Friday, January 4, 2013

Review: Orgasmic: Erotica for Women

Orgasmic: Erotica for Women
Orgasmic: Erotica for Women by Rachel Kramer Bussel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A specific goal of this anthology was to explore a wide territory, to represent many different ways that women can achieve orgasm. It achieves this ambition with flying colors, providing plenty of solid standards with a healthy dose of more unusual fare, including orgasms from piercing, horseback riding, smells, tantric sex, and more.

I particularly appreciated the emotional complexity of many pieces in the anthology, which lifted the book far above being a simple tool for getting off. Susie Hara's "Fixing the Pipes" glows with a warm, goofy sense of humor that becomes a lovely representation of loving marriage. "Hurdles" by Rowan Elizabeth portrays a couple's discomfort when the man can't make the woman come as easily as he might like. Andrea Dale's "All She Wanted" addresses a kinky pregnant woman's desire for the rough play that makes her come.

The story I personally found hottest was Lily Harlem's "Making Shapes," which used a dildo to capture the fantasy of having sex with two versions of the same man. A close runner up was Donna George Storey's "The Big O," which made me want to do Kegel exercises while also exploring the consequences of a lover away on an extended trip.

That said, Orgasmic passes the key test of well-written erotica: I was fascinated and engaged with the book even when I wasn't turned on. The material was solid from start to finish, and sufficiently diverse that the anthology never felt repetitive or predictable.

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