Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories
Although I would not say I have a particular propensity for spanking, I am fascinated by various kinks or sexual fetishes, and like to support writing that allows people the space to explore their desires, even if it just in a fantasy realm. I am also usually not the biggest fan of erotica, as I have found many of the collections I've read to be either quite stale or laughably cheesy—neither of which are very steamy. However, I found myself surprisingly intrigued and pleasantly provoked by Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories.
Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel has put together a number of anthologies of erotica with a variety of themes ranging from domination and submission to voyeurism. Bottoms Up is a collection of erotica focusing on being either a spanker or spankee, and is Bussel's fourth anthology on this particular theme. There is an even mix of stories representing different perspectives: giving, receiving, fantasizing, and watching spanking. The majority of stories comprise male/female partnerships, though there are a few involving queer characters. Since openly male authors in this genre are apparently uncommon, this particular collection has mostly male authors.
One of the things I liked most is that many of the stories felt real in the sense that the characters were often experiencing the conflicting feelings of arousal, confusion, and guilt that often come with having a fetish. The sensation of pleasure mixed with pain is a major theme and, of course, is pretty much the basic idea of BDSM. The character in "Ass Worship," for instance, is drawn to experiment with being spanked. He has many questions about it and is extremely nervous at first, unsure if he can actually go through with it.
Many of the stories involve a person's first time being spanked or spanking someone else. Others involve such exciting and sometimes amusing subjects as swingers, Renaissance Fair fantasies, church frolicking, and (in the editor's piece) a spanking machine. My very favorite story, "I'm Going to Grab Your Hair," is written as though the author (and spanker) is "dirty talking" to the reader (and spankee). It is rough and nasty and thrilling. I'd never read an erotica piece in quite that style before.
If you consider yourself a spanking enthusiast or are just curious, Bottoms Up is sexy, engaging, and fascinating. I don't think you will find yourself disappointed.