Book Review: Bottoms Up

Image description: The book sets on three different wooden spoons on top of a woodgrain table top with green carpet off the edge in the corner. The cover of the book features a side-profile of a nude feminine figure bending over in an office style chair.

“Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories” edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel is a 2009 erotica anthology published by Cleis Press that features 20 stories that all have to do with… spanking! Be still, my heart!


Cleis Press has dozens of themed erotica anthologies and there are four so far that explore the theme of spanking. “Bottom’s Up” is one of them.
I will be honest—I wasn’t sure at first picking up an anthology of short stories that focused specifically on spanking. I was worried the stories might be repetitive, or worse, cheesy.


But only a few stories in, I knew I was not going to be disappointed with this collection.
The 20 stories in this collection are unique and offer a wide range of scenarios and dynamics. There are a variety of pairings and power exchange dynamics—men/women, women/women, men/men… Dominants, submissives, tops, and bottoms.


Most erotica readers will be familiar with the punishment-style role plays that are prevalent in spanking fiction and BDSM scenes, and this book did have some of those. But many stories also featured other scenarios that will give readers a real feel for the wide scope that this kind of sexual play can provide.


Many of the stories drew the characters vivid and real, while others left a lot to the imagination. A couple of the stories frustrated me… I couldn’t quite believe the turn of events, even through my rosy-cheeked-tinted glasses.


Overall, however, I was impressed with the range of emotion set forth in the pieces. After several pieces I was left introspective of how the story tripped a memory or emotion of my own. It is clear these authors are intimate with the subject of these stories and they held a depth that was hot and touching. Many of these stories were a balance of edgy titillation, wit, humor, and a tingle of darkness.


In many ways I felt more connected to the pieces in this book than I have in more mainstream erotica I’ve read. And I really appreciated that aspect, especially on a topic that many might think of as base or immature.


I encourage anyone into kink or a specific act under the BDSM umbrella to check out erotica anthologies of this kind. As I wrote earlier, Cleis Press offers dozens of various themed anthologies and they are a very good place to explore and indulge.


This book has a permanent home on my bookshelf. I highly recommend it if you are new to the spanking genre. And anyone who already has a seasoned taste for spanking as a kink will not be disappointed.

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