Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Read: Fast Girls Are Not Sluts

Raunchy, juicy, lusty, and ultimately feminine in every sense of the word, the stories in Fast Girls: Erotica for Women are provocative and earth-shattering. The new book of erotica, edited by veteran New York sex writer and columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Cleis Press is a wake-up call for women (like me) who are not avid readers of erotica. Seriously, ladies. Read this book and expect to view the world in a different light. You'll no longer just be cubicle worker, waitress, mom, corporate queen or the good wife. You'll be a woman hyper aware of your own sexual power.

There's something for everyone in this collection of incredibly readable short stories: the single woman, lesbian, in-love girlfriend, devout wife, and horny college girl are all represented. Fast Girls ensures that no woman is safe from the fast girl she can become. According to Bussel, fast girls are not about being "shocking for shock's sake but following their passion, seeking out what it is that they need to be truly pleasured." As Bussel says: "What I love about these fast girls is that even as they are bold, daring and dynamic, they have a thing or two to learn about sex and themselves." Beyond the sex, the prose in Fast Girls is point blank in the tradition of crime fiction with orgasms in place of gunshots and knife stabbings. Nothing is censored, and the blood and guts is the naked flesh as a symbol for the vulnerable yet powerful woman revealed.

My favorite Fast Girls story by far is Waxing Eloquent by Donna George Storey. I love this story because it's multilayered with a solid tone of jaded sarcasm masking a college girl's insecurity. Storey also attacks the sanitized culture of L.A., which is rightly deserved. In order to get in bed with the gorgeous TV actor next door, the protagonist does a typically LA thing: she gets waxed. "I'm lying on a table in a salon in Westwood, waiting for some nice lady in a white coat to rip off all my pubic hair so I can go have a proper L.A. fuck with Cody himself." As a reward for her pain, she gets to bed the hot actor. "Thanks for keeping your promise to test me out Cody. That was one hell of a L.A. fuck," she tells Cody after they celebrate her second waxing that leaves not a hair in sight. To which Cody answers flatly: "Sorry Shannon. If any promises were kept, it's not L.A." Here the reader gets a slice of the twisted side of L.A. life served up in a smart, sexy vignette.

Another goodie is Winter, Summer, by Tristan Taormino, in which the protagonist's fear of intimacy is violently overcome through a one-night stand with a butch blond pool player she meets in a bar. Fireworks by Lolita Lopez concerns the explosions that occur between husband and wife when they decide to have sex on the sly at a family picnic. Married Life by Charlotte Stein reveals how a husband's secret sadomasochistic fantasies can be rudely awakened by a wife who's not afraid to play with whips and rope. In all of these, the reader is right there with the narrator as the hot sex and personal revelations occur. In Fast Girls, sex is merely an art that brings the participants into closer association with themselves. Each story is a healing for the writer and voyeuristic trip for the reader. In Whore Complex, by Bussel, the protagonist discovers more rewards as the personal whore of a very handsome, intelligent and dominating man than through her corporate day job.

Oh, and did I mention the scene involving menage a trois (and then some) in Fast Girls? There's the somewhat shocking Playing the Market by Angela Caperton that details how an everyday woman can become an instant prostitute, simply because she needs to pay rent in a downturn economy. Here the threesome is composed of two hunky men and one woman, while Communal by Saskia Walker gently plays with the idea of a foursome via steamy shower scenes in a college dorm setting. The women in Fast Girls are unafraid to push their own boundaries and test their limits. Perhaps the boldest heroine in this anthology is the protagonist in Let's Dance by D.L. King. Here an older woman makes the moves on a college boy with lustful force.

Not only is the prose in Fast Girls witty, raw and honest, the women portrayed within its pages are heroines. Forget about mainstream America when you read this book: there's not a single Sex in the City scenario in sight. A fast girl might love shoes, like the woman in Tess Danesi's story, Lessons, Slow and Painful, but they're merely impractical sex props for her pleasure. She lets her boyfriend knife the words "Fast Girl" into her back because she thinks his kisses are worth the pain. These fictional women know what they need to make themselves feel reborn, and they will go to any extreme to get there. Fast girls aren't worried about being "too fat" or whether or not they look like Julia Roberts; they're accepting of their own flaws and desires. Fast girls are willing to risk humiliation in order to find themselves.

In similar fashion to Whore Complex, there's a recurring theme of a reward for staying true to one's self throughout Fast Girls. In Confession of a Shopaholic by Jennifer Peters, the protagonist unabashedly carries her new sex toys on the bus, wining a handsome guy to take home to try out her new trinkets. In Waiting For Beethoven by Susie Hara, a 51-year-old woman aggressively pursues a pianist that's young enough to be her son, to her own exquisite benefit. I wish copies of Fast Girls could be delivered to every desperate housewife with the enclosed note: "You deserve more!"

Click here to read more reviews on the August 2010 virtual book tour for Fast Girls: Erotica For Women.

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