Dirty Girls

Dirty Girls erotica for women bookIt seems that the canon of women’s literary erotica is growing, and that’s a good thing.

The latest book release is Dirty Girls, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussell. I received my review copy the other day but I haven’t had much of a chance to read it. The few stories I have read have been amazing, so I think it’s worth checking out. Here’s the official blurb off the back:


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What do women really want? To be sensually seduced or pressed up against the wall for a quickie? To be tantalized by a peep show or the chance to join the mile high club?

Acclaimed erotica writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel knows: They want it all. They want to be worshiped, ordered around, sent blindly into ecstasy, and made hot in front of a mirror. They want strangers bearing ice cubes on a hot day and to be the party favor passed around among guests. They want sex at the office and in the great outdoors and on trains and airplanes. They want sex with the whole United States of America (or, at least, part of it). They want to be wooed, seduced, flirted with, taken. They want to handpick their lovers and make them do their bidding. They want men, women, and sometimes both at the same time.

I have to say, there are two recommendation quotes on the back that I found offputting. One is from Joanna Angel, who says: “Finally, a book about what girls REALLY think about. Well, maybe not every girl, but the dirty ones… and those are the ones who really count.”

Another quote is by Susannah Breslin who says: “…a collection of erotically charged short stories that affirms that dirty girls are the new black.”

These quotes irked me. I realise they’re all about appealing to those who think that erotica for women somehow always means flowers and romance, but is there any need to start imposing an “us and them” rhetoric onto it? It’s like there’s this dichotomy of sluts versus housewives, or something like that. Rachel Kramer Bussell herself says that women can be both “dirty and sweet wrapped up in one” and I really like the inclusive “we want it ALL” idea of the book, so why use those two divisive, dirtier-than-thou quotes?

Yes, it’s a niggling complaint but it has created a slight bias for me before I’ve read the book. I’ll see how it plays out in the next week or so.

2 Replies to “Dirty Girls”

  1. It’s not just you that is being put off.

    Everyone has their own comfort zone for their sexuality, and I think it’s important for folks to respect that. The important thing is that *it is your comfort zone* and not the comfort zone that someone else is imposing on you.

    Plus, the message that being erotic is the “new in thing”, bugs me. It’s not intended to be “fashionable”. It’s not some “trend”. I hope that it is signs that society as a whole is becoming more accepting of women as sexually positive, engaging, and active and that we can come in many different flavors than the ones traditionally ascribed to our sex.

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