Welcome to the ultimate literary parlor game—a collection of unattributed erotic stories written by a stellar list of authors, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Awards, PEN Awards, the Women's Prize for Fiction, Edgar Awards, and more. Anthology editors Hillary Jordan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan present an international collection of erotica, that explores the diverse spectrum of desire. There are stories of sexual obsession and sexual love, of domination and submission. There's revenge sex, unrequited sex, funny sex, tortured sex, fairy tale sex, and even sex in the afterlife.
These stories offer what many are craving right now: 'a lot of sex.' And a break from monotony ... The stories will satisfy you and fill you with longing. Some are teases, leading you to the edge and leaving you there. Some of the sex is animalistic and raw, some prim, some sensual without ever unsheathing. For the most part, the situations feel modern and honest. They wrestle with current sexual politics, but never feel like Twitter pandering ... Of course, both sex and anthologies can be inconsistent ... Even if the sex isn’t quite as shocking as you’d hope...the gambit works ...As with a casual tryst, the best part of this book is the anonymity; the promise of no strings attached. No names or expectations, just give and take what you want. While no single experience or story guarantees the pleasure you seek, the thrill is in taking a chance on the unknown.
A fatal premise is revealed: writing about sex is risky because one’s own predilections might be unmasked in the process. This is odd, given for example the recent anthology Kink...whose contributors...felt no need for such a cover. Anonymous Sex feels old-fashioned, as if it’s arrived too late, too apologetically, on the stage ...The book’s premise shares something with one of the UK’s most wince-inducing exports: the Bad Sex award in fiction ... Anonymous Sex ostensibly does the opposite – it is encouraging sex writing. But it wants things both ways: to create the conditions for an untrammelled erotic freedom in writing, while also inviting us to sniff the writer out. Some of the stories are fantastic; several are fine; a few are not. Some are elegant and arch, some witty and bawdy ... But what makes sex writing bad is what makes any writing bad: if it is evasive, if it is unsure about why it exists, if it doesn’t know what it’s doing, if it retreats into metaphor as a substitute for precision ... What if the editors had, instead of conferring anonymity, encouraged the authors to write as much as possible without the censorious eye over the shoulder?
The offerings aren’t exclusively erotic or 'bold' as the book’s jacket copy suggests — some far from it ... Anonymous Sex often reads more like a stylized workshop exercise for award-winning writers than a tried-and-true compendium of deviously dirty lust and smut ... Still, some pieces showcase an intoxicating combination of tension and release, not to mention artistry ... Is there cringeworthy writing? Absolutely.