Author: Alexander Chee, Brandon Taylor, Callum Angus, Cara Hoffman, Carmen Maria Machado, Chris Kraus, Garth Greenwell, Kim Fu, Larissa Pham, Melissa Febos, Peter Mountford, R.O. Kwon, Roxane Gay, Vanessa Clark, Zeyn Joukhadar
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
First Published: February 9, 2021
Genres: Erotica, LGBTQIA+, Literary Fiction, Short Stories
Kink is a groundbreaking anthology of literary short fiction exploring love and desire, BDSM, and interests across the sexual spectrum, edited by lauded writers R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell, and featuring a roster of all-star contributors including Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado, and more.
Kink is a dynamic anthology of literary fiction that opens an imaginative door into the world of desire. The stories within this collection portray love, desire, BDSM, and sexual kinks in all their glory with a bold new vision. The collection includes works by renowned fiction writers such as Callum Angus, Alexander Chee, Vanessa Clark, Melissa Febos, Kim Fu, Roxane Gay, Cara Hoffman, Zeyn Joukhadar, Chris Kraus, Carmen Maria Machado, Peter Mountford, Larissa Pham, and Brandon Taylor, with Garth Greenwell and R.O. Kwon as editors.
The stories within explore bondage, power-play, and submissive-dominant relationships; we are taken to private estates, therapists’ offices, underground sex clubs, and even a sex theater in early-20th century Paris. While there are whips and chains, sure, the true power of these stories lies in their beautiful, moving dispatches from across the sexual spectrum of interest and desires, as portrayed by some of today’s most exciting writers.
“It was the first real pain he had caused me, it made me suck in my breath, but it wasn’t too much pain, and not unexciting.”Kink is a curious little collection of literary short stories with heavy doses of BDSM and other kinks. It is a nuanced collection that explores human sexuality, relationships, communication, and consent through a diverse lens. I loved the wide spectrum of sexual orientations that are represented while also exploring various themes about desire and the joys and frustrations that come with it. The collection is definitely spicy, especially in the earlier stories.
I was surprised that I could find some stories relatable, particularly Safeword and Trust. It took me years to fully embrace myself and find a compatible partner after being shamed by many others for my particular kinks. Godspodor was masterfully written, illustrating how quickly kink can turn into abuse with the wrong people. Easily my favorite was Machado’s The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror.
I was digging this collection up until the final two stories, which were beautifully written but I wouldn’t really classify either as erotica. Even so, the collection had a decent amount of variety that I think most readers will find something to appreciate.
Kink was such a refreshing breath of air in a genre that overrun by Mary Sues and billionaire bad boys. The collection was good overall and reaffirms the idea that erotica can blend well with literary fiction. The collection introduced me to a lot of new-to-me authors that I enjoyed and would like to read more of.
The Cure: ☆☆☆☆☆
Best Friendster Date Ever: ☆☆☆☆☆
Safe Word: ☆☆☆☆☆
Oh, Youth: ☆☆☆☆☆
Impact Play: ☆☆☆☆☆
Mirror, Mirror: ☆☆☆☆☆
The Voyeurs: ☆☆☆☆☆
The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror: ★★★★★
Emotional Technologies: ☆☆☆☆☆
Trigger Warning: Graphic Sex, Sexual Assault, Violence