Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
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Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
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Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
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Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
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Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
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David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
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Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
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Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
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Simon Lowrie
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Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
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Jeff Mann
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Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
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Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
37 Stories About 37 Women37 Stories About 37 Women
By: Brian Whitney
Fanny Press
ISBN: 1603815066
September 2012

Reviewed By: Lisabet Sarai

Let me say at the outset that 37 Stories About 37 Women is not erotica, at least not by my definition, despite being released by a publisher that specializes in that genre. There's a lot of sex in this book – though it's incorporated mainly by offhand reference, rather than described – but precious little desire, even of the physical sort. For the author/narrator/hero of this volume, sex appears to be something you engage in by default when you can't figure out what else to do, and especially when you're drunk, high, broke, depressed, feeling self-destructive and figuring you'd like to pass that mood along.

The book is a series of thirty seven vignettes, two or three pages long, each labeled with the name of a woman (with the exception of chapter 32, entitled “Sean's Whores”). They're written from different perspectives and points of view, which is initially confusing but ultimately adds to one's sense that this book is a deliberately constructed work and not merely a collection of miscellaneous ramblings.

Rachel:  “He was going to leave you until he found out you were doing Morphine.”

Kristie:  “I was fascinated with Kristie during her trial for murder.”

Melissa: “I never thought you would be getting off work at seven. When one's girlfriend is a waitress, that possibility does not enter one's mind.”

Erin: “Cody used to hit me so I left. It wasn't that simple of course. But that isn't what this story is about. I liked Brian. I had seen him at the Portside or at Pearl. He wasn't with that gorgeous blonde girlfriend anymore. I think he was with someone else but I knew that much anyway.”

When I began reading, the book struck me as snarky, facile and clever, a sort of literary version of the movie Sherman's March, where the main character is constantly hijacked emotionally by the various women in his life. Warren Zevon's song “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” kept playing in my mind:

These young girls won't let me be.
Lord have mercy on me.

The further I read, though, the darker and more disturbing the book became. Women who had headlined in one chapter turned up as side characters in other chapters. Little by little I started to piece together the disastrous web of sex, lies and illusions that linked all these women together.

He was cheating on his wife with three women at once. All of whom worked together. One who thought he was going to leave his wife and marry her. Two who didn't know about the other two. And one chubby formerly straw-hatted young woman who knew he was fucking three other women.

He could get nothing done. His life had become nothing but a bad porno. All three of them constantly cycled in and out of his office. He would go into Jenna's office and put his cock in her mouth, then go into Amanda's and do the same. Then at lunch he would go to Brynne's, and she would get on her knees for him.

It was at times like this when a person is no longer in any doubt that he is completely and totally out of control. (Chapter 18, Brynne).

Amanda has her own chapter. Jenna didn't even rate one, unless he changed the names, which is possible. In one chapter he seems confused as to whether the woman in question is called “Brooke” or “Krista”, although in general the editing in this book is excellent.

The longer one persists in reading about these poor women, the sadder and more desperate one feels.

The author/narrator/hero is a top. He likes to spank his women, make them crawl, suffocate them, even knock them out with chloroform and fuck them while they're unconscious. There's no joy in these encounters,  none of  the closeness or mutual respect I look for in a D/s encounter (real or fictional). The stories reek with misogynistic self-pity, with the narrator completely focused on what he wants. And yet he seems as lost and miserable, as addicted and depressed, as any of the dozens of females who seem willing to offer him their bodies.

Perhaps the most revealing of the so-called stories is Chapter 26 – Ashley. “I used to pretend to be other people. I did this on the Internet...So this one time I was Ashley.”  Ashley is a total illusion, an imaginary blonde eighteen year old with an equally fictional vicious and dishonest boyfriend named Jake. Ashley posts about the terrible things Jake does to her, but also about how she loves him. People come out of the woodwork, urging her to leave him. The narrator and his druggy friends play the tale to the hilt, writing blogs, leaving comments and posting photos, until national media contact “Ashley” wanting to interview the poor abused teen. When she suddenly disappears from view, her on-line fans and friends frantically call the police, convinced that she's been murdered by her violent lover.

The author and his cohorts find the situation endlessly amusing. In fact, the way Jake treats poor illusory Ashley mirrors not a few of the stories that supposedly discuss real women.

By the time I'd finished 37 Stories About 37 Women, I had endless sympathy for these thirty seven and the others that he probably forgot. I wanted to hate the author for his callous attitude. I couldn't quite manage that, though, because despite all the darkness, there are sparks of genius in this book. Furthermore, it's clear the author carries enough self-hate that my meager contribution would hardly affect him.

Chapter 23, Brittany, may be the shortest in the book. For a page, the author strips himself bare. All the bravado, the attitude is gone. There's nothing but need and regret.

I could try to write a book about all the women I have known. Or I could try and write a book about you....

If I were still with you this book would be peaceful. It would be inspirational. It would be about coming together and moving on to the other side. It would be about overcoming mental illness, overcoming addiction. It would be about stupid ex-husbands and alcoholic millionaires.

It would be about reading in bed, seeing movies, going to The Porthole and running errands with my hand on your leg in the car. It would be about doing good deeds and knowing just how much cream to put in coffee. …

It would be about being loved and understood.

But you know I fuck up all the time, and you know I am crazy.

So I wrote this piece of fucking shit instead.

I hope you like it.

I can't say I exactly liked 37 Stories About 37 Women.  I find it a bit offensive that such a sex-negative book is being marketed as erotica. But it isn't the piece of fluff I originally expected. It's a hard book to read. Despite the flippancy of some of the tales, I suspect it may have been hard to write. I hope that it brought the author some kind of peace.