Fast Girls - erotic book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by P'Gell

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Fast Girls

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Some "Fast Girls" interspersed with yawns

This collection of erotica has some good stories, but stumbles and falls on too many of them. Although some selections are well written and sexy, there are too many amateurish writings in the book and the collection simply doesn't hold together with a unified theme.

It has some bright spots, but Bussel needs to choose the selections more carefully. An attempt to bring erotica into the mainstream which doesn't work out for either mainstream or erotic as a whole.
some arousing stories, a few well known writers
too many long stories, unnecessary details unrelated to sex, selection inconsistent
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

Rachel Kramer Bussel has written and/or edited over 25 books and collections of erotica. She has consulted with Penthouse, Bust and Cosmopolitan, and even appeared on the Martha Stewart show. Unlike Alison Tyler or Violet Blue (who do similar work) I have found some of Bussel's work spotty and sometimes inconsistent. This book is a good example. I've read some of Bussel's collections before, and have found this one pales in comparison to Tyler and Blue's work. Her selections are too spotty, the stories are too different from each other and she often chooses poorly written stories interspersed with well written ones. At best, a frustrating read.

The description sounded great. Who doesn't like a "Fast Girl?"
    • Attempt at mainstreaming erotica?
    • Well known author

Content / Style / Audience

The content of the book was supposed to be "Fast Girls." I expected a lot of kink, as Bussel tells us in the introduction "there is a lot of female submission and BDSM play in this book." Well, there's some I wouldn't say "a lot."

The audience for this book might be newer readers to erotica, or those who want mainstream stories with a little sex thrown in. However, the book is then interspersed with a few selections of hard core smut, including a story on cutting and blood play, which would probably throw off or even turn off a more mainstream reader. Again, it's inconsistent.

Although the theme is supposed to be Fast Girls, the book is filled with a lot of over-description, over-writing, plain, predictable vanilla sex and a few silly "twist" endings.

As there are some very rough scenes interspersed with all this vanilla, I'm not quite sure who would be best suited to read this book and appreciate all or most of it.

The book contains 20 stories, and I will highlight some of them, so the reader can get a feel for the book as a whole. I will not cover every story, as there is no need to. Although D.L. King makes an appearance in this book, as does Tristan Taomino, some of the best authors in Erotica, such as Thomas S. Roche, Emerald, Alison Tyler, Shanna Germain , Xan West, Sommer Marsden and other stars in the genre of erotica are conspicuously absent.

Oz by Isabelle Gray is one of the best in the collection. It is written in 2nd person. Gray is talking to her lover, telling him the things she loves for him to do to her. There are several different vignettes in this story, and all are erotic, sexy and arousing. It is one of the selections that saves this book.

Playing the Market by Angela Caperton is likewise an other "save" in this book. The main character is a stock broker who loses everything in the recent economic decline and decides to pick up a man to have sex with for money to pay her rent. She meets an interesting man, who instead of simply being an other John, introduces her one of his clients and to the wide and varied world of Sex Work. This story also is one of the few which contains a Man on Man scene and is quite arousing.

That Girl by by Cherry Bomb is an essay on "promiscuity" and the author's unrequited needs and desires and her difficulties with connecting with others. It is well written and suits the title of the book well. It is one of the gems of this collection.

Let's Dance is written by an author I really usually like a lot, D.L. King. The main character, in the first person, picks up a boy (an adult, but young) in a dance club, who she senses is interested in bondage. She takes him home for an evening of Shibari, to his great surprise and delight. The descriptions of the intricate rope work are very arousing, but the story contains very little sex, although it is well written.

[Winter,Summer by Tristan Taormino is a good rousing lesbian BDSM tale. It is pure Tristan and is one of the stories which makes it almost worth the price of the book.

Married Life by Charlotte Stein is an interesting treatise about a woman whose husband has lost interest in sex. She discovers her husband has been writing erotica (which is described as "porn" in the story) so she decides to re-enact one of his bondage stories with electric results. One of the better stories in the collection.

Confessions of a Kinky Shopaholic by Jennifer Peters starts out very promising. The main character, in the first person, goes to a new sex toy store for a shopping spree. A handsome man sits next to her on the bus and peeks at her purchases, she invites him home to try the toys far so good, there are some great sex scenes and good descriptions, and then the story ends with a ridiculous "twist" ending that made me throw the book across the room!

Flash! by Andrea Dale is a poorly written, amateurish story of an "LA Photographer" that has more name dropping than an entire half hour of TMZ. The introduction to this story is much too long, filled with details we don't need, (SEX, erotica is supposed to be about sex! Not unnecessary details about "A Listers" a character we really don't care about anyway)and is boring and poorly written. She meets a "bad boy" (her words, not mine) with the unfortunately predictable name of "Tad." The story ends with nothing more than the two of them playing in a fountain, and a hand job with sunscreen as a lube. She takes "Tad" home for an impromptu video sex session......which we are not privy to. The story ends. In my opinion, this story was a waste of too many minutes of my time.

Five Minute Porn Star by Jacqueline Applebee is an other story with a drawn out introduction. Four and a half pages before the sex starts. The main character's boyfriend has been injured, is on bedrest and starts making lists for his day, including "Sex with Debbie-Five Minutes." She sets out to prove to him she can be his "Five Minute Porn Star" with less than sizzling results.

Among this mish-mash of good and bad, a small amount of good kink and a lot of yawn inducing vanilla tales are two disturbing stories, almost out of character with the rest of the book.....if the book actually held together with a common theme (which it doesn't.) Lessons, Slow and Painful by Tess Danesi, is a tale, again with a too long introduction, about a woman whose Dom thinks she moves too fast. (Hence the title of the book, I guess.) In the midst of this collection of mostly run of the mill, face to face, penis in vagina sex with outlandish backgrounds to make them "interesting" is this story about cutting and blood play, so out of place in this collection that it even surprised me. In an other collection, say a Kink and BDSM collection by Tyler, it would have a place. But as I consider this particular book almost a passable Intro to Basic Erotica, this story could send many new readers of erotica into a tumble of fear and confusion. Although this story is serious, interesting, dark and kinky, it simply didn't belong in this collection. The editor says the book is named for this particular story.

Among the last stories is Bussel's own. Rachel Kramer Bussel is a good writer. The story is called Whore Complex and is a dark brooding tale of humiliation and total submission. The activities in the story come near to being non-consensual, but the main character "loves" her brutal, sadistic married Dom, and if it's OK with Bussel, I guess it's OK with me. Her Dom pimps her out to other men, at times abandoning her to their abuses, to prove she a "whore." The character "takes it" from him, because she can't live without him. I found the story's premise bordering on abusive, (and I like "consensual force play") but it was edgy and interesting.
    • Erotica
    • Fiction
    • Various authors


This book, a paperback by Cleis Press (a well known erotica publisher) is entitled Fast Girls, erotica for women. The cover has a glossy photo of a naked woman on her back, arms crossed across her chest, staring at the camera upside down. If I were to take this book out in public, I would put a cloth book cover on it, like I do for most of my erotica collection. (I have in all, more than 25 books on the subject.)

The book's construction is good quality paperback, with a glued and stitched binding, with good quality paper and easy to read dark print.

This book can stand up to the abuse that much erotica is subjected to, placed in cloth covers, bent in half to hide the cover and title, brought into the tub and a steamy bathroom, tossed on the floor, when your partner catches you reading yet an other "dirty book" and knows you are ready for whatever he or she would like to engage in. Or even placed in a bookshelf or coffee table for display. If you have that kind of household set up.
    • Not very discreet cover
    • Soft cover
    • Well made

Personal comments

I don't want to be too hard on Bussel. She's a good author. But, this is my 3rd or 4th collection she has edited, and they all seem to suffer from the same inconsistency in the quality of some of the stories. But, in fact, I have given her an other chance and ordered yet an other book of erotica stories which she has edited and am anxiously awaiting it to arrive, hoping for redemption. But, I found Fast Girls hard to get through. I usually have to ration my reading of erotica stories, because otherwise I will whiz through the book too quickly and then am sad when it is over.

With this book, I found myself forcing myself to go back, pick up the book and choose an other selection to read, at times actually putting the book down in the middle of an over-written story and once, throwing the book across the room at a ridiculous "trick" twist ending that simply shouldn't have been included, or at least the story should have been severely edited.

This book confused me. There were some stories that got my blood pumping and aroused me, others left me cold, a few nearly angered me, I found too many simply tedious, but all in all, the book is still inconsistent. Hard Core Kinksters will probably like a few of the stories and, like me, be bored with many of them. Some of the stories could be culled and placed into an "Intro to Erotica for New Readers" but the more intense and heavy stories make the book inconsiderate to and maybe even inappropriate to more gentle readers. A few of the stories were so poorly written that they don't really belong anywhere in print.

Of course I wanted to like this book, but I found myself becoming more and more disenchanted, only occasionally with a story living up to my expectations. The good, well written stories with a lot of sex in them kept me from quitting this book in the middle. I rarely quit a book unless it has no redeeming qualities. This book certainly has it's good point, it's arousing scenes, it's great authors but some of the less than quality selections left me with a quandary on whether I will pick this book up for arousal purposes in the future.

I am still not quite sure who this collection is right for.
    • Book hard to get through due to inconsistancies


It took me longer than usual to get through this book. Because some of the stories were quite good, I stuck with it, but as some of them were poorly written or simply not arousing, I found myself beginning each story thinking, "I hope this is a good one." I read erotica; one, because I enjoy it, and two, because I find myself going back to books and individual stories that spark my imagination to write myself and/or ready my mind and body for a good round of sexual activity either with My Man or with myself.

This book could have been saved by culling the stories with too much detail, too long introductions before the sex, and honestly, more sex in the collection. Comparing this collection with something from Tyler or Blue, it pales and they shine. I know Bussel is capable of better. I get the impression she is trying to make erotica more Mainstream, (see her appearances, Martha Stewart?) Erotica is a niche form of fiction, and if properly written will never really be mainstream. I was disappointed. However, not so disappointed that I am done with the editor. I have one more book edited by the author (I own about 6 or 7 of her books) coming in my next order, and I hope this one saves my opinion and moved it towards more positivity towards the editor and the quality of stories she chooses for her collections. We will find out with the next book.

Good erotica is a tall order to fill. Simply describing a made up character and then some sexual situation she gets herself into isn't enough. Good erotica should entice, arouse and titillate. It should also be well written in addition. Some of the stories in this book succeed in these requirements, sadly, some of them are too poorly written, too long, or simply contain too little sex or sex that is simply uninspired.
Follow-up commentary
I like to re-read my erotica quite a bit. I have a number of books with well worn, dog eared paged, and special pages or stories marked to help me get in a mood or help me remember a past encounter.

However, this book does not fall into this category. I am sad to say it was a chore to get through the first time, the stories were too long, there wasn't enough sex, there was too much detail pertaining to things other than the sex. I don't want to go through the entire book again, just to find the few stories that were titillating enough to make it worth the work. If I want a lot of character development and plot, I read regular fiction. For erotica, I want sex, lots of it, and I want it early in the story, lot of sexual detail and nasty as can be. This book just didn't live up to my expectations and has not been re-read in much detail.

As I said before, the editing for this book should have been more carefully done, deleting or editing stories that drag, those that are cliche or those that just seem to not hit the mark of "erotica." (Which is a nice word for "written porn" in my book.)

I have plenty of books in my erotica collection which do live up to my expectations and give me what I want from a good collection. Sadly, this one has been left in the dust under my night stand, never to be re-opened after the second time I tried to drag my way through it. There are better collections out there, the few good stories in this collection are not worth the price from my high erotic/porn standards.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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