Advocate Bookshelf: The Best One-Handed Reads

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com 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)

 

READING IN BED SHOCK EXCITED X390 (PHOTOS) | ADVOCATE.COM Best Lesbian Romance 2012
Edited by Radclyffe
The author of over three dozen romance books, Radclyffe collects a variety of shorts about that dizzying sensation and awakening thrill of sexual passion. Like Labonte, Radclyffe has pulled together a collection of works by mostly unknown lesbian authors (the main exceptions being award-winning author Lee Lynch, who far outshines many contributors here, and perennial anthology queen Rachel Kramer Bussel, who usually writes fairly naughty things as senior editor at Penthouse Variations and puts together her own fantastic anthologies). But these fresh voices are no less talented, by and large, and the collection is a worthy read. ($15, Cleis Press)

Girls Who Bite: Lesbian Vampire Erotica
Edited by Delilah Devlin
The author of Seduced By Darkness, Devlin is an excellent choice for editing this collection of short stories of sapphic seduction in the otherworld. Adding girl-on-girl action to the pantheon of the paranormal, the authors in Bite tackle everything from primeval vampires to slave-bound witches to Mexican salt eaters. Among the mostly newer writers are some surprising finds: Victoria Oldham, Anna Meadows, and Paisley Smith. ($15, Cleis Press)

Give It to Me
By Sean Wolfe
The author of a number of collections of gay erotica, including Hard and Fast, Aroused, and Taboo, Wolfe is a master of smart erotica that's both wicked and literate. In this book of shorts, Wolfe introduces a investment banker turned leather slave, a cop who likes power trips, and a few other nontraditional bad boys bent on pleasure. ($15, Kensington Books)

Best Lesbian Erotica 2012
Edited by Kathleen Warnock
After however many years this series has been going, it's hard to believe Warnock was able to find new material. But indeed she and guest judge Sinclair Sexsmith did, and some of the lusty contributions in this edition rival those of the early years. Among the surprises are Sharon Wachsler, Annie Grip, and Kiki Delovely, all filthy-minded women you'll likely hear more of in years to come. ($15, Cleis Press)

Gay Porn Heroes
By J.C. Adams
There's no question that gay porn has influenced the mainstream (from Warhol to XTube), but J.C. Adams (a former Advocate contributor) offers up a compelling tribute to the men (often unsung) who have stoked imaginations for four decades. From Al Parker to Brent Corrigan, Jeff Stryker to Matthew Rush, Lukas Ridgeston to Pierre Fitch, Adams touts 100 stars of adult entertainment that gay men (and some lesbians) love to adore. ($70, Bruno Gmuender)READING IN BED MAN X390 (PHOTOS) | ADVOCATE.COM

 Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts
By Mitzi Szereto
You loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, right? Well, Mitzi Szereto's erotic parody is is a loving historical riff on the Jane Austen classic. But in this one, there are boys who like girls who like boys who do boys. Mr. Collins has his way with a stableboy, Charlotte has her way with other women, and Mr. Bingley has a heart on for Mr. Darcy. And because Hidden Lusts is a truly bisexual/pansexual adventure, we finally find out what happened between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy behind closed doors. ($16, Cleis Press)

Model Men: Gay Erotic Stories
Edited by Neil Plakcy
An anthology that pays tribute to those hunky male models who seduce us with their tantalizing gaze from billboards and magazines, Model Men offers hookups between models, artists, photographers, roommates, and in the best scenario, other models. Plakcy is the editor of several gay anthologies, including Hard Hats, Surfer Boys, and Skater Boys. Finally, a book of naughty stories where you can look and touch, and the subject of your attention may just strike a pose. ($15, Cleis Press)
 

 The Erotic Sampler eBook Bundle
By Various Authors
This e-book collection contains four digital books of lesbian erotica: Flesh and Bone by Ronica Black (an eclectic mix of shorts), The Collectors by Lesley Gowan (which follows one woman's life-changing BDSM adventure), Radical Encounters by Radclyffe (a provocative collection of rather filthy stories), and Breathless, edited by Stacia Seaman and Radclyffe (a book of short stories by Bold Strokes' best-selling romance authors). ($39, Bold Strokes Books)

 
Best Gay Erotica 2012
Edited by Richard Labonte
Another compilation, this time of one-handed reads and pretty hot, fresh gay erotica, from Labonte. From clubhouse gang bangs to a straight jock learning the meaning of power bottom, there's a surety and, dare we say, cocksmanship coming through even more in this anthology than his romantic collection. ($15, Cleis Press