Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, Vol. 3

Edited by Sacchi Green. Cleis, $16.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-62778-286-9
The third installment of Green’s annual short story series is distinctly uneven. Though Valerie Alexander’s “Ninjutsu” is a strong opener made of pure mile-high anonymous sex fantasy, R. G. Emanuelle’s “The Auction” attempts similar realism-be-damned wish fulfillment only to be tripped up by a jarring plot twist and questionable consent. Nat Burns’s “Jani-Lyn’s Dragon” relies too much on the titillation of imagining Janis Joplin’s sex life and not enough on appealing to readers through sex or story. Lea Daley’s “Rules” has a weak plot whose cringeworthy origin lies in false allegations of sexual abuse. The joke at the heart of Raven Sky’s “Fuck Me like a Canadian” can’t save it from tired stereotypes about Muslim women. In contrast, the real gems in this anthology are those that eschew the usual pert, young, able-bodied subjects of erotic fantasy in favor of more thoughtful, relatable portrayals, and are all the sexier for it. Of particular note are Scout Rhodes’s “Morning Fog,” which features sleepy early-morning sex between women over 60; T.C. Mill’s “Fearless,” which touchingly demonstrates the rewards of being patient with a recovering body; and Xan West’s “Trying Submission,” which flagrantly challenges all the old standards of the genre to celebrate a fat, disabled, autistic trans woman of color as she finds satisfaction in service. Standing alone, some of these stories are real gifts to readers, but as a whole, the collection falls short of its promise. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018
Release date: 12/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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