Sweet danger - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Jenny Swallows

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I want to... with you

What, asks the back cover of this book, "is your deepest, most sweetly dangerous fantasy?"

I'm not going to answer that here. But if I did, I would make sure I told you why....
The stories are overall excellent, and there's definitely some dangerous ground to walk
too much "what" and not enough "why"...
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Taboo is always a tricky subject to define. What I might consider a genuine no-go area might strike you as the most natural thing in the world, and any book that flags itself with the promise ;f "forbidden desire" is essentially going to be walking a tightrope with a blindfold on. And maybe a ballgag as well.

That said, I trust Violet Blue to talk that walk with a little more finesse than most, and so it transpires. Not every story in Sweet Danger is going to leave you wide-eyed and breathless at the feats framed within, and I must confess that the opening tale, Donna George Storey's "Picture Perfect" left me ice cold, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I cannot see how shaving can even be considered a taboo any longer. To judge from most movies, picture spreads and stories, it's the girls who don't who are the real revolutionaries. Maybe we should start a club?

We move on. Elisabeth Colvin's "Daddy's Boy" is the story of an experienced rent boy with a less certain client; Oscar Williams' "Performance Art" is breast fetishism pushed to the limits. But the question that hangs over the entire book is, to repeat my opening thought, where does normal end, and taboo begin? And, even more importantly, what goes through your mind as you cross that line?

That is what is missing from this book, a sense of the ... which word would you like? Shame? Thrill? Excitement? Adventurousness?... that accompanies that moment when he whispers "I'd like to..." and you reply "...please!" Or when he doesn't whisper anything at all, and just does it without a care for your response. That is what books like this should explore, because that is where the erotica really lives. Erica Dumas' "Dress Me Up" is delightful, but it discusses a performance that is normal for its protagonists.

Felix D'Angelo's "Rest Stop" catches it. "'You know what I have in mind,' I said. She shook her head. 'I'm not sure, sir." And that uncertainty pervades the story. Contrast it with NT Morley's "Old Friends," which might be a raw romp through a thrilling threesome, but when the lone guy is pushed into a submissive role, then forced to suck on a formidable strap-on, is it really such a commonplace experience that he has nothing to record but the physicality?

None of which is a problem that's unique to this book and, as I said, I trust Violet Blue not to let her readers down. And she doesn't. But her writers do, because so few of them want to actually step beyond depicting a taboo, and define one instead.
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My Sweet danger 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
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • Features
    [ ? ]
    What kind of features does this product offer?
    • Travel friendly
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