An ENE Review of the anthology
Herotic 6 by Marcy Sheiner


Reviewed by JZ Sharpe

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Herotica anthologies. After all, they got me into erotic literature in the first place, as a reader and later as a writer. The first five were marvelous collections of sexy tales written by women, with all the sensuality and sensitivity that a female author can bring to such a story. If you haven't read them yet, I urge you to do so!
However, as the Herotica collections grew in number, reviewers began to complain that they seemed unfocused. It's not that the quality was poor, but that perhaps, in order for the series to continue, some sort of thematic approach might be in order. So Marcy Sheiner, the editor of Herotica 6, took their suggestions to heart, and after brainstorming several wackier ideas (Chicks with Dicks? Orgies? Hairy Heroines?), the "powers that be" suggested Committed Relationships. With that, a great anthology was born.
This collection definitely lives up to the fine quality that one expects in the Herotica series. As always, the reader encounters a variety of relationship configurations: not only heterosexual, but lesbian, a male/male/female triad, and just to be fair, a female/female/male one too. We even have two stories where the main object of affection has passed away (don't worry, no sex acts are performed on dead bodies). So no matter what your sexual orientation or your particular kink, you'll find a story in here that will push your buttons.
But Herotica 6 also debunks the conventional wisdom that keeping the heat going in a committed relationship is hard. You won't find any of the standard methods in here, no naked bodies done up in plastic wrap, no trips to Frederick's of Hollywood for fur-trimmed lingerie. Each story takes a creative approach to love, sex, and commitment.
I didn't find it easy to choose a favorite from the 21 stories contained within Herotica 6. But I can tell you a bit about the ones that stayed with me the most. Herotica 6 starts out with a bang in "Neighborhood Round Robyn", by Mel Harris, an intricately built tale of a neighborhood where the erotic temperature rises dramatically, thanks to a sunbathing woman and the fantasies she inspires. "Mourning the Peasant", by Maria Mendoza, and "Shadows on the Wall", by Susannah Indigo, both deal with the death of the beloved (and I found the second story a real treat for its interesting viewpoint on BDSM). I found myself identifying with Joan Leslie Taylor's "The Rose Velvet Chaise", and I loved the chic kinkiness of "The Album", by Kate Dominic. Readers of this page who like erotic romance will especially enjoy "Blue Moon over Paradise" by Lisa Prosimo, a sexy bodice-ripper if I ever read one. The stories tend to get kinkier as the anthology goes on, and the last six stories, which deal in threesomes, power exchanges, and just plain alternative lifestyles, are fascinating. As I said, there's something here for everyone. If none of these stories reach out and touch you somewhere, maybe you should give up on erotica altogether!
As I write, I happen to know that there is another Herotica anthology in the works, this on multi-cultural relationships. Herotica 6 is so good, however, it's a tough act to follow! This anthology definitely belongs in every good collection of contemporary erotic literature. I highly recommend it.

HEROTICA 6 by Marcy Sheiner

is available for purchase through Amazon.Com


From The Author: Entertaining ways to keep sex alive

If you've been reading anthologies of erotic fiction by women and feeling like orgies, pickups and barroom liaisons have nothing to do with your quiet married life, Herotica 6 is for you. These stories show how creative couples manage to engage in sizzling sex within committed relationships. Even the more adventurous might find a few new ideas in this collection. Whoever you are, if you liked the Herotica series, you'll love the latest: Herotica 6 continues the tradition of hot, literary sex stories from the female perspective. - Marcy Sheiner , February 24, 1999


For the past five years, JZ Sharpe has been making up for the time she lost in a 20-year writer's block. She lives in the Pennsylvania mountains, where most of her friends and coworkers would be shocked and amazed by her secret life as a writer of erotica and science fiction. JZ Sharpe is a regular contributor to ENE. You can also find her work at About's Amateur Erotica, Adult Story Corner, Biblio Eroticus, Blood Moon Zine , Dare , Erotica Readers Association, HotErotica.Com and Scarlet Letters . Get lashed by the Sharpe Tongue.

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