Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year

Cleis. Vol. 4. Dec. 2019. 240p. ed. by ed. by Sinclair Sexsmith. ISBN 9781627782951. eroticaTr.
Edited by veteran erotica writer Sexsmith (, this steamy fourth installment in the “Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year” series offers 20 contemporary tales of sexual intimacy. The stories feature cis and trans women and nonbinary people, whose kaleidoscopic identities are shaped by class, race, disability, and other factors. The protagonists range in age from 18 to over 70 and take their pleasures in many relational contexts—from fleeting sexual encounters to coupled dating to established threesomes. They are found at sex clubs, brunch, in a tack room, a casino hotel, a partner’s car, and even at a “folk/medieval/pagan festival.” As Sexsmith writes in their introduction, absent widespread depiction of queer sexuality in mainstream media, many LGBTQ+ people have learned the language of their desires through encounters with narratives like these, which offer an alternative vocabulary for pleasure.
VERDICT The stories in this volume have strong themes of explicitly negotiated kink, as well as more subtle forms of power play among partners; readers who enjoy erotica with these elements will likely find this latest in the long-running series especially delicious reading.
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