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Friday, November 16, 2007

Bedtime Stories for Lovers III

** Bedtime Stories for Lovers III by Joan Elizabeth Lloyd. Erotica.

Erotica anthologies--heck, anthologies in general--tend to be a mixed bag. I'm used to disliking the erotica stories that try to be too artsy, but I can't remember just being downright bored by them. All the stories in Bedtime Stories for Lovers III are by the same author, so I should have known after the first couple that I wasn't going to be impressed, but a) I'm nothing if not stubborn, b) I didn't read the stories back-to-back, and c) the forward promised that there was a wide variety, and "something for everyone."

My #1 problem with Bedtime Stories for Lovers III is that I've read erotica before, and I've read novels with well-written sex scenes before. I'm spoiled. Simply telling me that, for example, a couple masturbated each other under a blanket on a sleigh ride ("Sleigh Ride"), is not going to get me hot and bothered.

When I read erotica, or any other fiction, for that matter, I want to feel a connection with the characters. Even if it's a one-page story on Literotica (NSFW link), I don't want to just read the mechanics--I want to know how the characters feel about what they're doing, how it affects them. And that was mostly lacking in these stories. Oh, they would say something felt like heaven, or he couldn't believe his eyes, but it was all very remote.

I'm thinking this is erotica-lite. Erotica for teenagers (18, okay? I wouldn't suggest it to my 17-year-old, but I wouldn't be shocked or horrified if he read it, either). Or erotica for couples to read aloud together--provided, of course, that they have a fairly bland sex life and don't watch porn or read other erotica. Which is not to criticize those who would appreciate it--it's all in your comfort level. If you haven't read erotica before, it's probably a good place to start.


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