Kink Stories by Various Authors
Published: February 9, 2021
Simon & Schuster
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Cure by Melissa Febos
Melissa Febos is an accomplished author. She spent a year working as a professional dominatrix while in college, and that experience has helped shape her perspective. Her writing is reflective of the reader, and her words contain a depth that will impact her audience in different ways.
”It was in New York City! How could one run out of lesbians in New York City?”
I enjoyed the mysteriousness in this story. No names, no messy details. The added ambiguity made the story more sensual. I enjoyed how the main character reclaimed her desire and wants. She took power and made it her own. All too often, we tend to ignore our wants and needs because society tells us our partners’ needs matter more. But that isn’t always true.
This story was sexy without being over the top. There were no ridiculous descriptions of appendages, no animalistic thrusting, and moans of pleasure. Our leading lady discovered that being in control, and getting hers, and refusing to allow her feelings to get involved, was the most satisfactory way to reset herself. So that is what she did. Melissa Febos wrote a dynamic character that we can all identify and learn something from. What you take from this story will depend on what you lack. I love the complexity within that.
Best Friendster Date Ever by Alexander Chee
Alexander Chee is an associate professor of English and a talented author. His works have earned him several accolades in his career. He brings a diverse perspective to everything he creates.
“All I was thinking was, The real bottoms, you don’t have to tie them up.”
I haven’t read much sexual/romance written by a man. So this was a relatively new experience for me. I enjoyed the telling of this story. I genuinely appreciate gay relationships when they are portrayed as usual as straight relationships. That validity is deserved, and I respect the author for giving us that.
This story was gentle in discovering what our narrator wants and his acceptance of that within himself. I enjoyed the build to the act and the subtle dominance displayed.
Trust by Larissa Pham
Larissa Pham is a poet, writer of several genres, and a true artist. She creates visual mediums for her audience.
“She considers her instincts, and then the instincts of all living things, all that animals know without being told.”
I enjoyed the use of imagery in this story. Pham captured the complexity of trust and described the feeling of desire without using simplified words. She told vulnerability without being vulnerable, and she creates two imperfect people who were perfect for each other at the moment.
Safeword by R.O. Kwan
R.O. Kwan is a gifted writer who has earned much praise for her work. She has been recognized across several platforms, and she continues to press the boundaries.
“They watched Secretary, and they tried reading Fifty Shades, but soon dropped it; it was so badly written that it made her laugh.”
First, I LOVE that R.O. Kwon straight called Fifty Shades out for the horrible nonsense. Very subtly, no bashing, but straight fact. That made my entire day.
I liked the learning aspect of this story. Spanking is such a fun, sensual form of play, but it requires some knowledge to avoid injuring the receiver. I love that the couple went to a professional dominatrix together and that she was so vivid in her abilities.
I like that this story exposed the fact that many people have kinky desires but don’t necessarily know how to translate that to their partner and that the partner may not know how to move forward. But having a partner willing to learn is fantastic. My favorite story so far.
Canada by Callum Angus
Callum Angus is a trans writer, editor, and independent scholar. He works to bring understanding and acceptance to the trans community, and through his writing, helps create awareness among people.
“I want to erode her stone by stone, make her fall apart.”
I’m not very familiar with a lot of trans romance. But I enjoyed how the explanation of blending was described with Nina wearing Jay’s clothing.
Oh, Youth by Brandon Taylor
Brandon Taylor is a very accomplished writer. His works have been recognized across several platforms. He continues to transcend the divide and brings knowledge to his readers.
“Someone loved him. Someone loved him. Someone loved him.”
I enjoyed the complexity of this story. However, it’s a little sad. Grisha is just looking to be loved. Wanted. Needed. And all he is finding is temporary.
This story dealt with the complexities of being a thrupple, however. Someone always gets feelings, and someone still gets jealous. And because of that dynamic, someone always gets hurt. I just wanted Grisha to get his happy ending.
Impact Play by Peter Mountford
Peter Mountford has written several short stories and two novels. He is a brilliant mind in a lost world.
“But this secret was a tender, special thing, starting to burn now that it was the only one left between the two of them.”
I wish this had been a complete story, full arc. I liked that Gavin was finally embracing who he is and working on getting past the embarrassment. And I enjoyed Pilar, and I would have loved getting to know her better.
Mirror, Mirror by Vanessa Clark
Vanessa Clark is an award-winning author who shines a spotlight on queer romance. She doesn’t shy away from embracing the unknown, and she brings normalcy to a subject that once may have been considered taboo.
“The fantasy that they craved, needed, obsessed over, was just to see it—they hardly needed to touch, or feel.”
I enjoyed this story. I want to get to know Teena more, find how her history. See how she because the fabulously strong, smart, badass in sparkly heels that she is. Clark is a strong writer with a description gift. I was delighted with this story, and I was sad when it ended.
Reach by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay is a writer, editor, professor, and social commentator. She had written several works that have earned her accolades. She is a bold, smart, dynamic individual who makes the world a better place with her words.
”I want to know the stories of all her scars, but I’m not sure I’m willing to pay the price for that knowledge.”
I enjoyed the depth of this story. The dynamic that worked for this couple. The level of understanding of not accepting secrets but embracing them. Of realizing that to honestly know someone means opening yourself up to a group of vulnerability that you can’t take back. There is deep respect woven throughout this text, and I appreciate it.
Gospodar by Garth Greenwell
Garth Greenwell is an author, poet, literary critic, and educator. He has several published works and writes criticism for The New Yorker and The Atlantic.
”I felt nothing of what I had thought I might think in standing, and I reclaimed nothing, nothing at all returned.”
Scissors by Kim Fu
Kim Fu is a critically acclaimed and highly regarded writer. She has published works in several notable publications.
”Being seen without seeing.”
I liked the mystery and the embracing of the unknown in this story. You almost feel as though you are naked in front of strangers, blindfolded, experiencing the unknown. Being handled, being poked, and prodded. It’s scary, and it’s intense.
The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror by Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado is a critically acclaimed short story author and essayist. Her works have been widely published, and she has been highly awarded for her works.
”She shrieked in pain, her eyes glittering with pleasure.”
There was a level of complexity and depth to this story. I enjoyed the concept. The use of language is interesting. There was a complexity level to this story and the mix of uncertainty and longing that made this an exciting read.
The Voyeurs by Zeyn Joukhadar
Zeyn Joukhadar is exceptionally accomplished. He has many publications and is a leading name within his genres.
“Stop looking at me, stop looking at me, stop looking.”
This story was excellent. The idea of people staring at what they don’t understand, as though trans individuals aren’t human and are a foreign concept. Like it’s okay to gawk and stare as though it’s warranted due to a lack of knowledge or acceptable. The kindness and concern shown by Omar are beautiful, despite his inner turmoil with how he feels people view him. This was a charming story.
Retouch/Switch by Cara Hoffman
Cara Hoffman is an accomplished writer who has published several essays and earned much praise for the work she does.
“Your heart a little coffin that you’ve lined for me with satin.”
This story was kind of confusing. But I think that is the point. To focus on the desire to control and make perfect, but then TBR desire to please and behave.
Emotional Technologies by Chris Kraus
Chris Kraus is a renowned author of empowering material that breaks down the barriers and boosts the female momentum.
“Theatricality implies an embarrassing excess of presence, i.e., of sentiment.”
This story is about claiming one’s destiny with an open mind and a lack of fear. The level of understanding. It’s a lovely story.
This anthology is well written, well researched. I enjoyed the positive light being displayed regarding kink and the kink community.
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