Dec 11, 2011

[Books] Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Superheroes

So for my birthday this year I had decided to set up an Amazon Kindle Titles Wish List to make it easier for friends and family to figure out what to get me and to continue to expand my modest Kindle library. The list includes a wide variety of titles including different science fiction and fantasy titles and some LGBT-themed books as well.

While I would never purchase a book of erotica for myself given you can find stuff like this on the web for free, I figured it would make for an amusing addition to my wish list. Plus at the time it had modestly good ratings and it involved superheroes - geeky and gay at the same time! So it was bound to be win-win, right?

Unfortunately, that was not the case with this collection, and it scares me to consider the fact that there's actually a sequel compilation of stories. Good grief!

I'm man enough to admit that I've read my fair share of gay erotica on the web and a modest amount of superhero-themed gay erotica as well, so I do have a decent point of reference here. And a lot of the stories here were just plain bad and not in a good way. But hey, at least it was a gift.

Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Superheroes is a collection of short stories centered around gay superheroes and their sexual escapades. The collection was edited by Eric Summers and includes stories from many different authors.

The overall tone that the collection was aiming for was a mix of highly sexualized stories balanced with humor to some degree. I suppose you could imagine these stories to be more like erotic versions of Silver Age superheroes and such and not the kind of grittiness that we see in comics today. One example of this is the story of Kosher Man, who is obviously a Jewish-themed superhero. He has superhuman strength and all that but he must remain pure by eating only kosher food - and I'm sure you can tell where this story ends up.

However the humor often falls flat and ends up on the wrong side of the kitsch-camp border. And the lack of quality jokes makes the stories a bit harder to stomach. And that brings us to the erotica themselves.

Image by Halcyon via Flickr
A lot of the stories are pretty straightforward in format. They introduce the hero and his powers. They introduce the potential love interest. The two go at it like super-powered bunnies. Repeat ad nauseum. And while I know there's no getting around the sex, the reader in me can't help but wish for a bit more build-up in terms of the story. You can't just create a single sex scene and wrap up the rest of the story in useless fluff and call it a finished tale. It just doesn't work. Were these writers working with the word count limit or something?

And mind you - the sex isn't even that great. There wasn't as much creativity in how the writers leveraged the powers of the different heroes when they paired off. And the abuse / manipulation of powers for sexual gain is sort of the main point of having a superhero-themed erotica piece If you can't mange that and they just end up having generally conventional sex that just happens to be in the air or with a severely enlarged sexual organ, it's not at all impressive.

So yes, this is definitely one of those instances when I'll say that you're better off looking for stories in this theme online versus purchasing this book. And as far as the erotica collections in the Kindle Store go, this one feels over-priced for its lack of substance.

If you've never read a superhero erotica piece on the web, then perhaps Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Superheroes is the book for you. As it stands as a paid piece of work though, I give this title 1 yawn-worthy aerial sex scene out of a possible 5.

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