“Making the Hook-Up” Erotic Reading Review
“Making the Hook-Up” is a Cleis Press erotic anthology edited by Cole Riley. It is 242 pages long, and it’s about the same size as an average Cleis Press erotic anthology. It has 18 stories in it which does make the average erotic story slightly longer than most of the stories you usually find in Cleis Press erotica. This book does show a couple embracing tastefully nude on the cover, but it does make the book a bit obvious, so you may not want to read this in public unless you can cover the back cover while reading.
The theme of this book is “edgy sex with soul”. The book says that it is an African American erotica book, and it focuses on the richness and variety of black sexuality. This book focuses on and revels in African American sexuality and culture, and most of the stories take place in that culture with those cultural expectations. The authors are not your typical erotic anthology authors that most anthologies have, and it has different characters compared to other Cleis Press anthologies. All of the stories do feature a male/female pairing.
To be completely honest, this book was really hit or miss for me. Some of the stories were pretty great, and I liked them, but other stories were a large turn-off. I didn’t like some of the plots themselves, and in others, I wasn’t very fond of the language. For example, in one of the stories, there was a negative description of a “fat-ass” extra character, and that really turned me off to the rest of the story. In another, a woman is held at gunpoint, and when being forced to stay with her attacker for the night, she has sex with him. In another story, the plot was about how this man “bought” three kisses, but with each kiss, he kept pushing her past where she seemed to want to go. In the end, it ended up seeming relatively consensual, but at the time, I really didn’t like that he seemed to be pushing her past where she wanted to go – after having agreed he wouldn’t.
However, with the fact that this book was intended to take place and revel in African American culture, I don’t feel I am, 100%, qualified to really give a good opinion on this book. Maybe what would make me uncomfortable about consensuality is just an accepted/normal thing that I’m aware of. So take my thoughts with a grain of salt.
That being said, the “edgy sex with soul” tagline does seem to fit this anthology relatively well. The plots aren’t really your typical erotica plots which is something I appreciate, and a lot of the stories bring in culture that is really unfamiliar to me. I went between finding some of the stories really hot while not being all that into some of the other stories, so it was really a hit-and-miss erotic anthology with me.
Some of my favorites were:
“Sex and Chocolate” by Garnell Wallace. In this, the main character comes back home to find that the home she thought would be well-kept is a mess and requires attention. Her childhood friend starts hitting on her, and she’s ready to bed him when she finds out a horrible secret. Maybe the contractor she hires will be her answer?
In “All Day” by Asha French, the main characters are a male/female who went from friends to friends-with-more. It chronicals his attempt to make her have an all-day orgasm – while attending their friend’s party. This one is pretty hot.
In “Lonnie’s Licks” by Tenille Brown (which I think I’ve read in another anthology), the main female character finds that she’s become “addicted’ to her neighbor’s penis. As he’s a psychology student, he attempts aversion therapy by spanking her anytime she thinks about it – unfortunately, that goes all wrong too.
I think that “Making The Hook-Up” would be a good book if you have the cultural and background references that I may have. Some of the stories I found definitely erotic, but I wasn’t as large of a fan as all of them as I am with most erotic anthologies. Thanks to Cleis Press for sending out Making the Hook-Up for review.