I started reading the Best Lesbian Erotica series in 2002 with Best Lesbian Erotica 03. It actually used to be my staple christmas gift from my best friend for quite a few years, since the next year’s edition comes out in early December. Somehow I missed the last few years, from 2007 on, though I plan to change that soon, so when I had the chance to grab Best Lesbian Erotica 08 I knew I had to get it to further my collection.
One reason why I’ve loved the Best Lesbian Erotica (BLE) series for so many years is because the stories are always fresh and unique, exposing me to something new in each one. The stories always have a wide variety of scenes and sexualities between them, always focusing on more than just the sex and more than strap-on sex. When I started reading the series six years ago I was relatively inexperienced, though I had already read a lot of erotica, and BLE exposed me to many different facets of sexuality and better written erotica than what I was reading online.
The theme of Best Lesbian Erotica 08 is transgression. Tristan Taormino describes it in her foreword as not just the transgression that occurs when one comes out as queer and tells their own story, but a transgression beyond what is “normal,” expected, and acceptable. Each story keeps you on your toes, delivering “erotic surprises” (according to the back of the book) and taking you to new heights of depravity and delicious transgression.
In one of my favorite stories in the book, “The Bridge” by Isa Coffey, what starts out as a butch/femme fling in a car turns into a veritable orgy through small extreme but mostly believable leaps. The story itself is written in a jagged almost disjointed manner which made me feel like I was experiencing the situation as it was happening, a vivid but jarring re-telling of something which seems more like fact than fiction.
Another of my favorite stories, “Domme’s Games” by Rachel Kramer Bussel, two femmes meet for dinner on a date set up by their friends, but that quickly transforms into a D/s fantasy game performed by a professional Dominatrix and a first-time submissive who can’t believe what she’s doing in public. Through a series of non-sexual yet sexually charged commands the pair gets through dinner and heads back to the Domme’s place, but before they go inside the submissive femme must strip and get herself off in the car.
There are over a dozen more stories each with their own delightful twists and erotic turns which very often kept me on my toes. While many of the transgressions in the book are not necessarily shocking, though some are unexpected, they are wildly enjoyable erotic romps into the fantasy life of a stranger.
As Taormino says at the end of her foreward: “Ultimately, what ties all these stories together is the desire to push something perhaps a little too far, to give the middle finger to ‘polite society.’ These writers have given us vibrant characters who defy roles and expectations and challenge traditions and norms. These characters don’t just go against the grain–they rub their leather-clad thighs, cum-soaked fingers, drenched pussies and saliva-coated cocks right up against the grain, leaving a mark so you know they were there” (ix-x).
Title: Best Lesbian Erotica 08
Publisher: Cleis Press
Editor: Tristan Taormino
Page Count: 240