Best Lesbian Erotica 2001 is as steamy as ever, featuring writers on a par with those in previous editions, such as Dorothy Allison, Heather Lewis, Joan Nestle, and Cecilia Tan.
These days there's plenty of S/M in anthologies of lesbian erotica. Everyone's thinking about it, apparently, even if not all of us are doing it. Who better than Pat Califia, an expert in the exchange of power, to select and introduce the latest edition of Best Lesbian Erotica, with its considerable emphasis on consensual power play? Califia's own story, "Blood and Silver," is the best-written in the book, a sharp-fanged, Angela Carteresque rewriting of "Little Red Riding Hood." Other high points include Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Monica and Me," in which a fan shares a night of sapphic bliss with Monica Lewinsky (who needs a cigar?), and Thea Hutcheson's "The Stars in Her Mouth," a tale of sexual rescue by an otherworldly woman. Although not the rawest or most innovative collection, the 2001 edition of Best Lesbian Erotica does win points for breadth of interest. There are bathroom scenes in vanilla and several more piquant flavors, a classic daddy/girl scenario, a Vampire tale, gender play aplenty, and a scattering of odes to passion of the heart, as well as of the loins. --Regina Marler