Sunday, May 15, 2011

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

She's on Top
Rachel Kramer Bussel et al.

Release Date: March 16th, 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!)

Turning the tables on rigid gender roles, the stories in She's on Top honor the Amazon, the dominatrix, and other handcuff-toting, whip-wielding she-devils of the male bottom's deepest dreams. Employing every item in their bag of trips, from strap-ons to metal cinches, these hot dommes like nothing better than teasing and tormenting their devoted subjects. With stories by Stan Kent, Debra Hyde, Alison Tyler, and many more of the best writers in the field, She's on Top shows that pleasure's best when dispensed by a firm female hand.
What Stephanie Thought: Female dominance is a fresh, satisfying topic of the erotic genre that will surely have readers raising their eyebrows at the unconventional, yet delectable strength found in us women, as well as kneeling at our feet, begging for more pain... and for more pleasure. 

She's on Top is a collection of eighteen short stories about dominance and submission. But unlike most wishful ponderings go, this book turns the tables by giving women the upperhand in relationships: relationships that range from lovers—intimate, monotonous partners, to vacant acquaintances—enemies and one-night stands. No two tales are alike in this hot, heavy—definitely heavy—anthology. Some are very hardcore, with chains, whips, batons, while others are actually quite romantic, emphasizing the fondness strong men have for the even stronger dominatrices. However, they all deliver the common puissant message: men may wear the pants in the relationship, but women are the ones who get to purchase them.

Though I love sinful reads, I'll admit this one was a little too gritty for me. Lots of whipping occurs, and in one story, blood is even drawn, and that kind of fetishism makes me wince. Not all of the stories are like this however, which is why I even remotely enjoyed the book. I like the idea of female dominance (what can I say; I'm a feminist), but that doesn't mean injuring or degrading men, even for the purpose of arousal, is very appealing to me.

Rachel Kramer Bussel's sexy, choosy selections are fun, intense reads that will stick with you, making you hope, whether you are a girl or a guy, some day, you can play out some of these femme fatale fantasies of your own.

Stephanie Loves: "'One can lounge over a good read, but one must work over a bad boy,' [Judith] claimed, setting her novel aside." — from Debra Hyde's "By a Firm Hand".

Radical Rating: 7 hearts: Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥