Category: Erotica Reviews

50 Shades of Grey – Review

Jackie 142857’s review of the book that seems to be on most everyone’s Kindle, 50 Shades of Grey. I agree with this review, regarding the handling of the BDSM aspect of this text.

“Just finished the trilogy. At the topmost level the books offer 1,000+ pages of sweetly lyrical descriptions, though more than somewhat repetitive descriptions, of hard and frequent sexing where nobody gets sore or soft or dry, nor needs to drink, scratch, or pee. I have women friends who find the books worth their price and reading time for that alone. For me, however, the repetitive sameness of “he hooks his thumbs into her panties and tugs downward,” “she plants soft kisses along his happy trail,” became more than somewhat numbing.

And after that I found it ridiculous nonsense on every level.

The love story itself: Christian Grey, the richest and most eligible bachelor in the Pacific Northwest, falls in love at first sight with 21-year-old Anastasia Steele, a dateless virgin who literally stumbles into his office. He woos her with lavish gifts, which she is delighted to accept, though only after tedious and ultimately empty demurrals. Pretty Woman all over again: attractive female sells herself to the highest handsome bidder. But Anastasia’s behavior must be genetically encoded, because she really has no relevant experience with men nor love nor sex – up to this point, she has neither masturbated nor dated. So where does her knowledge come from, the fall of Eve perhaps?

The BDSM aspect. Because of severely horrendous childhood abuse, Christian is unable to enjoy sexing without complete control and a heavy dollop of punishing kink. The 21-year-old virgin is repelled by her first strapping and runs away. But true love prevails and her sweetness breaks through his barriers and cures his kink, bringing him over to true, sweet and kink-free love. In effect, only damaged people have perverse kinky streaks, but true love can cure this perversion. As a lifelong kinkster who never was abused, and who also knows true sweet love alongside kink, I’m offended by this pigeon-holing. “All kinksters were abused children” is as meaningless as “all blacks got rhythm,” or “all gays are pedophiles.” Utter nonsense, utterly demeaning.

The BDSM contract. This baroque document and its ancillary schedules is the hook and the heart of the first book in the series, then it goes away without a trace. I know many people who have enjoyed devising elaborate control contracts for their partners to sign. But having been on both sides of it myself, I also know that the only meaningful contract goes roughly like this: “I will take complete control of you, and you will obey without arguing.” All the rest is window dressing.

The plot thickens. Entirely coincidentally, evil Jack Hyde holds the senior editorial position at the Seattle publishing company where Anastasia applies for her first post-college job. Now at this moment nobody knows he has a childhood connection to Christian, who has not yet bought the publishing company, and nobody knows Anastasia has any connection to Christian either. But Jack is lying in wait to damage Christian and anyone connected to him, whereupon Anastasia falls into his lap. In effect, bad Jack is a lifelong mole with a crystal ball who has invested many years to put himself in position to extract perverse revenge on people who don’t know he exists.

Anastasia ascends. After Christian buys the publishing company and cans bad Jack, Anastasia, the 21-year-old graduate, takes over as chief editor. Now this is where it gets personal to me: having worked more than 40 years on the editorial side of the publishing industry, and having hired and trained dozens of bright young graduates, I can tell you with certainty that experience and mentoring are essential for success.

Jack resurfaces with a vengeance. Oh, turns out there was another mole in place at the publishing company, a woman previously perverted by Jack but who somehow falls through Christian’s elaborate security screens. Meanwhile, Jack inexplicably gets out on bail even though the charge was attempted murder. But never mind, he suddenly reappears, kidnaps Christian’s sister, and puts the arm on Anastasia for a duffel bag of cash to be delivered in two hours. Anastasia, armed with nothing more than one of Christian’s blank checks and an Amex card that has her married name on it, persuades a bank manager to pony up and hand over the $5 million, and then he helps her lug the sack out through the back door of the bank. Try that on your own!

Well, enough. If you want a beach read with comfy sex spiced by light bondage and playful spankings, you certainly can drowse away a few hours with this trilogy. If you’re wanting something meaningful, there’s not much here.”

Pete & Samantha’s Guide to Seasonal Sex Spring 2012 by Samantha J Hall & Peter Birch – Review

Theo Cornetta’s review of Pete & Samantha’s Guide to Seasonal Sex Spring 2012.

I really loved the piece on delayed gratification, it was probably the hottest piece in there to me. With what I would argue is an oversexualized culture in the usa that is somehow not very sexy, that article feels important. People are getting laid but they are doing it too fast, with not enough communication, and too much pattern for it to be really amazing.

I was also really into the piece on the Dos and Don’ts of dating! As an anti-gendered violence advocate, I was really excited to see that included in a conversation of erotica.

The critiques I have are mainly that the whole collection is pretty straight and white. Talk of pale skin and cisgendered straight couples isn’t terribly exciting to me. The one lesbian piece was hot when I could look past the sexualization of young girl bodies, it feels very much linked to male dominated sexual narratives. I wish it focused less on an outside observer perspective which made it feel like someone watching lesbian porn rather than being pulled into the interaction.



“Handle with Care” by Josephine Myles – Review

Kendall Berry’s review of “Handle with Care” by Josephine Myles.
My initial reaction upon receiving a homosexual erotica book to review was skepticism, I am a heterosexual female and wasn’t sure that I would be able to relate or enjoy the book as erotic.  My naive thoughts were quickly realized as based on no prior experience rather than reality.  With the first sentence you are pulled into the main character’s (Ben) very personal life and immediately I was drawn in and wanted to keep reading.  In the early part of the book Ben waffled between a man dealing with a tough lot in life but “sucking it up” and moving along day to day successfully and also playing the role of the “woe is me” character.  I found myself disliking the “woe is me” side of Ben, it didn’t seem to fit with the rest of his character development.  On the flip side – it was very realistic – even the “woe is me,” in those circumstances everyone is likely to fall from being able to be stoic all the time.
The character development of the two other main characters Zoe, Ben’s little sister, and Ollie, the man Ben pined for early in the book, was fabulous you had a very good sense of these characters and could easily imagine this book portraying a real life scenario.
As for the erotica, I was blown away by my own reaction to the erotic scenes.  My heart raced, my chest flushed, and I was filled with desire as I imagined myself being so aroused by a lover.  The sex scenes were drawn out with the emotional feelings that arose during the sexual encounters and I found that very easy to relate to.  The delicious details about the clothing and the sensual way that it was very arousing.  You could imagine exactly what the characters were smelling and tasting without the author being overly verbose about the details.  The author very carefully crafted scenes with poignant details but did not go overboard with the details, she did a fabulous job with these scenes.  It didn’t matter that these were two men, the emotions are the same for me with my male partner.  I found it astounding that I thoroughly enjoyed the sex scenes and was even so aroused that I masturbated.  I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to review this intoxicating text and push my own personal boundaries.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in erotica, heterosexual or homosexual.