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It’s that time again, folks: Here’s your quarterly lesbian erotica review roundup, brought to you by the letter Q and Lambda Literary Foundation. I’m thrilled to be continuing to compile the good (queer, smutty) books over the last few months to recommend you add to your collection. Here are some of the best of the best. I’m sure you’ll find something to keep you occupied over the hot summer.
Close, Too Close: The Tranquebar Book of Queer Erotica
Edited by Meenu and Shruti
Tranquebar, an imprint of Westland Limited
Close, Too Close is a unique collection, the first book of South Asian queer erotica available, and it covers a wide range of experiences. Fifteen contributors explore what it means to be queer and lustful in a culture that I, an American who has never traveled inSouth Asia, can barely begin to comprehend. The sex is often less pronounced and more subtle than I am used to in American and global North queer erotica, but the stories are beautiful and engaging, full of good writing and complex situations. I was particularly struck by queer trans performance artist D’Lo’s piece “Perfume.” I heard him read it at an erotica event in Los Angeles in May and was stunned by the subtle complexities and depth of desire portrayed in even the smallest events. This anthology definitely belongs in every queer erotica reader’s collection, and adds much needed voice to experiences outside of the US, Canada, and Western Europe, whose perspectives often dominate most queer erotica anthologies in English (of which I am aware, anyway).
Find them on Facebook to follow the evolution of this book and hear about readings around the world.
Ultimate Guide to Kink
Edited by Tristan Taormino
Alright, so this isn’t an erotica collection, but as far as I’m concerned it’s essential reading. Each chapter focuses on a different kink, and each is written by a different expert in that field. It is an excellent tome for introducing someone to kink and for deepening your own interests (if by chance you are into that kind of thing). Contributors include Patrick Califia, Midori, Laura Antoniou, Barbara Carrellas, Lee Harrington, Jack Rinella, Lolita Wolf, Madison Young, Hardy Haberman, Felice Shays, Ignacio Rivera, Sarah Sloane, Mollena Williams, Fifth Angel, and Edge, writing about spanking, bondage, fisting, rough sex, domination, submission, masochism, sadism, tantra, and role play, among others. This is a rock star sex educator lineup which includes just about everything you’d need to know to pique your interest, juice up your Fetlife [fetlife.com] profile, and get yourself out into the world of leather, BDSM, and kink. It’s not a substitute for hands-on learning, classes for which are abundant in most major cities, but it will get you started and deepen your understanding of any of these topics—be they brand new to you or something you’d like to deepen. Tristan Taormino, as usual, gathered the definitive words on the most common kink skills and philosophies, and this book is essential reading for the kinky and queer sexual adventurers.
Girl Fever: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex for Lesbians
Edited by Sacchi Green
Paperback, 224 pp
Sacchi Green has released many erotica anthologies, and this is another one in a long line of sexy, sultry collections. I love short-short erotica anthologies—each of these pieces are 1,200 words or less, and it is a challenge to pack a setting, describe enough about the characters that we readers feel we know them, and get to the down-and-dirty fucking enough to turn us on in such a short length of time. I love that challenge, and I love flipping through it, reading whichever stories catch my eye, until I go through them all. I rarely read short-short anthologies cover to cover. Girl Fever has an incredible lineup of talented queer erotica writers, and includes a wide range of fetish and experiences—it’s bound to have a satisfying quickie for you.
Mind Blowing Sex: A Woman’s Guide
By Diana Cage
I have been a fan of Diana Cage since she was the editor of On Our Backs magazine about lesbian sex (oh how I wish I’d saved all my old issues!). She has since released many lesbian sex books that have been influential in my coming out and coming to a queer sexuality, like Box Lunch and Girl Meets Girl. She continues this great writing and applicable guidebook style with Mind Blowing Sex, which is an excellent combination of academics, theory, lived experience and sex education.
Stripped Down: Lesbian Sex Stories
Edited by Eileen Myles and Tristan Taormino
Poet Eileen Myles guest edits this collection of lesbian sex stories, with Tristan Taormino assisting, and it does not disappoint. One of my earliest erotica publications is included in this anthology, a story called “The Plow Pose” about packing to yoga, but I assure you that is not the only reason I include this in the roundup. There are many contributions by well-known erotica authors, and some of my very favorite writers, like Skian McGuire, Peggy Munson, and Kathleen Warnock, are all in one place.