Saturday, May 26, 2012
A Weekend Erotica Review
Curvy Girls, a new erotic short story anthology edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, I was hesitant, but I wasn’t sure why. Possibly it was my own history as a curvy girl whom nobody was terribly in at various points in my life. I’ve gotten over that history of disappointment, and though I’m smaller than many of the women whose stories fill this anthology, I am still curvy in all the right places, and I’ve learned to embrace my curves and love my body. But I will always identify with the character in Sommer Marsden’s story Runner’s Calves when the dread of boot buying season is upon us! Hot chicks with strong calves, you know what I mean.
My definition of curvy was blown out of the water a bit by the stories in this anthology. To a certain extent, I feel that some of the stories were chosen with an eye toward pushing a redefinition of curvy—that “curvy” doesn’t necessarily mean overweight, although weight and size are definitely issues that inform the stories. That being said, in some of the stories the characters are struggling with their weight or their size, especially in comparison to skinny mini friends. What troubles me a bit in some of the tales is that body size acceptance seems to come only with the attention of a lithe, strong man who would ordinarily be out of the characters’ league (the author’s words, not mine) and breaks through their barriers with sex. I’m not denying that there’s a sense of confidence that comes from the attention of a desirable man, but for that to be the one thing that gives a woman confidence grates on me a bit. *Edit: there are just as many stories, if not more, in which the women are body confident. This is a good thing.
However, this is not a homogenous collection in the sense that not all of the stories are about straight, or even vanilla, relationships. There are a couple of stories that focus on lesbian sex, though two are really about one-night stands of a sort. And a couple of stories focus on D/s in the relationships, though both are rather tame. And for those with a fetish for inking, you’ll find a nice piece in Isabelle Gray’s Marked.
When I say a redefinition, there are several stories that define curvy as having a large, strong, athletic physique. I think of women like Venus or Serena when I read these stories—women who have incredibly strong bodies that don’t conform to the beauty norm, and as a result of their strength they have serious curves that don’t fit into sample size runway gowns. And they are hot.
But the story that was most moving for me was Kristina Wright’s In the Early Morning Light. This story combined two things that resonate with me: feeling like your body isn’t your own, and brilliantly described early morning sex.
Wright’s story focuses on a woman who has recently given birth, and as a result fallen out of touch with her body. She had a difficult pregnancy, so sex was off the menu for many months. And now, after giving birth, she doesn’t recognize the body she has (flabby, misshapen, different) and hasn’t wanted her husband to touch her. I have never had a child, but I understand that feeling of being disconnected from one’s body and sexuality so well as a result of my long-term battle with chronic pain.
I won’t give too much away, but what follows is the main character’s sexual reawakening with the kind of early morning fuck that I love more than just about anything. The erotic fumblings that start in the dark, the softness of sleepy bodies pressed against each other, the slippery wetness that seems wetter than at any other time. The lazy positions we start in that inevitably give way to harder, faster pounding, all cloaked in the intimacy of the slowly brightening early morning light. It’s really rather delicious.
Though I didn’t love every story in the anthology, there were enough deliciously described sexy scenes to keep me reading, not mention keep my panties wet. Curvy Girls is available as an e-book or in hardcopy.