on a saucer of milk (not the most depraved act but very erotic non the less). The exploration of sexuality include a memorable moment of rampant intercourse next to the dead body of Marcella.

The depraved lovers flee to Spain to continue their orgy of disturbing sexual gratification. In Spain the depravity sinks lower and during a bullfight the testicles of a defeated bull are cut-off. Simone gains one of these and inserts it into her vagina. This highly charged erotic moment is contrasted with the image of the young matador who was gored to death - his mutilated face is seen with one of his eyes hanging loose from its socket.

The images of eyes, eggs and testicles are thus interwoven through the story. The interweaving of images continues with the scene of a young catholic priest who is strangled while having an orgasm during the books final murderous orgiastic vignette. His eye is gouged out for Simone to once again insert into her vagina. (Due to my own compulsive need to explore the less holy side of state religions I love this wonderful blasphemy filled part of the story).

In order to avoid capture for the murder of the Priest the wealthy Sir Edmund supplies a yacht for them to escape Spain.

This ending leaves the story without the desired ultimate capture and punishment of the protagonists that could have relieved and cleansed the reader of the 'Sin' of reading this book to the end instead of throwing it down in horror and disgust at the beginning.

If the idea of an erotic novel is one of passion filled lovers discovering each other from an almost biblical approved morality viewpoint then this is not for you but if you believe in a need to understand human sexuality in extremes then this book is a must.

If you buy a copy of this book get one with the beautiful illustrations by Hans Bellmer

Review by Paul Woods

**** Rating

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True Decadence - The Erotic Art of Franz Von Bayros and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs - Edited by Rebecca Roberts-Hughes. Published by The Erotic Print Society. 224 pages. ISBN 978-1-904989-37-0

True Decadence - The Erotic Art of Franz Von Bayros and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs - Edited by Rebecca Roberts-Hughes. Published by The Erotic Print Society. 224 pages. ISBN 978-1-904989-37-0Billed as two books in one - True Decadence combines Sacher-Masoch's (1836 - 1885) infamous novella 'Venus in Furs' with the artworks of Von Bayros (1866 - 1924). 'Venus in Furs' tells the story of the masochistic, or as the male protagonist describes it suprasensual, relationship between Severin von Kusiemski and Wanda von Dunajew. Requesting that she treats him as her slave, Wanda is encouraged by Severin to treat him in a manner that becomes increasingly degrading. Their relationship dynamic changes when Wanda becomes the submissive of another man - resulting in Severin no longer being able to draw satisfaction from submitting to her.

In an ending that has been interpreted as being either feminist or misogynistic, depending upon the politics of the interpreter, Severin concludes that women should be subordinate to men until the time arises that women are equal to men in education and rights.

The novella draws heavily from Sacher-Masoch's own life experiences and it is from his name that the term 'masochism' is drawn. The character Wanda was based on the writer Fanny Pistor. The two met when Pistor, under the fictitious title Baroness Bogdanoff, contacted Sacher-Masoch for advice on how to ready some of her writings for publication. Sacher-Masoch, an Austrian, was of the utopian school of thought that was popular at the time and often promoted socialist and humanist ideals in his writings.

Franz von Bayros was an Austrian artist who, like Edvard Munch, Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley - to whom his work is often compared - associated himself with the 19th Century 'Decadent' movement. The term was initially meant as a derisory label, first coined by critics of the movement, but the artists and writers soon appropriated the title and made it their own.

Franz von Bayros is perhaps best known for the controversy caused by the publication of his portfolio 'Erzahlungen vom Toilettentisch' ('Tales at the Dressing Table'). Following a court case - von Bayros found himself persecuted by police in Munich and he was forced into exile from Germany.

Sadly his attempts to publish his art in other cities caused further controversy and, finding his work banned, he was 'encouraged' to move from one country to another.

The volume has been collated and edited by Rebecca Roberts-Hughes. The version of 'Venus in Furs' published in True Decadence is from the 1921 translation by Fernanda Savage - courtesy of Project Gutenberg.

Roberts-Hughes contributes a 4 page introduction to the book along with 3 short essays entitled 'The Garden of Venus', 'Pagan Goddesses and Cruel Women' and 'Power and Play.' The introduction delivers interesting historical and biographical insights into the world of von Bayros and Sacher-Masoch whilst the three essays explore the relationships between selected images and text.

The examples Roberts-Hughes has selected from the artwork of Franz von Bayros compliment Sacher-Masoch's text perfectly. The monochromatic illustrations in the paperback version are, for the most part, reproduced to a standard that allow something of the delicate quality of von Bayros's art and technique to percolate through to the viewer.

Indeed it is the wonderful images contained within this volume that make True Decadence an essential purchase - even if you already have a copy of 'Venus in Furs' on your shelf

True Decadence is published in three editions:- A paperback book version, a collector's hardback bound version with a dust jacket (limited to 1250 numbered copies) and a deluxe hardback bound edition with a dust jacket and supplied with a fine art print (Jupiter and Europa) in card folder (limited to 475 numbered copies). As indicated above - it is the paperback version that has been reviewed here.

Review by Christopher John Ball

**** Rating

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How to Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright. Published by Simon & Schuster Ltd. ISBN-10: 0743226232

How to Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright. Published by Simon & Schuster Ltd. ISBN-10: 0743226232 Whether you're an amateur writer of sex or someone who has been in the business for years, this is one book, I feel, you should never be without. Susie Bright reveals her 'tricks of the trade' to enable you to gain the expertise to succeed at the craft of writing erotica. What this book teaches is that no matter who you are, where you come from or even how skilled you are or aren't in bed, you alone have the ability to write a truly, erotic story and one that has the potential to blow your readers socks off.

Although gaining experience in the craft of writing is an advantage, this book is also invaluable in what it teaches by the author's good use of personal experience, writing exercises and guides to the steps that inevitably follow after the final draft of your first work. So, if you don't get any other book on the subject of writing erotica, be sure that you make it this one.

Review by Carrie White

***** Rating

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Sex & Seduction: 20 Erotic Stories - Edited by Cathryn Cooper. Published by Excite Books. ISBN-10: 1905170785

Sex & Seduction: 20 Erotic Stories - Edited by Cathryn Cooper. Published by Excite Books. ISBN-10: 1905170785 Sex & Seduction is an anthology of 20 erotic and passion fuelled stories from some of the best and well known authors in the erotic genre. S & S is one of the first collections of eroticism and seduction from this exciting new publisher. It was an honour to be considered to read one of their very first offerings and I'm glad that I did. As the title suggests, these stories mix raw, risk-taking consensual sex with the tenderness of love and desire. With wild abandon they achieve their intention with finesse and style.

Review by Carrie White

***** Rating

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A Girl's Adventure by Chloe Thurlow. Publisher by Chimera Publishing Ltd. ISBN-10: 1903931843

A Girl's Adventure by Chloe Thurlow. Publisher by Chimera Publishing Ltd. ISBN-10: 1903931843 When traveling by tube in London, anything can happen, and it does to Greta May. But even she couldn't imagine exactly what she was letting her self in for. Richard is the stranger on the train that cheekily encourages Greta to play a game of sex and adventure. With the opportunity to meet weird and wonderful people along the way and experience pleasure with added bite, this is one ride that Greta will never forget. If you are, as I am, a female and of a sensitive disposition in a sexual sense, then this book will have you crossing your legs on more than one occasion. A Girl's Adventure caters for those who love to push the boundaries between pleasure and pain and I can't help but think that this will encourage the curious to buy. Despite this, I feel, that the novel is superbly written and I can't fault the depth of characterisation in any way. The storyline travels forward at a good pace and there's plenty of sexy action to be had.

Although this novel does not appeal to me(my tastes are geared less towards the painful side of things!), I'm positive it will be loved by many and enjoyed by even more.

Review by Carrie White

*** Rating

Find this book at www.chimerabooks.co.uk


Sex & Guitars by Gwen Masters. Published by Stevie Burns. ISBN-10: 0974727644

Sex & Guitars by Gwen Masters. Published by Stevie Burns. ISBN-10: 0974727644Sex & Guitars tells the tale of Finchy and her married lover, Ayza. But this is no ordinary novel. It is, in truth, an account of the author and her experiences as a mistress, although names have been changed to protect hers and her lover’s identities. A fact that makes this novel special right from the start. Within the story we are taken down the road of pleasure, eroticism, and guilty, lustful thoughts yet we cannot help but feel connected in some way to each of the characters.

Although Sex & Guitars does not glorify the life of a mistress is does excite and stimulate you giving also a rare, honest glimpse of what it can truly be like living a lie. Every time Finchy and Ayza meet, their love is strengthened time and time again with each erotic sex scene. How can you not wish that they would be together for all time?

This novel by far out stands those already on the market and will earn its place on the bookshelves in no time. After you have finished reading you’ll find yourself wondering -just what are the couple doing now?

Take my word for it; this is a definite must-buy!

Review by Carrie White

*****
Rating

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Dances of Redemption by Gwen Masters

Dances of Redemption by Gwen MastersBroken hearts and new beginnings; Dances of Redemption brings to light the worst and the best chapters of love, sex and relationships. The stories featured in this collection, are truly beautiful. Gwen Masters writes with feeling and passion and this comes across for sure in this particular anthology. The little extra, to be discovered, at the end of the anthology is an explanation of the inspiration behind each story. It really does help to clarify why each coupling reveals pain and happiness so touching it saturates each and every page.

As could only be expected from a talented author of her craft, the sex scenes are both sensuous and tender. They’re not just plain old erotica; they’re bursting with reassurance and familiarity, sensitivity and pride. Each one complimenting the other and yet giving that little bit extra as well.

So, with 14 tales of delightful honesty, Dances of Redemption is a definite addition for your Christmas Wish List.

Review by Carrie White

***** Rating

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