tagReviews & EssaysReview: Switchhitters

Review: Switchhitters


Another great anthology of erotica that I highly recommend is SwitchHitters, edited by Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel. I purchased this book for the main purpose that it included a short story from Laura Antoniou, the author of The Marketplace series. Her particular entry in this anthology is about one of the characters from the premiere book in that series, also called The Marketplace. However this book even without this story by Laura Antoniou is a delight.

The idea behind the anthology is hot gay porn. The premise as described on the cover is lesbians write gay male erotica and gay men write lesbian erotica. And they all do it so well! Some of them, especially the women, it is hard to believe they were not born with a cock.

The book contains an eclectic mix of stories. The first one up, "I Fucked a Girl" by Matthew Rettenmund, is a story about first times. It is a coming out story which is not unusual to be found in a collection of stories all of which virtually deal with homosexuality in its variety of forms.

The second story, "Poster Boy" by Carol Queen deals with a different type of first time for a very out homosexual. This one learns about the act through a variety of toys.

The third story, "Renga" by Kevin Kilian, is about a lesbian poet working on a renga. Her obsessive nature gets the best of her as she learns about herself while she works upon her obsession.

The fourth story, "Posing" by Blake C. Aarens, explores homosexuality in the African-American community. It also is a charming tale of how often one dreams of having what one thinks they cannot have but in the end they can have and will get it if they try hard enough.

The fifth story is "Cowgrrrl in the Darkke" by Thomas Roche. In it, the author explores Goth culture as well as transgendering. Mr. Roche is well known for his vampire stories, both gay and lesbian, and one can see that prevalent talent in this little gem.

"Everything I Need to Know I Learned in a Sling" by Jenne Blade is the next story up in the collection. This is one of the author's first published pieces but her love of gay men and the leather subculture is evident in this witty piece.

Our next selection is "The Pussy Pier" by William J. Mann. This is a great story for summertime reading as it takes place, for the most part, beneath a pier on a beach late at night. It also deals with cheating, one-nighters and broken hearts.

"Dress Leathers" by Robin Sweeney rounds us up next. It is a rather heavy piece dealing with grief and loss. The age of AIDS has left many in the homosexual community reeling with loss and this story explores how one man deals with it.

Next up is the late Marco Vassi's story "For Her Eyes Only" which features a lesbian's first encounter with her dormitory roommate. Although it is delicious, I think most women will admit that they have had the same fantasy at one point or another so this makes the story not quite as unique or adventurous as the author might have thought he was being.

Following is "Day Dream" by Cecelia Tan. It deals with pornography and a virgin gay man. Mostly it takes place during the fantasies of the main protagonist. This leads for some very interesting mental encounters. And Ms. Tan, as usual, writes what others only think.

Next is an outtake from "Boss Lady in Bondage" by Larry Townsend. The entire book is mostly straight but the outtake featured in this anthology has a definite lesbian twist to it.

Heading down to the bottom of the list and the end of the book, we start up with "Predators" by Wickie Stamps. This particular story deals with the trade in rough sex and the dangers inherent to it. It is a rape fantasy on speed as the thin line between being rough and hurting is broken.

"Sometime before the Fall" by Simon Sheppard deals with pre-war Berlin and the sexual debauchery that befell it. In this story we see gays, lesbians and straights but all with a definite twist of oddity to it.

Next up is the reason I bought the book. "Brian on the Farm" by Laura Antoniou deals with the very leather Brian who has been sold into slavery by his own choice to a vineyard. For those who dream of slavery thinking it is all sex and chocolates, this is a must read. Slavery for Brian is anything BUT sex.

Lawrence Schimel's "Dry Run" deals with artificial insemination and a lesbian in need of a child. In it, a kitchen utensil becomes an erotic toy that leads to hours of sexual bliss.

"In Heat" by Lucy Taylor, the author gives us anonymous sex, love, loss and natural disasters. She combines them all to make an erotic love play to fuel the fire of sexuality.

"100% Natural" by D. Travers Scott not only deals with the absurdity of having to deal with the public on the job but the fringe benefits of having to deal with the public while at work. And it takes place in the healthy Northeast, where if it isn't all natural, it isn't all that!

Finally, this delightful anthology concludes with "The Wolf is my Shepherd, I shall not want" by Pat Califia. It is an exciting story that deals with leather bars and vampires, sex clubs and blood lust. It was one of my favorite stories of the anthology and think it would make an interesting start for another anthology....that dealt completely with homosexual and lesbian vampires. But then, I like that kind of stuff. Not everyone does.

Even if you are not gay, not into erotica and not into reading, you will enjoy this anthology. Originally published in 1996, it is probably out of print but you can usually find a used copy online at any used book bookseller.

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