“The quickie is all about opportunity—manufactured or spontaneous,” Cheyenne Blue writes in the Forward. “It’s about the thrills: the delicious fear of maybe being caught; of illicit lovers; of illicit acts, of spontaneous sex with strangers; or a meticulous preplanned tryst wth a lover that has a finite time for the finale. There’s no time for slow, sweeping caresses, for a gradual buildup. The quickie is not a four-movement symphony, but a breathtaking plunge into the heavy beat of a Rolling Stones song.”
Indeed, if the goal of this erotica was the creating bass-like tremors in the body akin to moshing in the front row of a rock concert, then a large majority of them succeed wildly. Jumping into the collection with a bang (pun intended), the reader is treated first to a tale of road-head-gone wild in Dante Davidson’s “Yes”, followed by a sexy (if somewhat unoriginal and bland) story by Sage Vivant “Marianne and the Professor”, and delving from there into the fiery depths of side of the road fucking, water sports, dressing room encounters, and exhibitionism between two shy birds.
The range of the book is impressive, and though I find that some of the stories are dry or yawn-inducing (student-teacher sex can be so hot, but for goodness sakes’, show us something new—if the professor is going to be getting down with Marianne on his desk, at least throw in a little exhibitionism, ditch the ‘student-predator’ cliché, and spice it up maybe with a few unexpected turns and sudden voyeurs), the book is well-curated.
One of the most attractive components of the book is the length of the stories; the short page-count allows the reader to move freely through the book as a no-strings-attached voyeur: committed to the quickie-style in every way, even in craft. In our culture of technological multi-tasking, information-overload, and sensory escapism, it is both intuitive and a relief to have smut that works at a pace to which our minds have become accustomed. The effect of the stories is an exciting one—providing varied sexscapes for the reader to plunge into, each story starts with a hook, climaxes, and exits gracefully and appropriately.
Though there are some nit-picky problems I have with some of the stories (the sometimes unoriginal content aside, there are some bullshit gender tropes present in Iris N. Schwartz’s “Two Thumbs Up (The Perfect Date)” that present women as silly, subservient, and totally bowled-over by fine Italian food), the collection provides good fodder for conversation (I was particularly amused by Maxim Jakubowski’s use of the word ‘cauldron’ to describe cunt in “Like a Virgin”). As a constantly-travelling person, I found Down and Dirty an amenable companion for bus rides, BART waits, and late-night pre-bedtime reading. Though I wasn’t as enthralled with this title as Wild Girls, Wild Nights, I found this collection to be more accessible because it truly covers a wide span of interests. Like the Daisy-duke and red heel clad temptress on the front cover, Down and Dirty encompasses a spare frivolity that promises to bring out the inner greaser in every reader. Simply put, the collection is fun, flirtatious, and appears to successfully achieve what the editor put forth.
As Blue states in the Forward: “Whispers of love, rose petals, and bubble baths have their place—but not in this collection of quickies. There are no languorous seductions; the words that these stories evoke are need, lust, and urgency. These stories get first from the first sentences.”
One in a string of many of Cleis Press’ erotica collections, Down and Dirty is perfect for the quickie-enthusiast on the go. Throw it into a tote bag with a thermos of coffee, a mini vibe, and a day planner with several empty slots waiting to be filled with your own exciting rendezvous. This erotica collection is truly for those of us who live fast-paced lives and demand the same from our porno.