Cover Image: Secret Sex

Secret Sex

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I was expecting more, this book didn’t really do it for me unfortunately. I think I was expecting more smut considering they were all anonymous.

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Secret Sex is an erotic anthology written anonymously by Canada’s leading authors, both emerging and established, edited by Russell Smith.

What drew me to this book was the title. There is something juicy about sex in regard to... sex, in secret. We immediately think about scandals when what intrigues us is the secrecy, the privacy of it all, and the mystery. More than the sex itself, it’s the thrill of being caught because secrets have a funny way of coming out. Stories in this book that draw on this experience are Mirror Mirror, At the Wreckers, and Portrait of a Lady.

Picking up the book, I didn’t know what to expect, certainly not the 'secret' aspect being about sex imagined by authors without revealing their names. It’s a habit of all readers to want to attach characters certain attributes, be they emotional, behavioural or intimate parts of a story, to the author's own lived and unlived experiences. This is sometimes the reason why many authors hold back on writing sex scenes in their stories, fearing judgement or kink-shaming.

For that reason, the book reads like a blind submission. We can’t tell who wrote what. They are just stories laid out across the pages of a book for us to find. Stories we give faces and voices to and detach from authors.
Sex, for the most part, is part of our identity and our everyday lives, but more or less treated as if it isn’t. Taboo, not to be spoken of, it’s hidden in whispers, giggles, flirty smiles, closets, phones, and bedrooms. We walk around with it on our minds, between our legs, yet are afraid to utter it. We are afraid of what others might think of our kinks and the things and thoughts that make us cum.
In this anthology, we are given 24 short stories on the theme of sex. The first story, conveniently titled ‘‘Sexts,’’ reads like it was taken straight off a phone. The sexting take place between two individuals who haven’t seen each other in a while. The sex takes place entirely in their minds with the use of imagination. The blueprint for today’s augmented reality. They role-play, whisking each other and us from a dirty pirate ship to a cosy yet mesmerizing top-notch hotel.

The story is a clear demonstration of how sex is a part of us and how we live and breathe it. So much so that we put effort into role-play and build anticipation of the expectation. Sexts are, in their purest form, literary foreplay where a word or an emoji is instrumental in causing arousal if and when it is used at the right time, in the right setting, and by the right person.

It’s not so much about the final destination. Now it’s about how we get there. The journey is what makes what we imagine or what characters imagine while sexting that gets us there, feeding off each other’s arousal, and enthusiasm. An exchange of words, we leave our own bodies and leap into their sexual fantasy.

[So what d’ya say?Is my fantasy hotel enough to get you off your fantasy pirate ship?]

In Restoration, we have a young graduate who is 22 years old. Fresh out of university and works at an art gallery, in which Edna, a 56-year-old woman, is a board member. Their paths cross when he is asked to grab a box from her station wagon. It’s not clear when the romance starts, but ‘’Edna X’’ is married with most of her children out of the nest, with one in college. Her grand house becomes a nest for the two.

Edna enjoys her toy boy, who is unusually aroused by the surgical scar from her amputated leg. He is aroused by the scar on her knee. A scar she got as a little girl when her leg was amputated. He fetishizes it. Unlike men, when it comes to scars on women, we barely associate them with words like hot, cool, swag, sexy, seductive, or attractive. Things like stretch marks or any scarring on a woman’s body are rarely viewed as sexy. However, this young stud found her surgical scar arousing. A fresh approach: Few can say that a scar that marks a traumatic time in their life arouses their lover. One can’t help but note how this reveals how toxic and low-key creepy it makes the young man out to be—almost sexually sadistic. It makes us think about our own toxic fetishes and makes us wonder if there is a psychological underlying meaning to them.

Being spanked is every child’s worst nightmare, but to an adult, spanking is a kinky repertoire in adult sex games, the contrast between pain and pleasure, and how our bodies and minds perceive it. In the same way, Edna’s stud took the mark of a painful childhood memory and drew pleasure out of it. No doubt, sexually healing old wounds that were deep-seated in Edna. Though she always berated him for using her ‘’stump’’ to get off, there is no doubt Edna chuckled to herself alone, realizing that an ugly reminder of her past to her is a source of deep arousal for the toy boy.
[When we were in bed, I tried not to fetishize the stump, but the truth is, the stump made me hard. Or perhaps it was her admonition, my cock and her leg communicated directly.]
[The savage scar made up for the fact that she was old and beautiful... if she wants me to fuck her, then she’s gonna have to let me use her knee]

In this story, we are given an old woman in an old house, all of which we think needs a revamp of some sort. Old art is not left to die in basements. Once found, it’s taken, polished and restored. The young man took what was once considered old and polished it. He polished Edna’s confidence in herself; even though it was there, it needed ‘’restoration’’. No doubt, he made her feel young. Edna, an old, beautiful painting, was hung up somewhere on the walls of this young man’s mind, and it was beautiful, fine and sexy. While she sought restoration in other parts of her life, like her waning family prestige and influence that declined, there’s no doubt Edna's affair restored something in her, if not confidence; it restored herself image which had been distorted for so many years.

At The Wreckers is another story rooted in an on-and-off affair involving a young man and a woman who were once a couple. Eric is married to his ''big-time biologist wife’’ who just had twins. The story opens up with the protagonist at the wreckers waiting for compensation for selling her 1981 Chevvette Scooter. A hand me down, it was her first car since getting her driver’s licence in her mid-thirties. The Chevvette, more than a means to ‘’get around'', is also a love nest for her and Eric, who like a smoking habit she desperately tries to quit.
[I’d been on and off with him, trying to quit him like smoking]
The Scooter, just like her and Eric’s relationship, had seen better days; this thought is expressed when she says,
[The Scooter years, were my Eric years too.]

While they dragged things out in their relationship and delayed the inevitable, their relationship was over. Like tyres burned out, there was no use stretching out the rubber or stretching out the matter. The old Scooter symbolizes their relationship and whatever good she could squeeze out of it. Like a lemon, she squeezed it when the relationship was in good shape. Now it was just a burden, much like her scooter, which kept costing money to repair and keep in shape. The fact that she still uses it parallels how she still uses her and Eric’s old connection to not move on in her life.
Much like Eric, she held onto the Scooter not because of efficiency or convenience but because of sentimentality and history, they shared. So in the same way she kept the Scooter is the same way she kept Eric around for too long. At the heart of it all, At The Wreckers is about letting toxic things go and perhaps starting new things for one’s self. Toxic things and people drain us, much like how the Scooter and Eric was draining the protagonist mentally, emotionally and financially. While she got the Scooter as a hand me down—old, rusted, still good for the road—it was sometimes unreliable, like an on-and-off relationship with a married man. Joking around about a future that wasn’t there, the broken-down Scooter symbolised her relationship to that man, always in the dark, which was not good. Much like the Scooter, her relationship with Eric was never going anywhere.
While the anthology holds light-hearted stories like An archive, Party Party (Sex Party), Labefactions of a thwarted Patootie, and Cloud Burst, a story about raining cocks, it takes a turn toward the unhinged when it gives us stories like Mirror Mirror, Portrait of a Lady, Calliope and Praying Mantis. Dipping into the waters of psychological horror, a fast rising trending genre in erotica and porn classified as horror porn.
Praying Mantis sees the story take a page out of Sharon Stone’s script as we see a frustrated protagonist take the life of her man in the sheets by strangulation. She plans to one day send an eerie message to his offspring, whom we assume is a child of infidelity. It gives me Kill Bill vibes.
[‘’I once knew your father’’]

Calliope, much like Praying Mantis, is a crime of passion with sci-fi elements where we see a mad scientist attempt to bring to life his dead lover at the expense of a ‘’friend’’. She wakes up dreaming of being able to finally touch the man she had only seen from a jar. Only to realize she’s become a hideous octopus with a human head and decapitates him.

Secret Sex is more than just stories with sex scenes. It’s about the imagination and interpretations of sex. It is about sex that shapes our lives, builds and destroys us, joins and divides us. To quote Russell Smith ‘’... I can't imagine understanding characters without understanding what they do in bed. In fact, I might say this about people too.''

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The concept is so good. I don’t totally agree that authors hold back when writing sex scenes but that’s my opinion.

I struggle with anthologies like this because I need and want more and it leaves too much open sometimes. A good amount of the stories were enjoyable and some were pointless. Not totally for me but I think there is a good group that would enjoy this a lot.

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DNF at 50%. I couldn’t connect with any of these stories which is unusual for me. I find collections usually hit or miss but some definitely hit but not this one. Something about the general styles just didn’t work for my tastes.

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This anthology didn't quite live up to its concept. I thought the idea of authors writing anonymously about anything, particularly sex was a clever concept. I was underwhelmed in general with the stories. I thought there would be more boundary pushing, more inventiveness. As with any anthology, some of the stories where more compelling than others. Overall an ok read, but not as exciting as the idea behind it.

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I'm grateful to the publisher and NetGalley for granting me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this captivating book. From the first page to the last, I was thoroughly engrossed in the story, unable to put it down. The characters were well-developed, the plot was gripping, and the writing was superb. Overall, I immensely enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to fellow readers. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this wonderful reading experience.

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as is common for mw with anthologies and short stories collection; I like some more than others. Despite all the stories being written anonymously it felt like the authors were holding back. Overall I think I was expecting a little more smut.

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"Secret Sex" by Russell Smith is a novel that boldly delves into the taboo realm of human desire and sexuality, offering both provocative insights and frustrating inconsistencies.

On the positive side, Smith's exploration of the complexities of human sexuality is refreshingly honest and unflinching. Through his diverse cast of characters and their intertwined stories, he shines a light on the myriad ways in which people navigate intimacy, desire, and identity in a society that often seeks to suppress or shame these aspects of the human experience.

Additionally, Smith's prose is sharp and incisive, with moments of wit and insight that cut straight to the heart of the matter. He tackles sensitive topics with sensitivity and nuance, refusing to shy away from the uncomfortable truths that lie beneath the surface of polite society.

However, "Secret Sex" is hampered by pacing issues and a lack of cohesion in its narrative structure. The novel jumps between different characters and storylines with little warning, making it difficult for the reader to fully invest in any one storyline. This disjointedness disrupts the flow of the narrative and diminishes the impact of the novel's more poignant moments.

Furthermore, some readers may find Smith's portrayal of sexuality to be overly sensationalized and voyeuristic at times, with graphic depictions that may feel gratuitous or exploitative. While these scenes may be intended to shock or titillate, they can also come across as crass or insensitive, detracting from the novel's more thought-provoking themes.

In conclusion, "Secret Sex" is a novel that offers both insight and frustration in equal measure. While it succeeds in sparking important conversations about sexuality and desire, its uneven execution and occasional missteps prevent it from reaching its full potential. Despite its flaws, readers who appreciate bold and unapologetic explorations of human sexuality may still find moments to appreciate in Russell Smith's provocative novel.

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From Canada comes this anthology of anonymous sex fiction. The premise is that because we (the general reading public) still have hang-ups about sex, writers tend to write gently around the theme of sex, but if given the opportunity to write about sex and remain anonymous, how much more open, explicit, and erotic would the fiction be? Twenty-four "prominent authors living in Canada" have stories here, centrally themed around sex. (Side note: I didn't recognize any of the names of the authors included here.) As editor Russell Smith notes in the introduction:
Writing sex scenes is notoriously difficult: one walks a tightrope between the crude and the laughable (especially in English, a Germanic language that lends itself to the silly or the ugly). When describing body parts, one must choose between the correct word — which can sound clinical, as if one is reading a medical textbook — and a slang word, which almost always sounds more crass than the rest of the language one’s character is using.
Add to that the anxiety over coming out to one’s family and mortifying one’s mom. And add to that an anxiety over being mocked for imagining sex at all. A particular strain of conservative critic tends to imagine the authors themselves in all the positions described, because that’s almost always amusing.
As with almost any anthology, I found some of these stories very well written and entertaining and some of them were dull and dry and not at all interesting.
The first story that I enjoyed was "Comet" which begins with the sentences: "A home movie of us making love. The bedroom back on Mercer Avenue." It is a story of reflection. Of remembering. Of rekindling.
"Watching You Watching Me" was a really great short story. Stronger, more graphic sex in this story compared to "Comet" but the introspection (again, reflection) was powerful. The story begins:
My lawyer laughed when you stipulated that I couldn't write about you after the divorce. [...]
She'd never represented a writer before. [...]
After twenty-three years of marriage, you did not understand my career, my process, or me. I only wrote about subjects that interested me, people I wanted to understand, themes I felt like thinking about.
I did not feel like thinking about you.
Of course the oddity is that the story is absolutely about the person the writer doesn't want to think about.
"Cloudburst" was odd, but in a fun way. It was like something from the 1960's/1970's that Harlan Ellison or Phil Dick or Thomas Disch would have written.
"Calliope" was also quite odd, but I did not enjoy it at all. In large part I didn't care for the second person narrative.
"An Archive" was another strong story. How can you go wrong with a story that includes sentences such as:
"The song playing on the radio was on so many stations that we eventually gave in and decided to like it."
"We only dated for three months but it took me three years of therapy to get over it."
"The sexiest moment of my life wasn’t even sex."
I enjoyed the story "Maria" - though it was probably the raunchiest of the stories that I liked. There was something that seemed very 'real' about the characters that appealed to me.
With the exceptions above, most of the stories here were fine, though not particularly memorable. There were only a handful that I felt were anonymous for good reason and generally it wasn't because of the sex, per say, but the ferocity or violence of the sex.
The authors represented here are: Angie Abdou, Jean Marc Ah-Sen, Tamara Faith Berger, Jowita Bydlowska, Xaiver Michael Campbell, K.S. Covert, francesca ekwuyasi, Anna Fitzpatrick, Drew Hayden Taylor, Victoria Hetherington, Marni Jackson, Andrew Kaufman, Michael LaPointe, Pasha Malla, Sophie McCreesh, Lisa Moore, Heather O’Neill, Lee Suksi, Susan Swan, Heidi von Palleske, Aley Waterman, Zoe Whittall, David Whitton, Michael Winter.
The contents here are:
Introduction
"Sext"
"Tulip"
"Comets"
"Niche Parade: Hotel Maid Compilation"
"At the Wreckers"
"Restoration"
"Timeless Sophistication"
"The Politics of Passion"
"Bite"
"Watching You Watching Me"
"Praying Mantis"
"Cloudburst"
"After Nicolette"
"Calliope"
"An Archive"
"My Skin Isn’t What It Used to Be"
"Party, Party, (Sex) Party"
"Maria"
"Labefactions of a Thwarted Patootie"
"Patience"
"Gold Star"
"Content Farm Confidential"
"Mirror, Mirror"
"Portrait of a Lady"
Looking for a good book? The anthology Secret Sex edited by Russell Smith suggests that if an author can remain anonymous, their writing about sex can be more explicit and daring. Few of the examples here show that to be true. The best short fiction included is still about people - about people having sex, about people thinking about sex, about people remembering sex. The stories about sex are less interesting.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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Sex is a life force, a physical act that is spiritual with its power of creation and destruction.

An introduction from Russell Smith says that most authors redact the sexual scenes because their family or partners will be going to read it. Some feel that they might see themselves in those characters or that the characters was inspired by them. Many readers he says assume sexual proclivity of author from the sex scene they have written, also can imagine author writing his own fantasies.

I for one , do not agree with this Statement. Not a single time in my life I have entered any world with that presumption in my mind or even felt this while reading the sex scene. And to be honest I read a lot of smut when I'm in slump, otherwise I don't.

Coming to the stories, like Russell Smith said these are not erotica but all related to sex one way or other. Either there is direct sex in the story or sexting or some other kind of sex story. To be honest I was quite intrigued with the blurb of the book and even when I read it introduction I was mostly thinking — oh yes bring it on. But sadly stories are not that great or shocking. Some are really boring while others are just normal short stories without anything really standing out. Even then I tried to finish the book and I'm glad I did because some stories at the end were one of the good ones.

* Sext - Sext is what the title claims it is, sex texting between a man and a woman and it goes just the way it goes in real. So that's what made me like it. But just okay.
Rating : 2.5/5

* Tulip - "Love was glued on to sex,
just a salty veneer. Sex was the zenith, the rainbow, the ring." Tulip is a story of a young girl who works as sex worker naming herself Tulip.
Rating : 3/5

* Comets - It is about a couple who are sex addicts and like to shoot themselves while doing it. Didn't see the point of the story at all if there was any.
Rating : 2.5/5

* Niche parade hotel maid compilation - Compiled entirely from the titles of the videos on pornhub. This was creative if there had been an underlying story or something but without that it felt like a very lazy author's work in my opinion.
Rating : 2/5

* At the wreckers - a very normal story with one sex scene in between which was not even implicit, it really felt out of the place to me.
Rating : 3/5

* Restoration - "Edna X was thIrty- four years older than me" that's how story starts, a young man of 22 having affair with a much older and quite prominent lady with amputed leg. And him getting aroused about it & fantasizing even. There was a yuck factor to the story but that's what makes it fit to this compilation for me. This is one of the most interesting story in the compilation.
Rating : 4/5

* Timeless sophistication - " I need rest. A time that excludes me from myself, one filled with realistic dreams of improvements to my life, or simply escapades of joy. Sleep is my best chance for that, to avoid the hovering blow from your indifference. And waiting is like a slow high. I think of ways to change my life. An exit from myself and the people I interact with, measuring their motivations until I’m too tired to do it anymore, until I’m too tired to try and find someone good."
A girl in a toxic relationship but something she can't escape. A story of many relationships in today's world. The most Realistic one. Not my favorite yet I couldn't stop thinking of about it.
Rating : 4/5

* The politics of passion - A story of passion that takes two lawyers of opposite parties attracted to each other in an instant coz of the confidence oozing from both and intelligence that was unmistakable. How that instant attraction makes them draw closer to each other and ending up having sex. Frankly this felt like a story from a Hollywood movie.
"It was, after all, treaty negotiations. Somebody was bound
to get fucked." Interesting story and very well written.
Rating : 4/5

* Bite - Dominance and submission. Sadism and mosaicism. Bondage. BDSM. Now this was a story that definitely belonged here.
Rating : 3.5/5

* Watching you watching me - " In some marriages, energy trickles away, each year a little less spark — as if a relationship is a well- used string of Christmas lights."
A couple. A divorce after many years. A man blaming woman for everything, his failures his loss of dreams. Woman on path of sexual escapades but realising in the end "being with him — being with anyone — required the invention of an unreal version of myself."
Ain't that true with almost every woman on this earth? A woman loses so much in companionship, a man doesn't except what "they feel" is loss of their freedom. But a woman loses everything including her identity. One of the stories told through a pov of a woman, most relatable.
Rating 4.5/5

* Praying mantis - " I’ve been in pain over loving you, I’ve debased myself, destroyed my days and my solar system, removed my sleep, focused solely on getting you back, on trying to stir something, and I made myself tragically unhappy. But now that we’re here, and now that I’m thinking about it, I know that my mistake was thinking that it was transactional, that it needed to be returned. It doesn’t.
I don’t need anything from you anymore. I don’t need you to show up, I don’t need to convince you. The gift is in me loving
you, in being capable of loving this deeply and tragically, yes, but ultimately, this gift is freedom — no one can forbid me loving
you, not even you. This is the power of love — it can exist independently of the parties involved. " This was one of my favorite from the whole collection. Weird and totally worth the attention.
Rating : 5/5

* Cloudburst - a weird story, a story of raining dicks. And those too perfect ones but what does every dick wants? You know the answer and that's the correct one. This was again a story of liberation of woman in my opinion.
Rating -3.5/5


* After Nicolette - This is the longest story in the collection. Written with a beautiful prose this story tells us how different being over a relationship for the partners can be. The one who has moved on doesn't even look back while the other keeps thinking about where the things went wrong.
Rating - 3.5/5


* Calliope- This was an interesting story. There's a doctor and there's Rene in his lab of some sorts. Doctor falls in love with calliope but something awful happens. You will never guess the end of the story.
Rating : 4/5

* An Archive "Sex with perfect- looking people is boring. You can’t have an earth- shattering orgasm while thinking
about your angles." An archive was some sex tales written by the protagonist when a friend asks— So tell me about your
best sex. There are very short 5 stories.
Rating 2.5/5

* My skin isn't what it used to be
Another one long story of a professor cum author who is obsessed with a form and tattoos. The ending was sad though.
Rating 3/5

* Party party sex party I don't even know what really happened except the guy had threesome at a party while being high.
Rating 2/5


* Maria - internet can make your life hell with just one mistake and that's what this story tells you. Rating 2.5/5

* Labefactions of a Thwarted Patootie
I have no idea what this was
Rating -1/5

* Patience - "In silence, she covers me with herself, all woman. She made me a man. My pleasure saved me, and she floated above me like a dream." A detailed sexual encounter. It's quite bold.
Rating 2.5/5

* Gold star - This was saddest story in the collection. A complex relationship between three friends Jessa, Teddy and Guy. One of my favourite.
Rating -5/5

* Content farm confidential- A startup, which deals with content creation and legality of it all. It can soon be a reality from where the world is actually headed.
Rating: 3/5

* Mirror mirror - This was one of the most erotic stories in my opinion. A girl stalking her neighbour everyday until something unexpected happen.
Rating 5/5

* Portrait of a lady
"Men went through life having the objects in their life derived somehow from women."

Finally a vampire story. A good one.
Rating : 4/5

Overall it was good but not great. I have read even darker and bolder stories that this collection so I was a bit disappointed. Some stories are great while other drag and brings the whole book down.

Overall rating 3.5/5


Thank you Netgalley and Dundurn press for ARC in exchange of an honest review.

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This collection of shorts comes from a talented range of established Canadian contributors, some with Jamaican, Polish and Nigerian roots, many with experience in a vast array of genres, and none of them identified here as the writer of their own story. I was surprised that their blurbs didn't mention erotica specifically, and I liked seeing the inclusion of achievements like opera librettist, film actor, and award winning journalist. All this to say that I found this to be a more thoughtful anthology than many of its ilk. From story to story I never knew what to expect, the surprises were entertaining and a few of them prompted me to google authors and add books to my To Read list.

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A buffet of writing styles centering around sex.
I enjoyed some more than others, but I prefer some authors over others. Don't we all?
What threw me the most is that there is little context and character development for each story. I know they are short stories, but I expected a bit more stand-alone quality. Overall, I appreciate what this group of authors created and recommend this collection to anyone looking for a variety of short stories focused on physical intimacy.

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This was an interesting anthology of 24 stories about sex from an impressive list of Canadian authors. The premise that humans (authors) will redact their true intent when writing about sex because it could be read by partners, family and friends. Readers assuming that the actions of the characters are the proclivities of the author. And while they may, they may just be the embodiment of the characters themselves. The goal here was to allow authors to write about sex anonymously. I will mention that I do not typically read short stories. I prefer to read longer character and plot driven stories personally. I did enjoy reading this collection. The stories are not necessarily erotic in nature. Some barely touch on the sex. Others feature graphic and sometime humiliating outcomes. The stories cover love, and lust. Passion and need. Some stories focus on more traditional sex (human to human) so enter into the world of the supernatural and beyond. I would recommend this book for someone who wants to experience of the experiment and love interesting Canadian literature. And of course, sex! ;)

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Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

While I enjoyed this book, I recognize that there is a specific group of people who would enjoy or gain something from these stories. I appreciated the range and how different everything was - from something similar to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs but cocks, to horror, contemporary fiction, fantasy, thriller, etc. every story was very, very different. There were few stories I didn’t care for, but I understand the motive behind them. Overall, I highly recommend this book for the sexually free, the sexually curious, those who see sex as a vital form of expression. I look forward to hearing this anthology being discussed.

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I didn't like the writing styles of most of the authors in this collection, so I skipped over some stories.
All in all this book just didn't appeal to me.

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This book is like a glass of red wine or decadent chocolate melting sensuously on your tongue and delighting your senses. At times these short stories were thoughtful and deep. Others were blatant and overtly sexual. Either way, these stories were beautifully written and a delight to experience. I cannot recommend this artistic collaboration enough.

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I’m really not sure how I felt about this one. I’ve been wanting to branch out to more international books and authors. Usually I love these types of books since I started reading them from Zane stories. So when I saw this one I thought why not this will be a great way to start reading other authors. But for some reason I really struggled with this book. From what I could tell each chapter was a different story which I’m used to. Some of the stories were a bit confusing on what was actually going on. I know they are short stories but I really felt like I dropped in a middle of a story and not in a good way. Some stories were just too much for me while the others were pretty good. I think my problem was how it was written. No matter I will try again on this author and others.

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“Secret Sex: An Anthology” edited by Russell Smith

Thank you to NetGalley and Rare Machines for permitting me to read this work prior to its release. Though I didn’t care for all of the short stories in this anthology, a few were pretty good and touched on the complex emotions that accompany sexual desire, like longing and self-awareness. I’m a big fan of Anais Nina and some of the stories in this work had a similar vibe to “Delta of Venus”, in the way that the sex depicted is raw and real. This wasn’t a fave but I appreciate the work that went into writing and editing such a diverse work of desire and connection.

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Secret Sex by Russell Smith is a refreshing book. I've enjoyed a few sex stories which are really interesting. However, some stories are maybe just lack of depth which may cause the story to be awkward.

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This book was really interesting. However, I think I liked the book more in concept than what it actually turned out to be. I enjoyed some of the stories, thought some were funny or fun, and it was entertaining to think about who could have written them. But in the end, it was a bit of a mismatch of stories, which I guess is a risk with any short story collection. I still do really love the concept, though.

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