Best Gay Erotica 08 - erotic book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Kinkyquing

Best Gay Erotica 08

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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'Best', 'erotica', I don't think those words mean what you think they do

While a few of the stories in this collection were incredibly hot, most just left me bored. If you really enjoy stories about random hookups, leathermen and BDSM, this collection might be worth a look for you. If those things aren't a huge turn on for you, keep looking.
Well designed physically, a few good stories
Non-discreet cover, disturbing or just plain boring stories, not a great variety
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

Content / Style / Audience

As the title implies, this book is marketed/geared towards readers of gay erotica. This being the first book in the 'Best Gay Erotica' series that I've read, I cannot comment on what makes this collection different from any of the others. However, I will say that I highly doubt that most of these stories were the best gay erotica '08 had to offer.

Obviously, what one person defines as erotica can vary widely, and I think that was part of my problem with this book. What selector Emmanuel Xavier found erotic and what I found erotic, excluding a few stories, were very different things. This isn't something I have a problem with so much as the way Xavier seems to mislead readers in his introduction.

I will say that Xavier quickly admits that erotica is, at best, a fuzzy term which makes it hard to say what is and isn't erotica. However,after saying that "Artists are forever pushing boundaries..."erotica" has been violently abused, left behind in some cheap hotel with a used condom sticking out its ass" he claims that "while there are a lot of condoms in some of the stories here, there's also a lot of art".

This is where I found a problem with the stories in this collection. Many of the stories that were full of 'condoms' (like the leather scene-centric 'Donuts and Demons' and the body building scene of 'Orange') were notably lacking in art. Conversely, the haunting 'Funeral Clothes' and deeply touching 'Release' contain sex scenes that seem to have been put in just to get these wonderfully written stories a bit more notice.

I am not saying none of the stories in this collection got me hot and bothered. A few (namely the first, wonderfully gender-bending story 'My Boy Tuesday', and the incredibly kinky yet still sweet 'Rushing Tide of Sanity') did that and then some. However, I found most of the 'sexy' stories to be full of leathermen and random hookups. I don't mind these things in moderation, but I doubt they're truly representative of the best gay erotica of '08. Coupled with the fact that many of the stories left me more disturbed or heart broken than turned on, I cannot recommend this book to most people. If you were able to flip through a few stories at a bookstore before hand and liked what you saw, then I'd say go for it. Buying it sight unseen,however, might leave you with regret.
    • Erotica
    • Fiction
    • Queer


The first thing that struck me about this book was the cover. It's relatively high-quality, printed on glossy paper. Unlike some glossy paperbacks, smudges and fingerprints are not left when you hold this book, which is a very nice thing for me. However, this cover is definitely *not* discreet. Even if someone were to miss the fact that there are two men on the cover, the title is written in very large print--with the word 'gay' being a bit larger than the rest and seeming to almost glow.

Inside, the book's pages are relatively easy on the eyes--what appears to be about 12 point font and about 1.5 line spacing. I've had books that are easier on the eyes, but ones that are much harder. Overall, I think the print quality is on par with other medium-sized paperbacks.

The spine/binding seems like it will hold and put up with normal wear and tear reasonably well.
    • Not very discreet cover
    • Soft cover
    • Well made


The reason I picked this book was because I was surprised that one of the critically acclaimed 'Best Gay Erotica' collections had not been reviewed or rated. Now I understand why.

The first story, 'My Boy Tuesday' left me incredibly hot and bothered, with its drag queen protagonist and hot pegging fantasy. The second, 'Capturing the King', contained a scene of non-consensual bondage and tickle torture that left me so disturbed I almost dropped the book right there. Many of the stories that followed left me feeling that way. Others were well written, and if they had not been in an erotica collection I would have enjoyed them immensely. There were a few other stories that left me hot and bothered(such as 'Rushing Tide of Sanity'); however, most of the stories in this collection left me either sad, incredibly turned off, disturbed or just bored.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • Kayla
    Sad. I think I would have liked this. Good review.
  • Sammi
    Nice review!
  • Kate
    nice review thanks for posting!
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