I have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog. It's a review of Susie Bright's new anthology, "Bitten: Dark Erotic Stories." And like most of my porn reviews, it's also a dissertation on what makes good porn good... and why it works even when the erotic buttons it's pushing aren't yours. It's titled Nom, Nom, Nom: Susie Bright’s "Bitten," and here's the teaser:
Constant readers might think that a porn anthology subtitled "Dark Erotic Stories" would hit my buttons like a five- year- old in an elevator. Constant readers, in this case, would be wrong. Yes, I like dark porn. But "dark" isn't the only theme of "Bitten," or even the main theme. The main theme is... I guess you'd have to say Gothic. The stories aren’t just dark: they're serious. They're obsessive. They’re not particularly funny. And most of them are about the supernatural.
And supernatural porn is really not my thing. (No, not because I'm an atheist.) As constant readers may know, my number one fetish in porn is believability. When I read a dirty story, I want to feel like it might really have happened, like it might really be happening right now. That's what gives me that immediacy, that feeling of being projected headlong into someone else's sweaty skin. So porn about magic, about incubuses, about ghosts, about sex with the devil... it doesn't usually do it for me. (Except for the Snape fantasies. That's different. I can’t explain why. Shut up, that's why.)
But I found "Bitten" almost completely compelling. Like, "reading it raptly until two in the morning, then masturbating as quietly as I can because I don’t want to wake my partner but won’t be able to fall asleep with these stories in my head until I do" compelling.
Because that's what good porn does.
To find out what I think good porn does -- and why exactly I think this anthology is such an excellent example of it -- read the rest of the piece. (And as always, if you're inspired to post comments here, please consider cross-posting them to the Blowfish Blog. They like comments there, too.) Enjoy!