Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 / Hide & Seek: Erotic Tales Of Voyeurs And Exhibitionists

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Tuesday December 14, 2010

Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 / Hide & Seek: Erotic Tales Of Voyeurs And Exhibitionists

Cleis Press stuffs your stocking this holiday season, with two new collections of erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica 2011, and Hide and Seek: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists.

Editor Kathleen Warnock, a fixture on the New York City spoken word scene, takes to task this year's offering of Best Lesbian Erotica 2011, with the help of guest judge, comedian, actor, and chanteuse Lea DeLaria. In her foreword, Warnock recounts how, during a trip to the gay Mecca of Provincetown in 2009, she encountered DeLaria while walking down Commercial Street, and later, asked her to help select from the submissions. Acknowledging the recent media attention to LGBT teen suicides, Warnock also noted how bullying someone for their differences is widely accepted.

"Even in the LGBT community, there's always a center and outliers.... Because they can't/won't 'pass,' people who blur the boundaries in such a way are still the ones attacked first, sneered at, scoffed at, discriminated against even by fellow queers...."

In the end, many of the final selections skewed toward these outliers, chronicling butch and trans identity, unaccepted desire, experiences of non-American lesbians, and those negotiating long-term relationships and marriage.

The collection opens with "The Stripper and the Butch Wannabe," a story of a passive butch who turns the tables on her dominant femme stripper girlfriend by visiting her at work, and seducing her in the parking lot of the strip club. The story, "A Quick Fuck in a Shadowed Corner," describes a hookup in a dark nightclub, while "Painted Nails and Puppy Dog Tails" outlines a toe-nibbling session in a high-end nail salon.

The story "The Number 91" features a hookup between a female tram driver and her sexy customer. In "Signs," two girls make the most of a dark corner of a corn maze. And in "Walk Like A Man," a slicked greaser boi named Ace takes an unsuspecting girl on a ride of her life.

Some selections are otherworldly, such as "The Garden of Earthly Delights," in which a female initiate dresses in her brothers' clothes to watch a demon dancer, and "Witch," in which a budding lesbian ventures into the forest and finds her match in the "bitch goddess warrior queen" Baba Yaga.

While some entries, like "My Precious Whore," are more intense in their presentation of S/M, others, such as "Carried Away in Santa Fe," which features the long-awaited adult hookup of childhood best friends, are downright sweet.

Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 also goes where few similar collections have gone in the past, by including stories by non-American lesbians. In "Ladies' Coupe," by Anamika, an Indian woman is seduced in the sleeping car of her train by a female police officer, whom she later discovers is notorious bandit Channa Devi. And in "Little Lou," translated by Noel Burch, a Parisian fetishist finds the submissive of her dreams at a sex party.

Every story may not appeal to every reader, but there is certainly something for everyone to enjoy.

Overall, Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 is an even-handed anthology, providing a little something for every reader.

While equally as entertaining, the stories in Hide and Seek: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists, focus on the fetish of voyeurism and exhibitionism. This collection, co-edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, another champion of the New York City spoken word/erotica scene, brings to the forefront every writer's secret exhibitionism. Through the stories of teasing, flaunting, spying, and waiting for gratification, says Bussel, "It's this search for the perfect partner to complement their kink that makes so many of these stories soar."

The tales that unfold include those of newbie fetishists, including "Counting the Days," the story of a handsome window washer who flirts with a female office worker on the other side of the glass; and "Glint," the sexual escapades of a pair of young lovers who never see the Peeping Tom that adds excitement to their encounters.

In "Operator 84," a female cab driver gives a free ride to the woman and her husband fucking in the back seat. In "Not a Voyeur," accidental spying on their neighbors making love prompts the couple across the way to do the same. And in "The Craziest Thing," a rocker lets ardent fans know he is taken by fucking his girlfriend in the parking lot of the venue, as a crowd watches.

Other tales are clearly in the realm of more experienced voyeurs and exhibitionists. In "The Corners of My Eyes," a seasoned voyeur who compares himself to "David Bowie in The Hunger where he and fellow vampire Catherine Deneuve prowl the second-floor gallery of a nightclub...surveying the dance floor for their midnight bite" watches his partner fuck the a wannabe lead singer they call the Next Big Thing as he is tied to the bed they are in. A different outcome emerges in "A Girl, Two Guys, and a Sex Toy," when a New Year's Eve three-way evolves into her exhibitionist sex-toy play. And in "For All the World to See," a couple flips on the webcam to share their sexual escapades with the world.

Some selections move from voyeurism to participation. In "Red Light, Green Light," a married couple travels to Amsterdam so that she can pose as a red-light district prostitute and have back-room sex with a man that her husband has hand picked for her.

Lesbian adventures are included in the mix. In "Interview With a Porn Star," a female director and a porn actress discover they have a promising working relationship, while in "Cruising," a butch boi looking for action in the park finds it with another tough guy, who also turns out to be a woman. In "Peeping Tom, Dick and Harriet" a lesbian couple gives a sex show to the patrons of a peepshow booth. And the tables turn in "Roof Flashing," as a roof repairman watches a woman penetrate her male partner with a strap-on.

Much like the scenarios depicted in the anthology, Hide and Seek: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists, spans the spectrum of voyeurism and exhibitionism. Every story may not appeal to every reader, but there is certainly something for everyone to enjoy.

Order Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 and Hide and Seek: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists from www.cleispress.com.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.