When it comes to erotica, and especially erotica anthologies, there’s not a lot of wiggle room; people tend to like them or lump them all together. Since Wild Girls, Wild Nights has the potential to win new readers to the fold, consider this review both an evaluation for the seasoned fan and a welcome to the newbie alike. There’s much here for both of you.

Frequent fliers know all too well that reading a lot of short stories focused on sex can quickly go from hot to dullsville if the material isn’t diverse and well-written. Hell, sometimes even the best smut gets tiresome. It’s not as if we don’t know how things are going to end, right? Editor Sacchi Green has brought freshness to the genre by asking several authors she’s worked with before to submit true stories drawn from their own sexual pasts. Authors were allowed to change names as needed, but instead of conjuring a fantasy from thin air they had to reflect on real experiences. The difference is evident from the start.

In “Polvo de Hadas,” author Monica E. Moreno describes learning the ways of the curandera from her great-grandmother as a child. Later in life, she tries to model servile femininity for a butch girlfriend who wants nothing more than to please her. The “fairy dust” of the title—cinnamon and cayenne pepper, which Moreno is using to cast a love spell—ends up serving as a bargaining chip that gives both of them what they most need. “The taste of tomatillos had turned sweet in her mouth, like blood oranges. She kissed me harder, her fingers pulling the ribbon on my skirt loose. I was ready, even if the table turned to splinters and scrap wood under our weight.” Spoiler alert: It ends well.

Many stories here touch on first times, from teenage experimentation to first spankings or first (and possibly only, ever) fox hunt themed all-girl orgy, and they share a sense of delight and discovery, often coupled with humor. However, a few stories stand out for their darker subjects. Dawn McKay’s “Hot Desert Nights” recalls a one-night stand while deployed with the military in the midst of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. After a day of horrifying violence, a woman who smiled at her in the chaos appears at her tent, and they take a risk and create one sweet memory in the midst of war. Lynette Mae’s “Risking It All” is set in the world of law enforcement, where life and death decisions and their consequences cast long shadows. It also features some super-hot swimming pool sex so we don’t get too bogged down in the existential stuff, but the fragility of life raises the urgency when things get passionate.

Catherine Paulssen’s “Delinquents” is set in her sixteenth year, when casual experimentation with her best friend at a sleepover shocks them both with its power. “I felt as though I were being poked by a thousand small flames. They bit me and stung me and wandered over my whole body like galvanic fireflies.” Like most of the stories in Wild Girls, this doesn’t deviate from the standard erotica script by much; we meet a few characters, they get down and dirty, the end. That said, the authors hold this material with a degree of tenderness that doesn’t occur with fiction, and we can’t help but feel an emotional connection along with all the busy-underpants feelings that typify the genre.

So how true is true? Only the authors can answer to that question. Allison Moon (she of the aforementioned fox hunt) mentions James Frey with a wink in her story, and of course anything remembered from the distant past has been tumbled into smoothness by the passage of time. For this reader, it wasn’t a matter of being awestruck by someone’s story and marveling that it really happened; what was impressive was the care put into capturing these events. Even the cockiest recollection takes on tenderness when handled gently.

Anyone who assumes erotica is just not their thing may think twice after reading these stories. There’s  warmth and humanity here, and a perfect balance of sex with storytelling. I picked it up to pass the time on a humid night made even swampier by an hours-long electrical storm. From the time I started reading until I put it down for the night, the temperature in my room rose five degrees. Just saying. Wild Girls, Wild Nights is fresh, provocative and very hot.

 

Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories
Edited by Sacchi Green
Cleis Press
Paperback, 9781573449335, 224 pp.
June 2013



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Paul Monette

3 Responses to “‘Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories’ edited by Sacchi Green”

  1. Karen Wolfer 19 July 2013 at 9:56 AM #

    Excellent review. Especially love the line, “the authors hold this material with a degree of tenderness that doesn’t occur with fiction.” You’ve sold me on the need to add this book to my library collection. Thanks!


    • Heather Seggel 19 July 2013 at 4:39 PM #

      Thank you!


  2. […] EROTICA Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories by Ed. Sacchi […]



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