Lonnie Barbach is the acclaimed anthologist of classic collections PLEASURES and EROTIC INTERLUDES, two volumes of women's erotica which brought the genre into the mainstream.
An anthology of 22 erotic short stories selected by psychologist Barbach, whose interests in monogamy and women's sexuality come together in this book designed to help monogamous couples enhance their sex lives. The present collection differs from Barbach's earlier ones (Erotic Interludes, 1986, etc.) in that those were written by women for women, while this one is intended for both sexes. An interesting difference in male and female erotic writing styles soon becomes apparent: Stories written by men tend to be more visual and explicit, while those by women tend to emphasize feelings and the total relationship. The volume is divided into three parts, each with an introduction by Barbach. The tales in Part One, each with a distinctively male or female flavor, have varied themes: sex with a ghost, acting out fantasies, group sex, seduction. Part Two features three themes: unrequited love (a favorite with women), anonymous sex (more popular with men), and sexual affairs (both sexes write about this but handle it differently). Stories in the third section were written by couples, thus each event is seen from both a male and a female perspective. According to Barbach, who calls this final part "The Perfect Match," these tales illustrate the dramatic variety of successful sexual relationships. She suggests that the stories be read as an aphrodisiac before or during lovemaking, and that solitary readers can use them as a substitute for an absent lover. For best effects, use sparingly. A surfeit of supple mouths, jutting nipples, and bare buttocks begins to pall, and when the erotic value of these tales fades, there's not much left to recommend them. (Kirkus Reviews)
Little, Brown Book Group
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