Tag Archives: Books

Book Review: Fifty Writers On Fifty Shades of Grey

The first thing I think you need to know in all of this is that I borrowed a copy of Fifty Shades Of Grey from my mother.  That’s right, to get this review under way, I wanted to first read the actual book before reading essays on the book, so I asked my mother if I could borrow her precious copy.  Yes, my mother is a diehard fan of 50 Shades, and while she raised a super sex-positive, academic pervert, I would not classify my mother as especially open about these things.  In fact, she as a motherly and suburban as they get, which is totally fine, and also the demographic that gone completely wild for these books.  And she is no exception.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I was hesitant to read 50 Shades.  As much as I have been known to enjoy a vapid love story (*cough, cough Twilight), I had heard many reviews from friends that the negotiation was iffy, the sex unbelievable and the main female character a little too passive.  I wasn’t planning to bother with it, but once Fifty Writers On Fifty Shades of Grey graced my desk, I knew I’d have to get in on the hype.

Now, I realize that this is not a review of 50 Shades of Grey, so I will keep my comments brief.  All I will say is that I have mixed feelings.  I love me some power exchanges and am a big fan of dirty writing, so I did enjoy some of the sexy parts, but I was not impressed with the ways that kink was pathologized, how negotiation was represented, the unrealistic expectations and the incredibly irritating avoidance of the word “vagina” – in any form (seriously people, I cannot STAND the phrase “apex of my thigh”).  Anyway, this review isn’t about how I feel about 50 Shades – it’s about how other people feel about it…  Fifty other people… Fifty specific people… Fifty writers.

Yep, Fifty Writers On Fifty Shades of Grey snatches this super popular smutty novel from the clutches of horny women everywhere and lays it out on the table to be dissected by all different types of writers.  From sex educators and erotic writers, to lawyers and PhDs – everyone gets a turn at giving their point of view.  To get it all in, editor Lori Perkins breaks the book down into seven different sections, including Fifty Shades of Writing, Fifty Shades of Romance, Fifty Shades of BDSM, Fifty Shades of Pop Culture and more.  Each section offers up a variety of perspectives on the subjects at hand – be it erotic writing, kink, the popularity of the book, etc.

While I really enjoy delving deeper into how 50 Shades has changed the erotic writing niche, and taking a closer look at the ways the book has morphed into an instruction manual on greater pleasure for some women, I have to admit that my favorite essay in this collection is Laura Antoniou’s “Fifty Shades of Holy Crap!”.  It truly is a perfect satire of the series.  Antoniou hits on all of the elements of the story in a light and teasing way, but actually gets to the point of the ridiculousness of some of the book.

Also mixed in with the academic, intellectual, and funny essays are a few pieces that offer up the same erotic thrill that 50 Shades brings to the table.  “The Collar of Blue Stones” by Pamela Madsen is super sexy and sensual, yet somehow still stays on point talking about the book.  Oh man do I love me some pervy smartypants!  And with this book you get fifty of em!

As an added treat, not only are we reviewing the book, Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, we had the good fortune of nabbing interviews with a few of the book’s writers – Marci Hirsch, Midori and Rachel Kenley.  Keep an eye out for their 20 questions coming soon!

Satiate your desires with Fifty Writers On Fifty Shades of Grey!

Oral Sex That’ll Blow Her Mind: An Illustrated Guide to Giving Her Amazing Orgasms

The big fantasy when it comes to sex education is that once high school is finished, everyone knows everything about sex that they will need to know for the rest of their lives.  Ok, I’ll wait while your laughter dies down.  It’s a ridiculous idea, isn’t it – made even more ridiculous by the fact that many sex education programs today are little more than cautionary tales that rely on preaching abstinence.  It’s no wonder that folks are getting to be adults and are clueless when it comes to sex.  Luckily there are people out there who are ready to answer those questions.  People like Shanna Katz, M.Ed, ACS, the author of Oral Sex That’ll Blow Her Mind: An Illustrated Guide to Giving Her Amazing Orgasms.

This debut how-to by Katz (who, if you have stuck with HM4Her for a while, you know as Essin’ Em, our former blog master) is a basic primer on all things pussy licking – from beginner technique and form, to advanced moves, the likes that take an Olympic gymnast’s flexibility to pull off.  Along with tips and tricks, Oral Sex offers up a quick and dirty anatomy lesson, myth busting, a very needed chat about the usage of “vulva” vs. “vagina” (seriously people, there is a difference), and even a brief aside about not assuming that everyone that has a vulva and vagina is a woman or identifies as female.  It’s things like this that warm my little queer heart to the core.

Knowing Katz like I have for years (we went to sex school together as well), I was not surprised that this book is impeccably written and completely accessible for most folks to just pick up and read.  You don’t need to worry about jargon or anything like that.  Sometimes people don’t realize that if you make your book too intimidating or too “ivory tower,” no one will be able to, or want to, read it.  Oral Sex is easy to read, understand and follow, which is quite important when you are trying to convey instructions to people… especially people who are coming to you in a vulnerable state and admitting that they don’t know everything.

As a very visual learner, I really appreciate that this book is fully loaded with pictures that demonstrate exactly what the text is instructing.  No matter how clearly written the instructions are, I need to have that visual of what is happening for me to really get how to do it.  I excel at putting together IKEA furniture – case and point.

While I do really love having the pictures to learn from, I will say that I have mixed feelings about them.  First off, they are very high quality, elegant images.  More R-rated than X-rated, they make the book accessible to folks who are looking for something a little tamer.  I definitely applaud that, as I know how important it is to create safe spaces for all people, even in book form.  That said, I was disappointed by the images in three ways.  To start, I felt that the images were a little too “stock image-y” and looked a tad generic.

Second, I was unimpressed that only two models were featured and that they were white and thin; which leads me into my last disappointment – that the pictures created a wholly hetero-normative story.  I get that not everyone can be represented, but barely anyone was shown visually.  For me, that didn’t vibe with the tone of the text, which comes off as very inclusive and aware, especially with the added notes about gender and orientation.

All in all, Katz did a fantastic job of dishing out an accessible guide that will most definitely prove useful in upping her audiences’ pleasure.  Nice work!

Get your knowledge on with Oral Sex That’ll Blow Her Mind!

Book Review – Mind-Blowing Sex: A Woman’s Guide

I have such a lady boner for Diana Cage.  Yes, she is a super duper hot femme, with a wit and attitude to match, but that’s not all I am sweatin’.  This sexpot can write!  Hot Damn!  That brain of hers is smokin’!!  The one time editor of lesbian porno mag On Our Backs, and author of Girl Meets Girl: A Dating Survival Guide, is back with a new how-to masterpiece, Mind-Blowing Sex: A Woman’s Guide.

While they playing field is slowly inching towards leveling out, it’s just a fact that women’s sexuality is still a pretty taboo topic.  But though it’s still hush hush in many ways, women are craving conversation about sex.  I mean, really, just think about how crazy the country is going for “50 Shades of Grey” – it’s becoming a phenomenon.   My mom has even jumped on the bandwagon.  Thankfully in a culture where female sexuality is still kept somewhat on the down low, there are people fighting the good fight to get sexy info into the hot little hands of the masses.  That’s where Diana Cage comes in.

Part how-to guide, part in-depth look at the culture surrounding women and sexuality, Mind-Blowing Sex offers specific positions and tongue movement suggestions, as well as tips on how to reframe your thinking about sex as a whole, picking out toys and generally having the best sex you can be having.  That may sound like an ambitious amount of ground to cover in 260 pages, but Cage does it with style and grace, bringing her unique voice to every page.  Consider this book to be a little info about a lot of things – a way to get your feet wet with some of these sexy ideas and a jumping off point for figuring out what you want to find out more about.

One major thing I really love about this book is that unique voice I just mentioned.  Diana Cage doesn’t pull any punches or feed us any bullshit.  She tells it like it is, in a non-judgmental, normalizing way that treats sex like the holiday it is (opposed to treating it like a funeral, or some other negative and to-be avoided activity).  Cage talks to us like she’s the friend we go to happy hour with to have these conversations.  Basically, she gets the info across in a really accessible way that I think many people can related to.

This book is fantastic for a bevy of reasons… one of which is the fact that HotmoviesForHer is in it!  That’s right, JD and the site are featured on page 73 in a section on choosing porn.  Very exciting.  And while we are so thrilled to be included in this book, we are definitely not being biased with our review.  The truth of the matter is that is important to us to be part of projects that we think are awesome and totally support, so of course our review is gonna reflect that, right?

You get our full recommendation on this one.  Plus, it’s a good one to give to folks who are just beginning to explore or delve deeper into the world of sexuality, as there are no graphic or raunchy images to contend with.  Write yourself a note now to remind you to look it over as a Christmas gift for mom.

Have some Mind-Blowing Sex of your own!

Sometimes She Lets Me: Butch/Femme Erotica

Butch/Femme dynamics have always held a special place in my heart.  Alright, in my heart and in my pants.  Yep, I think butch/femme dynamics are super duper hot.  There is something about the delicious performances of masculinity and femininity that fit within that queer framework that give my bottom that special tingle.  Maybe it’s because I identify as a femme and I’ve always had my eye on masculine-identified queers, be they butch women or transgender men.  Or maybe it’s just this amazing subset of society that has a rich history that I find alluring. Either way, I totally jumped at the chance to read and review Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica edited by Tristan Taormino.

I guess before I go on, I should probably give a rundown of what are butch/femme dynamics.  The whole thing is a much bigger conversation than I can fit in this post, but here are the basics.  While a person’s sex is male or female (though there are plenty of intersex folks as well!), the genders that they take on are masculinity and femininity.  Anyone can take on any role and perform gender in the way that they feel most comfortable.

For some queer or lesbian-identified women, feminine presentation and gender roles are not their preference and they instead gravitate to a more masculine presentation, and still identify as a woman.  Femmes, on the other hand, are women that embrace femininity, but do so in a more performed, intentional way.  While there are tons of relationships that include two (or more) butches, and two (or more) femmes, what I am talking about by butch/femme dynamics, I am referring to the ways that butches and femmes interact and relate with one and another.   There has been a lot of tension in the community in the past (and present) about butches and femmes replicating hetero-normative culture and perpetuating stifling gender roles, but we aren’t here to talk about that now… we are here to talk about how very hot these dynamics and relationships can be! Alright, now that we’ve got the initial info down, let’s get to it!

Along with having a thing for butch/femme dynamics, I also have a major boner for written erotica.  I’ve always been hot for the written word, but I’m pretty sure that watching porno for a full-time job has my visual erotica response dulled, which has increased my excitement for erotic writing.  And since “Sometimes She Lets Me” mixes two things that make me incredibly hot, it only stands to reason that this book should light me on fire.  And oh, did it ever.

Each of the 23 stories in this erotic anthology of hotness is perfectly crafted – never revealing too much too soon or dragging along.  In fact, each story is executed exquisitely, with just the right build up, climax and cool down.  Sound familiar?  And it doesn’t just read like a delicious orgasm, it doles them out, one after another, story after story making the reader’s face flush with that special red of arousal.  Or maybe that was just me.

I’m not even sure how to talk about which were my favorite stories, because each of the 23 had their own piece that tickled both my fancy and my bottom.  I will say that the folks who I knew would be amazing (like Sinclair Sexsmith and S. Bear Bergman) were every bit as alluring and wonderful as I had hoped, and many new names for me are now prominently etched into the subconscious of my spank bank.  Need I say anymore?

If you are into butch/femme dynamics, or even just like hot erotica, Sometimes She Lets Me needs to make it onto your reading list/bedside table!



Best Lesbian Romance 2011

I’ve been devouring the enormous pile of books I received for Christmas this year lately, so I haven’t picked up an erotica in a while. When I got a copy of Best Lesbian Romance 2011 from my friends at Cleis Press, I figured it was time to put down the Heinlein and pick up some smut!

Of course, from the title, you can probably guess that the seventeen stories the legendary Radclyffe picked out aren’t wall to wall sex, but there’s definitely some steamy action mixed in! It’s a great collection to read with a cup of tea or the girl who still makes your belly flip-flop after a decade together.

Charlotte Dare’s Rebound was by far my favorite story. Who can resist the story of two middle-aged woman meeting at bingo and fucking their brains out?? I guess the bingo part doesn’t sound that hot, but I loved this quick story about two women finding both love and lust a little later in life!

Dirty Laundry by Cheyenne Blue is also worth a mention. While it’s not one to read if you’re looking for something on the sexy side, it is a well-written story that takes place in an Irish convent and tells the story of two women forced to stay there who fall in love. I had no idea about this dark piece of Irish history and am grateful to Blue for introducing me to it.

Overall, this is a fantastic collection that reminded me how lucky I am. I’ve actually dog-earred a couple of stories in hopes that my girl and I will read them together at some point. This isn’t an erotica collection, although there are a lot of erotic elements to most of the stories. I mean, uncontrollable lust is one of the best parts of falling in love! This would be a good read for two women to share with Valentine’s Day right around the corner.

Erotic Bible To Europe – The Book

A few months back, I got a chance to review Erotic Bible to Europe, an interactive website featuring a detailed map of every sex toy shop, swinger party, lingerie store and more, that Europe has to offer.  Of course I was blow away by not only the brilliance of the idea, but the flawless execution.  But then again, the project was created by the fabulous Erika Lust, porn director extraordinaire, so honestly, I’m not surprised.  And now this awesome guide to everything frisky on the other side of the pond comes in book form as well!

Organized by region and country, this hot pink hardback is the book to get if you find yourself en route to anywhere in Europe – from Benelux to the U.K.  Each of the nearly 250 pages is filled with beautiful artwork and detailed accounts of what every shop has to offer, as well as pages dedicated to erotic museums, film festivals, and even one on how to translate a few super sexy phrases into 4 different languages.  Tres chic!

While this book is seriously classy and a total must buy for any Europe-bound bon voyage gift, I do have one frustration with it.  Unlike it’s internet counterpart, this bible is destined to become dated before folks even take it off the shelf.  Stores open up and close down all the time, making the carefully collected information null, which is a total downer if you’ve gotten excited about a place that no longer exists, or miss one that does.  I suppose that’s why it makes sense to have both the book and the site work together to make sure the selection stays as current as possible.  Another website plus is the database that allows users to add their favorite erotic establishments, creating an all-encompassing list that includes a variety of options.

Whether you go for the site or the book, this dirty bible is a must-have for travelers and Europeans alike!

Hot and Bothered 4

Arsenal Pulp’s Hot & Bothered 4 is not a new book. Hell, it’s nearly eight years old at this point, but good writing is timeless and I love this collection of short tales of lesbian love and lust.

One thing I really appreciated about this book is that it took me back a few years to a time when I was just out of college and had few concerns outside of meeting girls & drinking beer. Carol Queen (<3 her!) opens the book with She’s Not A Lesbian – a story that didn’t really turn me on as much as it made me remember the days before Ellen was out. It hasn’t been that long, but much has changed my younger friends! Anyways, while Queen surely has the ability to put together a few words that’ll make you weak in the knees, I was more impressed with her ability to capture the passions of a relationship where one woman, to quote Kate Clinton, “can't say the word lesbian… even when her mouth is full of one.”

I also loved Joy Parks’ Little Black Dress and think all of my femme friends will love the way our heroine uses her lady ways to get exactly what she wants! Another notable tale is Tanya Davis’ Best Bandanna. While I was expecting a kinkier story, because that’s where my mind goes when I think of bandannas, it turned out to be a great story of first love at a summer camp that I’m guessing a ton of homos relate to. I know I do.

With over 65 stories that are no longer than a 1,000 words, you’ll find plenty of great reads in this collection that was edited by Karen X. Tulchinsky. There’s a good mix of sexy and cute stuff and if you love a quickie, it’s a fantastic addition to your bookshelves. I also love all of the cultural references, even those that are a bit dated, and in a silly sort of way this is a little piece of lesbian history for me.

Add Hot & Bothered 4 to your library today!


Erotica fans have likely heard of Rachel Kramer Bussel and if they haven’t they need to get on the ball! Bussel’s Cleis Press collections have been providing me with one-handed reading for years and this is another fine example of erotica at it’s best. Orgasmic features 25 stories that focus on the big O from a woman’s perspective and if that’s not reason to read it ladies, I’m not sure what will convince you.

One thing I love about this collection is that the stories cover a number of fantasies and kinks because the theme is pretty general. If hopping on one foot while singing the Journey’s greatest hits gets me off, there’s no reason I couldn’t have submitted a story about that for consideration! While RKB has better taste than to ever include talentless hacks like me, this leads to an arousing collection that will introduce you to new ways of getting off and that’s never a bad thing.

Without a doubt, my favorite story was Lana Fox’s Frosting First. I thought it was going to be a silly story about a couple getting it on while baking which is ok because I love food, but it’s so much more. I loved the way she shares our heroine’s deepest thoughts and desires throughout whether she’s thinking about being spanked with a spatula or her father. I also loved the voyeuristic twist at the end, even if things didn’t end like I assumed they would.

Bussel’s Belted is another that you don’t want to miss. This story has me wondering where my copy of her previous compilation Spanked is because she surely has a eye for this kink!

While not every story is a hit (there was one that seemed like a bad parody of erotica to me) the nice thing about collections like this is that if you hate a story you’re only out 5 minutes of your life! It sucks to feel disappointed after dedicating a chunk of time to something and I’d hate for anyone to feel what I did after finishing Henry James’ The Bostonians this summer. Really, Mr. James?!

Kinky Nature

Two of my favorite things in the whole wide world are beautiful women and the great outdoors, so I kind of feel like Emma Delves-Broughton’s Kinky Nature was made just for me. It’s packed full of gorgeous girls decked out in their rubber and heels and will have the biggest couch potato lacing on their hiking boots and heading into the woods in hope of catching just one glimpse of these sexy nymphs!

While I loved all of the bare bodies on display, my favorite images were those where the girls were extra kinky. There’s just something about a pale beauty decked from head to toe in black latex with a pair of impossible heels juxtaposed against the gorgeous green of a forest floor… You also won’t catch me complaining about flipping through pages of girls bound to trees.

Cover girl Ulorin Vex makes a number of appearances throughout the book and I have to say I’m pretty smitten with this girl. I’m embarrassed to admit I had no clue who she was, but people who follow fetish modeling a little more closely will likely recognize her. I know I’ll be keeping an eye out for this lady in the future.

Delves-Broughton does an amazing job of capturing a dream world full of stunning women in this Goliath book. If you’re the type of girl who loves to leave scandalous books out for guests, this would be a great buy for your coffee table, especially for $25 bucks.

Please Ma’am

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with an erotica collection, so when I received Please, Ma’am in the mail I decided to make some time for myself and dig in! This Cleis Press book was edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and I always love the results when this lovely lady is involved. I’m always pleased with the wide variety of taboo subjects she manages to work into one sexy book!

This book contains eighteen stories of male submission including D.L King, Graydancer and Bussel herself. Things start off excellently in Teresa Noelle Roberts’ I Live to Serve. This was my first time reading about anyone wearing a chastity device and I have to say it was surprisingly hot. The two main characters have a really loving D/s relationship and we get to see it played out over a dinner party as the sub serves his lady and her colleagues.

I also loved Sommer Marsden’s Thrift Store Whore for it’s bratty punk feel. After picking out the ugliest dresses she can find, Gia leads Bean back to the dressing room for a little gender play and a lot of XXX action. The fact that everyone knows what’s going on only makes it hotter for them. This story really stood out because it had a different feel that a lot of the others. A lot of male submission pieces tend to feature men who dress in suits and attend power lunches, so it was nice to hear about the kind of guy I would have run around with in my early twenties.

While I’ve only talked about a couple of stories, Please Ma’am is packed full of tales that will have your heart and mind racing. I also suggest imagining the gorgeous leather clad lady from the cover in story after story. Boy would I love to run into her in a dark alley!