When Drew first approached me about reviewing products for Eden Fantasys, I was extremely nervous. All I could think was He is going to ship me a whip, a ton of leather, and somebody named Mistress Alex to keep us on task. Far from the truth. Drew asked me what I was comfortable reviewing and I thought Let's start off small. Easy. Safe. Then work our way up.
And that's when I told Drew to send me a book.
Here's the deal. I hate adult movies (I'll be nice and not use the p word.). You know why I hate them? There are several reasons, one of which is that movies churned out by the adult film industry are made for men and what most guys like. I think if women were in charge of "erotic" film, it would be something completely different and I would probably enjoy it more. But the main deal-breaker for me is black socks. My college dorm roommates went through a Let's watch people having sex! phase my sophomore year and every time I came back from class, there it was. Many adult films were on the TV quite a bit and I couldn't stand it that during a crucial moment in whatever film we were watching (you know what I mean by crucial), there was the well-endowed male star, doing his thing completely naked... except for his black socks. And all I could focus on were those idiotic socks. Take the socks off, for chrissakes! Seriously, if you're going to the trouble of taking off your pants and shirt, at least take off your socks! It just really bothered me. What I like about erotic books is that I can picture the characters in my head and none of them are wearing socks. Anywhere.
Caught Looking is a collection of 20 short stories about voyeurism and exhibitionism. Among all of you, my readers, the majority may say Oh, I certainly don't want people watching me having sex and I'm not interesting in watching other people go at it. But let's face it, we're all curious voyeurs at heart. We all watch the car accident on the side of the road, the bar room brawl, and I'm pretty sure that if your neighbors were doing the naked hokey-pokey with their curtains open, we'd all stand there, mouths open, watching. Admit it. I know I probably would and after a few minutes I'd call all of you and give you play-by-plays of the action.
The main characters of each story of Caught Looking are either voyeurs or exhibitionists, finding themselves in different scenarios where they're watching or being watched. There are lesbian couples, heterosexual couples, gay men, women masturbating, threesomes, you name it, this book covers it. Because the book covers all types of sexual relationships, I could find something I liked throughout the book. Not only that, but these short stories are very well-written with developed plots and dialogs. One story in particular, The Poet, Dying, was a beautifully written story of an old, dying poet who hires two young men to perform sex in front of him. He wants to feel alive one last time, to feel that flicker of youth and sex and the story is interspersed with his poetry until the literal climax of the story, the young men engaged in sex, and the poet's final moment:
paroxysms of violet, this particular
which, like us, will broach no end.
See, this is why I dig written erotica. It's the thinking-man's (or woman's) porn (Couldn't help myself. Sorry.). We can picture the characters in our heads, visualize what's going on, use our imagination, and even find beauty in the words of a story that if filmed might otherwise turn us off.
The other story I greatly enjoyed was Walled Lake Girl. It's the story of a woman who is down on her luck who is interested in a man who lives in her complex. He shows no interest in her and she watches him, constantly. When she's caught, the sex ensues, but it's the story itself, not just the sex, that is raw and rough. You feel bad for her, like she's had a sad life and this is her last chance to have something for herself, not something she only watches through a window. At the end? Well, you'll just have to read it and see.
There were only two stories that left me Meh, one involving adultery and another involving a woman who pleasures herself on the top of her apartment building in the middle of the city, hoping she has a thousand-person audience. Um, yeah. I had enough of an audience during the births of my three kids and I don't need any other type of audience during my intimate moments with the Ty-man.
Overall, I give Caught Looking four out of five bits of coal (Dude. I had to come up with something cute.). Whether you're into voyeurism or exhibitionism or neither, then definitely give this book a try. Me, the prude, truly enjoyed it and it's a great example of how good erotic books can be and how good adult movies could be if someone made the effort of crafting decent stories.
Just without the socks.