The Big Book of Submission Volume 2, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, was published in 2018 by Cleis Press. This book features 69 (yes—sixty-nine!) short stories that explore sensual, erotic, romantic, intellectual, and emotional aspects of submission.
I had juuuust began writing erotic romance stories when the call for volume one was open and though I submitted a story, it was declined. But I kept at it, continued to write and grow, and I was thrilled when the story I submitted to this volume was accepted.
I’ll tell you about my story, but first, more about the book.
First of all, I have to say this trim size is perfect bedside table magic. You know books that just feel good when you hold them? Well, this book is one of those for me. The 5×7 inch trim size makes this a quaint book, but at 376 pages it is a quaint thick book (how lovely!).
So, you might ask, how do you fit 69 stories into one book?
Well, each piece in this collection is 1,200 words or less. These are bite-sized morsels of stories that are a few pages long each—but they are thoroughly polished and satisfying. These are fully realized stories with a beginning, middle, and end. The characters are real and textured. Themes are strong and vibrant. If you haven’t read erotica short stories before, this is a great way to introduce yourself to many different styles and kinks.
With such a high number of stories there is a large array of characters, pairings, power dynamics, settings, and themes. Everything from more traditional dungeon style BDSM, to scenarios that don’t include any props or toys at all. Some things you wouldn’t even think of as being a way to play with power exchange is brought to life in these stories. But there are also plenty of more mainstream styles of play for those of us who just love our toys and blindfolds.
My story in this collection is called “Switching Struggles.” It is set in a small BDSM dungeon and my main character Charlotte is in a struggle scene with three men. Two of them are Dominant and one is her submissive who has been appointed by the Dominants to assist with the scene.
One of the things that I included in my story was consent. There’s a part of the story where they build consent into the roleplay without breaking character. I thought this was an important aspect and I’m happy to have included it in the story. Writing the struggle scene dynamic was also really fun and cathartic for me. I hope readers enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I also hope readers enjoy many of the other amazing stories in this collection. With so many to choose from, there is a good chance every taste will find the perfect story. Of course, with such an array, there’s bound to be stories readers don’t care for much. A handful of stories I did not finish, even at their short length. But there were several I was quite smitten with. Here are some I find personally worthy of mention, in order they appear in the book:
“The Back Room at the Saloon” by Donna George Storey. This is an historical, and regular readers of the Unlaced Librarian know I love erotica historicals. The care and the playfulness that the two characters have together in this story is touching and I really enjoyed it.
“Metamorphoses” by Emmanuelle de Maupassant is set in a library—so this story plucks my literary heartstrings right there. This story is my favorite in the entire collection. It’s not a magical realism story but something in the prose gave me that vibe. This story is on the less-bdsmish side of things. The sensuality is wonderful. And the references to all things bookish… my heart.
“The Old-Fashioned Way” by Angela R. Sargenti is a more traditional bdsm based dynamic with a female Dominant and a male submissive. But it has a wonderful twist at the end that I really enjoyed.
“Imago” by Anna Sky. This story includes a theme of tattoos and tattooing. The reader can tell the author really has an intimate understanding of the topic and that really shines through in the story.
“The Amazing Lucinda” by Heather Day is a female/female pairing and a really fun story to read. The theme is different and it is my favorite F/F story in this collection.
“A Jamaican Affair” by D. Fostalove is a cuckold themed story and the main character, Jamaica, is a lovely and fun protagonist. I just loved her and this was a also a really fun story to read.
“His Wife’s Wonderful Cocks” by Dahlia Lovejoy explores blurring the lines of sexual orientation. The sexually fluid side of my own orientation adored this story. It is also just a really hot story, which you would probably expect from a title like “His Wife’s Wonderful Cocks.”
“Goombay Lover” by Zodian Gray is a male/male pairing. The voice in this story is crisp and clear—I can really see the characters and the chemistry is searing.
“Continuing Education” by Rachel Woe has a science meets sensuality theme. I won’t give away the story but I will say the chemistry and tension is immensely strong. This story is a very, very, very close second for being my favorite in this whole collection.
I definitely recommend this book for the variety of stories in this collection. I also like the style of the book having very short stories. For those who enjoy reading poetry collections or shorter chaptered books, these stories are perfect. You can read a story on break at work, waiting at the doctor’s office, between running errands, or right before bed. That’s how I read this book and it was a fun, devious little boost to be reading these stories during my mundane day-to-day activities.
The stories are also short enough you could totally read them with a partner out loud.
But I also enjoyed keeping this book on my bedside table as my own erotic version of a little box of chocolates. A variety of sweet morsels to be indulged in one at a time.
In the end, I’m extremely honored to be a part of this book and to have my work alongside so many hot, fun, intriguing stories.
I hope you’ll give them a try 😉
The Big Book of Submission Volume 2: 69 Kinky Tales | Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Cleis Press: