Best Women’s Erotica

6 Feb

I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from my new anthology, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, out now in print and ebook from Cleis Press. I chose the themes of outsiders and risk largely because of the political times we’re living in, where empathy for outsiders is utterly unknown by many in power, and many women are taking risks to live out their ideals.

best women's erotica rachel kramer bussel alyssa cole alessandra torre

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.

I wanted to see what those principles would look like when it came to women’s sexuality. The answer I got was totally hot and thought-provoking. In Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, you’ll read about the daring of posing nude, how women overcome personal trauma by daring to be bold in their sex lives, a woman who creates her own perfect man, a tale of queer Amish love and lust, and much more. There are stories by popular romance authors including Alyssa Cole, Alessandra Torre, Megan Hart and Suleikha Snyder as well as writers making their erotic story debuts. Each of these characters is brave and sexy in their own way, whether going to a BDSM club for the first time, posing for a nude calendar or being naughty in a dressing room. You can read my introduction to the book and the full table of contents at the series’ website.

From “Words with Benefits” by Tamara Lush in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4.

My phone pinged, indicating a new match.

Gabriel C. wants to play!

I frowned. I didn’t know anyone by that name. I tapped on his profile. We had dozens of mutual friends. Wait—Gabriel Chandler? He was a longtime European history professor at my university, known by students for his detailed lectures and tough exams.

I’d seen him around over the years, most recently at a holiday party back when I was married. There were several things I knew about Gabriel Chandler: he had bright blue eyes framed by black glasses, a shock of longish, thick silver hair that curled over both his forehead and collar, and he sported a matching, trimmed beard.

When I’d last talked to him, he’d flashed a wicked smile that revealed straight, white teeth. A quick flick of the tongue to the corner of his mouth set me aflame. I’d immediately imagined him flicking that tongue around my clit. Later, as my husband rolled over to sleep another sexless night away, I fantasized about Gabriel Chandler fucking me in all sorts of ways.

I tapped on the words ACCEPT GAME. I was first up, and I cracked my knuckles in mock preparation then grinned at my silliness. Scanning my tiles, I wrangled a high scoring word.


Gabriel’s tiles flew on the screen.


“Ooh,” I said out loud. “Smart and hilariously inappropriate.”

The game quickly turned less bawdy and more competitive.

QIS, I played for 12 points.

JEST, he followed, for 13.

Two moves later, we were tied. I flicked the virtual letters into play. LIBIDO.

A yellow winner symbol flashed on the screen. Then, a message.

Impressive, Professor Stein. Your vocabulary is as attractive as your profile photo.

Ahh, so he knew who I was. My nipples hardened from the compliment. It took so little to turn me on these days. Some women said menopause left them with no interest in sex. Me? It was like I was in puberty again, but with drier skin.

Thank you. You’re pretty impressive yourself, Professor Chandler.

We played five more games, pausing only when I needed a second glass of pinot noir. I won three rounds, and he was a formidable opponent.

Playing the word ONANISM is enough to make a woman swoon. One more game?

That’s the sexiest compliment I’ve had in years. I’ll play on one condition. 

What’s that?

If I lose, I buy drinks on Saturday night.

Flirting with Gabriel made my skin tingle with an anticipation I hadn’t felt in a long time. I bit my bottom lip as I tapped out a response.

And if I lose?

I’ll still buy drinks.

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 is available in ebook for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo, in print at Amazon,, Powell’s, and IndieBound for your local independent bookstore and as an audiobook narrated by Rose Caraway.

About the book: In Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, award-winning editor Rachel Kramer Bussel has gathered the hottest sexy stories starring outspoken women who daringly pursue love and lust. You’ll read about a single mom who goes back to college and gets some very hands-on education from her hot professor, an Amish woman tenderly revealing her most intimate desires, and a woman who crafts the man of her dreams. From outsiders who lustily claim their place without apology to women taking the boldest of risks with their hearts and their bodies, these sizzling stories are sure to make your heart pound. Featuring stories by popular authors including Alyssa Cole, Megan Hart, Tamara Lush, Tamsen Parker, Sofia Quintero, Suleikha Snyder and Alessandra Torre, along with a variety newcomers to the genre, these tales will turn you on and stay with you long after you’ve finished.

About Tamara Lush: Tamara Lush ( is a journalist by day and an erotic romance author at night. Her books have been called “smart smut,” and she finished her most recent novel on a cross-country train trip during an Amtrak Writing Residency.


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