Aqua Erotica - book by Three Rivers Press - review by Jenny Swallows

Aqua Erotica

Book by Three Rivers Press

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Bath Time Will Never Be The Same

If you enjoy reading in the tub, this is for you. Aqua Erotica is most certainly NOT a wash-out! Just remember to top up the hot every so often.
Waterproof! Alluring and tempting
The water gets cold
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
The intrinsic novelty of a waterproof book notwithstanding, one does wonder what precise point is being made by a waterproof erotic book? Yes, you can read it in the bath or the hot tub and it’s easy to wipe the occasional spillage from the pages. But really, isn’t a waterproof book about sex a bit like a fire-proof book about architecture? There is a link, but….

But nothing. Aqua Erotica is waterproof because most of its action takes place in the water, and whether you are being pursued by a mermaid (“The Little Mermaid”), avoiding a man-eating shark attack (“Nothing Of Him That Doth Fade”) or simply fucking a stranger in a swimming pool (“New House”), it’s good to know that the binding won’t disintegrate. Plus, there is something sort-of-arousing about knowing you can splash around as much as you please, and the pages won’t stick together. At last, a sex toy for deep sea divers!

It’s a book of two halves. Editor Mary Anne Mohanraj talks of this in her introduction; how the very art of writing erotica has changed in the years since it left the grubby backstreet bookstores and found its way into Barnes & Noble and co; and how are expectations of what it should provide have changed too. For Mohanraj, the arrival of AIDS is what spurred the American reader to demand more realism from fiction, and to show the darker side of sex alongside the fluffy bunny stuff we used to be fed, and she may be correct.

But it is also true that the explosion of writers and writings that the field has experienced over the past decade or so has necessitated the broadening of the erotic canvas and besides, it’s not like dark erotica doesn’t have a long history of its own, regardless.

That said, the weakest tales in this anthology are those that fall on the brighter side of the street; straightforward fuck tales that might, for the sake of the anthology’s theme, be set in somewhat watery surroundings (“Hot Springs,” “Velvet Glove”), but could otherwise have happened any place.

It’s the ones where there’s a sense of something more than wish fulfillment happening that transport the reader to a truly wet place – the hide-and-seek photography that is the prelude to “New House” is exciting for its seductive foolishness, just as the mysterious girl in a wheelchair (“Mer”) is entrancing long before her secret is revealed. “Naked Woman Playing Chopin” is the tear-stained tale of a naughty nun, and these are the stories that Aqua Erotica should be judged upon, because it’s there that “the first-ever waterproof book for adults” really does make a splash.

Thematic collections of erotica are, the publishing industry seems to think, one of the directions that the field is destined to follow, which may or may not be a good thing. I once spent a week trying and retrying to get through the stories that comprise Alison Tyler’s Playing With Fire and didn’t find more than a handful more than loosely lukewarm. It was as if the strictures of the theme had so tightly bound the writing that it actually killed the sparks.

Aqua Erotica does not make that mistake. Rather, it ranges across the spectrum of sexuality, from straight to gay and a dash of bi-curious, from full consummation to the sheer ache of longing, and into the realms of mystery and fantasy too. And, if you are able to keep your eyes open underwater, you can read it at the bottom of the swimming pool. I know, because I just tried.
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My Aqua Erotica tags
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Anyone
    • Couples
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
    • Bath / shower
  • Features
    [ ? ]
    What kind of features does this product offer?
    • Travel friendly
This review was edited by
  • Beck Beck
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  • Edited reviews: 360
Do you like this review?
  • Maiden
    Great review! You have made me want a book that I had no interest in before!
  • DiamondKoala
    Great review. Something I never considered until now.
  • faust
    nice review
  • ~LaUr3n~
    Thanks for all these book reviews!
  • ViVix
    Could be an interesting read!
  • SexyStuff
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