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Some like it hot

Sari Friedman
Friday December 14, 2001

For a good time you can search the bathroom walls for phone numbers, try a quirky new salsa recipe or get into your favorite pajamas to watch yet another rerun of “Sex in the City.” 

For a very good time you might want to get yourself a copy of “Sweet Life: Erotic Fantasies for Couples,” a collection of short stories edited by Good Vibrations sex educator and Berkeley resident Violet Blue.  

Blue is also the founding editor of Good Vibrations Magazine, a columnist and the author of two previous books on oral sex. 

The title, “Sweet Life,” expressed in Italian as La dolce vita, refers to a life experience rich in steamy savory pleasures.  

The couples described in the the book’s 21 short works of fiction certainly do appreciate pleasure. In each story one or both members of a heterosexual couple introduces a forbidden sexual fantasy or tantalizing obsession – ranging from spankings to strap-ons. The plot thickens as the fantasy or obsession is transformed into reality.  

These stories are described in Blue’s introduction as “addictive, hot little reads.”  

I would have to agree. To my delight, many of these stories include literary and/or lavishly sensual touches that even the most stereotypically repressed librarian would have to (ahem) enjoy. 

In “Roger’s Fault,” author, Eric Williams cunningly constructs a story replete with unpredictable developments and some near-poetic lines such as:  

“Vinyl skin reached out to touch me” and “pouring the lube in a slick river.”  

In “Gerald,” by Alice Blue we get the wry, lovely, and somewhat tormented first-person narration of a police officer who thinks: “I remember thinking, as I walked up the steps to the little house… that anyone who blasted Beethoven couldn’t be a lot of trouble to deal with. I was wrong.” 

Like Conan Doyle’s short story “The Purloined Letter,” starring Sherlock Holmes, there’s an astonishing object in plain sight in “Gerald” – but this time it isn’t a letter. 

Each of the fictional characters in “Sweet Life” is engaged in a voyage of discovery. Because this book does qualify as erotica (vs. pornography), yes, Virginia, there is even some interesting characterization along with a satisfyingly perverse and diverse range of subject matter.  

As in any work in this genre, there are the ubiquitous cute story titles. Examples from “Sweet Life” include: “Check Your Inhibitions by the Door” by Ann Blakely, “Roaming Charges” by Charlotte Pope, and “Bob & Carol & Ted (But Not Alice)” written by M. Christian, the author of another newly released collection, Dirty Words. 

These are imaginative, well-written, and sexy stories. You wouldn’t want to throw even one out of bed. 

Here’s a taste from “Playing Doctor” by Dante Davidson: 

“My fantasies are getting stranger,” Katie began. Her voice was low, even though it was only the two of us in the room. 

“Tell me about them.” 

“I’m embarrassed, Jack,” she said, before instantly correcting herself. “I mean, I’m embarrassed…. Doctor.” 

“Nothing that the human mind produces should embarrass you,” I assured her. “There is a reason for everything, every thought, every desire.”