By F. Solomon
With a title like GOTTA HAVE IT, you think that you are going to be handed only raw, breathless quick sex and you absolutely are. But the thing about Rachel Kramer Bussel's latest anthology is the same with all of her anthologies -- it is the dynamics of the couple involved that make you really interested in the sex. As a reader and writer of erotica, I have to be interested in the couple, otherwise the sex is really just an exercise.
There are a lot of long term lovers in these stories, and one of the most riveting stories I read was “Last-Time Lesbian” by Geneva King. In the story, the protagonist's long term partner is undergoing a sex change, but that is not the intriguing part of the story to me. The part I like is the ironic literal interpretation of marriage vows. At no point was the protagonist thinking about leaving her lover. She was sentimental about making love to Mark/Mary for the last time. These are the kinds of partners that are often included in RKB's erotic anthologies. Partners, who for better or for worse, are going to be there for each other. In “Ties that Bind” by Daniel Burnell, we encounter a couple in which a wife wants to seduce her husband, who is not in the mood because he has had a bad day, and she is sympathetic. When he approaches her with make-up sex in mind, it is all about him and she renews their marriage vows in her head.
Sex is hot, written well it can be delectable between strangers, but there is something about romantic erotica that gets me all the time. The romance that exists between long-term lovers; lovers who are in it for the long haul. Sometimes it is not pretty, and it makes for a really intense love scene when people are working out their issues with their bodies.
Oh, there are a lot more stories in this anthology about other kinds of lovers who “gotta have it,” but these left me slack-jawed with the level of emotion. These are my favorite kinds of erotic romance...along with the woman who does whatever her man says--lets him dominate her. Well, readers are versatile aren't they?!