Melcher Media and Three Rivers Press, July 2002, 192 pp., $15.95, ISBN 0609808974
An erotica anthology, edited by Mary Anne Mohanraj– order it from Amazon.
- Slick, by Jack Murnighan
- Salt, by Bill Noble
- On the Uses of a Bathtub, by Jeff Chapman
- Sakura, by Diane Kepler
- The Flood, by J. Hartman
- The Ugly Cock Dance, by Mary Gaitskill
- Giselle, by Loren MacLeod
- Seafood Cocktail, by Connie Wilkins
- Depths, by Dave Smeds
- Shelter from the Storm, by Chris Jones
- Number Fourteen, by Simon Sheppard
- Vapors, by Nisi Shawl
- Rite of Spring, by Cecilia Tan
- How it Started, by Mary Anne Mohanraj
Excerpt from the Editor’s Introduction
“… In this collection, many of these authors seem very much aware of the potential risks that underlie their trembling approaches to desire. I am struck by the poignant tone that accompanies many, if not most, of these tales. Many of the stories begin with pain, with a current of sorrow and fear, that the characters must rise above in order to find pleasure and joy. And in some stories, the erotic energy of the tale seems inextricably wedded to pain — to sadness or fear that moves through the heart of the story, and that in the end, makes it even more powerfully sexual.
“In several tales, the characters are oddly separate; the lovers are drawn together, yet their own fears work to keep them apart. In Bill Noble’s “Salt”, a tropical storm and the threat of death is required to finally bring two frightened loners togethers; in Jeff Chapman’s “On the Uses of a Bathtub”, it is exhaustion and a cold, penetrating winter that at first separates a couple. In Mary Gaitskill’s “The Ugly Cock Dance”, the passage of years and each partner’s difficulty in believing in their own continued desirability keep a husband and wife apart. And in Diane Kepler’s “Sakura”, it is a difference in ages, between a young Japanese girl and an American graduate student, that bars their path to pleasure. In each of these stories, the characters transcend their difficulties to find desire, followed by intense sexual pleasure — but it is never an easy passage.
“The trend continues with other stories in the collection, and in some of them, pain continues even through the pleasure, as in Dave Smeds’s “Depths”, the tale of a man having an affair with a married woman, an affair he must consummate in stolen moments. In Chris Jones’s “Shelter from the Storm”, a S/M scene brings sexual release, but denies the intimacy the protagonist desires. In J. Hartman’s story, “The Flood”, a threesome finds joy, and even healing — but their tenure together is fleeting; the fragile bond they create cannot survive in the America of the 1930’s. Loren MacLeod’s “Giselle” gives us pleasure only in our heroine’s past; her present is bleak and frightening, and her future uncertain. And in Simon Sheppard’s “Number Fourteen”, while the protagonist finds brief and intense access to the sexual fantasies of his childhood comic books, in the end, he must return to the adult world, with its very different sexual patterns. I think you will find the the pain in these stories doesn’t detract from the pleasure — rather, it adds to it, heightens the pitch of emotion to bring characters and readers to shattering climaxes…”
For more of the introduction, and all the wonderful stories that follow it, purchase a copy of Wet: More Aqua Erotica today! 🙂