Sometimes She Lets Me - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by charletnarouh

Sometimes She Lets Me

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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I'd Let You

This is an excellent collection of stories that present a realistic, erotic, arousing portrayal of the butch/femme dichotomy in lesbian sex and relationships. All are beautifully written and well compiled and edited. There is a wide variety sure to please anyone interested in true to life lesbian erotica.
Realistic, gritty, available in e-book (from other retailers), wide variety of stories
None that I've found.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

I've been extremely pleased with this book. It has hit the spot, so to speak, on numerous occasions and given me stories that are well written, erotic, realistic, and easy to relate to. After reading the interview with Tristan Taormino, I decided to try one of her books, and I'm so glad I did. Some lesbian erotica can read like lesbian porn on paper, fake, hyped up, and made for men. This reads like it was written for lesbians, quite possibly by lesbians. It's compelling and real and arousing. It reads like a fantasy, but one I could actually see coming true.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

This is a beautifully compiled selection of well written erotic short stories about butch and femme lesbian encounters and relationships. It's written primarily for lesbians, but I think most people who are attracted to women would find something in it to enjoy, except perhaps for men who are threatened by women who love other women. Women who are attracted to women will particularly enjoy this collection. It's highly erotic and sexually charged but in a raw, realistic way that makes it easy to relate to. It is not some pie in the sky fantasy that could never happen. It touches on the sensitive boundaries that often exist between butches and femmes and what happens when those boundaries come down or get lowered. It touches on stereotypes and those who do and don't totally fit them. You'll find butches playing the man and femmes playing the woman, but also role reversals, breaking the dichotomy, femmes topping their butches, butches with other butches, femmes on femmes, butches with insecurities yielding to a trusted lover, femmes finding their butch side, even some gender queer, trans*, gender identity stories, and characters with a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. It has all the real instances that you find in lesbian encounters and relationships. Some of the stories are classic narrative style, while others are more poetic. Some follow all the "rules" of short story fiction, while others break every one. Some are pure sex, pornographic, and gritty, while others are veiled eroticism. Some are artistic, while others are more straightforward. Some are dark, even touching on some BDSM elements, while others are soft and sensual and gentle. No two are exactly alike, but the thread of realism runs through all of them. The stories are generally short, running 5-10 pages or so each. For me, anywhere from 1-3 of them will fill up an average solo session very effectively.
  • 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?
    • Bisexual women
    • Couples
    • Lesbians
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere you can take a book
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Erotica
    • Fiction
    • Queer


The cover design is a white femme facing forward embracing a darker skinned butch women facing away, toward the femme. It features the title and the editor's name. I purchased the book elsewhere in an e-book fashion so I can't, unfortunately, comment on the quality of the material, paper or binding. I do love the layout of the stories and the easy to use table of contents, which is present in the E version. In the E version, I read it on my e-reader, which makes it very discreet. However, the cover of the actual book is not terribly discreet, though, at the same time, not overly graphic. It is still probably something to either keep in a bedside drawer or wrap a book cover around if you don't want it seen.
    • Not very discreet cover

Personal comments

This is one that won't be deleted from my e-reader for a long, long time. I've discovered some favorites that I'll be going back to over and over again. I also will definitely be reading more from Tristan Taormino in the future.


The thing I love best about these stories is that I can imagine, or in some cases have even found myself in situations similar to the ones portrayed in the book. These are not stories written about "lesbians" who don't and will never exist having sex that lesbians do not have, as is the case so often with "lesbian" porn and erotica. These are stories that could be about real women, real lesbians, having real lesbian sex, which turns me on far more. These are also not stories about bi-curious, experimental girls playing around with each other to please a man or for a man to join in. When a "man" is mentioned in this book it's a trans* man, gender queer or male identified person, usually wearing a strap-on, or it's a role-play scenario. These are not written to titillate a male audience with some lesbian-turned-threesome fantasy. These are stories a real lesbian who has real lesbian sex and real lesbian relationships can actually relate to and actually be turned on by.
Follow-up commentary
It's still my go-to lesbian erotic lit collection. I love this book. I've recommended it to others multiple times and continue to do so.
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This review was edited by
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  • SJ88
  • namelesschaos
    Good Review.
  • charletnarouh
    Thanks for reading!
  • Clarsair
    lovely review
  • Jenny Smith
    Thanks for the review
  • heather-mooney
    great review
  • snarknemesis
    I'm hoping to review some books for EF in the future and I'm really glad I stumbled across this one! I found the review to answer all of my potential questions about representation in the stories. I'd definitely be interested in reading this book because of this review!
  • travelnurse
    Thanks for the review!
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