Steam Bath - Sweaty Gay Erotica

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday July 31, 2013

Steam Bath - Sweaty Gay Erotica

Great erotica can get you off before you ever get to the sex; the building of tension is much hotter that the often formulaic release. That's what makes books like "Steam Bath - Sweaty Gay Erotica" raise your heart rate just by holding them in your hands.

Editor Shane Allison and Cleis Press have given us all the sights, smells and flavors of clean beads of perspiration forming on taut, muscular man flesh -- all those forbidden places in the city that you've always wanted to explore and all the intimate areas that you've always wanted to touch. It's like porn only far more compelling.

Take for instance "The Key," by Rob Rosen. Here is a story filled with risky schemes and morally questionable behavior. "The Key" is like watching Janet Leigh in the first half hour of Hitchcock's "Psycho." At once you want her to stop and to continue as she tangles herself deeper and deeper into her crime. But instead of ending up with Anthony Perkins in a wig, what you get in this story is "his body writhing on the rubber grating as gooey beads of come flew this way and that."

"Incubus Steams" by Logan Zachary is not for the premature ejaculator. If you're at all quick on the trigger, you'll never make it through this story. The action takes place at a bathhouse named after a mythological demon in male form that lies atop sleepers while they're dreaming in order to have sex with them.

"...all the dangerous excitement of having sex in public is compounded by a genuine fear for life itself."

Detective Timothy Ryan enters this place with the intention of investigating the disappearance of yet another missing young man. He just has a few questions, but the alluring man at the front desk makes him want to take a look around. So begins our journey into a noir sex fantasy where all the dangerous excitement of having sex in public is compounded by a genuine fear for life itself.

Editor Shane Allison's contribution, "Montgomery Gymnos," is particularly exciting because the action doesn't take place in an erotically sanctioned place, but in a very public restroom and a locker room. This story is filled with all the perilous thrill of showing off, getting caught and watching the kind of behavior that just might keep someone from being elected mayor of New York. But Allison's voice is the highlight of this vignette. It drives you through the piece with a colloquial poetry that runs so smoothly you feel like you're getting a blowjob in a moving Aston Martin.

Ultimately, one of the nicest surprises was actually Shaun Levin's "The Real End of It." It isn't often that you find erotica that is downright repellent or witness the gritty ennui of a couple engaging in a messy and conclusive three-way in a steam room "with a faint whiff of shit in the air".

This is not that irritating erotica that comes off like bad porn. It starts out with innuendo, as everyone speaks in quips and witticisms. It ends with a lot of "Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You like that big dick?" while a perfectly chiseled model takes a cock out of his mouth long enough to dash off a clever little bon mot.

"The Real End of It" is truly dirty sex. This is particularly great erotica because it's sad and remorseful and full of all the pain and regret of a real long-term sexual relationship.

"Steam Bath - Sweaty Gay Erotica"
Cleis Press