Advocate Bookshelf: The Best One-Handed Reads

We're putting our bets on these (mostly brand-new) dirty tomes.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

January 17 2012 11:20 AM ET

Every year rings in new LGBT-themed erotic anthologies, gay porn books, and other romantic reads, and by mid-January our shelves are filled with treats like last year's worthy collections: Red Velvet and Absinthe (paranormal erotic romance — any type of hookup goes), Frat Boys (a collection of sexy gay stories with a college setting), and Nice Girls, Naughty Sex (a compilation of queer, bi, and straight girl erotic tales). Though a few of the 2011 releases still linger, we're putting our bets on these (mostly brand-new) dirty tomes.

Best Sex Writing 2012
Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, selected and introduced by Susie Bright
This is no collection of erotic fiction but rather a presentation of year's most challenging and provocative nonfiction essays on all things sex. Bright writes in the foreword, "We're here to reveal the well-sharpened pitchforks of sexual hypocrisy," and the book does just that with sources as diverse as Salon, The Village Voice, Newsweek, and The Chronology of Water. Nearly every piece is excellent, but some are clearly heads above others: Thomas Roche's look at the biased science around anti–sex work studies, Camille Dodero's "Guys Who Like Fat Chicks," and gay former soldier Tim Elhajj's "An Unfortunate Discharge Early in My Naval Career" chief among them. A must-read book, regardless of what kind of sex you like. ($16, Cleis Press)

From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction
Edited by Charles Rice-Gonzalez and Charlie Vazquez
For the first time since 1999 (when the groundbreaking books Besame Mucho and Virgins, Guerrillas, and Locas were published) has there been a collection of gay Latino fiction in English. Though this collection isn't strictly erotica, the stories in this vibrant anthology of 29 gay Latino authors from the U.S. presents a sometimes more earnest and arousing peek at gay life than any of the other erotic anthologies. Several writers offer up stellar work, many of them first-time authors who deserve books of their own. ($25, Lethe Press)

Best Gay Romance 2012
Edited by Richard Labonte
From young love to rough love, Best Gay Romance offers a mix of fresh voices (like C.C. Williams) and more seasoned writers (including Simon Sheppard, Lambda Award–winning author of the erotica collection Sodomy!). This anthology has stories ranging from Anthony McDonald's "The Curtain Store," about a schoolboy crush, to Williams's edgy must-read, "The Prisoner," in which a battle-weary Marine rekindles an old flame and engages in some dangerous role-playing. ($15, Cleis Press)

 

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