By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
Finally, there’s a book for those of us who are literate, love erotica, and love both genders.
“The Best of Both Worlds: Bisexual Erotica,” edited by Sage Vincent and M. Christian, really is the best of both worlds for those of us who like erotica that stimulates our most important sex organ – our brain.
The stories in “Both Worlds” range from the thoughtful to the extremely hot. Best of all, the stories, settings and characters are as varied as – well, as bisexual people are. R. Gay’s “On the Care and Feeding of White Boys,” takes the reader on an adventure shared by two African-American female partners who decide “on an ordinary Thursday morning” that they want a white boy to play with.
From the journey of two teens, one gay and white, one Asian and mostly straight, who cross the boundaries of race and orientation in “Losers” by Mark Wildyr, to transgender BDSM fetishists who indulge their kink and heal a bereaved friend at a sex party in “Boy in the Middle” by Patrick Califia, this book has something, literally, for almost everyone.
Sex may be the focus of the stories in “Both Worlds,” but just like the murder in a good mystery, the focus frequently serves as a starting point for the exploration of issues ranging from race to labels to the depths of human relationships. Callum James’ story “Three Balls” is the story of how one man’s relationship with his best male friend helps him deal with a medical trauma, and perhaps saves his relationship with his wife. “I Kiss’d Thee Ere I – Kiss’d Thee,” by Caralee Levy, portrays a young female thespian’s dual realization that “I didn’t want a selfish person in my life. Not even in a casual way,” and that who she really wants is Desdemona. “Queer I and the Straight Guy,” by Bree Coven chronicles a lifetime lesbian’s realization that, for her, “Love sees no gender!”
“But suddenly it seemed only right to put my mouth where my politics were. … In the face of my parents’ wrath and rejection, I’d tearfully defended my love of my college roommate with a simple, heartfelt, ‘Love is love.’ And it was true, as I’m now learning from the opposite side. Falling in love with my boyfriend felt exactly like falling in love with a woman for the first time – just as terrifying, heightened, exhilarating, life-altering, and alarmingly real. It feels like coming out all over again. It raises all the same questions: ‘Who am I?’ ‘What does this mean?’ ‘What will my community think?’ and, in bed, inevitably, ‘How the hell do I do this?'”
-From “Queer I and the Straight Guy,” by Bree Coven
Another plus to be found in “Both Worlds” is the universally high quality of the writing. This reviewer is new to print erotica, but not to literature – and I frequently found the stories in “Both Worlds” to meet my standards for the latter while expanding my understanding of what is possible in the former. Best of all, the editors included stories that explore the range of feelings that sex can inspire – from inspiration to desperation, grief and joy and even boredom. And humor. Yes, humor – but you’ll have to read “MMF,” by Kit, for yourself.
“The Best of Both Worlds: Bisexual Erotica” edited by Sage Vivant and M. Christian. 225 pages. Published in 2005 by Harrington Park Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, Inc. http://www.HaworthPress.com.