Best Sex Writing 2010 - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by YouAreMyFetish

Best Sex Writing 2010

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Yes, some of the Best Sex Writing!

I loved Best Sex Writing 2010, and like I said, I will be looking into past and future books in the series! If you have any interest in different types of sex and relationships or are interested in things like sex education, the condom industry, or anything related to sex and sexuality, do yourself a favor and check out the Best Sex Writing series.
Well-written, diverse, informative
Non-discreet cover, some essays better than others
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

Since this is an anthology, there are many different contributing writers. The editor of the book, however, is Rachel Kramer Bussel, author, editor, and blogger. She also edited Best Sex Writing 2008 and 2009, and has edited numerous books of erotic writing. Prior to reading this, I was not familiar with Bussel's work, but will definitely be checking it out. I am looking forward to the upcoming installment in the series, and will also be looking into previous ones. I must commend Bussel for included a diverse cast of writers for this anthology. We hear from straight people, gay people, people into BDSM, people having affairs and doing sex work, among others.
    • Engaging
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

There is a very wide variety of content in this book. For the most part, the audience could be just about anyone. The writers use everyday language and do a good job of explaining subjects that might be new to readers. There is at least one essay that may be geared toward a more academic reader (incidentally it's probably my favorite), but can still be enjoyed by many. I would like to give my opinion on a few essays found in this book.

The Vagina Dialogues. Johanna Gohmann discusses the rise of labiaplasty in the US. It's a disturbing, thought-provoking piece on why women feel they need to go under the knife to feel better about their vulvas.

BDSM and Playing with Race. Mollena Williams is an African-American woman in the BDSM community and talks about how difficult it is to find other people of color in the community and the challenges she faces because of her race (ie. many Caucasian community members do not wish to play with her). Incredible essay.

Toward a Performance Model of Sex. Thomas MacAulay Millar writes a brilliant piece on rape culture and the cultural idea of sex as commodity. I was floored that this was written by a man. I thought to myself, this is a man who gets it. I applaud this piece.

Of course, not all essays were as intriguing as these or as well written. I really wasn't sure what Paul Krassner was trying to say in Remembering Pubic Hair. He pined for the days of the bush, but that's really all. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know why he loves pubic hair so much and what he thinks of the society we live in that tends to prefer hairlessness.

In The Girl Who Only Sometimes Said No, I found myself alternately liking and disliking Diana Joseph. She scolds her middle school aged son for calling a girl in his class a slut because (she doesn't exactly tell him) she used to be the school slut. I appreciated her reprimanding her son for slut-shaming, but in the end, feel like she might have done the same thing to herself. She still uses the word slut, which can be fine, but it doesn't seem like she's reclaimed it.

These are just a few examples of some of the best and worst of Best Sex Writing 2010. I have to say that all pieces kept my interest and I read every bit of each. But, as is the case in anthologies, some spoke to me more and some I just felt were much better handled and written. Of course, literature is subjective, so you might feel differently.
    • Bdsm
    • Good mix of styles and content
    • Non-fiction


The book is put together very well. I have no idea why the essays are in the order they are in, but they are put together in such a way that you're never reading about two (or more) similar topics in a row. They keep changing and you never know what you're going to read about next. The cover design is very nice and the book's organization is great.

The only drawback is, while the cover is nice, it's not very discreet. I love the photo, but, paired with the book's title, it does look an awful lot like a book of erotica--which might not be a problem, depending on where you plan on reading it.
    • Not very discreet cover
    • Soft cover
    • Well made
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Do you like this review?
  • Bex1331
    Wow I always assumed this was erotica, I may have to pick this up now!
  • ellieprobable
    I really want this book.
  • heather-mooney
    thank you for revviewing!
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