Best American Erotica 2005 by Simon & Schuster Books - review by Rod

Best American Erotica 2005

Book by Simon & Schuster Books

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More misses than hits for Best American Erotica 2005

I wouldn't bother with this book if you are looking for jerk-off material. Scholars of literature might enjoy it for it's literary value, however.
Nice variety of stories, well written content.
Although all the stories had some erotic content, only a few were sexy enough to get me hard.
Rating by reviewer:
useful review
Reading The Best American Erotica 2005 was more a literary pleasure than an erotic one. The quality of the writing was consistently high. Even the stories that rated low on my personal "hardness test" criteria (that is, "did it make me hard or not?") were well-wrought enough to be interesting and fresh. But there lies the rub: do we read erotic anthologies for their literary value, or because they may have the capacity to turn us on . . . or is it both? Myself, I read them primarily for the sexiness factor, not so much the literature aspect.

So what sort of stories didn't work for me? One example that wasn't erotic, but was extremely entertaining, was "All in a Day's Work: Mistress Morganna Session Notes" by Mistress Morganna. The story is exactly what you would expect it to be, a Mistress's post-session notes on various clients. Some of her assessments were very funny, such as " Don't see again for longer than one hour. Smells like cheese."

A second story that was un-erotic was Cecilia Tan's one and a half page story "The Magician's Assistant". This story is comprised of the internal monologue of the titular character as she gets ready for a performance. The assistant's sexual frustration and onliness struck me as sad rather than sexy. For my masturbatory purposes, that doesn't work.

A third story that left me soft as a noodle was "It's Never Too Late in New York" by Nelson George. The turnoff in this story was the main character was homophobic to such a degree that he's a bit disturbed when he observes a professional football player getting pegged by a girl with a strap-on. There are likely ways to write erotically from inside a homophobic character's head, but George hasn't done that in this case. Frankly, reading about conventional people's "ew ick" response to (what seems to me to be) fun sex isn't sexy, it's annoying.

There were a handful of stories that made my manroot throb. For example, "My Puritan Reader" by Bert Hart was HOT. The psychological BDSM overtones in this tale involving a witch-hunting inquisitor, searching for 'the devil's mark' on a young woman helpless naked body, worked nicely for me and for Mr. Happy. Ditto for P.S. Haven's "Charles Sykes' Spirit of Ecstasy", a story in which a woman vigorously fucks herself by riding the hood ornament of a vintage Rolls-Royce. "Loved It and Set it Free" by Lisa Montanarelli captured some of the poignancy of adolescent lust in a story that was funny sweet and sexy. (The "it" in the title is a dildo, by the way). Honorable mentions to a few other stories as well-- Simon Sheppard's “After the Beep", Karl Iagnemma's "Robots of the World, Unite!" and Steve Almond's "Slippy for President" all got at least a semi-standing ovation.
As in all my reviews of fiction, a caveat: for me the whole point of reading erotica is as a supplement to the fantasies in my head while I am jerking off. Any review I write is from that perspective. This book is only about a C or C- since there are so many stories that, literary merit aside, just weren't very sexy to me. Of the 25 included in the anthology, only about 6 gave me an erection. That doesn't seem worth the price of admission.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • Jenny Smith
    Thanks for the review
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