Best Bondage Erotica 2012 - erotic book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Sir

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The "Best," if You Like Female Dominants

Published by CLEiS Press and edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, Best Bondage Erotica 2012 is an arousing compilation of short fiction stories revolving around people into BDSM. There's a great mixture of sexualities, levels of interest in the lifestyle, and writing styles, which made for an engaging read; it also made it difficult to put down.
Good compilation w/ good reads, lots of Femdom, not too much softcore BDSM content.
Lots of Femdom.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

Best Bondage Erotica 2012 is edited and compiled by the well-known author and editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel. Featured in the book are both an introduction and a final short story written by Rachel; the foreword is written by sex educator Midori. They are both very personable and captured my attention with what they had to say.

In addition to Rachel and Midori are the twenty other authors of the short stories: Shoshanna Evers, Elizabeth Coldwell, A. R. Shannon, Lucy Felthouse, Salome Wilde, Elise Hepner, Kay Jaybee, Teresa Noelle Roberts, Giselle Renarde, Craig J. Sorensen, Elizabeth Silver, Billey Thorunn, Helen Sedgwick, Lana Fox, Tenille Brown, Kathleen Tudor, Valerie Alexander, Lolita Lopez, and Neil Gavriel. Each had their own style that was extremely distinctive and unique; no two stories were alike, but all were well-written and some even arousing.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors
    • Well known author

Content / Style / Audience

While the book is a compilation of bondage (as it's named) erotica, none of the stories are so extreme that a person who is kink-inclined, but still vanilla, would become offended or frightened. Every story is both watered and toned down for the general public, so on the whole, the book is a good mixture of light bondage play and BDSM as well as a foray into the dynamics of D/s. They are meant to be more sensual and orgasmic than sadistic and painful, which can be good for some, and not so good for others.

Some of my favorite short stories in the book include Snow White by A.R. Shannon, Laced by Elizabeth Silver, and Good British Steel by Lana Fox. There were a few others that were very well-written; I would say that out of the twenty-one short stories, only two were less than pleasurable. I felt that they were poorly written. Everything else, regardless of the content, was a good read that I was able to sit through. I would say that it felt like there was a heavy focus on female Dominants, so if that suits your fancy, you'll enjoy reading the short stories in Best Bondage Erotica 2012.

In Snow White, a monogamous couple faces the submissive's infidelity, and the submissive receives deserving physical punishment with some humiliation. It tugs at the heart strings, but gives enough romance to be a turn-on. Laced features two roommates, both men, who are dabbling in BDSM. As its name implies, it's a tight-lacing erotica piece (corset lacing is just wonderful), so of course, it caught my attention easily. Out of the three, Good British Steel seemed to be the most infantile, but it captured young love nicely. A fencer catches the attention of his opponent's sister, who he then seduces with his fencing sword. It was a fun, lighthearted story.

As you can see, my favorites were all involving male Tops and Dominants; this is not a good representation of the rest of the compilation.
    • Bdsm
    • Erotica
    • Fiction


Dark as its contents, the compilation features a black background with a feminine Top holding down the head of their submissive (who's wearing a collar, of course). Both the front and the back are the same image, but the back has a little description of the book's contents, along with all of the contributing authors. The title of the book is printed in a slim, boxy font with the colors white, red, and blue (perhaps a tribute to Leather?). It's aesthetically pleasing, very lovely, but it isn't discreet in the slightest. If you're in a public area where people may become uncomfortable by seeing the word 'bondage,' it will need a book slip to hide the front and back covers.

It's a regular sized novel, so it's portable and easy to travel with if need be. The binding is well-made and isn't falling apart whatsoever, and I've had it for a few months at this point.
    • Not very discreet cover
    • Small size
    • Soft cover

Personal comments

From the entire book, Laced had to be my favorite short story. I'm not sure if it was due to its content or the writing style, but something about it really stuck with me. Since I'm more of a sadist, none of the stories catered to that part of me very well, but they were good reads regardless. I was personally hoping for a bit more in that department, but the writers at least did a good job of the sensual side of BDSM.

Here are a few quotes that I felt were memorable:

"...small satin laces slipping through Stefan's long fingers as he pulls them tighter, cinching the corset closed around me in a delicately caged prison, makes the blood run south on me..." -Laced

"I leaned in just a little and pressed the tip of my tongue to the cold steel. "Do it like you mean it," he said." -Good British Steel

"I'm hardly self-conscious; static calm drifts through my brain and sits comfortably with me as I settle into my submissive space: my happy place." -Tied Down

"Then his hand is covering my mouth, the other pinching my nose for a second. He is waiting for me to squirm, resist, struggle." -The Weight
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • digit88
    good review
  • Geogeo
    Thanks for reviewing. Too bad there's so much femdom or I'd pick it up right now.
  • Sir
    Thank you for the comments!

    Geogeo: It is still a good read regardless, there are some nice stories with male Dominants.
  • leatherlover
    I have gotten part way thru this one, and I really enjoy it as well. I just need to sit down to finish it.
  • BoobCopter
    Ooh, thanks for the info. I should pick this one up.
  • Maiden
    Great review! I may just have to get this one!
  • Gracie
    Nice review! Putting it on my wishlist.
  • Falsepast
    I love femdom I'll be checking this out
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