Author ~ Rob Rosen
Publisher ~ Cleis Press
Published ~ 8th December 2015
Genre ~ Erotic M/M Romance
You wanted the best, you got the best! Best Gay Erotica of the Year, that is. Hotter than ever and featuring the brightest stars the gay literary galaxy has to offer, this iconic collection never fails to impress. With no themes, no boundaries, BGE encompasses the steamy past, the on-your-knees present and the sweat-soaked future, covering every genre and every kink—plus a few you probably never saw, uh, coming—all with a style and a panache that leave those other anthologies in the fictional dust. And get ready for a stunningly original android story that’s sure to blow your circuits!
Yep, this really is the best. And the best just keeps getting better
Designed for your erotic reading pleasure Best Gay Erotica of the Yearfeatures sixteen of the hottest and best-written man-to-man sex stories to appear in print this year. These down-and-dirty page turners feature unique and in-depth characters that reflect gay lives not often found in erotic stories. From casual hook-ups to highly-charged street encounters to dark backrooms, the men in this collection let their lust and passions loose for all to read and enjoy.
A bold title, indeed, after all, who isn’t titillated by good sex. The question for me was whether it lived up to its name.
Erotica – the intent to arouse sexual desire. Mission accomplished on that front. But, erotic as it is... the best it is not. I have read better anthologies, and though the sex is engaging, I have read better sex scenes in anthologies. And there’s not a single threesome.
Similar, to the length of some of the cocks in the stories, this anthology is long and is crammed full of gay sex; some better than others. For me, though, the Golden factor in sending erotic off the charts and me running for a cold shower is the tenderness involved and the story that surrounds the build up of a relationship. Or, if it’s a one night stand (cos, hell they can be hot) – the night of seduction, building to the lustful crescendo. But, if you want a quick something to get you in the mood for the return of that special person, or wish to explain the technicalities of gay sex, without actual conversation, then this fits the bill.
This anthology does have an impressive variation of stories covering a whole range of genres, which is probably why the publishers gave the anthology its name - a saving grace for a book composed close to 90% sex. This erotic quality will undoubtedly appeal to some, but not others. If you are looking for an education, I think the Gay Karma Sutra would be better.
I prefer to read stories where the sex enhances the story, not makes the story. In this anthology, the sex is prime and the story, where one applies, is (with a few exceptions) a background offering. The result is that I’ve probably been somewhat mean in my marking. However, if that is your thing, you will rate it much higher, and put it on your Christmas list now.
If you do decide this is a must, I recommend you read only a story or two at a time then put it down for a while, as reading one sex scene after another, story after story, location after location – much like this sentence, it drags on and loses its potency.
Heatstroke by Michael Roberts 3.5*
I hesitate to call this a story because there is hardly one to this. It is an account of sex on a one night stand. Damned good sex, but just sex all the same.
The Real Thing by Dale Chase 3.75*
The main character is one of the few humans left in a world full of androids. And what’s wanted from him. His mind, his DNA – nope his cock. Yes, our human lives on a world of cock loving androids. This tale of cocks made me smile, as it is quirky and the author certainly has a sense of humor along with a good imagination. The best part is that there is the makings of a decent story.
Fire And Pain by Richard May 3.5*
This tale has some story to it, but also a logistics problem. How can a standing man with his cock in a guys mouth also tweak the nipples of said man kneeling beneath him. With damned long arms is the only answer. It’s close but not quite the full cigar. As this man is supposedly human, albeit different in a way that I won’t spoil, I fear a hole in the story not just the man’s abused orifice.
If you like the domination and slave dynamic, with the pleasure from pain element, then you will love this foray into erotica. Maybe I'm a touch mean with my marking here, but for me, pain with sex isn’t my thing. Though, I have no problem with BDSM and have read some remarkable stories involving the practice.
Viva by Vincent Meis 3.5*
In this story, we visit the Caribbean with a Cuban man and an American. One, wanting to hear about the world and the other escaping a breakup. Sex on display is what ensues, with a “Viva La Revolucion.”
The Husbands by Gregory L Norris 4*
This one jumps into the sex, but one of the partners is there as a substitute. What follows is an interesting story of kidnapping and astral projection that has more depth than many of the other stories. I liked this one.
The Other Side by Rob Rosen 4.5*
I liked this story too. It has paragraphs of scene setting, rather than a ‘Hey there, let's fuck’ dynamic. This tale has a ghostly touch to it, and I got a lump in my throat while reading (that was not a projection of what was on the page). No, this story, short that it was, had depth and emotion, and I got vested in the characters. These two I would like to read more of.
GI Blow by Mark Wildyr 3.75*
Gi blow has a military touch and a bus ride. What follows is the power of the uniform and proof that size matters. The sex is hot, and three encounters later, Jimmy exit’s the bus.
Nothing In Common by Karl Taggart 3.5*
Another story that jumps into the sex. However, this tale revolves around two men who seem to have nothing in common except sex. There is some interesting verbal sparring, but with such a story it’s hard to get vested in the characters.
Incident At Yellow Rock by T Hitman 4*
A western of old and a gay one at that. A compelling combination that makes for an engaging tale of a good man, unwanted attention, a dead love and a dark stranger. This story had the potential to be superb, but, for me, its length stopped it being a special short story. If certain sections had been lengthened, I feel some parts would have been smoother and not raised as many questions for me as a reader. This I feel affected the positioning of a couple of the sexual scenes, which marred the overall effect; purely a matter of timing, nothing more. But... what is an author to do when submitting a story to an anthology with such a name as this one.
The Magazine by Jonathan Asche 3.5*
The experience of an older man, Logan, and the curiosity of a younger inexperienced one, Josh, spills into this tale of erotica; helped along by images and fantasies found in a magazine. For good measure, a few details are thrown in to show a smidgen of Logan’s history.
Charity Case by Talon Rihai 3.75*
This story takes to the streets and the world of the hot male whore and a vicar intent on guiding him back to the sanctity of ‘straight’ living. The question is who learns a biblical lesson. I liked this twist on the classic vicar/whore tale, and it was written well – albeit a touch predictable.
Whip It Out by K B Jett 3.5*
I guess the guy in this story is one of those lucky bastards who can pee with a hard-on and not be in pain. The story starts with mutual cock admiration on a team building jaunt that develops into fuck buddies but finishes with a twist.
Bus Ride by Salome Wilde 3.5*
A bit like the film Snakes On A Plane – I’m sure you can guess the basics of this. Feelings surrounding rejection start this story, but when the bus pulls up, we meet the tall, dark and handsome driver. Fantasy ensues.
Vaquero’s Pride by Evey Brett 4.5*
We take off to Spain for this foray into the erotic. The son of the master and the vaquero. This story is among my favs in this anthology. It has a backstory, a healthy dose of scene setting, and some sex that is without a doubt, erotic. It even has follow through. It is a short, yet complete story worthy of being in a book called The Best Gay Erotica Of The Year.
Valentinius by Nick Di Tiempo 4.5*
The Roman Emporer and his Christian slave grace the pages of this tale of appendages and orifices. The story is consistent with an era where, what the Emperor wants the Emperor gets, with little thought to the man beneath him. That extended to no prep, which didn’t endear the Emperor to me and an attack on Christianity – which was faithful to history. There was a logistics issue too when Valentinius had a neck long enough to see where Emperor Claudius slid in and out of him.
This is a story you with either love or hate. As a lover of times gone by, I may question the actions of Emperor Claudius, but I understand the historical meaning of them and their place within this anecdote.
The Healing by Richard Michaels 3.5 *
Two choices in a bar and our main characters leaves with one. Sounds simple enough. However, there was something about this story that I didn’t connect with. It wasn’t a standard one night stand with little foreplay. It was if Kevin was on something or in a dream sequence. The title of the story suggests healing of some kind, but it was lost on me. So, apologies to the author for that. Either way, I finished the story puzzled.