cover image Hot to the Touch: Views from the Polyamory Lifestyle

Hot to the Touch: Views from the Polyamory Lifestyle

Edited by Cole Riley. Cleis, $16.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-62778-297-5

Riley (Little White Lies) brings together 14 titillating tales of threesomes and moresomes in this anthology of polyamorous erotica, but readers invested in polyamory as more than a curious kink will find the stories heavy on open heterosexual relationships, leaving other polyamorous arrangements largely unexplored. Janine Ashbless’s playful “Meet My Husband” and Sommen Madsen’s high-tension “Him” showcase the power of combining the erotic energy of three different lovers, while Kristina Wright’s “One Last Fling” sees a bachelorette party end with a joyous romp between a group of friends in the back of a limo. Among the stories that delve into other relationship models, Teresa Noelle Roberts’s tender “Homecoming,” featuring an established triad, stands out for its exquisite emotional dynamics. Disappointingly, several pieces, like Remittance Girl’s awkward “The Dinner Party” and Abigail Ekue’s cruisy “Speed Play,” throw outsiders into sexual situations with a preexisting couple without first establishing consent. The editor’s own contribution, “The Benefit of the Doubt,” leans heavily on exposition, leaving little space for sexiness. Though not a definitive collection of poly erotica, this anthology will appeal to those who want well-crafted, cheating-free stories that explore sexuality beyond the couple. (Apr.)