Category Archives: Erotica

The Mammoth Book of Erotica edt. by Maxim Jakubowski

The Mammoth Book of Erotica has been sitting on a bookshelf somewhere in my vicinity since I was a teenager. I started reading it back then, killed a hundred pages, and then walked away. I still had an old piece of ripped paper marking the spot where I left off. Maybe I was afraid of my mom busting me or something. Who knows?

But I finally came back and finished the job. 1319904

As with all anthologies, TMBOE had it it’s ups and downs (tee hee). Rarely did I find any of these stories arousing or titillating (I love that word) but many of them were entertaining outside of the sexual spectrum.

Some of my favorites included:

  • The Isle of the Dead by Thomas S. Roche- Queen of the Damned meets transgender lead singer. 
  • Beauty’s Punishment by Anne Rice- An excerpt of Rice’s famous Beauty BDSM trilogy.
  • Hollow Hills by Michael Hemmingson- Six youths get frisky in the back of a 1971 Mustang.
  • A Carcass of Dreams by Marco Grassi- His “story” was several separate individual pieces. Some were of strange subject matter, but all were well written. (Coprophilia, anyone?)
  • The Girl in Booth Nine by Adam-Troy Castro- One of my favorites of the whole anthology. A sci-fi thriller about a guy who visits viewing booths at a XXX store and how a virtual video vixen gets her revenge.
  • The Safety of Unknown Cities by Lucy Taylor- Sodom and Gomorrah meets hermaphrodite meets evil sorcerer. My other favorite.
  • Violent Silence by Paul Mayersberg- A poolside desperate housewife meets dangerous stranger and they get down in a cabana. (It’s much more intriguing than it sounds–don’t judge me!)
  • Equinox by Samuel R. Delany- Bisexual pirate love! Need I say more?
  • Baubo’s Kiss by Lucy Taylor- A vacationing lesbian stumbles upon a mythical goddess and magic ensues.
  • The Age of Desire by Clive Barker- A secret lab experiment goes horribly awry and an insane man with an insatiable sexual appetite is unleashed. Loved this one.
  • L’Enfer by Alice Joanou- A kept man and his mistress visit a hidden erotic club and things turn violent. Very Jack the Ripper-esque.

So, I guess seeing as how 11 out of 30 stories were very well-written or entertaining, 1/3 of this HUGE book was really good. These were all worth reading. The rest were either boring or rambling. Don’t expect arousal though, because these aren’t smut. They’re graphic, but they’re more erotically-themed short stories than out and out raunchy porn.

4 virtual video vixens of 5

(I think I’m just going to work “virtual video vixen” into as many conversations as possible from now on…)

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How to Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson

I will say, that when I worked at a book store, Jenna Jameson’s How to Make Love Like a Porn Star was certainly one of the most eye-catching titles on the shelf. (A tribute well spoken for by the oft dog-eared pages and bent spines found on every copy in any bookstore. Is it all about the boobs, people?) 

I won’t lie, the title is what caught my attention. Putting the words “make love” and “porn star” in the same sentence is very amusing. But, sure, I’m game to see what Jenna has to say.

HTMLLAPS is Jameson’s autobiographical (with the help of Neil Strauss) tale of her rather rough upbringing and multiple molestations. *cough* Surprise, surprise… She chronicles her various sorted relationships, both hetero- and homosexual with pretty much every crappy person you can imagine. Also, she details her rise to fame and fortune within the porn industry as one of the most touted members of their community. (She started stripping when she was 17 and evolved in the business from there).

Astonishingly, this book didn’t have as much shock factor as I’d initially anticipated.  I don’t know whether that means it was tame by porn star comparisons, or that I’m hopelessly jaded–but either way it was an interesting sneak peak into what life on the “dark side” is like. (Not only was Jameson stripping and doing porn–she was also addicted to meth, pain pills, and alcohol through various stages of her life). I was expecting some terrible cringe-fest that left me running to get an HIV test and take a hot shower. Not the case. There was a lot of sex talk, obviously, but most of it was described in a very professional manner and didn’t seem at all that provocative. In fact, I believe Jenna did a great job taking the mystery/glamour away from the porn industry, shining light on the fact that it isn’t just “easy” money–it’s actually pretty fucking sleazy money.

Of course, this book was published in 2004 and much has changed in Jameson’s life in the last 8 years, both professional, personally, and romantically. I would give this a go if you want a little cheap poolside reading material. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of reading it at work–it’s full of topless photos.

But, as much as I admire Jenna’s tenacity for picking herself up, dusting herself off, and starting over… You won’t catch me bringing my dad as my date to the AVN awards anytime soon…

3 saline implants of 5

If you’re interested in this book, you can buy it here.


The Love Spell by Phyllis Curott

I put a spell on you… And now you’re mine… 

Now that Halloween’s coming, I guess it’s appropriate to do a review on the erotic memoir of a Wiccan High Priestess. The Love Spell by Phyllis Curott chronicles her journey through life (and the 80’s, ugh…) trying to find what we all want, true love. The only differences between her adventure and ours, however, is that hers is peppered with spells, potions, and magic and ours is peppered with Haagen Dazs, sloppy kisses, and awkward text messages.

Curott starts her story by discussing her loneliness. She is sick of dating dead end men, having one night stands, and generally being unappreciated by the opposite sex. She starts becoming star struck by images of James Dean, long since dead but still arousing to her. Somehow, she sees him as “a working class man with the heart of a poet.” She is entranced by the way he wore his heart on his sleeve, and always expressed how he was feeling in any given moment, without reservations about what others would think. She is drawn to him, yet heartbroken, because he is not of this realm anymore.

Curott ends up joining a coven and earning a true group of friends, most notably a mentor named Nonna. Nonna is the warm maternal figure that should be a part of every woman’s life. She is there to guide Phyllis through her search for love, and there to pick her up when things don’t go exactly as planned. Especially when Phyllis decides to take matters into her own hands and casts a love spell, asking the universe to send her the man of her dreams.

Enter: Derek, a tall good-looking man who is compatible with Phyllis not only physically, but also on a mental and spiritual level as well, which–I can imagine–may be a hard thing to find when practicing a religion outside of societal norms. She can’t believe it– her spell worked! Curott feels an immediate spark between herself and Derek, and it doesn’t take long to find out that he feels the same way.

But will things work out for the new couple? Will Phyllis get the happy ending she’s always dreamed of– with a soul mate by her side and a baby on her hip? Or can nothing–not even magic–hold two lovers together if they just weren’t meant to be?

And what’s the deal with James Dean?

I have to say, this book surprised me. I put off reading it for quite a while because I was worried it was going to be some gushy BS romance novel–which I hate! All that quivering thigh, bodice-ripping just irritates me. But The Love Spell was quite different. I really enjoyed watching Phyllis’ inner turmoil, as well as seeing what a great female support system she had. The whole book made me feel proud to be a woman, which is an uncommon feeling to get from reading a story. I really liked the mythological aspects that were thrown in there, like Dionysus (her proclaimed “daemon,” or spiritual lover) and especially the famous tale of Isis and Osiris. I’ve always found those who chose the pagan path of worship to be interesting, and Curott offered a behind-the-scenes look into some of the ceremonies the covens have and what really happens during magic-making events.

I was a little put off by the first few chapters of the book. It was hard for me to get into because of the long solid blocks without any dialogue. I understand that a memoir revolves around someone’s inner struggle, but for a while there wasn’t a lot of action. Also, the whole “hearing the voice of James Dean” thing while standing at his grave was a bit hard for me to swallow. Maybe I’ve just been deadened by society to that sort of thing, but it seemed a little (highly)…unlikely… When read as a regular fictional novel it’s great, but when you remember that it’s supposedly a true story, it’s a bit hard to buy.

Plus the whole unprotected-sex-with-strangers-because-it’s-the -80’s thing just made me cringe…

But for sure, read this book. For anyone interested in learning more about the occult, wanting to practice making your own love spells/potions, or just in need of a little femininity boosting– this memoir’s for you. And as Alice Hoffman said in Practical Magic,

“There’s a little witch in every woman.”

4 of 5 stars

 


Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

To say that Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin is erotica that has something for everyone may be the understatement of the century. While most of the short stories were written in the 1940’s for a private collector, they were not published worldwide until after Nin’s death in the late 1970’s.  The collector asked Nin to write about sex “without the poetry” and thus strip the love and emotion from the act of intercourse. Delta of Venus, while not entirely devoid of love, is definitely devoid of the sense of expectancy that comes with reading most “normal” erotica. 

Without warning, the book promptly delves into the controversial topics of incest, pedophilia, abuse, prostitution, rape, the degradation of women, and even one instance of necrophilia!  Like I said, not what one expects when picking up a naughty book to read. In my opinion the extreme subject matter directed the attention away from the relationships between the characters and shocked one’s sensibilities. More disturbing than titillating, really.

However, for all the book’s outrageousness, Nin is a complex author who is deeply involved with each character she creates. I did enjoy the fact that instead of every story being separate unto itself, several important “main” characters appeared numerous times throughout. In this way, I was able to learn more about their sexual pasts, as well as what happened with them once a relationship with one character ended and another began.

I would recommend this book to those that are looking for something out of the ordinary and would enjoy the shock value of it all. If you are a “vanilla sex” type of person looking to read about “lovemaking”… this isn’t the book for you…

I’ll give Delta of Venus a 2.5 stars out of 5, but it’s surely not for the faint of heart.