Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Men of the Manor: erotic encounters between upstairs lords and downstairs lads

edited by Rob Rosen

Nasty Boys: rough trade erotica

edited by Shane Allison

These books are anthologies, so obviously the stories are hit-or-miss (or in-between). I don't want to go into a lot of detail as to which stories appealed to me more, because personal reasons. I've never been too shy on this blog, but this time around you can tell enough about my preferences from the titles of these two books. On the whole, I'd say more stories were good than were not good. I even read a few of them more than once, and at least one has a permanent entry in the Rolodex.

One complaint, which I have about a lot of porn — er, "erotica — is that there's not a lot of condoms being used in these stories. Men of the Manor, being a period piece, has a built in excuse, I guess. I don't want to get into a whole thing about it, but I came of age when condoms were the only tool (other than abstinence and/or monogamy) to protect oneself against HIV and when living with HIV was much more difficult, so I tend to reflexively expect safe(r) sex. Obviously, sex feels better without condoms, but I personally always feel a little icky when the lack of condoms is over-emphasized as an erotic element, which isn't actually the case in most of these stories, but I'm also disappointed when the choices about safe(r) sex are completely glossed over, which is mostly what happens in these books. A couple of times, a character does briefly consider his safe(r) sex options but quickly decides "fuck it," which is even more disappointing that not bringing it up at all.

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