Monday, May 30, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: He's on Top edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel


Release Date: March 19th, 2007
Publisher: Cleis
Page Count: 220
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Naked Reader Book Club in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

He’s on Top details the adventures of those irresistible men who control their partners with a glance, a tickling whip, or a measured smack on the bottom. As true tops, the bossy hunks in these stories understand that dominance is about exulting in power that is freely yielded. 

Contributors such as Amanda Earl, Mackenzie Cross, Thomas S. Roche, and Mike Kimera cover the full range of the male dom’s brand of sensuality.
What Stephanie Thought: Do you know what exactly BDSM stands for? Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism. And to the average, non-suspecting reader, it sounds like a very brazen genre; frightening, even. But what most people don't understand until they read it themselves, is that it's not about cruelty; it's not about pain. It's about control, it's about trust, and it's about the sort of connection that makes hearts quiver. Before I read He's on Top, I wasn't the biggest fan of D/s because I get queasy about the hardcore stuff. But while reading this collection of stories, I realized that behind the torment, there's pleasure, there's a sensual, emotional recovery; that's when I discovered how dominance and submission truly works.

Each of the stories are exceptionally well written and thoughtfully crafted. It surprised me how even in an anthology of the same topic, no two stories were identical, or even similar in any way. I can tell all the featured authors are creative, but also sensual; many of the stories are definitely arousing, even if I don't care much for BDSM myself. 

The concept of He's on Top is not the degradation of females. In fact, it's the complete opposite. For any woman to have the strength, and to have the power to be controlled, yet bring pleasure to the man in control is a respectable trait. To be able to stand up after being beaten, and still shine through, is the essence of sensual grace, and what really makes the fetish so appealing to both men and women.

I recommend Bussel's anthology full of captivating, unfathomed relationships between the tops and the bottoms to anyone who wants a little twist, an untraditional tangle, to their love stories. Because inherently, every story in these selections is a love story, but it takes a little more observation than usual, to really figure how it works out.

Stephanie Loves: "But most of all I remember that first impact. It was as if I'd jumped off a cliff and, instead of falling, had discovered I could fly." — from Mike Kimera's "Christmas with Suzy and Mary".

Radical Rating: 9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥