Come Again Book

Review: Come Again Sex Toy Erotica

Come Again BookAs you might have noticed, I have feelings about sex toys. Opinions. Strong ones.

I’m a bit finicky about my erotica too for that matter, because when it’s good I love it, but when it’s bad, it’s really, really, laughably bad.

So when Rachel Kramer Bustle decided to combine the two with Come Again, an anthology of sex toy themed erotica, I was… concerned. I knew that these stories would, primarily (if not exclusively) be written by erotica authors- not educators, not sex toy reviewers, authors. Which makes sense, but there is a wide array of myths and misconceptions surrounding sex toys and I was prepared for reading this book to mean drudging through a sea of them.

Luckily, Come Again surprised me. Sure there were far too many uses of the word “rubber” for my liking,1 and most toys descriptions were disappointingly generic,2 but for the most part it was pretty damn good.

There wasn’t anything outright offensive or dangerous. No implications that a toy was a replacement for a partner or only for lonely people, no scary unhealthy products used as replacements for sex toys, or things without flared bases being stuck in butts. Just a whole lot of sex, which meant I was actually able to loose myself in the narrative without being pulled out by my educator brain, which happens far too often when I’m consuming sexy media of any sort.

In fact, I was able to forget that the book was even focused on sex toys because of how flawlessly they were integrated into the narrative in most cases. It didn’t feel like the author was simply checking off activities on a list, the toys just felt like a part of the way the characters had sex, and that saved the whole anthology from feeling formulaic and repetitive.

As you might expect, it had the typical “secret sex toy in public” stories- Dare You To, and A Tale of Two Toys- which were a little hard to believe, because I know how remote control vibes work (poorly), but when I suspended my disbelief and pretended they invented a magical new one that actually felt like more than a bee lost in my pants, I enjoyed them a whole lot more. Especially A Tale of Two Toys, but I guess that’s just the exhibitionist in me for ya.

Those aren’t the only stories relying on new inventions though, The Cure for The Common Lay and Sex Sells both explore what the future of sex toys look like and ways to manipulate the brain to receive pleasure through science.

The Prototype, Byrd and the Bees, and Bikery on the other hand all show people inventing their own toys right in the here and now, which has the potential to be a bit confusing (as was The Prototype at first) or even slightly terrifying (I’m looking at you Byrd and the Bees) but Bikery found the perfect balance.

There’s also characters re-purposing seemingly vanilla objects for much more nefarious means- but luckily not in one of the many dangerous ways us educators have nightmares about. In Get Your Rocks Off, Prickles, and (of course) Vegetable Love, which could have been terribly cliche but adds an interesting quirk.

Some stories feature characters exploring toys for the first time, like in Dalia’s Toy where the woman needs to get a little tipsy before she is even able to set foot in a sex shop with her friends, but by the end of the story is teasing and dominating her eager, albeit shocked, husband. Then on the other hand you have Roc in Lost and Pounded who describes himself as “something of an expert in toys”.

The little bit of kink that is in the book is pretty tame, including only some sensation play in Claws Out, mild domination in The Secret Shopper, and topping out at some kitten play and spanking in Sex Kitten and medical play in Standard of CareFor the most part the book is pretty vanilla and at times it’s even downright cute.

For example The Superman Dildo isn’t particularly hot, but it is utterly adorable, and god damn important, which is why I was glad it was so close to the beginning of the book. The story told from the perspective of a cis guy who worries that if he uses a sex toy with his partner that means he’s somehow inadequate, because he’s not “giving her an orgasm” all by his lonesome. Luckily, by the end of the story he has learned the error of his ways, through some awesome quotes like “Sex is about listening. I had only been listening to my wants and desires.”

Like most of the anthologies I’ve read by Rachel Kramer Bussel , Come Again is inclusive, with trans bodies, various queer couplings, and even a story about a pair of older women who are just starting to explore their sexuality together. All of the stories are well written and were happily lacking in all the terrible euphemisms that are unfortunately quite prevalent in the erotica world. I didn’t have the best expectations for this book, but I should really have known better because I’m rarely disappointed in Rachel Kramer Bussel’s work. If you like sex toys and erotica I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by Come Again!

Review Overview

Characters and Story
Written Structure
Diversity
Eroticism

Yes.

I expected this book to really annoy me but I was pleasantly surprised!

User Rating: Be the first one !
  1. Sex toys don’t taste rubbery! At least not the good ones. []
  2. I kept wanting to know more than just “pink dildo”. Which dildo is it? Does it have a curve? A bulbous head? Is it realistic? []

About Bex

Bex talks about sex, a lot, and feels this is the only way to reduce the stigma and lack of education surrounding it. When they’re not trying to save the world, talking about sex to strangers, typing frantically, or sticking things in various holes they are usually indulging the other facets of their geekery.

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  • Tanya @ Penchant

    Thanks for sharing more info about this collection! This book sounds like a lot of fun and a great read. Consider it added to the reading list. 🙂

  • Tzipora

    I tend to enjoy Cleis Press’s erotica and they tend to be both inclusive (though honestly I personally identify as lesbian and really don’t like reading hetero sex) and don’t use the horrible euphemisms. I was intrigued by the idea of this one too. Sounds kinda fun. I actually write erotica for fun (and be careful saying erotica writers aren’t authors, many would take offense at that and largely from what I’ve most enjoyed in lesbian erotica, most of the best writers also write non erotic books so…) And keep contemplating submitting some work to Cleis because I’d be so proud to be published by them. I’m also contemplating starting a sex blog from a queer, physically disabled, survivor type perspective. Because I’m so big on sex positivity and my belief is people so often define sex very narrowly, even sometimes in the sex positive world and the best thing that’s ever happened to me since I got sick/disabled was to reclaim my sexuality. And to broaden my definitions and explore what I could still do versus mourn what I can’t. Heck I’ve totally written erotica from that perspective. I’ve found it healing to write it. So eh I know a lot of erotica is straight up bad but lots of benefits even besides getting off and not all erotica writers write only smut or are somehow not sex positive or reasonably educated sexually. But for sure I write my own because I don’t see a lot of what I like or want. I actually sort of have an idea for an erotic romance type book centered around healing from sexual abuse. That sounds super weird when I say it but it’s not. Lol. It’s an interesting concept at least and I’ve definitely gained a lot by writing pieces like that even if just for me.

    But I’m rambling and way off topic. Actually from an erotica writing point of view you made me think a lot with your review. I write about toys fairly often. I label the Hitachi for sure but beyond that it often seems a bit weird to say something like “She stepped into her Rodeoh harness and attached the blue Tantus Echo dildo”, you know? I describe color and textures a lot. Definitely more than just ” pink dildo”. But I don’t want to sound like an ad for a toy and I get why toy reviewers might enjoy the details but would the majority of people reading the work have any idea what this dildo looks like versus that one if I named it? But I’m assuming you wanted more description then? Like that the dildo was nonrealistic and had a g spot curve or the harness was brief style as opposed to jock or g string style straps for example? Just curious from the point of view of wanting to make my own writing better or if say volume two of this collection happens I decide to submit my own work.

    Love your erotica reviews in general too. Don’t see that a lot on sex toy review sites and we seem to want similar things as far as realistic sex, inclusiveness (I’ve had a lot of luck in the queer erotica world there so you might want to check out more queer specific stuff. I recently discovered the blog of a published queer transguy author writing about kinky disabled sex. How awesome is that?) And oh boy, I laughed when I read your review of the Penthouse oral one. Cream. Haha. Ew. I’m still picturing Twinkies or something. 😉

  • Heaven

    Glad to hear you enjoyed reading this book, I just got it to giveaway for my contest. It sounded like a interesting book to read too. Too bad I don’t have quietness like that to enjoy a book now a days.

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