My introduction to butch/femme was Les Feinberg's Stone Butch Blues, so I was surprised to see so much of that dynamic (stone butch, etc.) in these stories because I think of it as a past generation. Though I really have no idea what the ages of these authors are. (Very few are identified in the author bios at the end.)
Powerplay is totally one of my narrative kinks, but this collection had a lot of dubcon and master/slave that I just wasn't really into.
On the whole, I was not impressed with the collection.
The collection opens with a story ("Silver Dollar Afternoons") by Bear of Ex Post Papa fame, and Lorraine had posted very poetic excerpts, so I admit that I was already predisposed to like it.
I really liked "Into the Baptismal" (Peggy Munson) -- which closed the collection -- though the rattle scared me because I was not at all sure that Kay didn't have a literal live snake in her pants until she actually stripped. (I'm gullible, what can I say?)
Ari, this story made me think of you 'cause baptismal.
It also does some really interesting stuff with language.
The story opens with talk about virginity pledges, and then in talk about Japanese restaurants with Shoji screens the narrator says: "The first time I tasted raw fish, I watched a boy punch his fist through the Shoji paper and saw how much disdain boys have for flimsy white contracts" (283).
"Church was a reminder that we didn't believe in the literal body and literal blood. We didn't think Jesus inhabited stales crackers the way Catholics did. Instead, we put our faith in symbolism. In the hard pews, our bodies were sterile Mason jars of seductive fruit, in cellars for times of famine. We let hunger build in us until tornadoes pushed us down into places of relief. We waited until the funnel clouds unleashed their angry cunts on tiny houses that fell like paper screens. Then we still ate bland casseroles." (285)
My instinct is to go through the table of contents and post notes on each story, but I'm really not sure it's worth the effort. Though if Lorraine (or anyone else) asks, I will.
In "Planet 10" (Catherine Lundoff), the narrator is masturbating for an audience and thinks, "I couldn't tell how many fingers I had inside me any more. Hell, maybe I was growing more" (215). I did really like that image.
Generally, I was fonder of the tamer stories that had developing relationships -- e.g. "After Lunch" (Kyle Walker), "Ripe for the Picking" (Kristina Wright).
Discussions in Lorraine's LJ about dykecock (prompted by her reading of this collection) and then reading the collection itself, I found myself thinking of "Radical Cock" from The Naked I: Monologues from Beyond the Binary. Love that show so much.