Picks and Pans Review: Ladies' Home Erotica
It's no news that women's thoughts on what is erotic differ vastly from men's. But seldom has the point been so well documented as in this collection of short stories, poems and recipes (yes, recipes). It was put together by a group of imaginative, if prudishly pseudonymous women who have been meeting since 1977 in Kensington, Calif., an upscale town near San Francisco, to discuss their views on sexuality. Their fantasies—in this book anyway—are usually of the gentlest sort, subtle, entrancing and seldom sordid. There is sex, of course, but there is also conversation, appreciation and some kind of emotional consummation. An escaped convict tells a conquest, "Your crotch ain't cement." But then: "They were together a long time. Their destinies seemed suspended. They had been given an hour's reprieve, and their hands and mouths stroked, felt, searched. It was as though they were tasting nectar fed to them from outside time and space and rooms." Love is beside the point; so is messy familial readjustment. Typically, in these fantasies, the woman who has enjoyed (and we really mean enjoyed) an extracurricular fling ends up in fine flushed fettle, spiritually refreshed and sexually renewed. The book ennobles fantasy as a normal, enriching part of life. The woman who reads it will carry a sensuous secret akin to actually having an affair. The man who reads it...ah, the man who reads it will have a distinctly unfair advantage in the field of seduction. He will learn things he couldn't get out of a decade of Playboy or Penthouse. (Ten Speed Press, $8.95)
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