Review – Best Bondage Erotica 2012

When I saw Rachel Kramer Bussel’s call for reviewers for her latest erotica anthology, Best Bondage Erotica 2012, I admit that I had an ulterior motive for wanting to review it. Well, two. One is that I just love her anthologies.  From the gorgeous covers to the sexy stories inside, I always find something unique in them, something to titillate, certainly, but even better, something to arouse my mind as well.

The second reason was that I had submitted a story for it, a story that I liked quite a bit, but which was rejected. After some (significant) tweaking, that story was picked up by Hazel Cushion over at Xcite, and printed in the anthology Power Play, and which story was then broken out (and made the title story) for a 4-story ebook edition. I wanted to see how my story stacked up against the ones that had made it – and possibly learn why mine hadn’t.  It was an educational endeavor, as well as a bit of a masochistic one.  I know, surprising, right?

What I found was both surprising–and not.

The twenty-one stories in this anthology fulfill what the title promises – hot, sexy, intelligent writing about one of my favorite topics: bondage. (Not surprising!) Also not surprising was the wide variety of voices and situations presented in the stories.  From the titillation of internet exhibitionism in “Snow White” to a woman who worries she may have bitten off more than she can chew in “Melting Ice,” from a diabolical revenge tale in “The Insurrection” to a deviously sexy chess match in “Pawns,” these stories are all so unique it seems that only the theme of bondage–however it is arrived at–ties them together.

But then that is as it should be. I don’t pick up an anthology looking for the same story over and over.  I was certainly not disappointed in this collection at all.

In fact, that may have been something that I was a little concerned about when I first glanced through it: quite a few of these stories are female domination stories, a couple are stories of switches, and two even deal with self-bondage–D/s perspectives that don’t normally arouse me.  The two self-bondage stories even end with the same conclusion: “Who needs a man to dominate me?”  As ya’ll know, I’m a fairly bottom-y girl, it is (primarily, although not exclusively) male domination that turns me on, and most, if not all, of my own real life experiences and fantasies are from that perspective.  Would these stories hold my interest, or better yet, turn me on?

The short answer is yes.

The fact that I enjoyed these stories as literature didn’t surprise me at all. I read Ms. Bussel’s anthologies because they consistently feature good stories and good writing, besides the “hot and sexy” thing. What did surprise me was that I also got turned on by several of the stories of women tying up men, and even one lovely M/M story having to do with a man being laced into a corset called (appropriately) “Laced.”

Now I’ve had some time to ponder this, and I don’t think it heralds any desire on my part to get switchy or start Topping men (although I have been known to get aggressive with women.) That still doesn’t do anything for me, intellectually or sexually. So what is it about those stories that aroused me?

It’s simple, really: control arouses me. One human being controlling another sexually, and the other giving in to that control, either willingly or unwillingly.  “The Tipping Point,” sums it up perfectly in both title and in the last line of the story: “I surrender.” It is that exact moment, the surrender, the loss of control, that turns me on.  That makes me hot.  And, in Best Bondage, I got a lot of that.

2 Comments

  1. sin says:

    Great review. I want to read it now.

    Any conclusions, at least for yourself, about their rejection of your story?

    -sin

    1. piecesofjade says:

      I’m fairly certain that it just wasn’t sexy enough. It dealt with that aspect that I mention in my review: control, as opposed to sex. And that makes sense to me. In fact when I did the rewrite that was exactly what I was told, “great story, needs more sex.” So that’s what I did–sexed it up. And it WAS a better story for me having done so.

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