Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, got in touch recently to share this picture:
(In case you can't read the print in the picture, it says: "[Reading erotic literature is] a safe way to experiment with your sexuality. If you're curious about BDSM, you can read about it (we like Best Women's Erotica of the Year, by Rachel Kramer Bussel) and see if it turns you on. Then when you add a partner to the mix, it's easier to articulate what you like." This advice comes from the owners of The Ripped Bodice, a bookstore in Los Angeles that specializes in selling romance novels.)
Not only is it exciting to see the book mentioned in Cosmopolitan, this is a wise piece of advice. Both reading and writing erotica have given me space to explore my desires. I think this can be particularly important for those of us socialized female—I learned a lot about doing the opposite while growing up, saying, "No, what do you want," etc, and so learning what my sexual desires are and how to talk about them has taken a lot of time and development.
Best Women's Erotica deserves a shoutout in this respect because Rachel is really great about including a broad variety of stories in the volumes she edits. Her books are a great jumping off place for exploration. (And, while this particular book does include my story, "On Some Maps, But Not on Others," I'm not just saying this...).
If you'd like to check the book out, you can find it here.
Also, if you're in LA, it looks like it would be a good idea to check out The Ripped Bodice. Seems like a cool place!