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Thank you to regular Cara Sutra reviewer Mel from Voluptasse for this in depth and well considered review of Best Sex Writing 2013, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Cleis Press.

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 Best Sex Writing 2013 – Rachel Kramer Bussel Review

best-sex-writing-2013 review

When I was offered this book I return for an honest and unbiased review from Cara I viewed it with interest. It’s quite unlike any book I’ve been offered before and I was intrigued as to how I’d find it, particularly as most erotic books are filled with short stories.

According to the blurb, Best Sex Writing – The State Of Today’s Sexual Culture is a series of articles and provocative pieces on the subject of sex and todays sexual culture. The book discusses the role that sexuality has played in the lives of the contributors, their views on modern day sexual culture and how it is evolving.

The book begins with an astute and interesting Foreword from Carol Queen, PhD on the subject of sexuality and embracing your own sexual reality. It was thought provoking and informative and I felt that I could relate to the message she was sending. As I am new to the discovery of my own sexual self and am still seeking my own true identity, it was something which I found very relatable.

Rachel Kramer Bussel in her introduction talks about the reasoning behind the book, learning what makes other people tick and what motivates their sexual desires. She talks about a desire to educate her readers about what others are thinking and incorporating this into our everyday lives and conversations. By exploring our sexual selves and listening to others we continue to grow and learn more about this fascinating subject. Her passion is clear and I felt excited about the articles she’d chosen to send the messages that she wanted to convey.

The articles and stories themselves are interesting, funny and certainly insightful. The first article by Jonathan Lethem talks about his childhood as an artist and the assortment of live models he painted in his Father’s basement. He became so accustomed to scrutinising the female form that his fantasies centred around women who were clothed. It was intriguing to read how the brain becomes accustomed to something evolves into a new way of thinking. It was a fun read and at times laugh out loud funny.

As the owner of a sex toy business myself, I was particularly interested in Andy Isaacson’s anecdote into the life of the JimmyJane creator Ethan Imbodan. His struggles were fascinating, relatable and even featured a cameo from the famous rapper Snoop Dog. He talks about the desires of the company and the ethos behind the JimmyJane brand and the perils of working in an unregulated market. It explores the sexuality of women and the battle of a determined entrepreneur to penetrate the most complicated female organ, the brain.

Another story which struck a chord was the Notes from a Unicorn by Seth Fischer. He discusses his sexual journey and the discovery that he was bisexual. Feeling pressure to pigeon hole himself into a category of sexuality, he discusses his journey of self-discovery and finally discovering that he is in fact a true bi-sexual. Touching upon self-harm and pressure to conform, it’s an impressive read and an article which stayed with me long after I put down the book.

When on Fire Island by Nicholas Garnet explores a couple’s journey into polyamory and highlights the difficulties they faced when it all starts to go horribly wrong. Emotions take over and jealously threatens to envelope the small community on the island. Will things ever can back to normal and can the events on the island stay on the island? This article gave a powerful message about fantasies which work in theory but don’t always work in practice.

Look out for Submissive: A Personal Manifesto by Madison Young. She delves into the midset of the submissive and the gift of full surrender that she has given to her husband. She talks with love and passion about the lifestyle that she has chosen for herself and the freedom that this choice has given her. She enlightens the reader on the ways in which she feels enriched by the Dominant/submissive relationship she has with her husband. She provides a clear and interesting insight into the mysterious BDSM community and the issues they face as a Dom/sub couple – particularly now that they have a child.

I found all of the articles really interesting and have pinpointed a few which stayed with me for various reasons. The book itself was a fascinating read and offers a great collection of written pieces, all of which work well and complement each other. I found that Best Sex Writing – The State Of Today’s Sexual Culture contained a great mix of funny, serious and informative articles and it certainly opened my eyes to a whole new world of experiences.

Overall, a great book and a fascinating read.

Highly recommended

8/10

– Mel MacFarlane, Voluptasse

 

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